With 1 in 5 investment professionals receiving 11-20 emails a week and 1 in 10 receiving upwards of 50, your communication had better stand out. To fight the influx of drab and bland marketing emails, we turn to the trailblazers of design and functionality: websites.

With the vast progress in online experience and being online becoming ubiquitous with being offline, users are accustomed to the high standards web designers strive for, and, dare we say, have come to expect it. With emails relying on HTML tables and inline styles (think websites circa 1998), creating impressive designs can be a challenge. The flexibility within HTML email hasn’t changed much since the birth of Outlook – and frankly the birth of the internet. But, determined and undeterred, there are ways to work around the constraints of email coding to build beautiful emails deserving of an audience.

Here are a few simple website elements that will give your emails a familiar and polished look:

  • Add a prominently placed navigation bar. Users can’t read the content if they can’t find it, and your perfectly-crafted article is going nowhere if it’s wrongly placed. Navigation will be one of the first things readers see, and it can be as simple as a few key links aligned horizontally at the top of your email. Links you might want to add include are contact forms, a research page, additional event information, and even your company blog. Add faux active/inactive tabs (using nothing more than colour!) to cement the theme of the communication. In this case the ‘inactive’ tab can be linked to another relevant page on your main site.
  •  Use anchor tags to link to sections within your email. Jumping to specific parts of an email eliminates painfully scrolling content-heavy newsletters. Combine with a ‘back to top’ link to please the crowds and the ease aching fingers.
  • Open any popular website and you’re going to be greeted with visuals. 98% of investment professionals choose to view images on desktop and 83% on mobile devices. Consider integrating your main story into your banner/hero image for maximum engagement. After all, they say a picture is worth a thousand words.
  • Insert a faux ‘next’ arrow to encourage clicks to additional stories, even if they are hosted elsewhere. It’s a familiar touch that contacts are used to seeing and interacting with.

Why do it?

Mobile views have been rising among investment professionals at an average rate of 11.5% each year. This year it’s predicted to rise to more than 80%, and there’s no sign of it slowing down. Although desktop’s engagement is still dominating and rarely fluctuating, crafting a marketing email that will look perfect on both screens has become a necessity.

Modern design techniques and styling inherited from website development not only helps to de-clutter an email and make navigation easier for the average reader, but also lends well for adaption to different devices. And reinforcing your online brand across all mediums is essential and will help stop your readers from hitting unsubscribe.