Email is the go-to communication method for the modern office. Emails allow you to look back on all the details of past conversations, acting a sort of “notepad.” They can also conveniently be accessed and reviewed at any time.
That rings especially true for law firms. Email is an efficient way for lawyers to keep track of case statuses as well as reach out to current and potential clients. As such, every law firm needs to make sure their email graphic design is up to snuff.
Poor graphic design might not sound like a big deal. After all, whether or not you can help a potential client is the important thing.
Unfortunately, poor design is enough to turn off new clients.
5 Email Graphic Design Tips For Law Firms
To ensure your emails grab your clients’ eyes in a good way, you should follow the basic rules of email graphic design.
Below we’ve listed five tips for making sure your emails portray you as the professional you are.
1. Optimize for Mobile Devices
It’s no secret that mobile email access is on the rise. More and more people are shying away from having to turn on a computer just to check their email accounts. Why would they do that when they can click an icon on their phone?
That same mentality has affected Internet usage in general. No longer are consumers willing to wait for a computer to boot up just to check a price on Amazon or post something on Facebook. It doesn’t make sense to do that, not when they have a handy mobile device they can use.
The “search it now” mentality applies even when they’re looking for professional firms. Let’s say they want to know if Craig Swapp & Associates handles traffic accident cases. They’ll search “Craig Swapp & Associates traffic accidents” on their phones instead of performing a thorough search on a desktop.
For that reason, nearly every business has had to re-evaluate their online platforms. A layout that is functional on a desktop may be overcrowded and hard to navigate when accessed on a mobile device.
The same goes for email.
When designing an email template, keep in mind the width of a phone. Big graphics look nice on desktops, but they don’t fit on phone screens. To see big graphics on a phone screen, clients will have to scroll sideways.
When including your company’s logo in your email template, always scale down the image. Online resources and image editors can help scale the image so it remains proportionate. If it looks unattractive post-scaling, consider removing it and replacing it with text.
2. Stick With A Single-Column Layout
Images aren’t the only email element that can face issues when viewed on a mobile device.
Text makes up the most important part of your email: the body. Text that is placed in a large layout often runs off the side of the screen on smaller devices. When that happens, clients must scroll sideways to read your message.
Worse than having a large layout is having no layout. Text typed into an email with no layout often goes off the screen, regardless of which platform it is viewed on. Moreover, the lack of a layout can squeeze a whole paragraph into one long line.
A lengthy line means a lot of scrolling. And many things can go wrong while scrolling.
For example, your client could accidentally click on the scrollbar. The email will then jump ahead or behind, making the client lose their place.
Lengthy lines also become tedious to read. It’s possible your client could, in a rush, not read your full message.
To avoid spilling text on desktop and mobile, implement a single-column layout in your email template. This type of layout fits average-sized monitors.
It also scales down when it is accessed on a mobile device.
3. Use Web-Safe Fonts
Certain fonts don’t translate across operating systems and programs. What looks like a business-like yet elegant font to you could look like gobbledygook to a client, depending on their OS. Many OSes default unreadable fonts to Ariel, Times New Roman, or another common font.
What’s more, fonts aren’t made equally. One font sized at 20 could match the case length of another font sized at 40.
Your client could open your email and find a huge font practically screaming at them. The resized casing could also result in the shifting of other email elements.
To avoid this scenario, stick with web-safe fonts. Also known as “system fonts,” web-safe fonts are fonts installed on every system. They’re guaranteed to work regardless of what platform they’re viewed on.
4. Use The Preview Function
Many graphic design and photojournalism professors tell their students, “The monitor lies.”
What looks great while you’re typing your email may not look the same post-send button.
Common reasons why “the monitor lies” include automatic scaling. Some programs are designed to scale elements up or down according to the viewing platform.
Likewise, pay attention to the email program’s ruler if it has one. The ruler can identify the precise placement of elements as well as their size.
Even if everything looks fine, you should always click “Preview” prior to sending an email. “Preview” will show you exactly what your email will look like after it has been sent.
5. Include As Few Elements As Possible
A common adage among English and writing professors is, “Less is more.”
The same rule applies to email graphic design.
Clients have busy lives and don’t want to spend much time looking at an email. Likewise, you have a busy life as part of a law firm, so you don’t want to spend much time perfecting email templates.
So, keep it simple.
You don’t need a bunch of decoration to impress your business and professionalism upon clients. A simply-designed layout is straight-forward and to-the-point.
In fact, an overdone email could give the impression you care more about looks than substance.
Don’t stop with the graphic design elements. Stick to shorter sentences, and break up large paragraphs of text. Do what it takes to get your point across quickly and professionally.
Need More Email Graphic Design Tips? Check Us Out!
At PSD Learning, we know you rely on your email to both work with and impress clients. We offer a variety of digital graphic design tips for everything from emails to logos to print materials.
For more graphic design tips, check out our Design & Interface blog!