Nonprofit Email Design: 20 Tips for More Effective Emails | npENGAGE

Nonprofit Email Design: 20 Tips for More Effective Emails

By on Apr 30, 2012


Nonprofit Email Design

Nonprofit Email DesignEmail communications are a critical piece of every nonprofits engagement strategy. Maximizing the effectiveness of your email marketing includes understanding and leveraging the latest email design strategies and best practices.

But how do you keep track of them?

Here are 20 email design tips that will help you increase deliverability while maximizing the look of your email marketing campaign.

Email Design

  1. Email should be no wider than 640px.
  2. Avoid sending emails larger than 100k.
  3. Email should be a table-based layout. DIV based designs do not function properly across email clients.
  4. Consider how your email will look with images disabled. Many email clients disable images by default. It is important to make sure your reader still sees all the important information.
  5. Keep important information and calls to action at the top of the email, often the first 400px, so it displays in the reading pane.
  6. Use of animated gifs, flash, videos, iframes, forms, javascript, AJAX are not recommended.
  7. Always use inline styling when formatting emails.
  8. Avoid large blocks of text. Instead, include a couple sentences to create a teaser and have a “read more” link which links back to a landing page for full content.
  9. Use a consistent “From” name to build your sender reputation.
  10. You must include your address, privacy policy and unsubscribe links at all times.
  11. Validate your code. Empty and unclosed tags can cause spacing and layout issues.
  12. It is vital to test your email with different email clients for rendering differences.


  1. Avoid using symbols when possible, such as dollar signs and exclamation points, in email content and in the subject line.
  2. Only use web-safe fonts.
  3. Do not use fonts larger than 24px.
  4. No more than 2 fonts should be used.


  1. Try to reduce the amount of images in your email. Use background colors rather than background images. This will also help with consistency, as many email clients do not support background images.
  2. When including images, consider image size. Smaller images yield shorter load times and email size. All images should include alt tags for accessibility.


  1. Avoid using excessively long links.
  2. Use text rather than image links. Some email clients block images.

Related Resources

· Code Validation:

· CSS Support in Email Clients:



Comments (1)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *