All About Email - The Last Word in Email Publishing

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not a good look?

What makes a great email design? It is an increasingly complicated question. So many different email clients with different rendering protocols. So many different approaches – do you replicate printed media designs, optimise for email or what?

When designing a template for a client, it is important to explain that you cannot please all of the people all of the time – if you want to, then forget Html, use plain text.

We use Html because it enhances branding, it creates a visually appealing environment for your copy and because it allows us to gather metrics.

The golden rule is simplicity. Let your content lead your design, not vice versa. Unless you don’t care about 40% of your audience. That’s the harsh reality of it. Some marketers are happy to sacrifice nearly half their recipients in order to send a print style design through to the remaining 60% - big images with overlaid text everywhere, usually unsupported by Alt text. Or with the most pitiful stuff behind it (image of fish etc).

I believe that people respond to email because of what they read. But images can be a factor in deciding whether to read it or not. So can rich text. So Inbox always lets copy lead design.

But until the impossible dream of standardisation occurs, the design vs rendering conundrum will remain a challenge – an increasingly hard one to win.

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