Acquisition email: all the elements of optimal design

As a regular reader of our blog articles, by now you're convinced of the power of email marketing for your acquisition campaigns.

But only under certain conditions, including design, which is a key factor in achieving a number of KPIs.

Email is an integral part of Internet users' lives. They often consult them as soon as they wake up, and more than one email in five is opened within the first hour of delivery. The window is therefore particularly small, and it's important to make an impact in the blink of an eye.

To multiply the chances of your acquisition email being delivered, opened, read and clicked on, it's imperative to follow a few design rules, which we're delighted to explain here.

Design is the art of combining text and graphic elements (images, videos, drawings, etc.) in a way that is most pleasing to the eye and most effective in inviting the reader to do what the designer wants them to do!

Acquisition e-mails: stick to the basics!

The most effective acquisition emails combine good graphic design with the best of digital marketing tools. This goes far beyond ensuring good readability and an attractive layout.

Even before designing your email, start by asking yourself the right questions. Let's tick the boxes:

  •  What's your target market?
  • What is the purpose of your email?
  • What do you expect from email readers?

Once you've defined who your email is aimed at, don't forget to define precisely what you want them to do. The action must be measurable and will also condition its design. Good email design will also prevent you from landing in the junk folder. Bear in mind that some anti-spam filters analyze the content of messages to see if they contain too many images or text. A 60 / 40 split: 60% images and 40% text is a good balance for us.

Before moving on to the actual design, let's set a few ground rules:

Stay true to your brand!

The design of your acquisition emails should reflect those of your other marketing media (website, social networks, etc.). Use your emails to reinforce your brand image, not to create confusion!

You can, however, revisit your email templates to create a disruptive design vs. your usual communications, always within the codes of your charter.


Limitez l’usage des polices. Deux suffisent largement. Et pour l’email d’acquisition, contrairement à plein d’autres domaines, c’est la taille qui compte. Évitez les polices trop petites (< taille 12) ! Peu de gens sortiront leurs lunettes de lecture juste pour consulter votre email.

The tone is right!

Write your emails in the same tone as your other communications, whether on your website, your social networks or even the one you use on the phone for your customer service.

Mobile first!

The majority of Internet users who will be exposed to your campaign will do so via their smartphone. The design of your email must be adapted to mobile reading. A responsive design will offer optimal reading on mobile, computer and tablet, but also on all web browsers.


5 key elements of an optimal acquisition email design

After these few basic rules, we'll take a look at the troops in 7 points to make sure you don't forget anything and present your email acquisition in its best light to boost your KPI's!

1. Your logo and colors

It's tempting to let yourself go in the creation of an acquisition email to encourage people to click! But don't forget who you are. This email must also help your brand to settle in the reader's mind. It certainly won't be your last email... beyond the immediacy inherent in your campaign, it must also help your brand to settle in over time. So make sure you stay true to your graphic identity.

Your logo is memorable - respect it! Your brand identity needs to be front and center when people open an email. Make sure you use a format that's suitable for all devices. There's nothing worse than a logo that takes up the whole screen. But make sure it's clearly visible and identifiable.

The same goes for colors! They reflect your brand identity. Choose one or two that complement each other, but remember not to stray too far from them. This is certainly not the time to give carte blanche to little Leo, straight out of his kindergarten drawing class...

2. The images

Images help you generate interest, help your readers project themselves into your brand universe and illustrate your offer. The choice of images is therefore essential if you want to boost your audience's engagement.

Opt for visuals that highlight your offer and its diversity. Lifestyle visuals such as "a woman walking on the beach" to sell a pair of earrings or "a child making a cake while laughing" to illustrate a real estate program... won't encourage projection and conversions.

Play on emotion! Your experience should enable you to identify which type of photo attracts your readers' attention the most.



Quality is essential. Give preference to high-definition images, but beware of weight. An email that's too heavy is guaranteed to land directly in the junk folder! Conversely, images that are too small will be pixelated and detrimental to your message as a whole, and even to your brand image.

3. The body of the email

Your objectives will determine the information you wish to share with your readers and the different blocks that will make up the body of your email.

  •  Avoid large blocks of text and long descriptions that will be off-putting to the reader.
  • Show the offer in the1st third of the crea.
  • Usebullets and icons to structure your texts.

You can also integrate animations (gifs, carousels, videos...) or include a countdown timer to mark the duration of your offer. Don't overuse these elements, and above all, be careful about their weight and compatibility with different messaging providers!

Always make sure your messages are clear. Be concise and use short sentences rather than long paragraphs. Your e-mails will be more readable with concise texts. Never forget that web users will spend little time reading and need to understand the main information at a glance. Make their job easier with clear, graphically distinctive messages.

A good design will help the reader quickly understand what you're trying to say. When writing, avoid jargon that is too specialized or corporate ("flash blues days?"), which can be confusing...

Beyond the content, take care of the form! Pay particular attention to the layout and alignment of your texts.

4. Call-to-action (CTA)

Technically, CTAs are integrated into the body of the e-mail. But they're so important that they deserve their own section 4! Buttons reflect the main objective of your campaign.

Always include a CTA with clear, concise text. Use direct language and express the desired action with as little text as possible!

Multiply the CTAs throughout your email, and design them so that they are visible by their color, size and location. The redirect link should lead directly to a page dedicated to the offer or product concerned. Don't force your prospects to search for the object of the click. Use design and direct links to make their task easier.

You can also easily create interaction with your CTAs.



5. Footer

It serves as a reminder of your strengths or services (e.g. 4x secure payment, free delivery, after-sales service, trust mark, etc.) and can also redirect to your social networks for the most engaged readers.

It generally includes specific, mandatory information, such as GDPR, your company name and address, an unsubscribe link, etc. In the case of distribution via publisher databases, each partner must add its own CNIL notice and unsubscribe link.

Don't try to hide unsubscribe links. Internet users who aren't interested in your offer will find a way to unsubscribe anyway, and you'll just generate frustration. The most fussy may report you as SPAM, or even file a report with the CNIL!

As we've seen, there are rules and best practices to be respected when designing your acquisition email. However, this should in no way limit your creativity and your quest to combine the "beautiful" with the "effective".

At Dataventure, we master all the elements that make an acquisition email a success. Don't hesitate to contact us to give yourself every chance of achieving your KPI's...

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