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8 Highly Effective Email Header Design Tips and Ideas

Beefree team
Beefree team
Jun 4, 2020
8 Highly Effective Email Header Design Tips and Ideas

Eye-catching email headers set the tone for your email. Whether it’s bold or subtle, the header is where you announce yourself to the reader and immediately introduce a visual identity.

If you don’t normally give your email header design much thought, now’s the time to reconsider. Let’s break down what exactly an email header is and check out some design examples from brands in our inbox.

WHAT IS AN EMAIL HEADER?

An email header encompasses the subject line, recipient, and sender, as well as the HTML header in the body of the email. In this blog post, we’ll be discussing the part of the email header that’s inside the email.

Email headers include the company’s name or logo. They often add a product menu that links to the brand’s website. Sometimes, brands will also add a line about a perk they’re offering—such as free shipping or a discount.

Your header might seem unimportant, but it’s actually a great place to use some key marketing strategies. Think of it as a free space to insert essential marketing or branding information. You could also make the email easier to navigate by adding an anchor link menu in the header.

EMAIL HEADER DESIGN BEST PRACTICES

Well-designed email headers have a few key qualities in common. We suggest the following best practices:

  • Make sure the header is brand-identifying. The header reinforces the “from” field so the reader won’t doubt who sent the email.
  • Make sure the header is versatile. A good header works with all email campaign types, playing nicely with each email template.
  • Remain consistent over time. A consistent email header creates familiarity, which reduces the cognitive drain on your readers.

Create an elegant and simple header. There should be no clutter in the header, like crammed information or hard-to-read print. Case in point: the Sweaty Betty header, seen here, that uses a basic font and includes only the essential information.

EMAIL HEADER DESIGN MISTAKES TO AVOID

As you design your email header, avoid the following pitfalls:

  • Don’t overdo the navigation. A concise and clear navigation menu is helpful. A dozen choices are overwhelming. It’s an email, not your website.
  • Don’t make it too big. Size is important—strive for your email headers to be less than 70px high if they don’t have a menu, or less than 200px if they do.
  • Don’t go off-script. The header should be strongly branded, including your logo and key colors. Your email header is not the place to experiment with new, off-the-wall ideas.
  • Don’t keep changing. If the design of your email header changes frequently, your emails will be less recognizable, causing some readers to wonder if it’s really you.

Now that you know what makes up the best email header design, let’s take a look at some email header ideas backed up with real-life examples from brands you know.

EMAIL HEADER IDEAS

#1: Just use your logo

Plenty of brands use a version of their logo in their header. There’s nothing wrong with that! Using your logo easily checks all three items on our to-do list: Your logo is branded, simple, and versatile.

If you include a navigation menu in your header — many brands, especially e-commerce companies, find these menus important — reduce clutter and streamline your header by using your brand name or logo at the top. Brands from Target to Crate & Barrel to West Elm all do this. Here’s the approach Hootsuite uses in its emails, inserting its logo and name before an introductory line of text:

When your logo is well-recognized, it gets easier and easier to use on its own. Here’s another example from Lululemon, with the logo on the left and a super-simple navigation menu on the other side.

Instacart is another brand that keeps its emails uncluttered by just using its logo and name at the top. The logo provides a little pop of color and immediately brands the email.

#2: Get colorful

Another simple, versatile way to create a great email header is to use a band of color across the top of your message. The header doesn’t have to be fancy. Just use your primary brand color and brand font, and voilà!

Here’s an example from Ghirardelli Chocolate. Ghirardelli chose a muted navy blue that matches its branding and isn’t overwhelming. Gold accents, the brand’s logo, and its motto set up the rest of the email. This email header design example is visually appealing but not overwhelming.

Mashable takes a similar approach with a bold blue header that helps reinforce visual identity while looking clean and sharp.

Here are three different email headers from The Tie Bar; you can see how the design is versatile and easy to insert into multiple separate emails.

A bold color header like this can easily be accomplished with an HTML background color—either alongside an image (like a logo) or beneath live text.

#3: Grab the eye with photography

Including an image at the beginning of your email is always a great way to catch readers’ eyes. A photographic header is no exception. My Subscription Addition’s Sizzle newsletter, for example, always begins with this fun, playful header that’s emblematic of its brand.

The Munchery food service also uses a beautiful, crisp photo header:

When you choose a photo for your header, it’s important to think about the photo’s versatility. If your email typically includes a lot of imagery, consider if your photo header will work well alongside all future content you’ll send. The Sizzle always employs a “DEALS” section header as a buffer between the main header and the rest of the email, which is a smart way to ensure email flow and organization.

#4: Make sure to customize

Keeping a header consistent doesn’t mean that it always has to be exactly the same. For different emails, you’ll want to make slight changes to the header to keep it visually interesting and add customization. But if you’re going to make adjustments in one place, keep other things the same, like the position of your text or logo.

Take this email header design example created by graphic design school Shillington. The circle logo and dog-eared corner effect are always present, even though the brand often changes colors. Because the header is so simple, it’s also versatile. Here are some examples:

Unstyled by Refinery29 takes a similar approach. The text in the email header never changes size or placement, but each email has a different color scheme, creating a beautiful rainbow effect. Here are three great examples of this email newsletter header design:

#5: Have a few versions on hand

If you choose to customize your header, it doesn’t hurt to have a few templatized versions to cycle through emails (see the section at the bottom for instructions on how to save and reuse different email headers). While the Unstyled newsletter always has a custom header for each email, clothing company Chubbies rotates between at least three different headers:

#1 — pineapples

#2 — full-width logo

#3 — special “weekender” edition

Having a few different email header styles keeps your emails dynamic and interesting. But Chubbies never strays from using its logo and brand color in every header, and it’s this consistency that makes the emails easily recognizable and well-branded.

