5 Email Design Mistakes To Avoid For A Better Click-Through Rate

Posted on Sep 25 2013 - 10:32am by Ravi Shah


It’s the 3 seconds rule that dominates an email marketing industry! Your subscribers glance at an email and decide whether to engage further or just trash it out. Good design will enable the readers to keep an email in their Inbox.

So, what are these 5 design mistakes that you should ideally avoid?

Irrelevant Header

Email Header speaks volume about its content. A consistent header image that relates to the product or business visually makes it easy for the subscribers to decide keeping an email within them.

Illegible Fonts

Typography in an email is important. The main goal of any email or newsletter is to communicate with its target audience in an effective way. Using fonts that are illegible or too small to read annoys the reader, leading to a poor engagement and an increase in the unsubscribe rate over time. Using too many fonts might as well distract the subscribers’ attention missing out on the important content or calls to action.

Amateur colour Scheme

An inappropriate colour scheme looks unprofessional. Try to be away from the colours that are overly bright and hide your words. Also, try and avoid using multiple colours within the same email or newsletter enabling viewers to easily read through the entire text without getting lost in the colour schemes. An amateur colour scheme can affect your brand building exercise and return on your virtual investment.

Image Only Emails

Image only emails are the best thing a marketer can do, if ROI is no big concern. Try to limit the use of images and if desired, provide proper ALT text to the images. Doing this, you will ensure that your email when not rendered properly will still not lose an impact. A blend of text and images is a good email.

Battling conundrum!

Your email shouldn’t be a conundrum for subscribers to be unriddled every day or every month. Having an email design with no hierarchy of information and overdose of information at the same time can spoil your ROI. Set the calls to action differently over less important information. Break the labyrinths into paragraphs and bullet points with key takeaways.


Email Design is an art. Design emails or newsletters that are visually appealing and at the same time easy to scan. Having considered the above best practices of email design, go ahead and enjoy the basket full of open rates, click-throughs and conversions. Happy Inboxing!

Photo Credit: Flickr/Wiertz Sébastien

About the Author

Presently, Ravi Shah is serving as Sr. Accounts Manager at Email Monks. He is an internet marketing strategist and author at some of the most popular online technology journals. His main area of interest remains to be email marketing, digital media and web design. You can connect with Ravi Shah on LinkedIn and add him to your Google+ Circles.