Wednesday, March 25

HTML Email Designs - Points to consider while designing a HTML email.

I have done considerable HTML email development. Though I am not a good designer, I would like to share some of the points that I would want to see in an HTML email as a consumer/reader.

  1. KISS Principal - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KISS_principle
    Keep it simple, stupid is a very good principal and I agree to it. I think even Apple agrees to it. However, the simpler the design, more easy it is to read and so would actually catch user's attention. Users like me use their emails extensively and I for one immediately delete an email if it has more than required information.
  2. Content is King:
    Yes, and I do believe this to its core. However, when it comes to an HTML email, we have to ensure that the most relevant information is provided. You can have external links for user to view a detailed version of information, however even that needs to be methodically arranged.

  3. How many Images?
    The less, the better. If the HTML emails are for a brand, then obviously you would have your logo as an image and then you can have one main image. I feel two images are more than enough.

    HTML emails are viewed in numerous clients and clients such as Outlook would not download images (Outlook requires to have user’s permission to download image). Also consider the mobile clients, having to load images in mobile takes up extra data usage; they are slow at downloading images. Thus coming back to the original proposal, try having less images.

  4. Provide Links to external pages wherever applicable:
    Let’s say you have to design a newsletter, and there is a lot of information that you have to display. As a user, try to analyze which information is important, useful and relevant. You can always have links to external pages with more information in case if the reader is interested. Thus you can achieve the same design without cluttered content.
    Ask yourself, would I be reading this email if it had landed up in my inbox?
  5. You can have beautiful rounded corners to anchor tags:
    Only if you are not strict about having the same design on multiple clients. With new devices such as android/iPhone some of the CSS3 properties are available to use. So you can have beautiful rounded corners (or more of css3 fun) for latest clients and degrade gracefully to outlook and other non-supporting clients.

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