#6: Include an offer

While your header isn’t a place where you normally want to put much informative content, you can make an exception for a special offer. If you’re having a major sale and you want to immediately draw readers’ attention to the sale, you can include a reference to that sale in your header. This makes the offer more noticeable and draws in readers to take a closer look and, hopefully, make a purchase.

For instance, take a look at this header in an email from New York and Company:

#7: Include an animation

As eye-catching and enticing as images are, animation can be even more effective. In your email header, a well-placed and on-brand or on-topic animation is an excellent way to engage readers and make them take notice.

As an example, take a look at this email from Love Crafts:

The animation in the “free delivery” offer in the header is attractive and attention-grabbing. It makes the reader pause and take notice so they’re more likely to see (and take advantage of) the sale.

#8: Include a company mascot

One fun way to build brand awareness and make your brand more relatable to people is to use a brand mascot. A mascot gives your brand more of a personality and incorporating that mascot into an email header will make the email more relatable to readers from the moment the email opens.

Check out how Big Peach Running Co. does this:

The cute running peach is the beloved mascot of this running company, featured on many of their merchandise and even as a full-size mascot who cheers on runners at the company’s events, so it’s immediately recognizable in this email header.

HOW TO MAKE AN EMAIL HEADER

There are several options for how to make an email header. Some brands create their headers in design programs as stand-alone images and insert them into their emails, but when you do this, you lose some functions like animations and clickable menu options. You also run the risk that your image may not render properly in the email programs some readers are using. The more versatile and reliable option is to create your header using HTML within an HTML email.

An HTML email editor makes it easy to design HTML emails and email features without knowing HTML or other coding skills. The editor provides an easy-to-use interface that lets you drag and drop different elements and customize the email as you wish, translating your design into HTML so the email will be shown properly in any email program your readers are using.

HTML email headers also give you the advantage of reusing your email headers and customizing them each time to fit the color scheme or subject of each email. Let’s explore how that works and how it can make your email designs more consistent and efficient.

HOW TO SAVE AND REUSE YOUR EMAIL HEADER DESIGNS

If you like the idea of having different email header designs readily available to you, you’ll need an email design system.

An email design system is a program that is built to help you develop professional, attractive emails for your mailing list. Remember the HTML email editor we mentioned above? That’s a type of email design system. With a system like this, you can create a combination of templates and reusable content blocks that you can drop into any email you’re building. This helps you design emails much faster while keeping things consistent across various designs.

These types of programs generally have a library or another place where you can store individual templates and content blocks. You’ll be able to design these content blocks (like your header) by using an easy drag-and-drop process, just as you would when designing an email. As you build the email, then, you can insert images like your logo, customize fonts and menu links, and more. When it’s time to create an email you’ll be able to simply choose your header from the library and place it into the email design.

Saving and reusing content is one of the core benefits of using a complete email design suite like Beefree. It’s free to sign up!

WRAP-UP: DESIGN YOUR OWN EMAIL HEADER!

Your email header is a vital part of your design, capturing readers’ attention and showing them why they should read on. With the tips above and the help of our user-friendly free email editor, you can develop appealing and brand-forward headers in a snap. Start from one of the over 1,500 free email templates, professionally designed by over 30 email designers from around the world.

You can immediately edit any of them using a no-code, drag-and-drop email editor. They come with a huge library of free stock images, lots of design tools, and HTML code that is always mobile responsive. Try some new ideas and have fun!

Editor’s Note: This post was updated on September 2023 to ensure accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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Marketing Agency Email Templates to Enhance Your Communications

Learn how your agency can balance multiple brands and email campaigns while saving time with HTML email marketing templates.
Emily Santos
May 17, 2024

For marketing agencies and their clients, email marketing serves as a powerful method of acquiring and retaining clients. In a 2023 survey, 50% of B2B marketers name email as their most effective marketing channel, performing 13% better than social media posts and 11% better than social media ads.

This emphasis on the importance of email marketing, while opportunistic, also presents a new wave of challenges for agencies to tackle.   

Unique challenges in agency email marketing

As a marketing agency in the digital age, staying on top of evolving trends, strategies, and algorithms is hard enough. The pressure to perform doubles when paired with client expectations to quickly develop, monitor, and execute the latest. 

So, how can agencies balance multiple brands and clients wanting to experiment with the newest trend with tried-and-true best practices while maintaining brand integrity?  

Email templates have proven to be a great asset in cutting down email production speed and increasing efficiency and productivity. Jim Maddock, Freelance Email Developer and CRM Consultant has developed over 670 emails for a wide range of departments, artists, and organizations, all extensions of only a few templates he built with Beefree customized to fit different brands. 

Benefits of using HTML email templates vs. custom coding or text-only emails

The days of email specialists and developers being the only ones involved in the email design process are long gone. Text-only emails are now mostly reserved for everyday communications, while HTML emails are used by a wide range of brands and organizations for internal communications and marketing material. 

Unlike text-only emails, HTML emails are dynamic, engaging, and personalized to showcase a brand’s identity and instill brand recognition in readers. 

