Browse by...
Home Resources Blog

Crisp, simple and engaging email designs filled with dynamic content draw subscribers in – allowing them to build a relationship with your client’s brand. When providing increased customer conversion rates for your clients, it’s important to understand what their customers are looking for and how email design plays a role in fulfilling their needs.

According to the psychologist, Dr. Robert Beno Cialdini, consumers want honesty from their brands, and they want to feel understood and included in your client’s brand’s message. They are looking to have their pain points alleviated quickly, or they are looking for instant gratification and pleasure from your client’s services. When consumers feel that their values are in line with your client’s values – email conversion rates climb.

How does email design play a role in lead conversion? Different aspects of email design influence how a subscriber connects with your brand. Design grids, imagery, simple layouts, calls to action and responsive design are important elements that can be used in creative ways in order to engage with your client’s audiences.

1. Use email design grids that will guide your clients’ subscribers

Through using certain design grids in emails, you can actually guide your client’s customers through each email, allowing them to engage with its content. For example, using an Inverted Pyramid design is an effective way to focus their subscribers on what is most important. This design should include a strong headline that delivers your client’s campaign’s key message. The email should also contain supporting materials and imagery in order to encourage their subscribers to click through and engage with the email.

The pyramid should always lead readers to a call to action button – we will look more extensively at effective call to action designs toward the end of this guide. You can even use several inverted pyramid designs within one email if the email consists of different exciting topics. This helps to break down each set of information into easy-to-read sections.

FreshBooks - Inverted pyramid

Another effective design grid is an angular one with a zig-zag layout. According to the graphic designer, Mary Stribley, an “angular layout is both enticing to look at as well as functional to order lots of information and imagery.” You can create these angles through using imagery or color blocking in order to guide the reader through each step of the email. This not only creates a visually pleasing layout, it also helps to simplify each section of the email so that it is easy to read.

Sephora holiday email campaign

2. Include Imagery, graphics, and colors that will grab their attention

Filling your clients’ emails with bright imagery, graphics, and colors that grab their readers’ attention can lead to increased attention time and conversion rates. It’s important to make sure that every color, font, and image within emails match your clients’ brands. Staying in line with brand messaging and brand voice increases email personalization and builds trust. When email design builds trust with subscribers, engagement and click-throughs increase.

Using bright colors attracts attention, and color blocking helps to focus each subscriber on the key message of every email. Product oriented emails can use white space in order to focus the reader’s attention on the featured product. According to Canva’s graphic designer, Mary Stribley, using “different type sizes and grayscale colors let readers understand what’s important and what’s less important.” Colors, font sizing and brand images will help to increase conversion rates.

According to Contently, images can improve reader engagement, if the images are chosen wisely. Images within your clients’ emails should match their brand voice, be relatable, appeal to their emotions, be conceptual and avoid “cheesy” stock photos at all costs.

3. Break up your content

It’s important for each email to be simple to read and visually pleasing without too many distractions. When sending emails with multiple layers of information, it’s important to divide each section in an effective and easy way. You can do this by creating horizontal borders, geometric shapes, interactive maps, or other layouts that fit within an easy-to-read design.

This tool is especially effective when you use targeted marketing through segmented lists. You can divide different pieces of information within each email that are most relevant to your clients’ lists of subscribers. Using a marketing automation tool that has email design capabilities, will allow you to drag and drop different pieces of information and break up your content into more digestible sections.

Breaking up your content with simple design strategies is very important when it comes to email scanners. Those subscribers who click in for only a few seconds in order to grasp the main focus of the email will be able to consume your clients’ dynamic content while quickly being led to the call to action button.

4. Have “stand-out” calls to action

When it comes to customer conversion, it’s important that every email includes a “next step,” or call to action, in order to encourage subscribers to interact with your brand beyond the email platform. A call to action could be “Shop now” and link your client’s customers to their e-commerce site – or it could be “Read more here” and link out to your client’s brand blog on their original site. Calls to action are the best way to measure and increase lead conversion.

Placement and colors are key when it comes to a CTA. You want to make sure that your readers get there fast while still relating to the content of your email. Many marketers debate over where A CTA should be placed in an email. Some say that readers should see it right away without needing to scroll down to the end of an email. Other marketers argue that content matters first and gives the subscriber a reason to engage with your client’s CTA.

When designing your CTA, using a button, rather than a hyperlink, can increase conversion rates by as much as 28%. You also want to make sure this button has a unique color that makes it stand out from the other colors used in your clients’ emails. Pay attention to sizing and using white space in order to draw attention. Here are some more tips on how you can design high-quality CTA’s for your clients.

5. Make sure you use responsive email design

According to our own research, nearly 63% of email opens are happening on mobile devices. This means that having an effective responsive design for mobile is super important when it comes to conversions. Every email should be fluid, clutter free and just as easy to read on mobile phones as they are on desktops.

You can code the designs yourselves or use a marketing automation tool with mobile-ready design templates that create a responsive design for you. Make sure to always balance your image size and text so that it is compatible on mobile and still has the same engaging effect as the desktop version has.

You can learn more about how easily create a responsive email for mobile in our guide.

Wrap up

Using creative email design can drastically increase conversion rates for your clients. When subscribers like what they see and what they read, they want to learn more.

It’s important that your clients’ emails use clear grids that guide their readers, bright imagery that matches their brand voice, easy to read sections, clear CTA buttons, and responsive design for mobile.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
Straight to your inbox

Get the best email and digital marketing content delivered.

Join 250,000 in-the-know marketers and get the latest marketing tips, tactics, and news right in your inbox.


Get started with Campaign Monitor today.

With our powerful yet easy-to-use tools, it's never been easier to make an impact with email marketing.

Try it for free