KEO Marketing

Be in the Know.

E-Mail Marketing: Design Best Practices

There are two major types of emails: HTML and plain text e-mail. Individuals who commonly use E-mail will be familiar with both but this blog post will focus on HTML e-mails.

According to E-mail marketing experts, HTML e-mails should be sent in multipart/alternative MIME format; this includes a plain-text and an HTML version of the e-mail for clients who do not have HTML capabilities. This means individuals designing e-mails should consider an HTML and plain-text version. Fortunately, most e-mail service providers will create a plain text e-mail from your HTML version.

Design Constraints
In many ways, designing HTML e-mails is similar to designing a Web page. They are written using CSS and HTML and are rendered using Web browsers. However, e-mail design can be difficult due to the large number of E-mail clients including: Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Windows Mail, Yahoo Mail, Apple Mail and more. E-mail marketing experts advise designing your newsletter like a Web site designed for I.E. 5.5.

E-mail windows are typically smaller that Web browser windows. E-mail marketing experts advise keeping your e-mails between 500 px and 600 px in width or the use of a fluid layout.

Keep It Simple
Experts advise avoiding embedding Flash, JavaScript or video in e-mail newsletters. If you wish to share a video providing a screen shot and a link will have basically the same effect.

Call to Action
E-mail marketing experts advise including sever clear calls to action in your. Be sure to define the goal of your e-mail and consider things such as: What is that you want the reader to do? Do you want them to visit your blog or an article? Do you want them to purchase an item? Do not assume your user will know what the point of the e-mail is; e-mail marketing experts advise treating each e-mail as a standalone landing page.

For more information about e-mail marketing, contact KEO Marketing.


With more than 25 years of hands on marketing strategy and operations experience, Sheila Kloefkorn is dedicated to developing marketing strategies and plans that help clients succeed. Some of the world's largest brands have depended on Sheila for marketing programs that delivered tangible and substantial results. Specialties: B2B marketing, lead generation, lead nurturing, sales strategy, marketing strategy, competitive marketing strategy, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), search engine marketing (SEM), mobile marketing, email marketing, website design, marketing plans.