I no longer have annual updates of my websites. Or should I say 15 monthly updates? I learned from email marketing that for best results, modifications should be evidence led and continuous. One major, if unexpected, benefit to this is that, taken over three or four years, the new system is considerably cheaper.
Not only can website design learn from email marketing but the reverse is true as well project management steps. Many of the basics are transferable. I have a few memory aids for website design, just bullet points, which I can stick to when dealing with software that does not do what it says it should. I could write reams on e-commerce carts. One of my bullet points is to check three times. I might make it four.
1/ Keep it simple
There is little else more likely to irritate a reader than a complex website, with lots of design features to confuse. The same goes for email marketing. For instance, many fall for the trap of font fantasy. My rule is to keep one for copy, one for heading and lash out a bit with headings. That’s as far as self-indulgence should extend. Keep colours simple as well. Before spending hours picking a shade, remember that it will be rendered differently on different computers. A tragedy, but true.
2/ The fold
Keep the important points above the ‘fold’, that part of the email that will be shown on most devices. There is one important aspect to an email, so make sure it is there without anything else to threaten attention. Check on the websites you frequent. That's the way to design your email.
3/ Common design
When a person goes to another page they must be aware that they are somewhere different but the design should be similar enough to reassure. For marketing emails, when they click on the hotlink the landing page should not shock or surprise. You want them to complete, not admire.
4/ A design for everyone
A website will be aimed at all devices, from a large screen desktop to a smartphone. You should do the same. The free email marketing templates will help you here of course.
Click throughs are email marketing. They must be presented all the time regardless of which part of the email the person is reading. It is somewhat easier on websites as there will be a common location regardless of which page they are on. Just ensure that there are not too many on the landing page. On my websites, I have hotlinks to relevant pages where the subject arises.
Does this do it for me is a question to ask for both specialties. Don't over egg the subject. Prove anything that might be doubted.
After completing the email, or the website, go through it and delete anything that is not essential. Be harsh and ignore sentiment. If it hasn't a purpose it must go.
8/ Delete some more
You must have missed something.
I am not suggesting that a marketing email should be identical to your website, rather that the principles of each are common.