Last Updated: 2/26/2024

Table of Contents

Are we talking about emails? Yes. Email is still an effective marketing tool. When UX design for email marketing is executed correctly, emails can be a powerful tool for building relationships with your audience, driving sales, and achieving your marketing goals. However, it's important to follow industry best practices to maintain and enhance its effectiveness over time.


One core aspect that is somewhat overlooked is UX. User experience (UX) is a critical aspect of creating effective and engaging email campaigns.  

Here are some best practices to consider when designing your emails:

1) Focus on Mobile Responsiveness

Optimize your emails for mobile first. The majority of people check their emails on mobile devices. Ensure your email design is responsive and looks good on various screen sizes.

2) Use a Clean and Simple Layout

Keep your email content clear, concise, and to the point. Use short paragraphs, bullet points, and headings to break up text. Emails need to capture a user on page load. Focus on what the user sees before scrolling. Is it enough to make them scroll?

3) Create Eye-Catching Headers

Use a visually appealing header that includes your logo and a clear call-to-action (CTA). Avoid all-image headers. Make headlines live HTML text that appears on load and is picked up by screen readers. Put your logo in the top left corner and have it link to your brand site.

4) Use Readable Fonts

Choose web-safe fonts that are easy to read. Email software is not good with reading fonts. Stick to a maximum of two font styles for consistency. Ensure text is legible by using an appropriate font size and contrasting colors for text and background. Remember accessibility with every design decision.

5) Use White Space To Your Advantage

 Avoid clutter. Give your content room to breathe by using white space effectively.

6) Create CTA Buttons That Stand Out

Make your call-to-action buttons stand out by using contrasting colors and clear, actionable text. Have one button style and color so users know what is clickable. Have a main call-to-action button under the first content block. Expect that users will not scroll and give them a clear way to click/take action on the initial page load.

7) Utilize Both HTML and Plain Text

Provide both HTML and plain text versions of your emails to ensure compatibility with all email clients.

8) Optimize for Accessibility

Ensure your emails are accessible to all, including individuals with disabilities. Use semantic HTML, provide alt text for images, and test with screen readers. Avoid using text in images.

Email design should be simple

Use a clear logo at the top to build trust with users. Use a powerful image in the hero area with a live text headline accompanying the image. That should be followed by a short message with a core call-to-action button under it. Keep the content concise and to the point with the goal of delivering a core point and then driving users to a website or custom landing page for more info.

Douglas Rockhill – Co-Founder @ The Experience Design Studio (XDS)

Douglas is a digital native who has been creating digital experiences since 1998. When he’s not doing his first job as a soccer dad and bike mechanic to his four sons, he can be found leading a great team at The Experience Design Studio (XDS). 

About the Experience Design Studio

The Experience Design Studio is an award-winning digitally native customer experience agency founded in 2017 by two agency veterans, bringing their collective creative, user experience, marketing, technology, and healthcare expertise together. XDS is a full-service digital agency providing strategy to creation, consulting, design, engineering, marketing, and analytics, with the aim of providing seamless customer, patient, and HCP experiences across all digital touchpoints, with common sense sprinkled in.

Looking to take your email marketing efforts to the next level? Connect with XDS today!