5 steps to create a killer HTML email PLUS free email banner templates


There are so many tools, posts, and opinions out there about designing emails but we are here to share our best-kept secrets when it comes to how we design our most effective emails.

Ultimately we hope you find this post extremely helpful and insightful but if you only came for the FREE email banner templates, you can click here now.

Alright here we go.

Secret Number 1 - Stop designing emails on your desktop

That’s right take your browser window and scrunch it all the way to a phone or tablet size and start there. Why? Because in 2016 more than 50% of emails were opened on a mobile device. Compare that to only 15% of emails are opened on a desktop. By starting your design with mobile in mind you are catering to the majority of your audience, giving them the optimal email experience.

Secret Number 2 - Make the subject line interesting

Ask yourself when writing a subject line “Self, would I click on this email because of the subject line?” If the answer is anything but an overzealous YES you are going need to work harder on crafting it. Think about it, this is the first impression your email is going to give someone so it better be the best subject line you’ve ever come up with. Plus, all that time you spent on the amazing content in the actual email, doesn’t matter if people don’t open your email because the subject is below par.

Secret Number 3 - A picture says a thousand words

Yeah, so I know you love to write and fill up pages upon pages of probably wonderful content but sorry, your readers don’t want all of that in an email.  You’ve got less than 20 seconds to convey everything to your reader don’t waste it on all of your words. That’s what your blog and website are for. Direct people to your website for the meat of the content - or artichokes for the veggies out there! Instead, craft a creative image that pulls out the MOST important thing or the one thing you want your reader to remember, act on, or click through to learn more as they marathon their way through their inbox.

Email Layout Ideas. Gray signifies an Image. 

Email Layout Ideas. Gray signifies an Image. 

Secret Number 4 -  Don’t be afraid of negative space

You know, the space between things that for some reason you feel like you need to fill in with words, images, or heaven forbid SCREAMING TEXT. Just stop. Embrace the negative space. Because it is there for a reason. Our eyes weren’t meant to read without taking a break every so often just think how many times you’ve blinked since you started to read this article. So, if you remove the negative space or the space that naturally gives readers eyes a break then you will lose your audience because their eyeballs will be on fire (that one is for you, KristenR) from nonstop reading. Bottom line, leave the negative space and while you’re at it revisit secret number 3 cause I know you still have way too much content in your email.

Secret Number 5 - Should this be an email

Now I know what you are thinking. "What do you mean should this be an email?! You said these were secrets to creating a killer email." Yes, those are correct statements. However, this is probably one of the best pieces of advice we can give you. Should the email you are writing be an email? What’s the point? What’s the purpose? Can you convey your message in any other format? If the answer to that last question is yes, then you probably shouldn’t send an email. Other ideas of what to do instead are: write a blog post, craft a social media post or the very old technology of picking up a telephone and actually communicating in real-time with another human being.

Keep in mind that your email is one out of nearly 100 others that readers get per day so don’t waste time on a half thought through email. Take the time, follow the steps and deliver killer emails every time you hit send.   

Hopefully, these secrets have brought some light to the dark scary corner of email creation for you. If you have questions or have a need we can fill, please reach out. Email us at info@pinchdesign.co - we are here to help.