Because all email-sending platforms support HTML,  email makers benefit from peace of mind knowing that their emails will display as intended across devices and email clients. 

While historically, manually coding HTML emails is known to be time-consuming and tedious work, the rise of no-code email builders is saving agencies valuable time and resources when building emails. To take it one step further, HTML email templates are becoming standard practices. Much like Jim Maddock, agencies only have to create these templates once and reuse them for multiple brands. 

Another option is to source an HTML email template that has already been built and tested for responsiveness, allowing your team more time to work on other deliverables. 

How to choose an HTML template

When choosing an existing HTML email template, there are a few considerations to take into account:

  • Customizability and usability: When working with multiple brands, it is crucial that your agency delivers on-brand designs. When choosing a template, the ability to customize it to fit into any given brand identity easily is non-negotiable. This means colors, fonts, font sizes, images, and more.

  • Versatility: Whether you’re creating an HTML email template from scratch or sourcing one, you’ll probably want to start with a few templates that can be used in multiple ways to decrease the amount of time spent on repetitive designs. An effective template should have all of your email's basic elements: hero, footer, and nav bar, and it should be flexible enough to add or remove blocks as needed. 
  • Best practices: The right HTML template follows email design best practices, including mobile-first design, dark mode, and spam prevention guidelines, to ensure an optimal viewing experience and delivery. 

By choosing an HTML template that fulfills all of these elements, you can quickly iterate the template to try new strategies (pleasing your client) while standing upon a strong foundation of what makes an effective email campaign (pleasing your agency). 

3 Essential email templates for marketing agencies

If you’re unsure where to start on your search for an HTML template, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve curated three essential email templates for marketing agencies in the Beefree catalog. 

The Beefree HTML template catalog hosts 1,700+ templates for a wide range of industries, holidays, and usage. All templates are free to use on the Beefree editor and completely customizable to fit any brand style guidelines. The email builder also ensures that all emails created with Beefree render properly across all screen sizes. 

While assigned to a specific category, the following templates have been chosen due to their versatility. With a little creativity, each of the following templates can be used for a wide variety of email campaigns, industries, and brand styles due to their layout and simplicity.

Welcome email template

A welcome email template is just as it sounds - an introduction to who you are. While the contents of an email template may vary depending on the industry or purpose, there is usually a similar story told through them: this is who we are and this is what we do. Here is an example of an email template designed for an agency: 

At the top, the email provides a space for a logo, a nav bar, and a title. 

Above the fold, the template kicks off with an introduction of “Who are we” which answers to a welcome emails main purpose: introduce new audiences to who you are and connect with them off a first impression. 

As we scroll, the email layout changes to help guide the reader through “what we do” and an introduction to the team with clear CTAs with next steps.

The email ends with a footer containing vital information. 

Browse all Welcome email templates: https://beefree.io/templates/welcome

Newsletter template

A routine newsletter is an excellent way to nurture leads and maintain relationships. Depending on the business, a newsletter offers readers various resources, updates, or offerings. An effective newsletter template offers multiple content block formats to pick and choose from. 

In this example, the template contains a prominent hero section with a bold CTA leading to resource #1. We recommend starting emails with a strong hero section to grab the attention of the reader above the fold. 

As you scroll, new resources are presented using a different layout to help differentiate the multiple pieces of content. 

The final resources in the template are presented in video format, which can easily be interchanged with an image to suit different brands' needs.

Browse all Newsletter templates: https://beefree.io/templates/newsletter

Survey email template

Surveys are excellent ways to gather feedback from different audiences. A survey email template should be short, clear, and concise. The purpose of the email should be easily digested and understood. 

The following template pulls the reader in with a large and clear header and body that clearly communicates to the reader that their feedback is wanted and why.  

This template offers two different ways to collect feedback, making it versatile for a brand’s needs. Below, you’ll see the survey embedded in the template and a CTA linking readers to the brand survey. 

Browse all Survey templates: https://beefree.io/templates/survey

The value of email marketing for agencies

The value of email marketing for agencies and their clients is undeniable. With an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent and being generally low-cost, it is one of the most effective ways to communicate to multiple audiences in one location—their inbox. 

Email templates help agencies save time and resources in email production so that your team and clients can benefit from more time to: 

  • Refine a brand’s messaging to ensure it aligns with its ideal customers. 
  • Personalize emails for the segmented recipients 
  • Grow the brand’s emailing list
  • Optimize email communications and increase conversion
  • And so much more.

Explore Beefree’s email marketing template library

HTML email templates can empower your email marketing agency to create responsive, high-performing, and engaging emails with ease. Beefree makes this process even quicker with its extensive template library and intuitive drag-and-drop builder. In addition, Beefree’s agnostic nature allows you to easily integrate with your client's sending and marketing platforms making it a seamless experience from start to finish.

Choosing the Best Email Marketing Software for Agencies

With a multitude of email marketing software options available, the process of comparing them can be time-consuming. Here are some top tips for choosing the right email marketing software for your growing agency.
Beefree team
Apr 25, 2024

The ideal email marketing software has two jobs: support your growing agencies marketing and deliver exceptional results for your clients. So, how do you know which tool is right for you?

Types of email marketing software

Email marketing encompasses a multifaceted process, involving strategic planning, creative design, content creation, list building, targeting, analysis, and more.

Different software tools cater to different facets of this process, each offering distinct features and functionalities. Broadly categorized, there are four types of email marketing software to consider:

1. Automation

Automation softwares can increase productivity by taking over of mundane and repetitive tasks involved in the email creation process. More importantly, automation solutions can help send the right emails at the right time. For example:

  • Emailing a cart abandonment reminder to customers who put items in their cart but don’t buy them
  • Sending a multi-email introduction campaign to customers or clients who sign up to a mailing list
  • Sending product or service recommendation emails to users based on their past purchases
  • Emailing a re-engagement email to clients or customers who haven’t made a purchase in a long time

2. Design and campaign creation

Email design software allows you to create effective, engaging email campaigns quickly and easily. These tools offer a user-friendly interface, often times with drag-and-drop functionalities that enable even those with limited design skills to create visually appealing emails swiftly.

Email design tools vs. email service providers

Moreover, these platforms often include features like A/B testing, dynamic content capabilities, and integration with other marketing tools, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of email campaign creation.

An email service provider serves as the platform through which you send your emails, while an email design tool is specifically designed for creating visually appealing and professional emails. An effective email design tools should easily integrate with your ESP to ensure a seamless workflow.

3. Analytics and reporting

An email marketing analytics tool monitors and analyzes the outcomes of your email marketing initiatives, encompassing metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and engagement rates. Additionally, it should report details about your audience, such as demographics and behaviour, to help you make data driven decisions on the type of content that appeals to your readers and who is the most engaged.

4. List management and segmentation

A list management and segmentation tool facilitates the efficient management, organization, and maintenance of your mailing lists. These tools empower agencies to create distinct segments based on demographics or user actions.

For instance, when promoting your agency, you can create segments for existing clients and prospects. Alternatively, you might segment based on industry, such as retail, healthcare, or B2B sectors. These segmentation capabilities streamline targeted marketing efforts and enhance campaign relevance and effectiveness.

Factors to consider when choosing email marketing software

Selecting the right email marketing software is a crucial decision for agencies. Given the vast array of options available, each offering unique features and capabilities, many agencies use multiple tools to maximize their email efforts.

Whether you're looking for an all-in-one solution or exploring different options, it is essential to carefully assess several factors to make an informed decision:

  • Usability and interface: While there may be a learning curve with any new software, opting for a user-friendly interface ensures that your team can quickly adapt and efficiently create campaigns.
  • Pricing and plans: Budget considerations are paramount. Most software providers offer various plans tailored to different needs, so ensure you compare the appropriate plan options to your organization's unique needs.
  • Specialization: Some email marketing tools specialize in specific industries or niches. For example, certain tools are tailored for healthcare and life sciences, while others cater to tech companies. Considering the specialization of each tool ensures that you select one aligned with your agency's industry focus and requirements.

Review of 5 email marketing software for agencies

There are countless email marketing software solutions on the market, each with its own pros and cons, so you could pour months into comparing each one. Ultimately, each agency needs to choose the right tool or combination of tools to suit their needs, but here are a few of the best email marketing software for agencies to consider.

Omnisend

Omnisend is a comprehensive email marketing platform, offering an array of features including a drag-and-drop email builder and automation capabilities. However, its standout feature lies in its robust email list management and segmentation functionalities. Omnisend simplifies the process of collecting email addresses and building lists while providing tools to segment these lists for highly targeted campaigns. Additionally, its A/B testing feature enables you to gauge the effectiveness of different designs and messages for each audience segment.

While there is a free plan to get you started, standard plans start at $16 per month and increase based on the number of contacts you’ll be managing.

Beefree

Beefree is an agnostic email design tool focused solely on delivering top-notch email design solutions. Boasting a collection of over 1,700 expertly crafted templates, Beefree emphasizes best practices while offering a user-friendly email builder and editor for customizable email and landing pages.

Beefree offers advanced functionalities such as responsive and mobile-friendly design, AI-driven content creation capabilities, and built in collaboration solutions. The platform follows a "start for free, upgrade as you grow" pricing method that makes it the perfect solution for agencies of any size.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a versatile email marketing platform that encompasses a wide range of functionalities, including list management, email design, and data tracking. However, due to its all-in-one nature, Mailchimp's advanced options within each feature category may be somewhat limited. For basic usage, Mailchimp offers a free plan and for advanced controls plans begin at $13 per month.

Learn more: Integrating Beefree with Mailchimp

Drip

If you want to take advantage of the latest in automation, Drip is a helpful tool to have in your toolbox. Drip is a robust marketing automation tool designed to streamline targeted email campaigns and multi-channel marketing initiatives. While it excels in catering to e-commerce clients, it may not be as suitable for B2B clients or internal agency marketing. Drip does have certain limitations, particularly in email design functionalities such as spam testing. However, it shines in efficiently managing substantial contact lists.

Pricing starts at $39 per month with a 14-day free trial.

Unlayer

Similarly to Beefree, Unlayer is also an email design tool with a drag-and-drop email editor. Due to its simplicity, Unlayer is a great solution for a broader audience, including marketing agencies, businesses, and individual designers. It's comprehensive set of features, include template and module organization, collaboration, and integrations with third-party apps.

Unlayer offers a free plan with basic essentials, as well as plans starting at $15 per month and $30 per month.

How to choose the right email marketing software for your agency

Now that we’ve taken a survey of the landscape and the types of email marketing software solutions available, how do you know which tools are best for your agency? Here are some key questions to ask as you’re narrowing your options:

  • Can this tool manage multiple accounts effectively? As an agency, you'll likely need to handle your own email marketing as well as manage accounts for each client. Assess the tool's capabilities for managing multiple businesses or brands in an organized manner.
  • Is this tool suitable for the types of clients I serve? Consider whether the email marketing tool is designed for retail, e-commerce, B2B, or specific industries. Ensure that the tools you choose align with the diverse needs of not just your agency, but your clients.
  • Does this product or plan offer support? Evaluate the available support options, such as phone support, online chat, etc., as you may require assistance with software features or technical issues. Understand the support provided with each plan to make an informed decision.
  • How scalable is this platform? Hopefully, your agency will grow to take on more clients. Anticipate future growth for your agency and assess whether the software can accommodate an increase in clients. Determine how seamless it is to upgrade to more advanced plans as your agency expands.
  • How does this tool integrate with or enhance my current workflows? Choose a platform that aligns with your desired email marketing workflow, such as easy internal or client approvals, integration with customer management software, and other related tools.

By addressing these questions, you can narrow down your selection to the top email marketing software options that best meet your agency's requirements and goals.

How Beefree helps agencies with email marketing

Selecting the appropriate solution for your growing agency is pivotal in not only enhancing the success and efficiency of your agency's email campaigns, but that of your clients.

While finding the perfect fit for each aspect of your email marketing program can be challenging, when it comes to email design, Beefree simplifies the process. Due to its agnostic nature, integrating Beefree into any sending platform is seamless and with a myriad of resources, there is minimal learning curve. Through its accessible pricing plans and enterprise-level solutions, Beefree paves the way for agencies to elevate their email marketing strategies and drive impactful results for clients.


If you're a growing agency looking to see Beefree's full collaboration features in action, sign up for a 15-day free Business plan trial

Elevate Your Email Campaigns: Optimal Banner Size & Design Tips

Discover the perfect email banner size for your campaign with our comprehensive guide, including design tips, best practices, and inspiration to enhance your emails.
Beefree team
Apr 17, 2024

Every marketer knows that branding, visually engaging branding, matters. In a recent HubSpot survey, 20% of marketers reported to see a direct correlation between their design choices and an increase in email engagement.

In email marketing specifically, one of the first design elements a recipient views is your banner, making it crucial to grab the attention of the reader at first glance. An email banner should effectively convey your message, resonate with your audience, and be responsive regardless of what device your recipient uses to view your emails.

Let's discuss email banner best practice to follow that will ultimately lead to improve results of your email campaigns.

What is an email banner?

An email banner is a strategic design element element that appears at the top of your emails to catch the immediate attention of your reader. Sometimes called an email header, your banner is where you’ll introduce the main purpose of your email, like that amazing sale you’re advertising or the product launch of the century, and reel in customers’ so they scroll through the rest of the email.

Your email banner is your chance to make a fantastic first impression. Let’s explore the best email banner sizes and best practices to keep in mind.

Ideal email banner sizes

It is an outdated solution to automatically set all email banners to a width of 600px. With screen sized of both mobile and desktop devices varying so widely, it's important to ensure your email banner size is responsive for optimal viewing experience.

  • For desktop users, a banner 650-700 pixels wide and 90-200 pixels tall is ideal
  • For mobile users, the ideal banner is 350 pixels wide and up to 100 pixels tall

These updated dimensions follow responsive design best practices allowing email banners to render properly in a variety of email clients and devices.
Responsive design allows your email design to automatically adjust to the screen size of a customer’s device.

PRO tip: using an email design template that is already built to be responsive makes following this best practice a breeze.  

Impact of email banner size on campaign performance

A banner that’s poorly sized could become distorted when customers open it in their Gmail, Outlook, or whatever email platform they use.

This makes your email look less professional and it can also be harder to read so it doesn’t get your message across as well. A poorly sized email banner can also affect the user experience. If the banner is too wide, for example, it forces customers to scroll horizontally and it doesn’t allow them to see the entire banner in one view.

Not only do these issues affect the overall experience customers have with your email but they can also squander the excellent engagement opportunity that a well-designed email banner can be. According to Opensense's data, email banners can have 5-10% engagement rates,  a significant enhancement compared to the average click-through rate of 1.4% in emails.

Best practices for email banner design

Your banner size is an important part of designing an effective email banner, but it’s one of many. Check out these best practices to make your email banner even more powerful in garnering the engagement of your recipients.

  • File size: Any image in your email, but specifically your email banner, should be of high-quality. The ideal image should be download as a PNG at a resolution of 72dpi at 40kb or below.
  • Inverted pyramid: This "rule" in email design relates to adding the most important information at the top, working your way down to the least important information. When designing your email banner, make sure it clearly communicates the most important message in your email.
  • Brand consistency: As important as it is that your email banner makes a positive impression and communicates the main purpose of your email, it also should align with your brand. Make sure the design uses your brand colors, logo, or other aspects that make it consistent with your brand’s visual identity.
  • Text: Your banner needs to communicate your message, but less is more. Keep your copy sparse so it isn’t visually overwhelming and so the focus stays on your core intention. Ideally, 45-75 characters on a line is the sweet spot.
  • Email-friendly fonts: Make sure you use email-safe fonts that render reliably on major email platforms.
  • Accessibility: You want your banner’s message to reach as many customers as possible, and that includes customers with disabilities. Make sure to include accessibility features like using alt text so viewers with visual impairments can understand your message and using color combinations that viewers with color blindness can see.
  • Interactivity: Your email banner doesn’t have to be just a plain image or text. Consider making it interactive, such as with a GIF or a video that grabs your viewers’ attention.
  • Testing: You can follow all the rules for proper email banner size and design, but it’s still important to test it in action to make sure it shows up the way you want it to. Always send yourself a test email and see how that test email looks on different devices and platforms before you send it to your subscriber list.

For inspiration, check out these excellent email banners. This one from Beefree's template catalog clearly communicate the purpose of the email, remains consistent in branding throughout and plays with visual and text hierarchy to guide the reader's eye.

color of the year beefree email template
Use this template

This other email banner uses a navigation bar to keep the reader in the brand's ecosystem allowing readers to learn more about the marketing agency. This simple, yet effective email header communicates clearly the purpose of the email using imagery and text and has a clear CTA to lead the reader to complete the desired action without needing to scroll.

free beefree webinar email template
Use this template

Common mistakes in email banner design

When creating a strong email banner, it’s just as important to avoid doing the wrong things as it is to do the right things. Watch for these common pitfalls in email banner design:

  • Over-designing: Your email banner is prime real estate in your email, so of course you want to make the best use of that real estate. If you try to cram too much into that banner, though, you may lose your core message entirely because viewers don’t know where to look. 
  • Hard-to-read fonts: Your email banner is a wonderful place to get creative and build visual appeal, so of course you want to use fun design elements and fonts.
    But at the end of the day, the purpose is to send a message, so make sure the ornamental fonts you use are still clear enough that they’re easy to read.
  • Lack of responsive design: We’ve touched on this above but it’s also a common misstep that’s worth mentioning. Considering that 46% of emails are opened on mobile devices, every email and banner you create must be responsive to maintain its visual quality on any email platform.

Leveraging Tools for Email Marketing Banner

There’s a lot to consider as you’re designing an email banner, but we have great news: there are tools that can make it easier.

Take Beefree for example. Our extensive email template library has over 1,700 pre-built templates that already use banner design best practices like responsive design, minimal text for maximum impact, and proper sizing. Our HTML email editor makes it easy to customize these designs for your brand and messaging.

Start designing with ease and sign up for a free account today! 

Marketing Agency Email Templates to Enhance Your Communications

Learn how your agency can balance multiple brands and email campaigns while saving time with HTML email marketing templates.
Emily Santos
Emily Santos
17 May
2024

For marketing agencies and their clients, email marketing serves as a powerful method of acquiring and retaining clients. In a 2023 survey, 50% of B2B marketers name email as their most effective marketing channel, performing 13% better than social media posts and 11% better than social media ads.

This emphasis on the importance of email marketing, while opportunistic, also presents a new wave of challenges for agencies to tackle.   

Unique challenges in agency email marketing

As a marketing agency in the digital age, staying on top of evolving trends, strategies, and algorithms is hard enough. The pressure to perform doubles when paired with client expectations to quickly develop, monitor, and execute the latest. 

So, how can agencies balance multiple brands and clients wanting to experiment with the newest trend with tried-and-true best practices while maintaining brand integrity?  

Email templates have proven to be a great asset in cutting down email production speed and increasing efficiency and productivity. Jim Maddock, Freelance Email Developer and CRM Consultant has developed over 670 emails for a wide range of departments, artists, and organizations, all extensions of only a few templates he built with Beefree customized to fit different brands. 

Benefits of using HTML email templates vs. custom coding or text-only emails

The days of email specialists and developers being the only ones involved in the email design process are long gone. Text-only emails are now mostly reserved for everyday communications, while HTML emails are used by a wide range of brands and organizations for internal communications and marketing material. 

Unlike text-only emails, HTML emails are dynamic, engaging, and personalized to showcase a brand’s identity and instill brand recognition in readers. 

Because all email-sending platforms support HTML,  email makers benefit from peace of mind knowing that their emails will display as intended across devices and email clients. 

While historically, manually coding HTML emails is known to be time-consuming and tedious work, the rise of no-code email builders is saving agencies valuable time and resources when building emails. To take it one step further, HTML email templates are becoming standard practices. Much like Jim Maddock, agencies only have to create these templates once and reuse them for multiple brands. 

Another option is to source an HTML email template that has already been built and tested for responsiveness, allowing your team more time to work on other deliverables. 

How to choose an HTML template

When choosing an existing HTML email template, there are a few considerations to take into account:

  • Customizability and usability: When working with multiple brands, it is crucial that your agency delivers on-brand designs. When choosing a template, the ability to customize it to fit into any given brand identity easily is non-negotiable. This means colors, fonts, font sizes, images, and more.

  • Versatility: Whether you’re creating an HTML email template from scratch or sourcing one, you’ll probably want to start with a few templates that can be used in multiple ways to decrease the amount of time spent on repetitive designs. An effective template should have all of your email's basic elements: hero, footer, and nav bar, and it should be flexible enough to add or remove blocks as needed. 
  • Best practices: The right HTML template follows email design best practices, including mobile-first design, dark mode, and spam prevention guidelines, to ensure an optimal viewing experience and delivery. 

By choosing an HTML template that fulfills all of these elements, you can quickly iterate the template to try new strategies (pleasing your client) while standing upon a strong foundation of what makes an effective email campaign (pleasing your agency). 

3 Essential email templates for marketing agencies

If you’re unsure where to start on your search for an HTML template, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ve curated three essential email templates for marketing agencies in the Beefree catalog. 

