Tricks of the marketing trade

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Five design tips for cart abandonment emails that convert

Working for one of the world’s leading remarketing companies for the past three years, I’ve developed a knack for creating and designing cart abandonment emails. This provided me with incredible opportunities to work with some of the most established and respected brands on the planet. And with experience, I have become more skilled and learned a lot from my team and the greater design community at hand. So with that being said, here are five tips that I’ve accumulated through personal trial and error, in creating some of the best cart abandonment emails ever.

1. Do a detailed investigation of the site you are designing for

The client site is an absolute goldmine for resources, information and design guides. Their design team has spent countless hours and work into making their site perfect. Their websites will be consistent with their branding and style. You can grab resources such as images as well as icons that can be used in your cart abandonment email.

Pro tip: Can’t find resources on the website? That’s fine. You can use websites like www.unsplash.com to find great images that are free to use commercially.

Can’t decipher their web styles? No problem! If you’re using Google Chrome as your browser then download the Chrome extension Snatchrr. It’ll do all the hard work for you.

2. Sketch out your ideas

Once you’ve had a good look at the client’s website, start sketching some ideas. Sketching is an excellent way to quickly explore concepts. It can also be used to discover the several different routes you could take a particular design. 

You don’t have to be an artist to sketch ideas - especially when they’re your ideas! All you really need to do is draw boxes to plan the general layout. Sketching your ideas is great for remembering the general layout.

By sketching, you are translating your ideas into a rough visual representation.

Pro tip: With sketches, you can visualize how your design will look and eliminate any issues you may have had when designing in photoshop. I can’t stress how important sketching is!

3. Respect your margins

Make sure everything is consistent. That means all the font sizes and spaces in-between the images and paragraphs are the same. By having a consistent design you improve the flow of the design as well as the general layout. You want your email to be easy to read and quick to convert.

Pro tip: Do not overload the user with information. Remember, they are going through hundreds of emails. You have to grab their attention with your email. You don’t want to leave the wrong impression and your CA-email to be regarded as spam.

4. Design for mobile devices

Make sure to get rid of any unwanted sections and that all your alignment is consistent. Most of your users will be viewing your email on a mobile device so make sure that the design appears perfectly on them. And without a doubt, your design MUST be responsive. 

Pro tip: You have so much more freedom and flexibility when designing for emails and webmail clients so try and push the boundaries on what you can/can’t do. Push your designs by adding interactive elements such as image carousels and hamburger menus.

5. Have fun

You became a designer because you enjoy designing. It’s a passion!. Have fun with it and don’t be afraid to experiment. You will learn from your mistakes and become a better designer in the process.

Pro tip: There are metrics out there for what works best, however, don’t be afraid to venture outside of the box and push the boundaries!

Ade Adebiyi is a web designer at Salecycle

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