When Your Format Isn’t Increasing Your Click-Throughs: Do and Don’t List

When sending your marketing campaign emails, you should write briefly, with clear intentions, and for scannability. A simple format allows readers to assess the content of your email in the approximately ten seconds they want to scan your email in the preview pane of their email software, or on their mobile device. To encourage click-throughs to your landing page or product website, consider these formatting tips.




Write newsletters in short, digestible paragraphs of about 200 words. Forget to separate text boxes with headers or formatting elements.
Use visually interesting, artistic graphics. Rely put pale text on top of images. They will become invisible on a white background when the user blocks all email images, or the images don’t load.
Test your email to as many people as possible, including friends, colleagues, and your email marketing’s email test software. Assume that if it looks good in the preview, it will look good on every computer or mobile device that receives your email.
Inform your customers when something changes, such as a new spring line, updates to the website, or an event. Inundate them with constant emails. Pick the information that works best in email versus post on your Facebook. Do they care about your new CEO? Emails should be about the customers. Ask yourself: does this email offer a solution in my customers’ lives?
Keep it simple, especially in the first year. There’s merit in the text-based email with a basic, consistent, branded format. People want to read the text in email; they use social media or landing pages to view multimedia online.



Embed multimedia, use too many graphical elements, or design a new format for every email.


Many people read their email on mobile devices, under data download restrictions, so they’ll unsubscribe or mark you as spam from the inbox rather than open your email to find the unsubscribe information. Too many spam flags, and your whole IP address could be blocked, or your email marketing company could block your account.

Make sure your email looks readable, professional, and interesting without the images. 65% of email users block images for virus and privacy concerns. If the images are gone, is the text on top of them still readable? Or is your email one, long white space? Forget to include alt text in the img tag. When the image doesn’t load, the alt text will inform your reader that the image is relevant or interesting, or at least not spam.


Whether or not they decide to enable images for your email, an accurate description in the alt tag will show that the email is from a legitimate business and not a scam artist.


Before you hit send, remember!

Create a text version of your email as well — your subscribers may have turned off HTML email, or may be reading on a mobile device that doesn’t accept it. If you use multi-part MIME sending format, your ESP will bundle your text and HTML versions together.


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