Good email design helps communicate information clearly and engages your employees. Learn how to design better emails using our list of email design inspiration examples.
Emails come in all shapes and sizes, from small bites of text to elaborate and interactive stories. What separates good email design from bad email design is one important quality: does it do what it’s supposed to do?
We explore how you can use different design tactics to make your emails more effective. Pick and choose from our list of email design examples to craft email that matches your brand and intent.
Why is Good Email Design Important?
The point of any email—or any content for that matter—is to communicate an idea to the recipient. Design is what allows any content to be understood as its creator intended.
Good email design helps your employees understand what’s being communicated. It directs their attention to important information, and guides them from one point to the next.
Good design can communicate things beyond the actual information in your email. Good design can enforce your employer branding and internal brand voice. Plus, it can help encourage your employees to take steps only implied by the actual content of your email.
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10 Modern Email Design Tips and Trends for 2023
Email design can focus on any number of different aspects in your email. From the colours and text you use, to the layout and organization of your information, to how you reuse your information, email design can impact the time and effort you put into your emails.
We’ve put together our favourite email design examples so you can pick and choose which you try out on your own internal communications.
1. Use templates for consistent, efficient email design
According to our Global State of Internal Communications Survey, email is the most popular form of internal communication for businesses. Internal communicators send a lot of emails, which means any chance to save time during the design process can really add up.
Email templates help you save time by retaining established layouts for your emails. You can create a template that features your company newsletter ideas. Then all you need to do when sending a new newsletter is plug in the updated content, no redesigning required.
Using ContactMonkey drag-and-drop email template builder, you can easily build reusable email templates for your internal communications:
Create your own templates from scratch, or modify a pre-made template from our template library. Building different templates for the various recurring emails you send minimizes the amount of design work you have to do, and can save you huge amounts of time.
After switching to ContactMonkey, Mettler Toledo saved 25 days a year on their internal communications by optimizing their email design process.
2. Choose the right email layout
Your email layout will determine what information your employees read and when. Obviously putting information at the top of your email will make your employees pay more attention to it, but good email design goes much further than that.
There are two kinds of email layouts that you can use to fit large amounts of information within an email’s relatively small space. The first is called a Z-pattern, which looks like this:
Z-pattern email layouts guide your employees to read back and forth between the different sides of your email. You can use the Z-pattern to associate text with images without explicitly explaining the connection between the two.
The other approach you can try is an F-pattern, which is more of a list-style layout. Primary information is presented on the left side of the page, with related information to the right of each point.
Keep both these layouts in mind and use them when the information lends itself to it. Use your email layout design to create connections between the different information you send without having to explain the connection.
3. Make your emails responsive and mobile friendly
Good email design makes your emails easier to read regardless of how your employees access them. Designing emails that work on every platform or device creates fewer hurdles your employees have to clear to read your emails.
Build your emails with both desktop and mobile devices in mind. Use clear headings, less body text, and simple layouts to ensure that your emails stay readable.
With ContactMonkey’s responsive email templates, your emails will be able to automatically reformat according to your employees’ device and email software. Want to see how your email will display on mobile? Use ContactMonkey’s mobile design mode to view and edit your emails for a mobile device:
Avoid broken images and misplaced text to ensure your employees have a smooth email experience no matter what you send.
4. Feature personalized email content
Fact: personalized email content gets more engagement than non-personalized email content. Emails with personalized subject lines have 10–14% higher open rates than those that don’t.
Featuring frequent but not-overbearing personalization in your emails is a good way to rid your emails of monotony. Using merge tags, you can add personalized body copy and subject lines to your emails:
This small step can make a big difference in your email engagement levels and add virtually no time to your email engagement process: talk about a win-win.
5. Create enticing subject lines
Apart from using personalized email subject lines, there are a few subject line best practices to which you should adhere.
As we previously mentioned many of your employees will view their emails on mobile devices, which means you have limited space for your subject line before it gets cut off. Keep your subject line concise but representative of what your email is and how you want it to be received.
Use sentence case for your email subject lines, as this has been shown to be the most personal and engaging. Be sure to keep a consistent tone across your internal communications that reflects your company culture.
If you need some help generating engaging subject lines, you can try ContactMonkey’s OpenAI integration. With a simple prompt, you can quickly generate high quality copy that could resonate with your audience and drive opens.
6. Feature clear and obvious CTAs
A call-to-action (CTA) prompts your employee to complete a particular task. Whatever function the CTA serves, its first goal is to be noticed.
Use contrasting colours to make your CTAs stand out from your other email content. Feature simple and clear language on your CTAs to create as few barriers between your employees and the goal you want them to achieve.
Within ContactMonkey’s email template builder, you can create custom CTAs using the Button tile:
Control every visual aspect of your CTAs and match them to your company branding by customizing the default colour settings. You can test the effectiveness of your CTA design by tracking link-clicks within ContactMonkey’s analytics dashboard.
7. Save space by using photos and videos instead of text
The adage “show, don’t tell” is super-applicable to email design. With such a limited space to communicate your message, using visual content like photos and videos can both increase the design-quality of your emails while effectively delivering information.
Photos and videos can add context to your email, save you space, direct your employees’ attention, and emphasize your company’s internal brand image. Check out how these images work together to highlight the tone of the email:
When incorporating multimedia in your email content, remember the Z-pattern and F-pattern layouts we mentioned earlier. Formatting your content in this matter will make it easier for your employees to read or scan.
8. A/B test your email design
We mentioned using email analytics to see how your CTA design impacts how your employees interact with it. Why not apply that testing-approach to your email design in general.
Try creating two templates for your important internal communications and measuring their individual performance over a set period of time. Track their email metrics in your analytics dashboard to see which email design generates the most engagement:
You can also poll your employees to ask what they think of your email design and if they have any design suggestions. Try including a survey with anonymous commenting in your email to collect qualitative employee feedback alongside your quantitative email metrics.
9. Keep your branding consistent
For both your internal and external communications, it’s important to keep your company email branding consistent. Email branding helps identify your emails to your recipients and should exemplify the tenets of your brand.
Consistent colours, fonts, font styles, design elements, and images help add legitimacy to your email design. When creating your email templates, consult your company’s brand guidelines to ensure your email design matches your company brand at large.
If you’re designing numerous branded emails, you can save time and effort in your email newsletter workflow by using ContactMonkey’s custom branding features. Set default colours, styles, fonts, formatting, button colour, and more to match your company’s brand guidelines:
You can also use the file manager to keep an up-to-date library of company brand-approved images to use in your emails.
10. Make your design preferences stick
After you’ve created an efficient workflow for your email design process, be sure that it doesn’t get altered by someone who is unfamiliar with your email design expectations.
You can safeguard your design preferences in several ways. Edit user permissions within ContactMonkey’s email template builder to control who can edit your email templates:
Go one step further and create an email template using the locked rows feature to allow your employees to edit only certain parts of your email templates. This is great for internal communications teams who rely on templates for their regular internal emails.
Good Email Design is All About Repeatability
Email design can be a bittersweet undertaking. You want well-designed emails, but you can’t always invest the time required to design a great email from scratch. Your ability to recreate your email design is just as important as creating the design in the first place.
Using ContactMonkey’s email design software, you can easily create templates and default settings that eliminates the repetition of many email design steps. Eliminating repetitive tasks, no matter how small, can have a big impact on your email design process, saving you huge amounts of time over the course of a year.
Want to see how ContactMonkey can improve your email design process? Book a free demo to see our email template builder in action: