co Maximize Your Emails, How to Use This Simple and Effective Online Tool |

Emails are the number one feature used by people who own or work on computers. Even more than surfing the web, email is a simple and effective online tool. The key for small businesses is to maximize how they use emails and e-newsletters–and the first step is to make sure your emails get read.

Email layouts are crucial now. You’re competing with so many other emails that the best way to stand out is to have a brand look that is professional and delivers the message of who you are and what you have to offer–every time.

Using quadrants and columns are a great way to present information that allows your viewers to digest your message in bite-size pieces. But don’t stop there. Images, also referred to as graphic files add a finesse to your email.

Want to use a logo that’s a graphic or a photograph? Turn it into a JPeg, (or JPG), a GIF, or a PNG. These are the easiest graphic files for a computer to store. Be sure to keep your file size down to 50K. Keep your resolution down to 72 dpi–or 300 if your email or e-newsletter will be printed.

Remember not to embed your images in your email as a file or attached file. Why? Because you’ll wind up in junk email folders. Instead, create an image reference line of HTML. Another way to handle this is by using your ESP (email service provider). You can store your images on the server and upload them as needed.

Speaking of HTML, make sure your text is written in HTML, but sent in plain text. Sounds crazy, I’ll give you that, but an email that’s doesn’t have HTML design elements is going to come off stilted–boring and difficult to read. But most emails come in plain text so that various computer speeds can read the emails easily.

The rest is common sense:

  • Use a clear, typical font such as Ariel or Times New Roman that’s at least 12 or 14 point.
  • Use complimentary colors–but make sure the font contrasts enough to make it legible. Don’t go overboard. A few graphics are great, but too many and it won’t load easily.
  • Use links that take your viewer exactly where you want them to go–a call to action–where to order, find out about the discount, or read the helpful content–I’m assuming you’re linking to your webpage, blog, or social media page.
  • Links are a great benefit because you can literally point to other great content you’ve already created–and by using keywords and keyword phrases for your links, you’re keeping it nice and tight–in other words, trackable.
  • Emails and email newsletters are still the best way to reach your viewers. Do all emails get read? We all know the answer to that–but if your email is a pleasure to look at, easy to read, and contains great content, then yours is likely to be marked “read.”