6 Principles for Creating a Killer Email Design

Lately we’ve been highlighting email marketing and the opportunity it presents for marketers when done well and often. Truth be told, those with a well executed email marketing campaign will maintain connectivity with customer and consumer audiences more effectively than those that don’t.  

As long as face to face meetings aren’t an option, particularly with your customers, we’re offering up six principles for you to keep in mind when creating a killer email design to help you stay connected and communicating more fluidly (and virtually) with your target audiences.


6 Principles for Creating a Killer Email Design:

1. Scale

Scale is a ratio of distance. It signifies the rank in which the eye is expected to determine what’s most important based on the composition of the email. Applying proper scale to your copy and your graphics will increase the responsiveness of your reader and help them digest what you’re presenting as well!

2. Visual Hierarchy

Your main goal is to guide the eye down the page to the most important part of the email, this is typically your call-to-action (CTA). At DMA Solutions, we have noticed recently that one paragraph of copy containing approximately 2 to 3 sentences is the ideal amount of copy to provide before getting to the point of the “ask” and presenting your CTA. If you bury the CTA too far down the page, your viewer may miss the opportunity to take action altogether!

3. Balance

No, we’re not talking about work/life balance but we are talking about balancing the arrangement of your content – copy vs. visuals – in the body of the email. You want to make it as easy as possible for the viewer to read, absorb and hang around to read what you have to say. When staying balanced, remember to try not to overwhelm the reader with a heavy amount of text. Offer relevant and informative information in a balanced way to increase understanding and hopefully, a click through!

4. Contrast

Contrast is all about color and who doesn’t love to play with color every now and then? When designing an effective email, contrasting colors can help your key message pop off of the screen. By using color to highlight key words or sentences, you immediately draw your viewers eye to the point.

5. Gestalt Principles

This is a super technical term and for those of you who didn’t attend art school, here’s what this refers to. Gestalt principles are principles of human perception that describe how humans group similar elements, recognize patterns and simplify complex images when perceiving objects. When applying these principles to email design, you end up with an aesthetically pleasing and easy to understand piece.

6. Fonts, Images & Text

Last but certainly not least, don’t forget the importance of using the correct text, fonts and buttons when designing an email for your campaign. Make sure that your email includes written/typed text and  is not simply one flat graphic. When an image is flat, it can be blocked by email servers. If text is included, an email server is more likely to allow it to pass through to your inbox. Keep your line spacing between 1.5 – 2. This is ideal spacing for helping the eye read individual lines of text versus trying to sort through written copy that is too close or too far apart.  

We simply can’t wait to see what email marketing marvels you are able to create when applying these principles. Are you wondering where to start with email marketing for your company? Connect with our team for free resources, consultation and offers on other marketing activations to increase your productivity and your email marketing results!