Creating Eye-Catching Email

August 20, 2014

By Web Programmer Brandon Edmark

Since its popularization in the early 90s, email has become a fact of modern life. Email is a backbone of business communication, and many still look forward to receiving emails from friends and family. In many respects, email is simultaneously a more private, decentralized, and versatile format than newer technologies such as social media.

However, email has also taken on some of the negative qualities associated with its paper-based inspiration. Specifically, many people find their mailboxes inundated with “junk" or “spam” mail. Some of this mail is actually from businesses and services the user is interested in; however, because the user does not see value in the mail itself, it lends a negative association to the business, or is discarded without consideration. Therefore, a modern business may wonder how to make their email stand out in an overcrowded inbox. Thinking about the recipient’s needs, carefully crafting the subject line, and offering a unique look to your email are reliable ways to grab attention and make your message heard.


Understanding the needs of your audience is the first step to crafting an eye-catching email. The relationship between you and the audience affects the potential uses of email communication and the best tone to take. People expect a level of consistency with email communication; if the audience typically receives general-interest newsletters, using the same format and recipient list for pure advertising may be perceived as a breach of trust. However, you can also establish a mail campaign to alert people to special deals or other business events that they may find useful.

The subject line is an important hook for getting your clients’ attention. In most email programs, all the recipient will initially see is your name or email address and the subject line, listed among many others. If your subject line sounds like more of the same, and the recipient has no obligation to you, the email may be deleted or archived instead of being opened at all. Your subject line should get to the heart of the matter, and if appropriate, should reflect the personality of the business brand in some way.

The look of your email is also becoming more important in breaking through the noise of junk mail. Mass mailing services like Mailchimp offer the ability to send HTML email campaigns full of images and stylistic elements, using customizable templates. Image Management has developed Mailchimp campaigns with unique designs that reinforce the business brand. Not only are these emails eye-catching, but they enable many of the content organization and emphasis techniques used on websites, such as header areas, sidebars and stylized “callout” sections. However, it is important to always remember that a public email campaign should draw recipients into a business’s website, rather than be used as a substitute.

Between crafting the subject line and appearance of your emails with the audience’s needs in mind, there are a number of ways to push your email communication above the crowd. By following these guidelines, you can ensure as many people receive your message as possible, and make email communication work for your business.