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Different types of email marketing template design

When designing your email marketing, it’s worth giving some consideration to what type of mailer you are looking to design. There are several different types of email marketing messages that you could be looking to communicate, are you looking to generate sales, or make an announcement, or send company news.

For each type of message, there are differing sets of design and layout types that are optimised for each subject area. Each one employs a layout that works best for each type of message.

Let’s take a look at some of the main types of email marketing and some of the design principles that are typically employed to increase conversions and interactions


Sales Offer

A sales offer is all about creating a visual ‘wow’; enticing the viewer to make an enquiry with you, or to make a purchase. With this in mind, sales offers are typically more image than text based.

The lead image at the top should really showcase your products or services with a well taken photograph or image. Give some thought to the best possible way to showcase your products. If your product is not something that is not particularly visual, then what elements can be added to both compliment the product and add the ‘wow’ factor needed.

Another important feature of a sales offer is a large clear call to action button. This should be very easy to see and have a clear instruction to ‘buy now’. Large buttons have excellent conversion rates.



An announcement style email is a great way to let your customers know about the introduction of a new product or service. Email marketing done in this style typically has a very large text header that leads the document. This should be simple, clear and straight to the point.

This is then generally supported with some images, these are typically used in very much a supporting role though. The main feature of the announcement style of email marketing is the heading.

The head section is then generally supported by a few brief paragraphs of text that provide a little more detail.

The call to action is typically a button directing the viewer to a page on your website to read further information. The recommended approach is to keep your text fairly brief inside the mailer, if your announcement needs further reading then it’s a good idea to point people towards a page on your website where they can read it at leisure - away from the distractions of the inbox.



A newsletter is a great way to cover a few different topics that your viewers may want to read about your company, industry or product news.

The strategy here is to approach it a little like a magazine article, again keeping the text as brief as possible and using links to point to further reading on your website.

A modular design works very well, with each article being in it’s own box. This format is similar to the way that a magazine would be laid out, it’s a proven design for creating a structure that is easy for the viewer to visually navigate and read.

Each article generally leads with a small picture, a heading, introductory text, then a link through to further reading or a required action.

As the focus of this type of email marketing is purely to announce news and topical information, then it’s ok not to have just one large call to action. This type of email will generally have quite a few links.

These types of email are a great way of gauging what kind of content your viewer wants to read about. By viewing the clicks for each link, your email marketing analytics can give you a very clear picture of which articles perform the best. This is an invaluable tool in helping to qualify the interests and preferences of your target audience.


Formal Letter

Modern email marketing software makes it very easy to create really great looking email designs, but sometimes a simple formal letter works really well.

A formal layout ‘letter’ type design is an approach that lot’s of recipient’s favour, it can be seen as a much more personal approach, it helps build trust and lets your recipient know that it has been sent by a person - not a faceless large marketing department.

Your email marketing software will make it easy for you to create a great looking formal letter design, it’s a nice touch to include your signature at the top and an electronic copy of your signature.


Event Countdown

In recent years, it’s been possible to start using simple animations with your email marketing, bring a little bit of movement into your design really helps to capture the attention of your viewers.

A great application of animation in email marketing is a countdown timer. This is an animated timer that is used to count down to either the launch or the end of an event. This is a live timer that will animate down to a pre-set point inside your vewier’s inbox.

This is a great way of creating an impetus for the viewer to do something by a certain date/time. A countdown timer really helps to reinforce your call to action, if the CTA is asking the viewer to make a purchase, the countdown timer creates a timescale to do it within.

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