Audit Your Email Design: 5 Things to Check Before BFCM

Holiday Email Design Tips

If you want to improve your email design skills and go the extra mile to increase your conversions during this holiday season, this post is for you! As a product designer at Klaviyo, I am hyper-focused on the design details that make our product intuitive and user-friendly, and I’m here to help you bring that same approach to your email campaigns. Grab a pumpkin spice latte, get cozy, and let’s go over some tips to look at your holiday emails with fresh eyes.

Tip #1: Keep design simple for the mobile-first era

You need to design for how your recipients are viewing the emails you send, and it’s likely that they are on their mobile devices. Write a short and direct subject line letting your recipients know exactly what’s inside. The email copy itself  should be scannable and clearly related to the subject line, especially for promotional emails.

For example, Casper has eliminated any unnecessary content or design elements in this Black Friday promotional email. This design follows a simple model of drawing the viewer in with key content and then anchoring them to an action that has enough real estate to click (or tap) from a mobile device.

Casper keeps this email layout simple

Tip 2: Provide prominent call to action buttons

First, make sure you actually have something for your viewers to click on! Next, make your buttons BIG and bold. Use a contrasting color for your primary buttons and if you have secondary buttons, make them much less prominent than your primary call to action (CTA). Skip boring words like “submit” or “click” and use action-oriented text that is a little more exciting and clear about the action they will take.

Etsy followed all the CTA rules with this cyber sale email. Not only did they make it the most prominent element on the page, they made sure it would appear above the fold, to account for all our mobile viewers. Additionally, they kept white space (or “negative space”) around the button to signal importance.

Etsy uses a prominent button for this call to action (CTA)

Tip 3: Limit your message to one offer

Offering discounts and online exclusive promotions in your emails is a powerful marketing strategy, but it’s best to limit yourself to one conversion goal per email. If you must add multiple offers, put your best stuff at the top, giving clear visual hierarchy to the most important click.

The Sock Drawer features their offer top and center with big and bold typography in this message. They haven’t made it overly complicated and there is a clear incentive for the user to shop the sale along with a coupon code right below.

A good example of having one email do one thing

Tip 4: Use engaging imagery

One of my favorite ways to make emails fun and evoke curiosity is to include engaging imagery! For example, you can include animated GIFs to elevate otherwise pretty straightforward content. You could also include imagery by framing your email content around a gift guide: if inspiration for gift giving is what your customers may need, show it to them.

For example, Chubbies includes an animated GIF at the top of this email to evoke curiosity and encourage the viewer to click or scroll down to see what’s in that box!

Chubbies uses fun and engaging images

Tip 5: Convey urgency

The point of limited time offers is to get people to act fast. A great way to get those last minute conversions is to show urgency in your promotional emails. You can draw attention to an promotion’s deadline with copy like:

  • Last Chance
  • Sale Ending Soon
  • Today Only

Halo Beauty‘s subject line for this email is “Last Chance! Free Shipping on Halo Beauty!” and when the viewer clicks in to that email, guess what, the email content mirrors exactly that. Additionally, they included a countdown timer to further the urgency.

Halo Glow makes sure you know it's important

Audit your emails with care

I hope these tips can help you audit your current holiday emails as well as help create new and visually appealing emails that ultimately drive conversion for your store this holiday season!

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