The challenge of email design is a significant one. Even the best-designed emails may still have trouble making it to the inbox. Assuming you do earn your way past the spam filters, poor design might inspire the recipient to delete the message, or worse, label it as spam.
Luckily there are some proven best practices to ensure recipients not only receive but also read and interact with your messages:
Often, email readers tend to turn images off by default as a security measure. Therefore, focus on the HTML code and use images sparingly to ensure your emails render properly in the various email readers. You can set up individual email accounts at the different service providers to send test messages or use an email preview tool to check how your email renders with images turned off before you deploy. In this way, you can ensure that you have enough text to entice the subscriber to display images and read your entire email.
Complete the alt tag with a description of each image so recipients will know what the image is that they are missing before they download. If the image contains a special offer, make sure the alt tag communicates that. You want the reader to download your full message and click on the offer. Also, don’t embed your images in the email but rather store them on your server and link to them in your email. This will prevent broken images or avoid triggering spam filters that categorize your email as junk.
CSS provides ease and flexibility however the support varies among email clients. Some strip it out entirely. It is extremely important not to use external CSS like that which is in a file like a website does. Instead embed it in the email or inline written at the very least.
Make sure all of your tags are valid and closed. Spammers make mistakes. You should ensure that your code is a clean as possible to avoid triggering spam filters.
If all else fails, you want to give the recipient an easy way to access your message. Include a link at the top of your message so they can view your email in their favorite browser.