What is Email Marketing?

Email Marketing Campaigns Canada iQuest Media copy

How do I start an Email Campaign? What is Email Marketing? Who can help me design an Email?

These are all legitimate questions & we have the answers right here.

An Email Campaign is more than just an email you send to your clients. Think of the email you received this morning in your inbox containing great deals at your favorite retail store. That is what we call an Email Campaign. That email has been sent to hundreds, even thousands, of clients who has signed up to a newsletter on their website or customers who have previously made a purchase.

At iQuest Media, our Designers can easily design and create an Email Campaign that is coherent with your brand. Since we code Websites every day, we have the expert knowledge to code Emails to be beautifully designed, mobile-responsive and align with your Goals.

Here are some pointers for those just starting out:


The Important Elements of an Email Campaign

Inbox Details

This is your chance at a killer first impression to get the reader to open your email. It includes the subject line, preheader text, sender address, sender name and reply-to address.

Start with your company’s name as the sender and use a monitored email for your reply-to address. Trust is built with your reader quickly knowing who the email is from and understanding what to expect from the content. There’s a potential to test different senders if that aligns with your branding guidelines, but the goal is readability. Plus, including a monitored “reply-to” email address completes the feedback loop.

Your subject line should answer the question, “Why should I open this email?” Keep it as short and to-the-point as possible. Crafting the perfect subject line and preheader text may seem daunting, but we take the guess work out of all that.


Better known as everything your email contains.

You have 10 seconds, at most, to communicate your message. Writing clearly and succinctly is difficult and is not given the respect it deserves, especially in email, where there is no voice only texts and images. We plan and design your email campaigns with different elements to improve the UX of your content.

We make it easy for your subscribers to only scan your email.

  1. We start with the bare minimum that you need to get your point across. We limit the number of words between 50 to 80 characters.
  2. We don’t waste your reader’s time. We create straight-to-the-point communication to get your point across & obtain a conversion.
  3. Emails should have specific goals. If you can’t answer the question, “Why am I sending this email?” then you should not be sending it. Our Experts will ask you a series of questions to better understand the purpose of the campaign we are creating & to obtain the right results each time.
  4. If conversion is the goal of your email (click, purchase, registration, download, etc.), pay close attention to your value proposition. Answer the question, “Why should they click through?” If your value proposition is solid, the subscriber will say, “If I click, I’m going to get something out of it.”

“The average adult reader can read 250 to 300 words per minute. If the average reading time for an email is 11 seconds, then the ideal length of an email is around 50 words.” —Tom Tate, AWeber

When the amount of incoming information exceeds our ability to handle it, performance suffers. We may take longer to understand the information, miss important details, or even get overwhelmed and abandon the task. Cognitive load is the science behind why it’s important to trim your content, chunk it, and use a content hierarchy (more on that below).


Design elements down to color selection and image choice are not to be overlooked when creating your email.

How does your email look and behave, and how will your subscribers interact with your email?

“Great design is eliminating all unnecessary details” —Minh D. Tran, technologist and designer

Let’s review a few key design elements we optimize for the best email UX each time:


Contrast is the name of the game.

Using colors that don’t have enough contrast make your email difficult to read. Consider colorblindness when choosing your palette, as well as using colors that have ample contrast, meaning there’s a big difference between one color and another—like a black background and white text.


These can be still photos, animated gifs, icons and more.

Avoid large files and long load times. Email file size should be below 100KB. Image sizes should be less than 1MB. Maintain your image crispness on retina devices by using 2x image width while keeping the file sizes small.

If you use background images with HTML text overlay, make sure your image isn’t busy or distracting. If it is, try using a background color with live text instead. Remember to use contrast to draw attention to your message.

Users expect to click on graphics to be redirected, so don’t forget to link every image, gif, icon, etc. in your email. Gmail adds a download button to images larger than 200x200px if they’re not linked, so it’s always best to link.

According to the Picture Superiority Effect, images are remembered better than words. Use images that complement your email’s message and don’t distract from the goal.

Remember that many subscribers have images blocked by default, so including descriptive alt text for them and your visually-impaired audience who use screen readers is essential to accessible email UX.

Typography = Readability

If people can’t read your words, why bother using them?

We’ll use varying font weights and sizes to illustrate hierarchy and contrast. Take advantage of fonts that are web-readable and email-safe, use padding to surround your important elements, and create attention-grabbing buttons using contrasting colours.

Content Hierarchy

We highlight the most important point of your message with bold texts, white space, short descriptions & call-to-actions (CTA)

Overall Design Strategy

Subscribers on mobile are limited by screen size. Our job as an email marketer is to make the act of scrolling easy and attractive. This can be achieved by employing good design and proper distribution of content.

Using visual cues that guide the reader to scroll through your email, such as diagonal lines, screen-size chunks and the S-curve layout, is one way to keep readers engaged. The S-curve approach includes a two-column layout with an image on one side and copy on the other, switching sides with each subsequent row.


Example of an S-curve layout


To figure out what elements stand out most in your email, do the “squint test.”

What do you see when you squint at your email? Obviously not much, but the elements that stand out the most (even while blurry) are the prominent pieces your subscribers will see.

Call-to-Action (CTA)

Use a CTA to tell the reader what action you want them to take. They can encourage digital actions (click, read more, buy now), drive readers to a digital property, or to take an action offline.

Hick’s Law stipulates, “the time it takes to make a decision increases with the number and complexity of choices.” This is why email marketers don’t typically include multiple primary CTAs in one email. There are a few exceptions, such as long-form newsletters.

Your CTA design is a visual cue, so make them easy to click across devices. Size should be a minimum of 44x44px and your button should stand out from the rest of the content. Use a contrasting color (on-brand, of course) and use a filled-in button for primary CTAs. Ghost buttons or text links are fine for secondary CTAs, but in my experience don’t perform as well as regular filled-in buttons (maybe they don’t pass the squint test).

Our platform keeps email metrics handy, making it easy to monitor which email campaigns, links, subjects, CTAs your subscribers are engaging with the most.

We combine email campaign data with online consumer behaviour for an effective consumer retargeting campaigns.


Overall Email Experience

We code all text as live text (not images) for best accessibility, readability and mobile responsiveness. We keep all critical pieces of information as live text instead of images, again, due to image blocking.

Speaking of mobile responsiveness, remember that all our Email Templates are designed with a mobile-first approach. We consider the sizes of image, texts and HTML files. Depending on industry, mobile can make up at least 50% of all opens and emails that don’t render correctly may be deleted within three seconds.

Example of text as part of an image instead of live text—notice how the blurriness of the text makes it harder to read

Example of a live text —notice how everything is crisp & easier to read



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