The Beefree HTML template catalog hosts 1,700+ templates for a wide range of industries, holidays, and usage. All templates are free to use on the Beefree editor and completely customizable to fit any brand style guidelines. The email builder also ensures that all emails created with Beefree render properly across all screen sizes. 

While assigned to a specific category, the following templates have been chosen due to their versatility. With a little creativity, each of the following templates can be used for a wide variety of email campaigns, industries, and brand styles due to their layout and simplicity.

Welcome email template

A welcome email template is just as it sounds - an introduction to who you are. While the contents of an email template may vary depending on the industry or purpose, there is usually a similar story told through them: this is who we are and this is what we do. Here is an example of an email template designed for an agency: 

At the top, the email provides a space for a logo, a nav bar, and a title. 

Above the fold, the template kicks off with an introduction of “Who are we” which answers to a welcome emails main purpose: introduce new audiences to who you are and connect with them off a first impression. 

As we scroll, the email layout changes to help guide the reader through “what we do” and an introduction to the team with clear CTAs with next steps.

The email ends with a footer containing vital information. 

Browse all Welcome email templates: https://beefree.io/templates/welcome

Newsletter template

A routine newsletter is an excellent way to nurture leads and maintain relationships. Depending on the business, a newsletter offers readers various resources, updates, or offerings. An effective newsletter template offers multiple content block formats to pick and choose from. 

In this example, the template contains a prominent hero section with a bold CTA leading to resource #1. We recommend starting emails with a strong hero section to grab the attention of the reader above the fold. 

As you scroll, new resources are presented using a different layout to help differentiate the multiple pieces of content. 

The final resources in the template are presented in video format, which can easily be interchanged with an image to suit different brands' needs.

Browse all Newsletter templates: https://beefree.io/templates/newsletter

Survey email template

Surveys are excellent ways to gather feedback from different audiences. A survey email template should be short, clear, and concise. The purpose of the email should be easily digested and understood. 

The following template pulls the reader in with a large and clear header and body that clearly communicates to the reader that their feedback is wanted and why.  

This template offers two different ways to collect feedback, making it versatile for a brand’s needs. Below, you’ll see the survey embedded in the template and a CTA linking readers to the brand survey. 

Browse all Survey templates: https://beefree.io/templates/survey

The value of email marketing for agencies

The value of email marketing for agencies and their clients is undeniable. With an ROI of $36 for every $1 spent and being generally low-cost, it is one of the most effective ways to communicate to multiple audiences in one location—their inbox. 

Email templates help agencies save time and resources in email production so that your team and clients can benefit from more time to: 

  • Refine a brand’s messaging to ensure it aligns with its ideal customers. 
  • Personalize emails for the segmented recipients 
  • Grow the brand’s emailing list
  • Optimize email communications and increase conversion
  • And so much more.

Explore Beefree’s email marketing template library

HTML email templates can empower your email marketing agency to create responsive, high-performing, and engaging emails with ease. Beefree makes this process even quicker with its extensive template library and intuitive drag-and-drop builder. In addition, Beefree’s agnostic nature allows you to easily integrate with your client's sending and marketing platforms making it a seamless experience from start to finish.

Choosing the Best Email Marketing Software for Agencies

With a multitude of email marketing software options available, the process of comparing them can be time-consuming. Here are some top tips for choosing the right email marketing software for your growing agency.
Beefree team
Beefree team
25 Apr
2024

The ideal email marketing software has two jobs: support your growing agencies marketing and deliver exceptional results for your clients. So, how do you know which tool is right for you?

Types of email marketing software

Email marketing encompasses a multifaceted process, involving strategic planning, creative design, content creation, list building, targeting, analysis, and more.

Different software tools cater to different facets of this process, each offering distinct features and functionalities. Broadly categorized, there are four types of email marketing software to consider:

1. Automation

Automation softwares can increase productivity by taking over of mundane and repetitive tasks involved in the email creation process. More importantly, automation solutions can help send the right emails at the right time. For example:

  • Emailing a cart abandonment reminder to customers who put items in their cart but don’t buy them
  • Sending a multi-email introduction campaign to customers or clients who sign up to a mailing list
  • Sending product or service recommendation emails to users based on their past purchases
  • Emailing a re-engagement email to clients or customers who haven’t made a purchase in a long time

2. Design and campaign creation

Email design software allows you to create effective, engaging email campaigns quickly and easily. These tools offer a user-friendly interface, often times with drag-and-drop functionalities that enable even those with limited design skills to create visually appealing emails swiftly.

Email design tools vs. email service providers

Moreover, these platforms often include features like A/B testing, dynamic content capabilities, and integration with other marketing tools, enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of email campaign creation.

An email service provider serves as the platform through which you send your emails, while an email design tool is specifically designed for creating visually appealing and professional emails. An effective email design tools should easily integrate with your ESP to ensure a seamless workflow.

3. Analytics and reporting

An email marketing analytics tool monitors and analyzes the outcomes of your email marketing initiatives, encompassing metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and engagement rates. Additionally, it should report details about your audience, such as demographics and behaviour, to help you make data driven decisions on the type of content that appeals to your readers and who is the most engaged.

4. List management and segmentation

A list management and segmentation tool facilitates the efficient management, organization, and maintenance of your mailing lists. These tools empower agencies to create distinct segments based on demographics or user actions.

For instance, when promoting your agency, you can create segments for existing clients and prospects. Alternatively, you might segment based on industry, such as retail, healthcare, or B2B sectors. These segmentation capabilities streamline targeted marketing efforts and enhance campaign relevance and effectiveness.

