Email Header Design Tips

Email Header Design Tips

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The Internet has had a major impact on attention spans. In fact, research indicates that the average person now has an attention span of merely eight seconds.

That’s an important point to remember when designing marketing emails. Specifically, this applies to the first thing subscribers see when they click into an email: Your newsletter header image. Your email header design needs to capture a reader’s attention right away. If it doesn’t, it’s all too easy for them to move on to the next message in their inbox.

If you’re trying to design an email newsletter header that yield results, remember the following essential points:

Be Colorful, But Consistent With Your Newsletter Header Image

A review of effective email header examples reveals something that may come as a surprise: A newsletter header image doesn’t necessarily need to be flashy or complex. What’s most important is that it consistently reflects your brand.

That doesn’t mean it can’t be attractive. On the contrary, a strong newsletter header often works precisely because it features a noticeable color scheme that grabs a person’s attention. The color scheme simply needs to match your other branded imagery. If your primary brand colors are blue and yellow, your email header design should also feature these colors. There are of course exceptions. For instance, if you’re sending a holiday email, you might redesign your header to include holiday-appropriate colors.

There’s also the option of simply using your brand’s logo. Your logo will prominently display your brand, already features your brand’s colors, and isn’t overly complex. If you decide to go the logo route, consider spicing the header up with a navigation menu. A navigation menu may be a bit busy, but using your brand’s logo will help streamline and simplify the design. 

Use Photographs As the Header Image

Again, a header can be a simple logo with a basic brand-consistent color scheme. That said, there may be instances when it makes sense to include more dynamic images. This is particularly true if an email is promoting a product or service. Your email header design can feature a picture illustrating this product in a way that captures a recipient’s interest.

Food and drink brands often use this tactic. As the email header examples found behind that link demonstrate, professional photographs of drinks and dishes can make a newsletter header image much more attractive than it would be if it merely featured a logo or text. While there are times when basic logos are effective, photography is often very useful if you’re promoting a certain type of item or service. Just make sure you hire a professional to take any pictures you plan on using in your email header image. These images need to be crisp and clean to make the right impression.

However, be wary against packing too much information into a header image. The image should be eye-catching and enticing, but not necessarily essential to understanding the purpose of the email. Users reading email on their phone may choose not to load the images they receive in emails. If your professional photo contains crucial information, these folks will never see it.

Use Your Header to Dispense Useful Information

Though we’ve talked about keeping your email header simple and uncluttered, it may be appropriate for your business or industry to include helpful tools or relevant information that your readers either need or will likely want to know. For instance, if you’re a brick and mortar business with an online presence, consider including a store finder feature in the header of your email. You can also use your header to make a value proposition, like displaying ongoing promotion or discount information in your header. If your website has a user dashboard or portal, consider including a direct login into user accounts.

There’s plenty of relevant information that you can display in the header of your newsletter. Perhaps consider moving a link to update email preferences into the top of your header’s design. It will let your readers know that you care about their time and preferences. If your business utilizes a user account ID or number, think about prominently displaying that at the top of your email header so that information is easily accessible for your readers. Your email header doesn’t have to be minimalistic; it’s all about displaying the information that makes the most sense to your readers. 

Don’t Use Just One Email Header Design Template

Having a basic, brand-consistent newsletter header you can use on a regular basis helps you save time. Designing emails quickly is much easier when you can use the same header frequently.

However, this isn’t to say you should always use the same email header example. It’s also necessary to remember certain email design best practices. This includes personalizing emails by segmenting your list (and thus, sending emails with different header images depending on the segment) and A/B testing various email header designs to identify which yield the most engagement. The more you experiment with various designs, the more you can determine which do and do not work.

These tips will be very helpful as you plan email designs in the future. Additionally, you may want to continue researching this topic through email header examples, sales blogs, and similar resources. Doing so is key to improving your email design skills.

Read More: 7 Outstanding Newsletter Signup Examples


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