Direct emails are one of the most popular and effective ways to reach out and get an audience to respond to your message. The whole goal, in my mind, is to do this for the purpose of data capture so you can market to these people in the future.

Here are some guidelines that I think are helpful in designing a direct e-mail ad to send to our FrontGate Media audiences:

  • Spend more time creating your Subject Line than creating your HTML ad. The pretty pictures are no good if no one opens your email to see them.
  • Design your ad for the Christian audience you are sending it to.
  • Your ad should be at least 50% text and 50% images. Text should ALWAYS be 50% or more of your total ad.
  • Have a call to action – ask them to do something.
  • Tune into WIFM – answer the consumer’s question “What’s In It For Me?” Don’t tell about your product/service. Instead offer something of value to the audience you are sending to; solve a problem, give help, etc.
  • Always turn in both an HTML ad and a Plain Text version with no text formatting
  • If your link is more than 65 characters long, then use a shorter URL instead. Either have your web designer create a short URL on your site, or use a free service such as  For example, https://frontgatemedia.coms.php?mod=template&id=362 would instead be


For more on this topic, you might review the following article at MailChimp.

Do you have a direct email design tip you’d like to share?  Comment below.