Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for businesses to connect with their customers, but even the most well-crafted email campaigns won’t be effective if they don’t make it into subscribers’ inboxes. 

One factor that can impact email deliverability and that often gets overlooked is email design. While many marketers focus on best practices for email design to make their messages more engaging and effective, it’s also important to consider how email design impacts deliverability.

How Your Email Design Can Land Your Emails in the Spam Folder

Email clients and spam filters use a variety of techniques to block unwanted or potentially harmful emails from reaching subscribers’ inboxes. One common technique is to scan emails for certain design elements or formatting that may indicate that the message is spam or a phishing attempt. For example, emails with too many images, certain color combinations, or specific fonts may trigger spam filters and cause the message to be blocked or sent to the spam folder.

Bad email design can affect email deliverability in several ways, including:

  • Triggering spam filters: Some email clients and spam filters may flag emails with certain design elements or formatting as spam, which can prevent the message from reaching the recipient’s inbox.
  • Causing emails to be marked as spam: Even if an email does make it into a recipient’s inbox, poor design can still cause them to mark the email as spam, which can hurt the sender’s reputation and lower future deliverability rates.
  • Decreasing engagement rates: If an email has poor design, recipients may be less likely to engage with the content or take the desired action, which can also hurt future email deliverability rates.
  • Increasing bounce rates: If an email has design elements that cause it to be blocked or filtered by email clients or spam filters, it may bounce back to the sender as undeliverable, which can hurt overall email deliverability rates.

How to Improve Deliverability with Your Email Design

To improve email deliverability rates, marketers should consider the following design elements:

1. Keep it Simple

A simple, clean design can help reduce the likelihood that an email will be flagged as spam. Avoid using too many images or flashy design elements that can distract from the message.

2. Use Responsive Design

Responsive design ensures that emails display properly on a variety of devices, which can improve the user experience and reduce the likelihood that an email will be flagged as spam.

3. Use Text-Based CTAs

Instead of using images for calls to action (CTAs), use text-based CTAs. This can help improve email deliverability, as some email clients may block emails with image-based CTAs.

4. Test Your Emails

Testing your emails can help you identify design elements that may be triggering spam filters. Use a tool like Litmus or Email on Acid to test your emails across different email clients and devices.

5. Stay Up-to-Date with Email Client Changes

Email clients are constantly updating their algorithms and spam filters, which can impact email deliverability. Stay up-to-date with changes and adjust your email design accordingly.

Use Email Marketing Software to Avoid Email Design Mistakes (and Improve Deliverability)

Email marketing software can help users avoid making certain email design mistakes that can negatively impact their deliverability in a few ways:

Templates and Design Guides

Many email marketing platforms offer pre-designed templates and design guides that users can follow to create visually appealing and effective emails. These templates and guides often take into account email design best practices that can help improve deliverability rates.

Spam Filter Testing

Email marketing software can often test emails for potential spam triggers before they are sent out. This can help users identify and fix design elements that may cause their emails to be flagged as spam by email clients or filters.

Responsive Design Features

Many email marketing platforms offer responsive design features, which ensure that emails are optimized for different screen sizes and devices. This can help improve engagement rates and prevent emails from being marked as spam due to poor design.

A/B Testing Capabilities 

Email marketing software often includes A/B testing features, which allow users to test different email designs and see which ones perform better. This can help users identify and avoid design elements that may negatively impact deliverability rates.

Email design plays a critical role in email deliverability. By focusing on email design as part of a larger email deliverability strategy, marketers can improve the success of their email campaigns and ensure that their messages reach their intended audience. By keeping email design simple, using responsive design, using text-based CTAs, testing emails, and staying up-to-date with email client changes, marketers can help ensure that their emails make it into subscribers’ inboxes.

Now, email design is easier than ever. With Benchmark Email’s Smart Design, you can harness the power of AI to build unique customer emails with as little effort as possible.  Sign up for a free Benchmark Email account here, and start using Email Design today.

Author Bio:

by Allie Wolff

Product Marketing