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Designing ecommerce emails
Ashley GrantJan 16, 2024 6:18:46 AM7 min read

Designing Eye-Catching Ecommerce Emails

Let’s talk about eCommerce email design. Wait! Wait! Don’t leave the page. It’s not as boring as you think. When we start thinking about an eCommerce email marketing strategy, this is the ticket to more sales. Seriously!

If you have been trying to find a way to get more clicks from those crowded inboxes, eye-catching eCommerce email design is what you need to make it happen. What’s going to make you stand out? We’re spilling all the secrets below!

Table of Contents

What’s Your Goal?

Think about this like your wishlist to Santa or your birthday wish list, or whatever works for you. What would your eCommerce goals be? That might seem like a strange question, but we can’t start discussing your eCommerce email design until you know what you really want.

After all, you won’t know if your eCommerce email marketing strategy you’re about to cook up is working unless you know what your goal is.

Makes sense when you put it that way!

Okay - so think about this - are you trying to drive product interest? Perhaps you want more clicks to your store? What about saving people from those pesky abandoned carts?

Once you know the goal, we can change up your design to direct the eyeballs to the spots in your email you want people to see!

Let’s Get Some Details on Your People

Understanding your customers is vital for captivating design. Gather wide-ranging demographic data including:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Purchase history, and
  • Email engagement analytics.

Conduct online surveys and reviews to determine visual preferences for styles, colors, imagery, layouts and other impactful creative elements tailored to needs and interests.

Develop detailed buyer personas representing key customer segments that describe technographics, psychographics, behaviors, values and priorities. Guide creative approach around resonating with the ideal persona through personalized and contextually-relevant messages.

For example, emphasize luxury for high spenders and value for price-conscious consumers. Regularly update profiles as more analytics are collected so emails continue hitting the mark for existing and emerging target groups as your business scales.

We bet we know what you’re thinking - what does all this have to do with eCommerce email design?!? Patience. It will all make sense soon. We promise!

Developing a Cohesive Brand Style

Getting into the meat and potatoes, this is needed to ensure eCommerce emails reinforce brand recognition. Consistent visual identity is key!

Maintain brand continuity by using the following across all creative assets and campaigns:

  • Consistent fonts
  • Logos
  • Customized color palettes, and
  • Even your imagery styles.

Think about it. When you open an email from Coach, you know it’s from them because of their C logo everywhere and their distinctive style of photography. Adidas has a familiar logo and Avant Garde Gothic Demi font. Black & Decker uses Avenir Black font.

Fashion retailers often have bold, striking graphics while outdoors brands project natural tones. You get the idea.

Pro tip: Showcase products in lifestyle settings reflective of target consumers.

Elements like product banners, sign-off signatures and design flourishes should evoke the look and feel of your website for continuous experience.

It’s important to outline specific guidelines and assets in a style guide for internal teams and external agencies designing emails to adhere to in maintaining optimal continuity. As the business scales, regularly audit creative to confirm emails uphold or evolve an identifiable yet adaptable brand style.

Consistent presentation cultivates trust and familiarity while cohesive aesthetics make messaging more memorable.

Structuring for Scannability

With inboxes flooded and attention spans limited, eCommerce email design is all about scannability. What does this mean?

Design your emails so that a person in the checkout line at the grocery store can get the highlights without reading a lot of text.

  • Clearly organize critical elements in a recognizable visual hierarchy and structured layout.
  • Group related components into sections with descriptive headings and chunk long form copy into easy-to-digest paragraphs.
  • Use numbered or bulleted lists to break down key features and benefits. Insert ample whitespace between items for faster scanning.
  • Bold key information and include graphics with text overlays to spotlight important details.
  • Keep product titles short and front-loaded while highlighting customer ratings, price and savings prominently.
  • Align messaging to established eye tracking patterns with dynamic imagery up top and CTA placement centered or right-aligned on wider screens.
  • Optimizing hierarchy, whitespace and information grouping enables customers to quickly capture key email messages even in a distracted state.

Images and Visuals That Captivate

Use high-quality, multi-angle product images and lifestyle photos that highlight key features and show the product in context to captivate customer attention and spark interest. Incorporate interactive images, infographics on product ratings and comparisons, and fast-loading visual content optimized for mobile and desktop to encourage clicks for more information and boost conversions. Vibrant, tailored visuals aligned to consumer preferences convey messaging faster and perform better than text alone.

