2019 will continue to be the year of emails, it is predicted that almost 2225.3+ billion emails will go out this year! Understanding the anatomy of email template designed practices can be tough for businesses. So how would you up your game to deploy smart email template design practices for your email marketing?

It all starts with asking: what is an email template ?

The aesthetics of an email template design. Images, fonts, colour, palettes, copy – all of these elements make up for a good email. If your content is well thought of, it will boost your email open rate.

Did I tell you Aritic PinPoint lets you configure the BEE editor for your landing page and email template design? Yep, with the all the time favourite drag and drop editor, you can also configure the BEE Editor to enhance your marketing campaigns. It’s awesome since all templates are mobile responsive.


Here are 13 mistakes that you can avoid in your email template design to grab your user’s eyeballs [ Your email template design inspiration included].

1. Settling for a Non-Responsive Email Template

It is important to keep the layout as a single column and make it no wider than 500 to 600 px. This would make your emails readable on mobiles. If you include buttons for CTAs or even links, make sure they are in the resolution of 44X44 px. This is the guideline that even Apple gives.eMarketer reports that 56.9% respondents opted for responsive email template design.


2. Pre-header and Header Size is more than 150 px

This will not deviate your audience’s focus for the main message or the call to action buttons below. This also drives maximum engagement for your emails.

b2b email template design

Image Source: SmartInsights

3. Using All Caps or Spammy Words

 Reflecting your brand identity in your email designs is important. The first tip is to remove All Caps in your subject lines. Keep it short and crisp.

Spammy words such as ‘4U’, ‘Address on CD’ , etc. are a big turn off. Readers are not to be fooled in this age and time. The moment you use these over-emphasized and spammy words, readers will know. So, avoiding such words will only enhance your design quality. To know what are the most common spam words, check this list from Comm100

4. Not focusing on the color palette for your email template design

Almost 90% of the reasons why consumers buy a product is because of the colored adverts. For email templates, colors play a significant role in understanding the reasons that lead to a higher email open rate.

For example, Red is a color that defines popular online platforms Youtube or Netflix. It is known to be eye-catching and can be used to highlight important elements in the email. The color palette you choose should define your brand identity, and people should be able to recall your brand from the emails you sent.

One of the amazing email template design examples to understand how colors play a vital role in email designs is to note the Holiday emails from Apple.


5. Choosing the right font

Choosing the right font is as important as picking the right color palette for your email. According to a recent Bloomberg article, designers think certain fonts always work for an email while some are an absolute no-no.

For instance, Helvetica is the font that Apple Mail uses while Gmail sticks to Arial. It also reveals that nerds love Helvetica because of the neutrality in the design. Font designers, on the other hand, call ‘Arial’ font to be ambiguous.

This article is an eye-opener because none of these two fonts work. Rather, font designers suggest Georgia and Verdana as the best fonts to use in an email design.

6. Embedding Videos in Emails

The best tip is to create an image and redirect it to your landing page. This way you can also track how many people clicked on the link and how many people landed on your page.

Embedding video in emails is surely a cool trend, but there are certain problems with the user experience. According to Wistia, when users are reading an email with an embedded video on mobile phones, they are forced to go to a different webpage to view the video.

Getting people to watch our videos and read our content is great, but I want a lot of things that can’t be accomplished from my viewer’s email client. I want interactions, not just views.

When your video is on your own landing page, you have more control over your viewers’ next action.

7. Using too many images in one email

If you are confused as to why not to use images in your emails, there is a simple metric that says most of the consumers tend to disable images on their mobiles.

It was revealed in an analysis by Gmail:

43% users read emails on their mobile devices without turning the images on Click To Tweet

For instance, take a look at this example from Net-a-porter: 


8. Spoiling your audience for choices

We have the attention span lower than that of a goldfish! What you should avoid is stuffing your emails with multiple links, offers, images and confusing your audience. This will also lower your conversion rate. See below a highly confusing email:


Keeping your email to-the-point is essential. When you are designing the email template, it is important to zero-down on which particular feature you would want to focus on and what purpose are you looking to serve with that particular email.

