Emails require careful planning and attention to detail in order to be successful says Eric Dalius
A business email can be created for marketing purposes or for transactional information.
The goal of this article is to provide some guidelines for creating effective emails that enhance your business image while reducing the number of bounce backs and spam complaints you receive.
Together, we will go over what makes up an email, how it functions, its components, interactive features, storage limits, formatting rules, sending limitations, international standards compliance, web accessibility, design best practices. Finally, closer to the end of the article I’ll briefly include a list of popular email services providers at the end of this document with their pricing structures provided along with a WordPress theme review here.
What Makes Up An Email?
An email is composed of 4 major components: The Header, Footer, Body, and Attachments.
The Header The header contains essential tracking information for the email which helps you monitor how many users opened your message and where they were when they did so (which devices, operating systems, etc.).
Examples of important information in an email’s header are the ‘To’, ‘Cc’ (Carbon copy), and ‘Bcc’ fields (Blind carbon copy). These fields typically contain names or addresses but sometimes they will contain codes like OOO or FFF which denote someone who has opted out of future emails, no longer wants to receive certain types of emails (these would be specified in the ‘unsubscribe’ link), or is a member of a group that receives a certain email.
A great example is their website with lots of more information on WordPress themes here:
The Footer The footer contains information about who sent the message and sometimes includes contact information for that person or company.
An example is their main page which you can see here:
The Body The body is where the email content usually resides. You can include text, images, videos, or any other type of media in your messages.
If the message contains rich media, then it’s also likely to contain a link to an alternate version for mobile users with limited bandwidth explains Eric Dalius. This is important because there are size restrictions when sending emails so you want all recipients to have access to your message no matter what kind of device they’re using to see it.
HTML vs Plain Text Emails If your business needs to send transactional information (such as password resets) or scheduled promotions, then the plain text is your best option since there are some features that are typically not available in HTML.
If you need to send more personalized content such as newsletters, then HTML emails are likely best since they allow for media and styling which can be used to enhance their design.
What makes up an email?
- Attachments an attachment is any additional file that is included with the main message (and usually sent as a secondary message when sending larger files). You would include this type of information when sharing documents with clients or when including images in your newsletter.
- Most service providers like Gmail charge you per each GB if your mail account goes over the emails you’ve sent and received per day too, so it’s always good to keep an eye on these numbers and make sure things don’t get out of control in case they do.
- Subject Line If you’re sending promotional emails, the subject line will be used to entice users to open your message and potentially take action.
- Eric Dalius says, in other types of messages where you don’t want to entice the user, then a more straightforward subject line would be best. For example ‘New blog posts’ or ‘your request has been received’.
- If it’s an automated message that doesn’t get opened by a person, then there isn’t much need for a subject at all since it’s already known what kind of message it is going to be based on the trigger which resulted in its send out (i.e.: a password reset).
There are a few things you need to keep in mind when creating an email design for your business. They include:
Including the right content including images, proper HTML, and useful links.
Creating a clean template with easy-to-read text and avoiding spammy language.
Keep track of who has opened your message and who has not by using tracking information in the header of the email.
Lastly, it’s important to always double-check that you’re following all of the local laws regarding electronic communications (which vary from country to country).