Home Ideas & inspiration Email Header Design: 7 Tips to Help You Stand Out

Email Header Design: 7 Tips to Help You Stand Out

by Sandra Iakovleva

If there’s one place you can count on first impressions working in your favor, it’s email marketing. Envision a shopping district. As you’re walking around, you choose where to stop strategically. Some things immediately catch your eye and that’s where you choose to direct your attention. Email marketing is a little bit like building up a brand that is going to stand out and make people want to learn more about your news, updates or offers.

Your clients or subscribers get easily thrown off by cliche subject lines (your first chance to make a good impression). If you manage to peak their interest, they’ll skim through your email. Your second chance to make that good impression is the email header. Don’t squander this opportunity. Embrace an artistic and professional design! With our quick tips, you’ll be able to captivate your audience in no time.

First things first – you don’t want to be ignored. It’s crucial to invest into a professional looking design. If you don’t have a designer on board, Crello can be that one tool to help you create your marketing materials.

Tip #1: Pay attention to the size

As soon as you open an email, the header is right there. Size is really important and it’s advised to keep the image height no higher than 350px and around 600-650px wide. Crello templates are already set to be the right size, so you don’t even have to worry about this important bit.

You also want to keep your important elements above the fold. This is the cut off point, the first thing people see when an email is opened, which is why the size is so specific. It’s not guaranteed that people will scroll down, so your header should contain things like your brand or company name, the aim of the amil and a possible CTA. These are all key elements to your overal design.

Slack, for instance, did a wonderful job with their header in this example. The cut off point, ‘above the fold’ is perfect. The company name (even brand colors), the promotional purpose behind this email and a very clear CTA.

Tip #2: Leverage simplicity

If you look through our collection of the top email header templates, you’ll notice that the designs are quite simple. Minimalism is always going to be a preference for email designs because it is easy on the eye, many find it an appealing style. If you want to appeal to the masses, leverage simplicity.

Your design needs to have a central focus with a specific message to help your readers focus on the most important information. Vimeo, in the example below, used a few shapes and colors and a very clear font to deliver the subject without distracting from what’s important. The focus of the email is clear, and a simple design and minimal elements contribute to the email’s effectiveness.

Tip #3:  Experiment with details

Part of attracting to a large number of people is about attention to detail. This means little things like colors, design elements, icons, and fonts. You have to pay attention to how you use different design elements and don’t be afraid to experiment!

An important aspect to pay attention to is your alignment of text and design elements. The header must be legible, adding variations of alignment could help elevate your design while keeping it balanced. If you need help with composition, Crello templates have that covered.

Birchbox created a design that is slightly more daring. Here is where the email header gets cut off:

Part of their overall design has a lot to do with experimentation. Those that scroll past the ‘fold’ will find this very tempting offer. They placed emphasis on their discount by making it impossible to miss with the big font. A few quirky details and a very soothing color will likely make you want to scroll down, won’t it?

Tip #4:  Use colors to set the mood

Colors in marketing ecan heavily weigh in to responses from your audience. As colors help set mood, how you use colors becomes crucial. Bright colors tend to grab attention, but it doesn’t mean pastel shades can’t do the terick either.

Your objective is to create strong images that stand out, and you can do it through clever combinations of colors and the use of other effective elements to compliment your compositions. You can use your brand colors, which is a really safe way to creating a tasteful design.

You fill find a great deal of bold email headers, but here’s an example from Anthropologie that uses very soothing blots of color. The palette reinforces their visual identity and is clean and sharp.

Tip #5:  Show off your visual content

If you don’t want to create a header with illustrations or simply colors, photography is just as powerful a medium to make your email header stand out. High quality photographs with interesting subjects and compositions can take center stage in your email. You can find excellent stock photographs in the ‘Photos’ section on Crello.

To give designs a clean, modern look you can use filters in Crello to create contrast between light text and photographs with a color overlay. It’s another technique that can add some variety to your email header designs. 

Preference use a very simple photograph that doesn’t distract from the content. Another technique that this illustrates is the effectiveness of small design elements together with fonts which can elevate your designs and make them look edgy.

Tip #6:  Get rid of clutter and unnecessary design elements

One of the most common mistakes with email headers is cluttering it with unnecessary information and text that throws readers off. You have to simplify your header to contain only the most important information.

If you need to cram a lot of information, there is plenty of space in your email for it. Don’t add too much text or too many elements to confuse the eye and ruin the visual hierarchy. Simplify until you can’t anymore.

Misfit used many of the tips we’ve described in this article. The use of bold colors is certainly attention grabbing. The header contains important information but it is disguised as links if one wants to find out more. They display their product, integrating it into a visually appealing photograph. All these elements work together to guarantee your readers will pay attention.

Tip #7: Remember that fonts are part of the design too

If you find working with fonts overwhelming, trust Crello to make the decisions for you. In case you’re creating a custom design, you can refer to our guide on font pairing for beginners. The general rule of thumb is to use no more than 3 fonts together in a composition.

Don’t overlook the power of fonts either. If you don’t have images, your font choice becomes even more important to your email header design. People also react differently to different font types, and actually read them in a different way depending on the specific type.

Wendy’s certainly earned a few glances at their bold design. With varying font weights and pairing 3 fonts together, the brand went bold. It’s guaranteed that clients that clicked on the email and read the reference in the beautiful font, scrolled down to see the contents of the email.

You’re ready to try it out!

Crello is a great tool for creating attention grabbing and beautiful email headers with just a few clicks. Drag and drop your images and elements, work some copy magic and you’re good to go.

Create email header

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