How to Avoid Killing Good Email Design with These Five Campaign Enemies

Email marketing campaigns are a delicate balance of different factors interacting in just the right way to create what is an overall smooth flowing campaign. Because of this, numerous little factors, some of which can even be hard to identify, will influence if your campaign runs smoothly or suddenly fails in some way that causes drops in beneficial metrics.

Good email design tips

In order to minimize this risk, you need a hit list of the most problematic elements that are likely to screw your campaign up, so you can get rid of them in advance.

Luckily, this post is dedicated to giving you a quick and easy to follow “public enemies” list of the worst and most common offenders you’re likely to meet, described as actual characters. You should also check out the accompanying video that provides even more context, courtesy of email marketing firm Reachmail.

1. Mr. Loud Colors

Mr. Loud Colors is the sales guy who shows up at a customer meeting wearing something so outrageous that nobody can concentrate on a word he says, even if he has something smart and interesting to explain.

In other words, your email campaign shouldn’t fall victim to the same thing by using such over the top colors and flash that it completely distracts from its actual message. Instead, focus on creating attention through something interesting to say and use design features that don’t distract from this. A good idea is to stick to more neutral but elegant color palettes for email messages and the landing pages they lead to. A great list of examples can be found here.

2. Mr. Distortion

Mr. Distortion is a two faced character who impresses you with his professionalism under supervised, controlled settings and then later goes out into the field to impress potential customers only to instead completely throw them off by losing his cookies when it comes time to make a presentation.

What we’re specifically talking about is the kind of situation in which you design a perfectly functional email campaign that looks and works great on your own machine and mail servers but then fails to load properly when its send into the wider world of different email systems, screens, browsers and devices that your readers use.

Avoid this by testing all campaigns before you take them live on a whole series of dummy accounts with various email systems, in different browsers and in mobile formats.

3. Mr. Red X

Mr. Red X is a sneaky character who appears only because you’ve failed to plan ahead with a key component of your email marketing messages.

What we’re describing is the literal Red X that can appear because your email mailing depends too much on images instead of text and then later gets sent to mail servers whose users have image display disabled for whatever reason.

If this happens, you’ve lost a large chunk of your overall delivery and look unprofessional to boot. Better not to depend too much on image files inside emails and instead use text that colorfully describes what you want to convey. This way, Mr. Red X never need make an appearance.

4. Mr. Pixels

Mr. Pixels’ biggest defect is his own ego. He thinks he’s flexible enough to work well in any presentation and convinces you to trust him on this too.

What this means specifically, is that you use image files for your landing pages or mailings which then load improperly either because they’re too small and blur as you upscale them or too big and compress blurry as you downsize them.

Instead, select images carefully so they can resize effectively for assorted screen sizes and as a general rule, as we described above, avoid images in your emails. Save them for your landing pages.

5. Mr. Wordy

Wordy also has an ego problem. He’s so in love with the sound of his own voice that he can’t shut up and stop wasting his readers’ time. This makes those readers go away out of boredom or irritation.

Avoid dealing with Mr. Wordy by understanding that your readers’ time is valuable to them and that they want you to get to the point soon in your emails and sales pitches. Describe the interesting selling points as soon as you can and enough said.


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