Why Change HTML Email Design

Having an email template set and working very few email marketers return to it and make changes to the template design and layout. We used to customize the email Subject line and content for each email campaign but we rarely think about modifying basic HTML design.
But email world is evolving and the appearance of new technology, tactics, means and features may demand changes in the template design. Here are a few factors which may have impact on the HTML email design:

1. Growing Popularity of Mobile Email

Email communication is one of the popular activities on iPad, iPhone and other mobile devices. But reading a HTML email on a mobile device can be challenging. The message text size may be automatically changed to a nearly unreadable size, or the whole email layout may be broken. Plus, wide emails make the reader to scroll horizontally which is not very convenient. 
If a part of your recipients used to read your emails on their mobile devices [some tracking services provide you with the email client usage report], you can't ignore this fact. You'll want to narrow your template and avoid using large images in it. 

2. Sender Recognition

With the increasing volume of email marketing newsletters you may need to improve your HTML design to reinforce your recognition in the recipient's Inbox.

You'll want to place your logo at the top left of the template. This is the area that is displayed in the preview panel in most email clients while the rest of the email may be cut off.

Under the logo add one or two lines of the pre-header. Align it left or center as the right side of the message can be cut off by a vertical preview pane. Better if the pre-header quickly conveys the purpose of the email. This will help your message to pass through the recipient's mind filter when they sort their mail. Plus, the pre-header can be picked up as the snippet text and displayed next to the Subject line in Gmail.

3. Use of Social Media and Networks

Becuase of the active growth of social networks you may want to reserve space for social links, for example, "Follow me on Twitter" in your message. They will allow your readers to share your message content within their network, or join the sender followers in the social network. Social links are usually placed on the template sidebar or footer where other navigation links are put.

4. Changes in Email Marketing Practices

They may also demand a need for your template design adjustment. The first thing is to make sure that you provide the recipients with a link to unsubscribe or update their profile with you. If you don't, find the right place and add the link. Plus, you may need to include the information about you as the sender (company postal address, email address, fax, phone numbers etc.) and a link to your anti-spam and privacy policy. This information is generally provided in the template footer.

5. Internal Organization Changes

If the goals and trends of your email program changed since the time when your email template has been designed, you'll want to optimize your HTML email design to match your current objectives. And of course, if the company changes its logo or brand, the template design must also undergo appropriate changes.

6. Low Response Rate

If you see that your open and/or click rate have been decreasing during the last campaigns, it's time to make changes to your template design. What you can think of is:
  • change the template background color;
  • change the place for your logo, for example, if the logo was aligned center, justify it right;
  • change the color of call-to-action buttons;
  • add the appropriate images;
  • add your photo to instil more trust into your readers.
Actually, you should do an A/B split test to see the impact of such changes before sending the email to the whole list. Plus, don't forget to test your new design for compatibility with different email applications and web mail services. Testing is an important part of every email design process.

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