Avoid These 5 Killers Of Good Email Design

Email marketing is a serious endeavor that can also be quite delicate at the same time. All sorts of strange little factors can get involved that suddenly cause drops in readership, open rates and click-throughs. Worst of all, many times many of these problems aren’t easy to spot unless you know what to look for.

Luckily however, if you have a hit list on hand that will take you several of the most common email marketing campaign killers in advance, you can be a step ahead of these nefarious campaign killing characters and eliminate them in advance.

This is where this post comes in. It presents a list of the 5 most common enemies of your email marketing success and tells you how you can avoid them. Each of the below is easy to deal with once you know what they actually are.

You should also check out this awesome video by the email marketing experts Reachmail, which is meant to accompany this post and give you a better context for the jargon below and an entertaining spin on screening for these 5 campaign killers.

Let’s get started..

1. Mr. Loud Colors

Mr. Loud ColorsThis is the name Reachmail gave to an email flaw that’s essentially like a character that shows up to important sales meetings with a valuable message, but is dressed so clownishly that nobody can bring themselves to pay attention to anything he says!

In real terms, Mr. Colors represents the mistake by some email marketers of saturating their email messages and the landing pages they go to with so many garish, overly vivid colors that they distract from the actual message.

Don’t do this. Instead, uses muted tones like black, white, blue and grey while focusing the brightness on the words in your message. Tell something exciting instead of compensating with a rainbow. An excellent guide to choosing just the right color palette can be found here.

2. Mr. Distortion

Mr. DistortionReachmail used the name Mr. Distortion to describe the particularly tricky email marketing flaw in which you put together a wonderful looking campaign where everything seems to work right on your system and then mail it out to differently formatted readers’ mail servers only to have it completely break down when they try to read your mailing.

Avoid Mr. Distortion through careful testing: Once you’ve set up your campaign, take the whole thing and test it through the several kinds of email systems your customers are most likely using. You can do this by creating test accounts with services such as Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail and Outlook for example. You should also test the campaign under different browser types, different settings for these email campaigns and in the mobile versions of each.

3. Mr. Red X

Mr. Red X

Mr. Red X is Reachmail’s name for a dangerous “character” who makes appearances whenever you depend heavily on photos in your email campaigns but then send them to subscribers who have photo display disabled. The result is a literal giant Red X.

This results in a choppy, unprofessional looking message that you won’t even know is being delivered that way because your own system allows photos to be shown.

Instead, to avoid Red X, simply don’t rely on images to convey messages in your actual email messages. Instead, use text wherever you can and save the images for your website. Or, if you absolutely need to have a picture in a mailing campaign, make sure it’s thoroughly described with text so readers still know what you were trying to convey.

4. Mr. Pixels

Mr. PixelsMr. Pixels is a character that represents email or landing page photos which simply don’t scale all that well when blown up and result in blurry smears that distract and look ugly.

Avoiding Mr. Pixels is easy. Simply pick the photos for your email campaigns and their landing pages so that they have enough resolution to display clearly in large format but are also not so big that they compress down on small screens as ugly little blurs because of excessive pixels.

Besides, as we already covered, your email campaign shouldn’t rely on images anyhow if it can at all avoid using them.

5. Mr. Wordy

Mr. WordyMr. Wordy is what Reachmail calls the character who represents some campaigns bad habit of talking too much before getting to the point of their key messages and clearly describing how something is useful to a reader.

Getting rid of Mr. Wordy is easy. Simply don’t waste your readers’ time with filler. Be direct, explain what’s necessary and clearly, quickly state the key benefit you’re offering to them. Enough said.