Great Design is CRAP (and Other Email Marketing Tips)

May 25th, 2017

BombBomb’s all about more personal and human communication through video. But we’re also about email – and better email marketing results.

To help you be more successful with the top digital channel for ROI (yes, email marketing!), Ashley, our Customer Success Trainer, creates and delivers webinars on topics most important to our community.

One topic she’s continuously received requests about: email design. A master of our email Composer, Ashley makes emails directly inside BombBomb that look great and perform even better.

Learn useful tips and tricks by watching the full webinar here in this post. And if you don’t want to invest a full hour, scan the outline of key takeaways below and jump in where you need help most!


Great Design is CRAP (and Other Email Marketing Tips)


Intro: 3-Part Workflow to Creating Killer Emails

Starts at: 9 minutes

  1. Designing for optimal user experience
  2. Promoting interaction within the email
  3. Getting your email opened

Intro: Important Questions to Ask before Sending an Email

Starts at: 11 minutes

Who are you sending to? Audience
Ashley describes how “mass blasting” is an unsuccessful approach to email marketing because your sends won’t be targeted enough to be effective in the medium and long terms.

What do you want them to do? Call To Action (CTA)
You need to guide people into your call-to-action (CTA. And make sure it’s clearly defined!)

Why are you sending the message? Value
To increase your engagement, think about the value that you are providing on the other end. When people find value, they continue to open.


Part 1: Designing for Optimal User Experience

Starts at: 14 minutes

If you’ve ever created something that is used, read, interacted with – that is DESIGN. So even though you might not be a Photoshop pro, you are designing!

You want to make sure your content has a balance in unity to increase usability! The easier your emails are to look to at visually, the better they will be received!


Color Matters: It can actually make or break your call to action.

Ashley explains how we all have a psychological reaction towards color.

The Importance of Color

Starts at: 17 minutes

  • Red – Creates sense of urgency, physically stimulates the body and increases appetite.
  • Blue – Peace, water, tranquility, and reliability. Used to promote trust.
  • Green – Health, tranquility, power, and nature. Used to relax customers.
  • Purple – Royalty, wisdom, and respect. Stimulates problem solving as well as creativity. Frequently used to promote beauty and anti-aging products.
  • Orange & Yellow – Used to create a sense of anxiety that can draw in impulsive buyers.
  • Black – Authority, power, stability, and strength.
  • Grey – Symbolizes feelings of practicality, old age, and solidarity.
  • White – Associated with feelings of purity, cleanliness and safety. Can be used to project an absence of color or neutrality. White space helps spark creativity since it can be perceived as an unaltered, clean state.

Ashley recommends using colors like red, yellow, and orange for CTA button design.

At 19 minutes in, Ashley recommends a tool to help you find the best colors based on your needs, for free! Visit:


Great Design is C.R.A.P.

Starts at: 20 minutes

Contrast (21 minutes in)
The difference in visual properties that makes one object distinguishable from other objects.

Ashley mentions that she sees people often having trouble with contrast because they are trying too hard to match brand colors. It is more important that your content is legible as opposed to true to the brand itself.


Repetition (23 minutes in)
Strengthens the design by connecting individual elements together.

Stick with similar colors, spacing, and font throughout your email.

In this section, Ashley gets into the different types of fonts and importance of font at 25 minutes in. She recommends using sans serif fonts on titles and headings and serif fonts on blocks of texts.

Additional font tips:

  • 13px minimum font-size
  • 14-16 preferred
  • Serif for bodies of text
  • Sans-serif for headlines & titles

Select an appropriate font style for your message.

See the Top 10 “Web Safe Fonts” below …


Alignment (29 minutes in)
Serves to put elements together in a visible and readable arrangement.

Left alignment is the easiest for your subscribers to read, because this is naturally how we read text in the western world.

Center Alignment is harder to follow from one line to the next. Limit to Headers.

Right alignment is also difficult to read unless your sending to languages who read from right to left.


Proximity (30 minutes in)
Creates a visual bond between elements through spacing/distance.

Visual grouping of things because they are close to each other. Allows you to visually organize your idea. Proximity can help you lead your subscriber to your call-to-action (link or button) or create confusion.

In a newsletter, it’s helpful to keep your topics, headers, and sub-headers close together!.