Factors to consider when choosing email marketing software

Selecting the right email marketing software is a crucial decision for agencies. Given the vast array of options available, each offering unique features and capabilities, many agencies use multiple tools to maximize their email efforts.

Whether you're looking for an all-in-one solution or exploring different options, it is essential to carefully assess several factors to make an informed decision:

  • Usability and interface: While there may be a learning curve with any new software, opting for a user-friendly interface ensures that your team can quickly adapt and efficiently create campaigns.
  • Pricing and plans: Budget considerations are paramount. Most software providers offer various plans tailored to different needs, so ensure you compare the appropriate plan options to your organization's unique needs.
  • Specialization: Some email marketing tools specialize in specific industries or niches. For example, certain tools are tailored for healthcare and life sciences, while others cater to tech companies. Considering the specialization of each tool ensures that you select one aligned with your agency's industry focus and requirements.

Review of 5 email marketing software for agencies

There are countless email marketing software solutions on the market, each with its own pros and cons, so you could pour months into comparing each one. Ultimately, each agency needs to choose the right tool or combination of tools to suit their needs, but here are a few of the best email marketing software for agencies to consider.

Omnisend

Omnisend is a comprehensive email marketing platform, offering an array of features including a drag-and-drop email builder and automation capabilities. However, its standout feature lies in its robust email list management and segmentation functionalities. Omnisend simplifies the process of collecting email addresses and building lists while providing tools to segment these lists for highly targeted campaigns. Additionally, its A/B testing feature enables you to gauge the effectiveness of different designs and messages for each audience segment.

While there is a free plan to get you started, standard plans start at $16 per month and increase based on the number of contacts you’ll be managing.

Beefree

Beefree is an agnostic email design tool focused solely on delivering top-notch email design solutions. Boasting a collection of over 1,700 expertly crafted templates, Beefree emphasizes best practices while offering a user-friendly email builder and editor for customizable email and landing pages.

Beefree offers advanced functionalities such as responsive and mobile-friendly design, AI-driven content creation capabilities, and built in collaboration solutions. The platform follows a "start for free, upgrade as you grow" pricing method that makes it the perfect solution for agencies of any size.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is a versatile email marketing platform that encompasses a wide range of functionalities, including list management, email design, and data tracking. However, due to its all-in-one nature, Mailchimp's advanced options within each feature category may be somewhat limited. For basic usage, Mailchimp offers a free plan and for advanced controls plans begin at $13 per month.

Learn more: Integrating Beefree with Mailchimp

Drip

If you want to take advantage of the latest in automation, Drip is a helpful tool to have in your toolbox. Drip is a robust marketing automation tool designed to streamline targeted email campaigns and multi-channel marketing initiatives. While it excels in catering to e-commerce clients, it may not be as suitable for B2B clients or internal agency marketing. Drip does have certain limitations, particularly in email design functionalities such as spam testing. However, it shines in efficiently managing substantial contact lists.

Pricing starts at $39 per month with a 14-day free trial.

Unlayer

Similarly to Beefree, Unlayer is also an email design tool with a drag-and-drop email editor. Due to its simplicity, Unlayer is a great solution for a broader audience, including marketing agencies, businesses, and individual designers. It's comprehensive set of features, include template and module organization, collaboration, and integrations with third-party apps.

Unlayer offers a free plan with basic essentials, as well as plans starting at $15 per month and $30 per month.

How to choose the right email marketing software for your agency

Now that we’ve taken a survey of the landscape and the types of email marketing software solutions available, how do you know which tools are best for your agency? Here are some key questions to ask as you’re narrowing your options:

  • Can this tool manage multiple accounts effectively? As an agency, you'll likely need to handle your own email marketing as well as manage accounts for each client. Assess the tool's capabilities for managing multiple businesses or brands in an organized manner.
  • Is this tool suitable for the types of clients I serve? Consider whether the email marketing tool is designed for retail, e-commerce, B2B, or specific industries. Ensure that the tools you choose align with the diverse needs of not just your agency, but your clients.
  • Does this product or plan offer support? Evaluate the available support options, such as phone support, online chat, etc., as you may require assistance with software features or technical issues. Understand the support provided with each plan to make an informed decision.
  • How scalable is this platform? Hopefully, your agency will grow to take on more clients. Anticipate future growth for your agency and assess whether the software can accommodate an increase in clients. Determine how seamless it is to upgrade to more advanced plans as your agency expands.
  • How does this tool integrate with or enhance my current workflows? Choose a platform that aligns with your desired email marketing workflow, such as easy internal or client approvals, integration with customer management software, and other related tools.

By addressing these questions, you can narrow down your selection to the top email marketing software options that best meet your agency's requirements and goals.

How Beefree helps agencies with email marketing

Selecting the appropriate solution for your growing agency is pivotal in not only enhancing the success and efficiency of your agency's email campaigns, but that of your clients.

While finding the perfect fit for each aspect of your email marketing program can be challenging, when it comes to email design, Beefree simplifies the process. Due to its agnostic nature, integrating Beefree into any sending platform is seamless and with a myriad of resources, there is minimal learning curve. Through its accessible pricing plans and enterprise-level solutions, Beefree paves the way for agencies to elevate their email marketing strategies and drive impactful results for clients.


If you're a growing agency looking to see Beefree's full collaboration features in action, sign up for a 15-day free Business plan trial

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