Baking email templates since 2008

mailbakery blog

7 Tips for Excellent Email Design

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This article was last updated on June 7, 2021

Having an excellent email design directly impacts your email’s success. An email marketing campaign is only as successful as you make it, so it’s worth investing in better design practices.

Whether you’re sending welcome emails, weekly newsletters, or promotional emails, each aspect of your design should intrigue, engage, and convert. Thankfully, our team is knowledgeable in email design best practices.

Together, let’s check out a few ways to upgrade your campaigns with some excellent email design tips.


1. Craft a Strong Subject Line

Subject lines are like the front door to a house. They are the first thing your readers see, and if they find it inviting, they’ll want to visit. When your subscribers scroll through their inbox, your subject line makes the difference between whether they’ll read further or move to the following email. The first sign of an excellent email design is to have a strong subject line.

This means incorporating brief statements that pique your recipient’s interest and makes them want to open your email and discover more. A few ways to accomplish this is to do things like summarizing what they’ll find inside the email or use power words such as “you,” “invitation,” or the recipient’s name.

Related: Email marketing tips: Not all subject lines are created equal


2. Don’t Be Afraid to Use an Emoji

Email Design Example by Penguin Random House

We are all aware of the power of an emoji. We use them daily to convey a wide range of emotions in our personal, but another place where they can shine is your email marketing campaign designs. Although some view them as unprofessional, they can be quite the opposite. Just make sure their use aligns with your brand’s voice.

When you add emojis to your subject line or email copy, it can boost your open and click-through rates. That is because they make your email stand out in an inbox full of text. This reality alone is reason enough in our eyes to implement them into our email campaigns. If you’re unsure which ones to use — after all, there are 3,000+ to date — HubSpot has an excellent guide for the top emojis that increase click-through rates.

Related: Emoji Usage in Email Marketing: Dos and Don’ts


3. Be Concise

Email Design Example by hers

As a marketer, an email marketing campaign’s ultimate goal is to express a message to your readers, one that makes them want to follow through with your request (i.e., click your call-to-action button). Sometimes, in our eagerness to reach our target audience, we can get too wordy with our emails and bury the valuable information readers want.

Show your subscribers that you value their time by giving them the information they need upfront without making them hunt for it. This is an excellent email design tip because it challenges you to be intentional with your wording. Trust us; your readers will thank you, too.


4. Make it Scannable

Email Design Example by Taco Bell

You’ll be surprised to learn that most people don’t read your emails, at least not in the traditional sense. They instead scan your emails to see if there is any content that catches their eye. Your subscribers are looking for nuggets of information they can quickly digest. In fact, the average email recipient spends between 12 and 15 seconds “reading” your hard worked-on email.

An excellent email design tip is to cater to the new way subscribers consume information by making your emails scannable. To do this, try using bullet points, incorporating white space, breaking your text into smaller paragraphs, and let imagery or illustration tell the story.


5. Don’t Neglect Your Pre-Header

When people think of email design, they seem to overlook elements like subject lines or pre-headers. Though they aren’t traditional email design elements like content or calls-to-action, pre-headers are integral in an email’s success.

Email clients like Gmail, Yahoo, and the iOS mail app feature previews that enable readers to view a snippet of the email’s contents before fully opening the email. That 100-character window is prime real estate for marketers to take advantage of and capture the reader’s attention, thus boosting a company’s open rate.


6. Experiment with Color

Email Design Example by June

Every brand has its own standards for colors that marketers can use, but don’t let this limit your email designs. Each color conveys a mood or an idea, and you can use the psychology of color to connect with your potential customers. For example, you can use an action-oriented color like orange to drive conversions. Say your primary branding color is purple; you can add accents of yellow, its complementary color, to spice up your email design. Here are a few other ways you can use color to enhance your emails:

  • Experiment with color gradients
  • Use color blocking to direct the subscriber’s focus
  • Add a pop of color to draw attention to your call-to-action
  • Color your ALT text
  • Make your links a different color
  • Opt for a colored background


7. Show Your Footer Some Love

Last but certainly not least in our roundup of excellent email design tips is the footer. You can use it to share vital information that doesn’t fit in the body of your email. An ideal email footer should be used wisely and include details like your company’s contact information.

Other things you can house here are links to your company’s homepage, social media pages, and an unsubscribe button. If you haven’t already, we recommend adding a “why are you receiving this email?” link to reduce the chances of emails getting marked as spam.



A well-designed email is one of the essential parts of a successful email marketing campaign. When marketers invest time and innovation into their designs, it drastically improves your chances of seeing measurable growth regarding your conversion rates. We hope that our list of excellent email designs offers inspiration for tactics your team can apply.

If you need stunning email templates that are brand-specific and sure to convert leads, look no further than MailBakery. Our team is eager to work alongside you to elevate your emails and brand.

Are you ready to work together or learn more about our services? If so, contact our team today, and let’s get in the kitchen!