Tips for Effective Email Layouts

Designing a successful email means creating an effective layout. Not only should your email's text captivate and motivate your recipient, but a good layout will highlight important text, CTAs and images, and be instantly recognizable as part of your business' branding strategy.


In this article

Email Templates

Email design can be difficult, but it doesn't have to be. Using a well designed Template can make the task of designing a Marketing email easy, quick, and can even boost response rates. Take advantage of APSIS One's catalogue of email Templates and choose one that fits your business' needs. When you need to send your next Email, simply return to the Template, change the required elements, and send an email that remains consistent with your business' branding.

Almost half of all emails are read on mobile devices. All Pre-defined and Themed Email Templates are responsive, which means that they will look great on whatever device your recipient opens the email on. Preview how your email will look on a desktop or mobile device by clicking Preview in the Bottom bar of the Email Editor. You can also use the fully integrated built-in Litmus Email Client Test feature in the Apsis One Email Editor. With Litmus you can preview how your email will look on ten different email clients across mobile, desktop, and web.


The Template you choose should be based on what type of email you want to send.

Promoting your products? Choose a Template that focuses on images. Centre a striking image that displays what your business' offering, explanatory text, and a bold CTA to direct the recipient to your webpage.

Sending a newsletter or update? Choose a Template where the Text Element is the main focus. Whatever the purpose of your email, selecting the right Template will help to convey your message and promote interactions with your recipients.

Design for your purpose: your layout should be designed with the purpose of the email in mind. An effective layout will guide the reader, clearly displaying your message and your CTA to motivate a response. Consider readability and engagement when designing the layout: is important information prioritized at the top? Does the email's balance, spacing, and content grouping clearly display information? Finally, remember to simplify! Reduce the content of your email to the very essential.

Check out our articles on the Email Editor to make full use of the Design Elements and make the most of your email layout.


Colours, Fonts and Images

Experimenting with colour can help you make an eye-catching email. However, make sure the colours you choose are suitable for your purpose and business. However, don't overwhelm your email design with many colours: limit to a handful of colours that are used elsewhere in your brand or on your website. Create a bold and colourful header and footer for your email using the Elements in the Design Panel. Check out our tips on Branding and Consistency for how to use colours that represent your business' branding.

The fonts and images used in your email layout should be chosen with all devices in mind. Choose a font that is consistent with your brand's identity and design guidelines. Fonts should be large enough to be legible on all devices, and simple enough to be understood by recipients who may have accessibility features enabled. We suggest using a font size of 14px for longer emails with more text content, and 16px for shorter emails.


Consider using similar colours throughout the email to create a bold design to impress your recipients. Dark text should be contrasted against a light background: adjust the background colour for each row in Row Settings, and the overall email Design Settings in the Bottom bar.


Use a web-based font to ensure that your email is displayed correctly. In the APSIS One Email Editor, you can choose from the following web-based fonts: Arial, Comic Sans, Courier New, Georgia, Helvetica, Lucida, Tahoma, Times New Roman, Trebuchet Ms and Verdana.


Like fonts, images for your email should be chosen carefully. Email clients may block images from being displayed, so select only the essential images to your email. Don't rely on an email with one large image. Instead, direct your recipient to your website using CTAs, with a Button or Text Element. Ensure that your images fit into the layout of your email, and that it reflects your business' branding.

Image size can affect the loading time of your email, even if the Template is well designed. Use smaller images, and be sure to send a test email using the Bottom bar of the Email Editor to check if your email takes a long time to load. The Image Element allows for image files up to 1MB.

Looking for something fresh? Our Image Element is fully equipped with Jumpstory, an intelligent image library that offers tons of free visuals and can even suggest an image based on your Text Elements.


APSIS Pro Customer?

If you migrated into APSIS One from APSIS Pro, this is the perfect opportunity to take a look at your existing email Templates in APSIS Pro. There's nothing keeping you from improving, challenging and modernising your emails for APSIS One. See it as a fresh start: take a look at how your website may have changed recently and consider your Marketing team's plans as to branding and design. If your team has already planned for a revamp of your brand's identity, why not revisit your email Templates as well?

We're always here for you.

Reach out to our Creative Services team to have a conversation about how you envision your APSIS One Email Templates, and to request beautiful custom-made Templates that work seamlessly in all devices and email clients.


Quick Layout Tips

The layout of your email is vital. Through questioning and challenging certain design decisions, you'll understand the reasoning behind them. That way, improvements will occur naturally. Apply this logic to your own email design.

Looking into an email's balance, spacing, and content grouping is sometimes all that is needed for improvement. That goes a long way in improving readability and engagement. Always have your Audience in mind. Ask yourself: is the design an optimal use of space and text?

Here are a few tips to make the best of your layout and increase engagement with your brand by attracting the attention of your recipients:

1. Time it!

Recently, it's been suggested that most people spend less than 15 seconds reading Marketing emails; keep it short, prioritising important content at the top.

2. Let it breathe

Use white space to give your content room to breathe and make your design more approachable. Simplicity goes a long way.

3. Split the content

If your email contains different types of information, define each section clearly by using a Line Element, Spacer Element, or contrasting colours or borders.

4. Make proper introductions

Use headings in your Text Elements, or include a List or Menu Element to visually divide your content. This will make it easier for your readers to notice a different section of content.

5. Simplify

This one's very straightforward, but often overlooked. Reduce the content of your email to the very essential. What do you really need to say to your subscribers? What do they really need to hear?

6. Back to basics

The horizontal alignment of your text content must be consistent. While centring short text can catch the eye of the reader, emails with more text benefit from a left alignment, making it legible and easy for the recipient to follow.

Element Sizes

To design the perfect email, you'll need balance. Some of the most common questions when working with Elements in the Email Editor are about how you can resize Elements and how far the limits go when it comes to margins, line height, width, etc.

To read more about how to resize your Elements and design the perfect Email layout, head over to this article to learn more.

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