The Power of a Beautiful, Easy-to-Use Email Template

January 29, 2018

When we work on a website redesign or CRM integration, we often include a beautiful new email template for the project. We work hard to make sure the templates we create work well no matter what email service your supporters access!

One of our specialties is making templates that are “WYSIWYG friendly” and easy to use. We offer a suite of fundraising implementation services to help our clients manage their online fundraising programs. As part of that, we make sure that organizations can use their email template without needing too many technical skills. 

Here is a recent example of a WYSWYG friendly template that we worked on with our friends at Chimp Haven. First, we designed a starting template:

And then they add their own images and content:

The straightforward and clean template design helps deliver consistent, quality emails. Using a well-designed email template will help your organization inspire more donations and attract new supporters.

But is a shiny new template all you need? Even when you have a great email template, you’ll want to make sure you keep these tips in mind:

Microsoft Word is Not Your Friend

When writing and editing copy for an email, you’re most likely using Microsoft Word or another rich text editor. But whenever we hear questions like “Why did my email content get so messed up?”, it is nearly always because someone is copying and pasting from an editor like Microsoft Word. 

The formatting used in rich text editors like this very often overwrites template formatting. If you plan to copy and paste content, we highly recommend you use a plain text editor like Notepad!

Know Your Image Sizes

Mobile-friendly email templates are now a given.

Make sure your emails are truly mobile-friendly by importing your image image files in the recommended sizes for your email template.

Then, set the template’s header image width to 100% when adding the header image file to an email. This way, you ensure the header image will be as wide as whatever device you are using to view your email.

Why does my email look bad in [enter name of email client here]?

Making changes to your templates and adding real content can upset the delicate balance that makes your emails look as uniform as possible across email clients. Here’s some helpful information from Litmus about why and how these differences occur. 

We suggest testing any email that you create through multiple inboxes. Signing up for a service like Email on Acid or Litmus to run tests across multiple email clients makes this kind of testing easy.

Use a well-built template and keep these tips in mind, and your emails will look awesome for everyone! Need a little help with your email design or campaign tactics? Contact us!

By Sarah Fargusson

Self-described as a “non-profit junkie,” Sarah has dedicated her career to serving the needs of the non-profit sector. Her project management experience spans a variety of non-profit management disciplines including strategic planning, community engagement, capacity building, fundraising and research. She has worked both in and for the non-profit sector at the Feminist Majority Foundation, the Sadie Nash Leadership Project, and the consulting firms The Lee Institute and The Curtis Group. With her ever expanding non-profit tool belt, Sarah joined Cornershop Creative to tap into her techie, creative side, while developing meaningful partnerships with her clients to help them more effectively achieve their goals. Along with her extensive training in facilitation, Sarah is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati DAAP School where she received a dual bachelors degree in Women’s and Urban Studies, as well as Wake Forest University School of Business’s Nonprofit Management Certification Program. Passionate about civic engagement, Sarah is currently a member of the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center’s Aquarium Connection and the Junior League of Norfolk-Virginia Beach, where she serves on the board as the Strategic Planning Director. Sarah and her husband, Bryce, live in Norfolk, VA on the banks of the Chesapeake Bay where she moonlights as a mermaid and raises their pack of three dogs (Daisy, Rico and Mokona) and sole cat (Nestle).