Here is a simple email template design with just one CTA: 


The design is minimalistic in approach, has one single focus point and is clean.

9. Not providing a browser version of your email template design

You know that link down below. Yes, it is important for people who might face loading or rendering problems in the email. Help them to see a browser version so that they are not driven away. To build a user experience for your email readers, just test it out first to see if you can identify all the elements.

10. Not allowing users to Unsubscribe

This is important, and you should treat this as an email marketing mandate. If you do not give them this option to unsubscribe, they might end up marking your email as SPAM. You would not want this to affect your deliverability reputation. Make sure your email design template helps them easily locate this option!

Other Errors that Impact Email Design

Some errors are not directly related to the email designing, but designers should take caution. These are such errors that can hamper the design quality and cause audience engagement to take a backseat.

11. Not optimising the ‘To’ and ‘From’ fields

Yes, it may look trivial, but these areas should be optimised to personalise your emails.. Include your brand name in the “From Name” field, use a valid address in the “From Address” field and the “To” field should have your recipient’s name. These small tips can help you go a long way to start engaging with your audience. For more tips to land your emails in the inbox, check out this article: 14 Tips to land emails in the inbox.

12. Telling a long story through your email design

Remember you are using email marketing to engage with your audience. Use short and crisp text to embed your message. Try to get into that short attention span your readers will have. You can hyperlink texts, and they can always come back to you to read more. For instance, this short email from HubSpot:

The design is clean. The spacing is perfect. The purpose was solved.


13. Sending out emails without testing them with major email clients

Test out across all the major email clients like Gmail, Yahoo, Outlook & AOL. Try and select an ESP whose templates work awesome across all email clients.

An email template that has less white space, good colours and fonts, the right amount of texts and is short.

If you think there is more to this article, let us know in the comments below. We will keep updating the post with all your inputs.


Jnana works as a Digital Marketer for Aritic. She has an MBA in Marketing. She is passionate about PPC, Social Media Marketing and designing images for blog posts and advertisements. She is also a Nature lover and Animal Enthusiast. You can follow her on Twitter @JnanaSRao.


  1. Edward Brooks Reply

    While talking of emails, open rate and subject lines are not the only things to focus upon but email template design is of equal importance as well. Aritic PinPoint has made it much easier to understand the whole concept, smart solutions have been offered.

  2. Shirley Cook Reply

    In truth, it will be off putting for anyone who sees a clumsy email template. It is fundamental to keep the design in minimalistic and clean approach. These frequent design mistakes ought to be avoided. On the whole this is a very descriptive article.

  3. Ann Garcia Reply

    Hey! You have provided a comprehensive and helpful list of email template design mistakes to avoid. Great work. Keep sharing such good works.

  4. Susan Murphy Reply

    Usually we use email templates because they allow us to conclude the effectiveness of the messages swiftly and helps to adjust our strategy to the on-going requirements. Now I know what kind of email templates I must avoid. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Jeffrey Young Reply

    Recently started practicing email marketing. I must admit that this article covered points beyond my knowledge. Quite a few things I followed were inadequate. Henceforth will practice according to the steps provided. Thanks a ton.

  6. Douglas Davis Reply

    These errors are so relatable. I have myself made some of these so frequently. Thanks for the compilation. Really helpful because these errors do affect the email performances and engagement metrics. Cheers.

  7. Harry Henderson Reply

    Agreed. Thanks a lot for sharing the article as it helps marketers to avoid the mistakes while designing email templates.

  8. Russell Miller Reply

    Thanks a lot, Jnana, for updating this comprehensive list of various email template designs which must be avoided. It is an eye-opener for beginners.

  9. Alan Stewart Reply

    Aritic PinPoint has made it much easier to understand the whole concept, smart solutions have been offered. Great post!

  10. Marilyn Turner Reply

    Email templates have been a useful asset to design the complete campaign, all thanks to Aritic PinPoint platform which has made the whole concept easier.

  11. Ronald Smith Reply

    Thanks a lot, Jnana I always wanted to gain some information regarding the email template design mistakes.

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