You want your email template to look stunning. And there’s no reason it shouldn’t. However, there are a couple of things you may want to consider before you start exercising your right to freedom of expression.
Images should be supportive of text
Using images is a great way to improve the general look and feel of your email template. Many email clients however, don’t show images by default. This means that your template is going to show a lot of whitespace. Therefore, the text in your email should be leading. The text in your email is the only aspect of your email that will definitely show up on your recipients’ screen.
Don’t use background images
Background images look great on websites and flyers. They look great in email templates as well, but most of the time, email clients don’t display them. So that’s why you shouldn’t use them.
Don’t use gradients unless they’re part of a required image
Gradients require images. Images don’t show up by default. So just use a plain background color. It’s that simple.
Don’t use rounded corners unless they’re part of a required image
Actually, to be fair, you could use rounded corners. They won’t show in every email client though. Just make sure you take this into consideration while designing your custom email template.
Make sure your email template is no wider than 600px
Horizontal scrolling is a definite no go. So you want to make absolutely sure that your template fits the preview pane of your recipient’s email client. By setting the maximum width of your email template to 600px, you should be safe for most computer screen configurations.
Use no more than two columns for text elements in your email template
Since your template can only be as wide as 600px, having three columns with text elements in them, is going to make your email template look crowded. It also means that people with horizontal preview panes will have to scroll up and down like a mad cow while reading your email. So just stick with two columns, unless you’re displaying a row of small images, in which case you can easily go up to five or six.
So what are you supposed to do?
There really isn’t anything you are supposed to do, but if you want to take my advice, you should design your email template like it’s 1990 all over again. This has a kind of sad ring to it, I know. Don’t worry though, even within the above mentioned limitations, there are tons of possibilities to design an astonishing custom email template. I’ll make sure that your email template will meet both your needs and your desires. Who needs background images and rounded corners anyway?
Remember: it’s email template design. You’re not creating a fancy brochure or even a glossy magazine featuring large images of beautiful women to draw attention. Your (inbox) space is limited, so you need to make every pixel count!
Since you’ve now finished designing your custom email template, you can start coding your custom email template.