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7 Expert Design Tips For Business Promo Emails

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Sometimes, in spite of your marketer’s best efforts, your business email marketing campaigns are failing to deliver the desired results. The open and click rates are not as good as you’d expect despite your superb email list, so what can you do to turn the results around and secure better conversion and ROI from your email marketing campaigns?

In this article, you will find some ideas and tips, supported by the best promotional (marketing) email examples, on how to make emails catchy, noticeable, and high-performing and all doable even when using free HTML email templates. Sound good to you? Great, let’s start!

1. Relevant subject line

The first ground rule for all email campaigns is to make subject lines compelling enough to drive opens. This is the first thing your customers see when receiving an email from you.

According to the investigations, most recipients make their decisions whether to open an email or not by looking at the subject line.

A proper subject line that’s targeted to its intended audience will certainly achieve a higher open rate.
Ideally, the subject line will be personalised to the email recipient and entice them to open the email to read on.


Mix it up. This is the fun part. Subject lines can be different every time, so experiment with them and make it fun, so you enjoy the process. Note: the length of subject lines differs and depends on the device your subscribers use.

As long as 54% of emails are open on mobile, you should consider that fact and make the subject line shorter than 27 characters.

2. Email size and dimensions

By paying attention to the weight of the emails, you make sure they download fast, even on mobile devices. As email marketers, we are to cherish our subscribers’ precious time.

Besides, the less it takes an email to download, the more chances it will be read but not deleted. This means we have to compress email images.

Email HTML size has nothing to do with email weight. Instead, HTML size means the weight of the HTML code, which is, in fact, a compilation of symbols.

The email HTML size limit is 102kb for Gmail and Yahoo! Mail. Otherwise, your message will be clipped. Only really staunch subscribers will click “View entire message.”

As for the dimensions, there are no strict rules. But the most popular length and width are:

  • 600px width for desktop devices;
  • 320px for vertical (portrait) and 480px for horizontal (landscape) view for the mobile devices.

Templates of these sizes are correctly displayed on all screens.


Only some of the email template builders provide their users with mobile-responsive email templates. All emails created with a proper builder will be displayed correctly on mobile screens.

Besides, you should be able to preview your emails before sending them out. This option shows the way your emails will look both on mobile and desktop screens.

But please make sure to test your promotional email templates with Litmus or EmailonAcid tools to see the emails the way your clients will see them.

3. Brand consistency

Promotions email design matters a lot. Firstly, sticking to your brand design will make your emails recognizable. The color scheme you used on your website should be applied to your emails, as well.

Secondly, by sticking to the brand style, you make your email newsletters look trustworthy. For example, if you share jokes all over the website, your emails should be written humorously, too.

4. Emotions

Emotions can be different. But we insist on appealing to the good ones only. For example, selling cars to males: it’s a generalisation, but men love bragging about their cars, and it’s no wonder they work hard to buy them. Therefore underline their exclusivity and individuality for possessing the cars you sell.

Most of mankind is kind-hearted, and we like to help each and every person on Earth. But normally, we either do not have time to notice those who need our help or are busy resolving our problems, so any time spent helping others pays off.


Organize a charity marathon and offer people to just participate in it. And you will see how many of your prospects will join you.

Note: the share of the profit you promised to send to those in need should be really sent their way! Engaging copy and emotional photos of real people will help you here.

5. Engagement in email

Using engagement elements is another way to design promotional emails that drive conversions.

What are they? High-quality photos of cheerful people, embedded videos, embedded interactive elements, which are by the way number 1 email design trend for 2018.

Porsche never “sells” anything in their emails. Instead, it simply inserts breath-taking videos of cars riding across the continents. Recipients get inspired by them and get registered for a test drive.

If you are an apparel online store, some email template builders like Stripo provide the flexibility to add a totally websafe accordion menu or an image rollover effect in your emails to present all the products you are about to promote.


Also, by implementing an image rollover effect, you may show the back or a close-up of your product items.

Interactive elements in emails also appeal to emotions as they are still new to email marketing. Note: focus on one single element, be it an image or an interactive element, to not distract your customers.

6. Generous value offer

Running or announcing a big sale is one more great idea to create an effective promotion email.

The discount offer can be dedicated either to a holiday or to a milestone — it is totally within your discretion.


Remember to congratulate your customers on their birthdays. Make sure to specify how long the coupon is valid, or simply add a countdown timer in your email.

7. CTA buttons

The main purpose of all email marketing campaigns is to sell products.

We spend hours or even days trying our hardest to create high-converting promotional emails. But all our efforts will go down the drain if we do not include CTA (Call to Action) buttons.

What is that? It is a link that takes customers to the needed page on your website. But this link is beautifully wrapped.


Do not bother with the button shape, as according to some investigations provided by many ESPs, it does not impact a customer’s decision at all.

But it is proven, the button color matters a lot — blue buttons evoke trust and green ones evoke the desire to act. Black buttons are mostly used by luxury stores. While the red buttons do not drive high click-through rates.

Summing up

Now that we know the seven “pillars” of successful email campaigns, your CTOR (click-through rate) and ROI (return on investment) is about to significantly increase.

We wish you the best of luck!