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Pay attention to the content of the email
Pay attention to the content of the email
Yuan avatar
Written by Yuan
Updated over a week ago


Email content affects whether your email can be put in the recipient's inbox. Email content refers to everything from the words, images, GIFs, templates, links, preheader text, subject lines, and from addresses you use in your emails. All of this content can either help or hurt your reputation. If you regularly send engaging emails that have a professional look and legitimate links, you can build a good reputation over time.

Well-designed emails

A well-designed email shows that you care about your brand and the communications you send to your customers. It helps foster trust among your recipients, making them more likely to engage with your content and continue to open your emails. We all want beautifully designed emails, right? The only thing standing in our way is how we code them…

Use a single column layout

We recommend sticking to a one-column layout because it's easier to maintain and more likely to function across platforms.

Use HTML tables for the layout

Instead of using div tags, you'll want to use table tags. Unfortunately, not all email clients support div tags, so using table tags is the best way to ensure that your email will render correctly across the variety of email clients.

Set your width to 600px

With a width of 600 px, your email will fit the size of the screen across all ESPs. Because some email providers (like Outlook) display your email in a side screen to the right of the inbox, there is less space for the actual email. This space is approximately 600 px, making it the safest size to use across email platforms.

Double the size of your logo

You want your logo to look crystal clear for users with retina or 4k screens, so save the file at double the size. If you have any other images in your email that are valuable to the send, you can consider doubling the size. However, we don't recommend increasing the size of all images. If your email is too large, it could take extra time to load, making your recipient quickly lose interest.

Style the ALT text

It's a good idea to use captions for images with ALT text. This way, if your images don't load, recipients will know the meaning behind the image. You can also go a step further by styling your ALT text so that it's centered with a specific font size and color. With this additional styling, your recipients can more easily read and understand your message.

Use a standard font

While some ESPs (Gmail and Yahoo) accept quite a range of fonts, others like Outlook or AOL do not. There is a set of common fonts installed across all computers and operating systems (such as Arial). You want to choose a common font that is not only similar in style, but also similar in width and line-height. If your brand's font is narrower than your default font, it could throw off the alignment of the email if an ESP opts for the default font.

Test how your email renders across platforms

It's important to know how your email will look before it reaches the inbox, and there are a couple of great tools out there to show you how your email renders across platforms. Email on Acid offers unlimited testing across 70+ email providers and devices. Litmus is another great tool for testing how your email renders across a variety of ESPs. Avoid sending a broken email with these tools at your disposal.

Keep it simple

When it comes to email design and development, it's important to keep it as simple and straightforward as possible. Don't go crazy with fluid shapes or patterns. Instead, design the email in simple, scannable chunks with the optimal experience in mind.

Be careful using images

Imagery is a powerful design component and tool that can bring emails to life and increase recipient engagement. But images in emails (along with other digital mediums) can become problematic, quickly. Every inbox handles and renders images differently and the more images you include, the slower your email will load. Some ISPs may even view your emails unfavorably and place your email in the spam folder if there are too many images.

Keep in mind that some inboxes won’t even display images, so the more you rely on the images to communicate your messages, the more likely that you risk your entire email.​

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