Optimizing for Mobile

With rising mobile usage, ensuring emails elegantly adapt across screens is critical. Implement responsive design using flexible templates that automatically adjust layouts, imagery, fonts and components to maintain visual hierarchy. Test rendering on varied devices under different networks to pinpoint formatting or loading issues. Optimize top-level copy and CTAs for small screens by consolidating messages to highlight essential info first.

Mobile optimization ensures seamless user experience and drives conversions by following display guidelines, maintaining easy navigation and sufficient tap targets, enabling location and call features, integrating social and SMS, and ensuring forms, transactions and components function flawlessly across devices.

Make People Want to Act on Your CTAs

A call to action only works if someone actually does something with it!

Compelling calls-to-action strategically crafted and placed based on eye tracking patterns, with continuity in style and tailored emotional triggers that motivate response, directly inspire desired actions and convert higher than generic outreach. Promote clickable action hierarchy optimized for every device and client through testing for the most seamless user experience.

Test, Try, Retry Until it Works!

Pay attention to open, click-through and conversion rates while segmenting data across locations, devices and customer attributes to pinpoint improvement areas for each subset. Monitor email analytics dashboards to identify lists, segments and campaigns lagging in engagement.

Dig deeper to understand delivery issues, non-openers and inactive subscribers hampering results. Confirm measured outcomes align to KPIs based on goals. Allow data to guide iterative changes while avoiding reactionary overcorrections. As new trends, tools and consumer behaviors develop, remain vigilant about testing and optimizations to keep emails as compelling as possible within an evolving landscape.

Ready to put all of this into practice? Let’s take a quick peek at some best practices for your eCommerce email marketing strategy.

Best Practices for Your eCommerce Email Marketing Strategy

Here are some best practices you can implement for pulling it all together with your eCommerce email marketing strategy:

Stand Out in the Inbox: Creative Ecommerce Email Strategies

Break through the noise and drive conversions by creatively employing these aesthetically-focused email marketing tactics:

Captivate with Personalized Visual Content

Delight different customer segments with targeted product images, videos and illustrations addressing their unique style preferences for higher engagement.

Welcome New Subscribers with Irresistible Offers

Entice email sign-ups with a visually-striking welcome series featuring bold graphics, strong calls-to-action and discounts on must-have items exclusive to your list.

Encourage Loyalty Through Vibrant VIP Rewards

Spotlight special status perks in monthly “Insider” emails celebrating members with colorful badges, members-only reveal content and access to hot, new collabs.

Reactivate Carts with Hard-to-Ignore Reminders

Pull abandoned shoppers back in through cart recovery emails urgently highlighting “still waiting for you” products via animated gifs and hard-to-resist CTAs.

Redirect Bounce-Backs

Catch renewed attention post-site-visit with creatively displayed recommendations of recently-viewed items now offered at a one-time discount if purchased today.

Build FOMO with Strictly Limited-Edition Drops

Drive demand for specialty product launches or category bundles by exclusively revealing details first to email subscribers, noting extreme short supply.

Keep Customers Engaged Through Visually-Stunning Newsletters

Continually captivate interest via monthly newsletters mixing lifestyle imagery, bold infographics and prominently featured new arrivals in recognizable yet original formats.

Solicit Feedback with Fun Surveys & Rewards

Encourage post-purchase input by compensating customers for their time while adding interactive design elements and progress bars to surveys for higher response rates.

Leveraging visual storytelling principles through cohesive aesthetics, personalization and innovation are key to commanding customer attention while growing sales volume from email channels over time. What creative ideas might you test out first? Which strategy resonates given your brand’s unique offerings?

Essential Takeaways for Irresistible Ecommerce Email Design

With increased competition for consumer attention, utilizing creative and conversion-focused email design is more critical than ever in ecommerce.

The blueprint for breakout email performance is really this simple:

-- Understand goals

-- Research your audiences

-- Hone in on branding

-- Optimize your structure

-- Captivate with visuals

-- Ensure mobile responsiveness

-- Crafting solid CTAs

-- Never stop testing.

Remember, even small measured changes can yield exponential growth over time. With principles covered here, auditing your existing emails against best practices reveals gaps and opportunities for refinement.

The most irresistible ecommerce email design seamlessly aligns to overarching business objectives. Continually track outcome-based metrics. This will help you confirm your messages inspire action amidst fierce competition.

Make Your Email Marketing Profitable