• Joel Rowbottom

Email marketing best practice guidelines

Email is the most used channel within marketing, with 105 billion (Wordstream, 2016) being sent out every day. Consumer mailboxes are becoming more and more competitive, making it imperative to make your email perfect. Otherwise, your message won’t be clear or resonate as you desire.

Load times

To ensure your email is immediately visible when opened it needs to remain under a certain size, because who wants to wait for an email to open? Especially if it’s a marketing email that you’re not too bothered about missing. The email as a whole should be under 100kb, with images no bigger than 30kb. Sounds small doesn’t it, but it’s not that bad. If your email is above these sizes, you’re probably trying to fit too much in.

There are multiple tools you can use to manage image sizes, but the one I personally use is Adobe Photoshop. Here you can manage the pixels and the DPI, ensuring the image remains compact.

Top tip, check the size of the space you’re trying to put the image into, as it’s most commonly smaller than the image itself! You can therefore reduce the size of the image without affecting quality.

Mobile optimised

Two thirds (Marketing Land, 2015) of emails are opened on mobile devices, either smartphones or tablets most commonly, so it’s important to consider this. One main feature that is overlooked is that of the content blocks. If they are either left focused or right focused, they appear differently on mobile; they stack instead of being next to each other. This needs to be considered when creating an email, that the consistency and message of the emails is clear across devices. Following a responsive grid layout helps.

Subject lines

When an email is displayed in the mailbox, only a certain number of characters are visible, 65. This makes it important to remain within this otherwise it becomes unclear what you are trying to say.

The feature line (the subheading under the subject line) also has similar constraints with only 90 characters visible within the mailbox.

General Guidelines

Content width – 600pxImage size – 30kbEmail size – 100kbHeader font size – 22Body font size – 14Image type – JPEGSubject line – 65 charactersHeader – 90 characters


Emails seem so simple from afar, but when you get into it and are looking to produce a polished, effective campaign, there are lots of things to consider. By following the best practice guidelines here, you will be well on your way!

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