GKA a creative agency


Sep 09, 2019

Reeling in Your Audience Through Great Design

Reeling in Your Audience Through Great Design

Author: Matt Holloway, Web Designer

Sep 9th, 2019

Now you’ve got them to click on your glorious subject line, great! That’s half the battle - but you still need the ultimate goal, a click on the Call to Action! With great design, you can entice your reader from top to bottom.


As a general rule, emailers should be used as your launch pad/elevator pitch to the final destination, your website. To make this possible, present users with an email that is simple, optimized and easy to follow down to the call to action (CTA).

Let’s break down those two words: simple and optimized.

You may have heard of the phrase, Keep It Simple Stupid. In other words, stay away from over-designing. Simplicity will not only keep your message clear, but it will help focus your reader. Remember, we want them to click the CTA at the end of the pitch, and by using simple and clean design, this will help pave the yellow brick road to a successful click, or tap.

To GKA, clean design simply means distraction-free.

For instance, remember walking into an arcade and becoming overwhelmed by which game to play first? Well, the logic is the same. You don’t want to get your readers distracted by too much information and loads of content. You know what they say, too much of a good thing can lead to a bad thing. Make your point quickly and limit yourself from throwing in all the details (that’s what the website is for).


One method of simple design is the upside down pyramid. This technique, also known in photography as “leading the eye”, sets elemental boundaries by navigating the reader down the emailer.

In the above example, you see the red lines converging towards the bottom where the CTA lives. A linear method like this is not the only way, but it is a good start for anyone new to design. Using this layout, you can see it begins with a large image, otherwise known by web designers as the hero.

This big beauty will help draw your reader's attention and promote staying power. What does that mean? Well, with life moving so fast, attention spans tend to be quite short. The time between a reader opening an email, scanning, then moving on is only 3 seconds.* That means you not only need to capture their attention but hold it for as long as possible, the hero image helps you do that.


Use high-quality photography and avoid stock photos that come across as generic. Fortunately, authentic moments are on trend for stock photographers. The image above works well because it ticks of the authentic box while also catching the eye with its sharp contrasting lines and bright colors. If you want to take it a step further, we can create GIF’s or animated graphics to really impress the reader.


Accessibility is crucial to email marketing. If you create a beautiful design but come to find out half the content is cut off because the viewer is using Microsoft Outlook on a blackberry from 2006, you just lost a potential customer.

2/3rds of emails are read on smartphones*

Making your email design fluid or optimized will enable that design you worked hours on to be widely available to any device, regardless of screen size. Using media queries in your HTML designed emailers is a good technique for scaling.

From simple, clean messaging to scalability, your email’s design is the small difference between a user clicking away or converting. Designing high-performance emails requires that you break your messaging up into small, bite size pieces of information that entices users to the ultimate goal of the email - the call to action that leads to your website. Read on to our next article about how GKA tracks the results of an email.

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