You’ve taken the time to gather subscribers, to craft the perfect subject line, to include a unique “to” and “from” and to ensure your emails don’t come across as spam. You’ve worked hard on creating content that you know your contacts will find valuable. So how do you get your open rates to translate to conversions?

It takes additional design considerations to create effective B2B email marketing campaigns. Email marketing click-throughs depend on design as much as content. Good design engages people to pause, pay attention and take action.

Before sending your next email campaign consider these key elements:

1. Bold headlines

With increasingly flooded inboxes, people are doing a lot more skimming. Make it easy for them by making your key points stand out visually. Boldness can be achieved through type size, color, placement and background. To ensure maximum impact while maintaining reading comfort, use extra-large type treatments sparingly and only for very short headline phrases.

2. Relevant Eye-catching Imagery

Keep your brand color scheme and content top of mind when selecting supporting imagery. Whether you select stock photos, icons, illustrations, product shots, or create custom compositions, it’s important that any graphics enhance your messaging – not overwhelm it. Remember: pixelated visuals do more harm than good. Make sure graphics are sized appropriately to balance a crisp look with a small file size. Retina screens require double the dimensions for a sharp look.

3. Animations

According to Marketing Sherpa, a GIF-centered email campaign can result in a 42% increase in click rate. When intentionally implemented, animation adds an extra layer of visual interest to emails that can really boost clicks and conversion. Keep in mind that although they are widely popular, GIFs may not be compatible across all email clients. For example, in some versions of Outlook just the first frame of the GIF would be visible as a static image.

4. Clear Calls to Action

Specific calls to action tailored to different levels of subscriber interest are critical to conversion rates. A “Read More” button to access a full thought leadership piece can capture a potential customer who is interested but may not be ready to reach out yet. A “Contact Us for a Free Quote” will target those ready to convert. Make sure your messaging and calls to action show up as live text for those who may have image blocking turned on automatically in their email clients. Effective designs feature conversion buttons prominently, either through color, size or placement.

Clear CTAs in Email Newsletters

5. Concise Visual Layout

Design your vertical layout between 500-650 pixels wide and keep the number of content sections under 4 if possible. Too many section designs and calls to action in a single email may become overwhelming and dilute clickthrough interest.

6. Mobile Sizing Variation

According to Statista.com, the number of smartphone users will reach 4.3 billion by 2023. Many people prefer to view their emails on the go, so it’s wise to consider how your design will translate to mobile. One column designs are ideal for phones as they allow for easier reading on narrow 320-480 pixel views.

Mobile Sizing Variation in Email Newsletters

7. Legible and Clickable

Keep body type above 14px for easy reading. To get those conversions make sure your buttons are at a minimum of 44pixels by 44pixels and consider having them span the full column width so they are easy to tap on mobile.

8. Final Calls to Action

The footer can do more than house the necessary preference and unsubscribe statement. Consider adding a last call to action, contact details or social media links to give readers one last opportunity to click.

Email marketing has become an essential tool for B2B companies. Coupling the right content strategy with an engaging design can help foster existing relationships and attract new customers.