In this guide, we’ll cover email design best practices for all the different elements of your email campaigns and have a bonus checklist for you at the end. So let’s get to it.
While not a traditional “design element” your subject line considered one of the most important factors in getting your email opened. So your subscribers can see your sweet design so make it engaging, personal, and relevant. Remember, that overuse of CAPS and unnecessary punctuation, as well as some words, can trigger spam filters so respect your subscribers and don’t go there. Use these words instead.
When it comes to email subject lines longer isn’t necessarily better. It’s important to keep in mind that your subscribers use a variety of different browsers and email clients as well as mobile devices to consume your emails.
According to data from Return Path, 65 characters seems to be a sweet spot for email subject lines. It is about 15 characters more than the average subject line. When subject lines are 61-70 characters long, they tend to get read. However, most email subject lines are between 41 and 50 characters.
The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” may never be truer than when it comes to emoji. And emoji in email subject lines can have a major impact. Not only can they take the place of words, be attention-grabbing, and add a definite charm, they can increase your open rates. A report by Experian noted that 56% of brands using emoji in email subject lines had a higher open rate.
If an emoji doesn’t support, in the email client, the recipient may see a ☐ character instead.
Remember: Gmail has to have some extra special considerations when using emoji. You may notice in Gmail when you use emoji in the subject line the icon will look different in the inbox view and after the email has been opened. This is due to the inbox view using the Android version of the emoji. Meanwhile, the opened email view uses Google’s own emoji style. While the emoji basically look the same, it’s still worth testing to make sure the same sentiment expressed in both versions.
Your preheader can be visible in the inbox preview and in the body of your email, or just in the preview pane if you want to save email real estate. Preheaders add valuable context to your subject line and can help your open rate. Keep it short (between 40-70 characters) and to the point. Use this space to help your customer know why the email is useful to them. Your subject line and preheader text should work together.
Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Go beyond just using your subscriber’s name in the subject line and use other data you have to fuel super relevant messages. Adding company name, last purchase, or other information helps you to personalize the email in the perfect way. But really good personalization involves more than just injecting a first name. Think about how you could completely change the email based on someone’s information.