Email Composer: Design Your Own Emails

Starts at: 36 minutes

Topics covered here:

  • Our BombBomb Composer features
  • Simple drag-and-drop functionality
  • Automatically made responsive for mobile viewing
  • Advanced email marketing features
  • Add pictures, graphics, buttons, documents, links, social buttons, and more

At 33 Minutes in, Ashley starts her behind-the-scenes walkthrough of the email Composer.

We recommend watching this part for a quick template creation demo. Also, for a more in depth demo, please check out this link to our full set of email Composer tutorials.


Part 2: Promoting Interaction Within Your Email

Starts at: 49 minutes

A beautifully designed email that lacks value will fail at producing results.

    • Start from a sincere place. If you ask “What’s the benefit to the recipient?” you’re setting yourself up for effective email marketing.
    • Send to targeted lists – know who you’re sending to and why.
    • Make sure you provide valuable information – ideally from a persuasive approach.
    • Help people take advantage of what you’re providing – give a clear call to action!

Remember: Every email you send trains people to open or delete your next email.

Power Stat from the DMA: People who opened one of your emails in the past 30 days are 425% more likely to respond than those who have not. This doesn’t mean you can’t send to individuals past month – it means you should be targeting your communication differently!

Also Remember: Email providers that deliver the mail you’ve sent are looking for interaction at the SENDER level. Success, then, is about quality over quantity. If you send to 200 Gmail recipients and only 10 Gmail users engage with your emails, the other 190 inactive recipients are hurting your overall performance – especially in the long run.


Make Your Email More Clear

Starts at: 53 minutes

Align your entire email from subject line through final CTA with one of your business objectives that’s based in a customer need.

Make sure your Call to Action is the ONE CLEAR OPTION!

Be clear with yourself before creating your email. Then, make it clear to recipients

1.) Why did I get this?
2.) What’s my opportunity?
3.) How do I proceed?

See Tips on How to Improve your CTA Below (53 Minutes in) 

• Studies have shown increase in click-throughs by changing “Your” to “My”

See Call to Action Example Slide (56 minutes in) 

Get Your Email Opened

Starts at: 57 minutes

Readers only spend 3-4 seconds deciding whether or not they are going to read your email or throw it in the trash

The three things you must be mindful of as result is your: from name, subject line, and preview text.

Recommendations for Subject Line and Preview Text:

Make your subject line 25-30 characters and 80-100 characters including preview (pre-header).

Preview text (preheader) gives your subscriber a better idea of what they’ll find in your message, so they’re more likely to open it. Don’t skip adding preview text!

Your “from” name, subject line, and preheader all work together to help people decide to open your email.

Using the words below can help you improve your open rate, however, it is important to not use them to often as some of them are viewed as “spam trigger words” as well.


Subject Line Mistakes

Starts at: 1 hour

      • Leaving it blank/default
      • Starting with RE: when it’s not actually a reply
      • Making it too long
      • Using scare tactics
      • Using exaggerated urgency
      • Sending typos or wrong names (when personalizing)
      • Using ALL CAPS or several special characters
      • Keeping it too vague
      • Using fluff words

It’s helpful to customize your subject line. Try to add a first name or another very specific detail to the subject line


In Conclusion

For email marketing success, who you’re sending to is far more important than how many people you’re sending to.

Your checklist:

      • Who you’re sending to
      • Why you’re sending to them
      • What you allowing them to do
      • How they can take you up on that opportunity

Thank you for taking the time to read up on email marketing with BombBomb!

Ashley regularly hosts free, live webinars to share proven tips and tactics around video, email, and more. They’re designed to help customers, people in free trial, and people taking a look at BombBomb.

See which classes are coming up:


Not Yet Using BombBomb?

Click here to try BombBomb free for 2 weeks with no credit card information required!

Send emails and video emails quickly and easily with our mobile apps, from Gmail, from, or through one of our many software integrations.

And get into the Composer to construct more polished “email marketing” sends.

Put some of the ideas from this webinar into practice … free!



Ethan Beute | About The Author

Marketing, branding, content. Writer, producer, editor. Photos and videos. Building campaigns. Tracking results. Background in local television station marketing and promotion. VP, Content and Communication, BombBomb. BA, University of Michigan. MBA, University of Colorado-Colorado Springs. Fresh air & clean water.

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