5 small tweaks your emails should include but probably don’t

At Flourish, we send over half a million emails a year. Naturally, we put a lot of time into perfecting our template to make sure it works across many different clients. Attention to detail helps our emails stand out; a carefully crafted email can help to ensure a brand is represented with clarity across all touch-points. Here are five small tweaks you can implement, to make a BIG difference:

1. Resolve the display glitch in Gmail’s iOS app

There is a well-documented display issue with the Gmail iOS app (a hugely popular platform), where a 20-pixel gap shows up on the right-hand side of emails. The original email you intend to send often does not show up at full width – so how can you fix this issue?

Two quick adjustments can fix it. Firstly, when including images in the mobile layout of your email, do not specify a height for them. Secondly, when using spacers, make use of cell-padding property. Bingo.

2. Add a brand logo in the browser tab for online viewing

When browsing the Internet, seeing a favicon in the top left corner of a page tab contributes to a layered brand experience. It is also helpful and reassuring to customers who like to browse with multiple tabs open at once, helping them to easily navigate back to a specific company website.

It’s likely that when sending out email campaigns to your database, you’ll include a link to ‘view online’. Clicking this link opens your email in an internet browser. As mentioned earlier, attention to detail across all customer touch-points is important. So, when this email opens up, the addition of a favicon will help to make the viewer’s brand experience consistent and thorough.

3. Only use retina-quality images

Images are usually the first factor to draw a person into viewing email content. Research has found that visuals are processed in the brain at 60,000 times the speed of text; and as life is at a time of peak demand, we generally opt for the fastest way to absorb information.

Yes, it’s true that sparkling subject lines, copy and cadence all contribute to drawing readers to open an email. But once there, our eyes move to imagery and design. Crisp, clear, retina-quality images will play a big part in whether or not the viewer pays attention to an email, and the opinion they form of the brand and content. So why use images that are anything less than top-notch?

4. Build your emails with accessibility in mind

We endeavour to deliver the ideal email experience to our subscribers. Factors we take into consideration include tailoring content for the audience, through to deciding the best time to send emails based on analytics.

While these steps address effective conversion, what about those subscribers who have visual, physical, cognitive or neurological disabilities – will they be able to access our emails?  There are many adaptive technologies and tools which help people to better access the internet and email – but marketers also have a responsibility to address accessibility, which is central to user experience and design.

Here are some of the ways we can make email more accessible:

Font Size. Assist in readability by keeping font size to a minimum of 14 pixels; or 16 for mobile devices

Typeface. Select one that’s evenly spaced and not too condensed. Avoid Wingdings or Lucida Blackletter, to name a couple.

Give email text lots of space. Think bullet points, paragraphs, white space, and set line height at 4 pixels bigger than font size.

Screen reader compatibility. Consider how compatible your design is with popular screen readers such as JAWS or Window-Eyes. Using semantic elements will also allow subscribers to scan through emails by header.

Readable copy. Test yours out with the Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease test. Found in Microsoft Word, it calculates how easy your content is to read on a scale of 0-100.

Avoid flashing content. Also – avoid links that take the viewer to flashing content.

Make links easily clickable. A bigger button is the answer. One suggestion is a minimum height and width of 72 pixels – the average pixel size of a thumb.

5. Don’t forget progressive enhancement

When developing email campaigns and templates for clients, we need to code for legacy clients as well as modern. There’s a myth that most clients don’t support exciting design – but in our experience, that’s not true.

Some of the many advanced features we’ve built into the more creative emails include mouseover states, animation and visual effects.

The aim should always be to provide a great base user experience for the clients who want less innovative emails, and a brilliantly memorable experience for the rest!

Would you like to hear more about how Flourish can help you to progress your email marketing, or develop a new campaign?

Please get in touch with Managing Partner, Ian Reeves, for more information.