Many times, part of a website redesign includes a complete rebranding. Even if you’re only redesigning your website, though, it makes sense to update all of your digital properties to reflect the look and feel of your new site.
Nowhere is this more apparent than in email design. Your email marketing and communications are a vital extension of your web presence in the eyes of your stakeholders. Email’s also the second most-viewed digital asset you have after your website. Your social media properties may have more followers, but they’ll tend to consume your content from their own accounts, only looking at your social profile once, when they sign up. Any branding you do on these profiles is not wasted, but it also won’t be seen a lot by your customers.
Email, on the other hand, arrives in their inboxes every week or month, straight from you. Many consumers have images turned off, or read your emails on feature phones with limited capacity for visuals, but for a majority, your email will arrive complete with some branding elements. Thus, it presents a great opportunity to reinforce your brand. When your brand experience is strong on your site, you want customers loyal enough to subscribe to your list to have that same great experience when opening your emails.
How do you carry over the look and feel of your website to the very different medium of email? You don’t—not entirely. You translate elements to provide the same experience, often with very different visuals.
Here are some tips when building a new email to match your relaunched website:
- Look at the dominant colors in your design, including which are the most prominent. Try to use the same colors in the same proportions, but mix it up a bit. Perhaps blue dominates in your website, and you use a balance of blue and yellow in your email.
- Simplify all layouts. Multiple columns don’t work well in emails, so if you have a three-column layout for your homepage, try a one- or at most two-column layout for your emails.
- Think of the types of images you use on your site. Do you have candid shots of your team, beautifully staged product photography, witty illustrations? Assemble a library of images with the same style for whoever creates your emails. That way, it’ll always be easy to add consistent visuals.
- Remember to have multiple templates for different occasions. At the very least, you need a template for newsletters, brief announcements, and events or offers. For a quick, consistent set, simplify your newsletter template for the shorter forms.
- Focus on headers, footers, shapes of content boxes, and other major features. These are the easiest to translate into the email format. They also have the most impact in creating a feeling that emails and the website are consistent.
Email communications that carry over the look of your website are an essential for most marketers. With thought, a step back from your design, and a deep feel for your brand, emails can be consistent with your site, yet meet the unique requirements of the form.