Quick and Dirty Flash Sale EDM design

Updated: Apr 16, 2021 | Jelly Martinez | 2 mins.

Why do beautifully designed EDMs convert?

Let’s be honest, not all EDMs you send your customers and prospects get opened; and if they do, do they get read or generated clicks?

Think of your own experience; most of us are time-poor and if we open it, we scan it, see it’s a long read, and move on to the next task without knowing what that EDM’s all about, or more importantly remembering its message.

They say in golf “You drive for show, but putt for dough”

Email marketing is the putting for dough. It takes time and effort and can have a great ROI.  The last thing we want is for it to be ignored, or worse yet, create unsubscribes.  

So, in this article, you’ll read some simple easy, ways to launch a promotion that cuts through.

When doing a quick ‘flash sale promotion’ it’s usually 1 layout that has everything

Only the essentials

A common mistake that email Marketers/Designers make is to get too excited about the promo and put lots of information into it.


Keep the text short and simple

We don’t want to overwhelm the user with lots of information – keep in mind that most of the people who click your email only scan. Keep the text and key message short, since you can go into detail on the landing page anyway.


Simple designs are the best!

It doesn’t mean that when an element is beautiful, it should be there. The right question is, ‘Is the element necessary?’ ‘Will it create a better scanning flow to my EDM design as a whole?’


Use white space strategically

Whitespace not only creates harmony, balance, and helps to brand a design, it can also be used to lead a reader from one element to another.

It is the space that balances things out and reminds us that designs are beautiful. We don’t need to create a layout overcrowded with text and images to deliver a clear message.

Stick to your branding

With a Sales email, we don’t just want the sale. We are aiming for brand awareness too! It’s like hitting two birds with one stone (Conversion and Branding). So keeping your design consistent with your branding will do the trick. 


We are looking forward to the day when people don’t need to see the logo to know the brand. Doing so – the feeling, tone, and theme are recorded in their mind unconsciously. Just like those winning brands such as McDonalds, Coke, Cadbury, etc. who did it magnificently. 

Shout it out loud!

We don’t want to highlight everything in your design. Just the main message, whether that is ‘50% OFF’ or ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’. This is usually the 1st element that a user sees on your EDM, so it’s very important to give it a larger font, maybe make it bold enough to gain attention.


Scroll.. Scroll… Click!

Clickable Elements must be Recognizable

Make sure all the clickable elements you give in your newsletter are recognizable. If they are hidden or blended within the design, the readers will miss them out.

Choose a colour scheme that makes the clickable elements stand out. Also, consider the order. Make sure the first clickable element relates to your core message/offering.

There is always the possibility that once someone clicks they may not come back to the newsletter!


Like a good story, make sure your EDM has flow. We do it using visuals and assuming that a user only scans an EDM. Try scanning your work. Do you scan it in order?

You should first notice the Headline (the summary of what the promo is about)

Then a user will scan the image of the product (if you have one)

Then the sub-headline (if you have one)

Once a user gets interested, he’ll go for text content to learn more…

Then finally, CTA

Sample of a simple email promotion using a single layout:

Frank and Body
Bag Barrow & Steal
Wise Stamp

Now you know the basics, let’s get that EDM rolling!

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