Table of contents

1. UX design must-haves
2. UX and email marketing joining forces
3. Conclusions

1. UX design must-haves

UX design is by default anthropocentric; the customer is always at the center, therefore UX is always about creating a user-friendly experience that should include:

  • An easy to use interface
  • Consistent use of brand elements like logos, colours, and trademarked characters
  • Ease of navigation
  • Quick website response
  • Easily filtering products with common characteristics
  • Quality and variety of products and services
  • Defining a preferred price range
  • Proper guidance to complete the checkout process
  • Availability of contact information and more details on your brand

As Jesse James Garret, a pioneer in user experience, points out in the video displayed below: “UX design is about engagement.” It’s not about a specific product, app, or website. It’s about what happens before, during, and after a human interaction has occurred. (Source: Know Your User – UX Statistics and Insights)

2. UX and email marketing joining forces

Enabling communication between your customers and your company is core to the UX design. And what better way to build and strengthen a relationship than bringing UX and email marketing together?

As Jakob Nielsen, a usability advocate, stresses out: “The average time allocated to a newsletter after opening it was only 51 seconds”. (Source: Email Newsletters – Surviving Inbox Congestion)

As we can figure out, this is a truly small time limit for a newsletter to make a lasting impression. Therefore, you might want to focus on the ease your users will experience while navigating through your campaign. It will result in you conquering customers.

One of the basic rules as regards sending an email marketing newsletter is to create a nice-looking campaign and facilitate reading through a user-friendly interface. Let’s now see how you can use your UX design in your email marketing in order to improve your email conversion rate.

2.1 First and foremost, recognition

We believe that recognition always comes first. The elements that reflect the key characteristics of your brand, such as logos, colours, and site properties play an important role in user experience. When you send an email newsletter to your users, chances are that they have already interacted with your company in some way, perhaps through different channels.

To enhance that, make sure you use your company’s name as the sender and an email with your own custom domain as the address. We remind you that it is one of the first things your recipients will notice, especially if you use email marketing for a small business. Your brand’s name and trademarked characters are key to your company’s recognition. Also, it’s also reassuring your users you are not a spammer.

Don’t forget to have a reply-to address included as well. This way, your recipients can effortlessly reach out to you should they have any questions or need additional information for your business, a process that indicates you are reliable.

Right after, since you no longer have to fight for your users’ recognition, all you have to do is turn it into forever-lasting trust.

2.2 Keep it simple (but functional)

Simplicity is a basic factor when someone is visiting your website, online store, or mobile app. The same applies to your email marketing campaigns. Focus on usability to help your readers see what actually matters inside your campaign. The simpler their path to finding what they need is, the better are your chances of turning them into future customers.

If, for instance, they have to click too many times in order to check your products, it could prevent them from moving forward to browsing your website or completing a purchase. The same goes in case your visitors are redirected to different tabs over and over before reaching the desired page. So, we strongly recommend that you always have functionality in mind when designing your user experience for your email marketing.

Target audience

2.3 Intriguing and personalised subject line

A great-performing subject line should give your reader a reason to open your email. After all, it is probably the second element they notice (after checking out the sender). It usually tells users what to do next. No matter the purpose of your email marketing campaign, the subject line urges them to read your company’s news.

Keep your subject lines direct, relevant, and personalised in order for your recipients to feel special to your brand. Including worthwhile motivation helps a lot, using keywords that catch the reader’s attention and depict a real benefit (e.g. a product promotion or an offer).

2.4 Great content never goes unnoticed

User experience in email marketing does not only include functionality but should also extend to the email content. On average, you just have 11 seconds to get your message across before your prospect’s focus gets weakened.

None of us would want to waste time reading sloppy or irrelevant emails. When we come across one, we will most probably delete it. What is more, it could even lead to a potential unsubscribe. We advise that you try creating meticulous and to-the-point content to avoid taking up much of your users’ time and avoid tiring them out with unnecessary information.

Interesting and precise content, on the other hand, can generate visits to your website, e-shop, or app and produce conversions and purchases.

2.5 Rank the information shared

No matter who the reader is and what the message is about, we all tend not to actually read the whole text contained inside an email marketing campaign. We tend to perform a “ text scanning”. This way we find what we are really interested in.

To get the desired result of your users reaching the ending of your email, you should consider using the most appropriate data sequence. Create a precise structure that will guide your subscribers to follow your campaign. Prioritise the relevance of information so that it is analysed in order of importance. Don’t underestimate the importance of your last lines. Though, the way you end an email shouldn’t be ignored since the last impression is critical.

Take advantage of all the tools at your disposal: use headers, fonts of different sizes, bold, underlining, or italics to highlight any part of your content you wish to stand out. Last but not least, use more bullet points and lists to facilitate reading and search for information.

2.6 Create a remarkable design

The need for a well-developed design is always a priority. Following the temptation of an overloaded layout will only do your email marketing harm. We can’t stress enough how crucial it is to find the right balance between texts and images. Make sure you use images wisely; they shouldn’t overwhelm the reader and must be relevant and complementary to your textual message.

An amazing UX design doesn’t contain unnecessary elements. If we don’t measure the number of elements like videos, images, graphics, then our newsletter will take too long to load. This will possibly result in the reader getting irritated and stepping away from the message communicated.

As for the layout of the email itself, it is supposed to be easy to read. Therefore, the user shouldn’t be distracted from important content due to the contrast between background colours and fonts. And, of course, the objective is to have meaningful and customised marketing newsletter templates, so create them having a mobile-optimised approach in mind.

2.7 Keeping up with today – mobile optimisation

We are living in a different era when it comes to consumption and email newsletter recipients’ needs since they now access all types of data through mobile phones or tablets apart from desktops or laptops. If you don’t take that into consideration when building your UX strategy, your campaign will surely suffer the consequences.

e-mail marketing

Responsive design gives you the option of adapting the campaign content for different devices and screen resolutions. Reading and navigating through it should be a smooth process, regardless of the means used to view it.

To achieve that, facilitate recipients by adapting fonts, images, and other elements inside your newsletter campaign and keeping the same visual line for all screen types. Furthermore, ask your UX designers to plan a mobile-friendly layout by using fewer drop-down menus and ensuring that users won’t have to navigate through pages for too long. As you can imagine, this might be one of the main reasons your prospects don’t proceed to shop from your website.

2.8 Campaign links and account options

There are many cases of links inside newsletter campaigns that are either broken, or lead nowhere, or contain errors. It is vital that all links inside your campaign direct your recipients to existing pages and that these are the pages you actually need them to view. It is a guarantee that they have access to the desired content when clicking on the links contained within your email campaign; otherwise, this could seriously hurt your brand’s reputation.

In addition to that, users must be able to control what kind of information they receive, even when inside your campaign. So, all relevant data must be visible and clear, and surely compliant to UX ethics. This means having access to any change they wish to make in their accounts, while also being able to click on opt-out links or social share buttons to repost your campaign on their social media.

social networking

2.9 Achieve a higher conversion rate through optimised landing pages

Many marketers think that a beautifully crafted email campaign should do the trick. Is it enough, though? Instead of directing your recipients to your home page, why not create a landing page that will give them a great second impression?

Of course, it is important that all details mentioned so far will also be applied to your landing page. It should give a feeling of relevance in terms of content and design. However, the information provided inside your landing page should be different and complementary, therefore any repetition.

2.10 Navigation and accessibility

Keep in mind that navigation is the first thing you want your readers to do when interacting with your campaigns. To this end, all relevant information must be easily reachable within the message, while also clearly visible and readable, even to users with disabilities.

Even more so if we are talking about your call to action, which is the key to the success of your newsletter campaign. So, is it clear and straightforward? Note that there should always be a precise call to action at the end of the path created for your newsletter recipients. Right below, we provide you with all the necessary details on how to benefit from CTA in the most effective way possible.

2.11 Call to action is meant to stand out

It is absolutely essential that you design your call to action to stand out from the rest of your campaign, given that it generates more conversions. Make sure you have a single, loud and clear call to action – you don’t want multiple messages that will confuse your reader.

The CTA deserves special attention so that it can be found quickly. Use bold and isolated colours that at the same time match the colours of your campaign. Facilitate its location and select the appropriate size in order for your CTA to meet the reader’s eye. Bear in mind that it is usually better to use text links instead of image buttons and to avoid navigation bars inside the email to maintain focus on your CTA.

3. Conclusions

As most of the people involved in the email marketing industry can acknowledge, we can never know enough about the area of user experience research and design. It is a vast field where we will always have things to explore and put into practice.

Keep in mind that having the appropriate people to do the job for your brand’s UX design strategy is key to achieving your email marketing goals. Through analysing the recipients’ habits, needs, and goals, an experienced UX designer can actually build the potential customer’s profile. After analysing this profile, your brand can then invest in behavioral targeting, thus creating buyer or marketing personas.

What we hope to have achieved through the information provided in this post is demonstrating the strong connection between UX design and email marketing since both of them aim to create the best user experience possible. The primary goal of UX design for email marketing is to make the reading of an email campaign a smooth process and help its reader have all the information they need.

It’s all about how the content of your email campaign is displayed and ultimately, how it helps you interact with your prospects. Remember that a productive combination of UX design and email marketing paves the way for success. This affects directly the way your brand is perceived by your target audience and, even more importantly, the conversions that you may achieve.