Professional Email Header Design Ideas for Salespeople & Marketers in 2024

email header design

You’ve probably heard many people emphasize the importance of first-time impressions. For an average person, this word might not have too much significance, after all, there are always going to be many more chances to right the wrong.

But for salespeople and marketers, it is a different ball game entirely. If you have been in the game long enough, you would know that it only takes one glance for your prospects to decide whether they want to do business with you or not. Existing studies reveal that the ROI for every dollar spent on email marketing is $42. As amazing as this is, you need to put in the hard work if you are looking to get such good results.

Email marketing is tricky no doubt, but it requires a level of expertise and attentiveness to get it right. The email header is one of the most important aspects of the email that can make or break your email success. As the first thing your recipients see when they open the email, the email header has the key to making a good first impression on your subscribers.

A well-designed and throughout email header can entice your subscribers and compel them to scroll down to read the email (and possibly respond, visit your website or make a call). Looking at how significant they are to email success, you must do it right.

In this blog, we will share with you some of the best design ideas, tips, and examples to create a professional email header design. Keep reading!

What is an email header?

Technically, an email header is an HTML code that contains information about the mail sender, recipient, email’s route to the inbox, subject, date, and various authentication details.

The email header is the upper part of an email and the first thing that a recipient sees when they open your email. Although the more technical information is not visible, what most people see in the email header space is the brand’s logo, an image, a call to action button or text, etc.

In most email marketing campaigns, marketers and salespeople customize the email header to give the recipient a headstart to the rest of the email body and are usually the perfect spot to market your brand. Usually, most emails are divided into three major parts:

  • Header
  • Body
  • Footer/Email Signature

Before the header, comes the email subject line and preheader text, which provides information about the email in the recipient’s inbox. After the header, comes the email body text which houses the main spice of the email, and finally, the email footer and signature which contains contact information and links to contact you.

No matter how good the other aspect of your email is, if you miss capturing the attention of your audience in the header section, then it’s going to be nearly impossible to get the best result from your marketing email. Subsequent paragraphs shed more light on this.

Do’s and Don’ts of an Email Header


A well-designed email header should have the following qualities.

  • Do make sure that the header is versatile: A well-designed email header should be designed to work with all kinds of email campaigns.
  • Do make sure it represents brand identity: Email headers must reinforce your brand identity by including your brand logo, colors, and other brand elements to build trust with the recipients and eliminate doubts.
  • Do maintain consistency in designs: A consistent email header boost brand recognition and creates familiarity with your subscribers.
  • Do create an elegant and simple header: As stated earlier, an email header is the first thing your recipients see when they open the email, hence you must ensure that the header design looks clean, beautiful, and well-organized.


Avoid the following mistakes when designing your email header.

  • Don’t make it too big: Size is important when designing your email header design. When designing your header, strive to keep it less than 70px high without a menu or 200px with a menu.
  • Don’t lose the motive or purpose of your email header: Your email header is an important part of your email that should be strongly branded with your logo and key colors. It is not the place to experiment with out-of-line ideas or deviate from the purpose of your email header for the sake of beautification.
  • Don’t use more than 3 to 4 elements in the menu: Avoid adding too many elements to your menu to avoid confusing your audience and achieve a clean minimal email design.
  • Don’t change too frequently: Your email header is an important part of your email that reinforces your brand identity. Avoid changing the header too often to make it easy for your subscribers to recognize you.

Why do you need an Email Header?

Here are some of the relevant reasons why you need an email header:

1. Email headers protect against spam

The best email header design contains vital information about the sender that helps email service providers to differentiate spam emails from genuine emails.

The ESP protocols analyze the header information to determine the authenticity of the email to decide whether to deliver the email to the recipients or not.

2. Email headers provide the sender or receiver’s details

An email header provides essential information about who sent the email and where it was delivered. Using the “From” and “To” markers and the date and time of when the email was sent.

3. Email headers help to track the email route

An email header can provide you with important information that can help you trace the route of the email and see all the email serves that it passed through. The header can help you view the message source details or physically track down malicious emails.

Email Header Examples.

The following are excellent examples of email headers that you can adopt and learn from when creating yours.

Example #1: Sublime Stitching

design email header

This first example by Sublime Stitching features a simple preheader text, logo, and a few links to their website.

This simple header design is easy to read and passes the information without too much information and makes it easy for subscribers to scroll down to see the rest of the email.

Example #2: Birchbox

email header design ideas

This second example by Birchbox contains all the required information in the header with a bit of a touch of fun with an emoji.

The header image contains vital information about their customer loyalty program. Through this, the subscriber can click to find out more about how to subscribe to their service.

Example #3: Conde Nast Travels

email header design examples

This third example by Conde Nast Traveler makes it easy for readers to access their articles via email. The email also includes links above the header to direct the subscriber to other interesting information.

Example #4: AFAR

email newsletter header design

This example by AFAR shows the preheader text and social media icons placed in a grey box above the header. This creative and compelling email header helps to lead the reader into the rest of the email.

Example #5: King Arthur Flour

email header design inspiration

The last example on this list by King Arthur Flour uses the shipping notification email to also share links to their recipes and tips from their blog. This excellent idea gives them more options to interact with the company while waiting for their order.

10 Professional Email Header Ideas

Email headers can significantly enhance your brand image and help you make a good first impression on your audience. Here are some innovative email header designs that you can use for header designs.

1. Insert your brand’s logo

email header footer design

An interesting way to flaunt your brand identity in your header design is by adding your company’s logo to the email header. Considering that 90% of information processed by the brain is visual.

If you are new in the business and are looking for a way to reinforce strong brand identity. Adding your brand logo to your email header design can help you stand out from your competitors.

2. Include an option to view on the web

email header design example

Consider including the option to view on the web in your email header design to allow your subscribers with different email service providers to view the same version of the email in the browser inbox.

Most top brands include this option in many of their emails, mostly at the top and hyperlinked so recipients can view the web version.

3. Include a menu

email header graphic design

Adding menu options in your email header to get straight to the point. It mostly functions as a mini version of your website to get your subscribers to your actual website.

Menus also add to the interactivity of your emails and boost the conversion rate. This can help you gain your reader’s attention and save time to quickly scroll through the email.

4. Include social media icons

email header and footer design

Social media icons are creative ways to grab the attention of your readers and direct them to your social media channels and build engagement with them.

The ideal practice is to add the icons either in the header or footer of the email design. Research has revealed that this hack is good for recipients who open emails on the go.

5. Add Fear of Missing Out (Fomo)

best email header design

Do you want to create an urgency and persuade your audience to take a positive action? Then you can use add FOMO elements such as email countdown to induce a sense of urgency amongst your readers. This drives them to take action faster than they normally would.

6. Lure them with offers

email header design size

Promotional emails do magic and it would be a smart move to add your product or service offers of discounts to the email header design.

Following a report from Statista that 49% of respondents love receiving promotional emails from their favorite brands, adding promotional offers such as 50% discount or buy 2 get 1 free, can captivate the recipients and get them to take action from the get-go.

7. Customize email header design based on the season

email header template design

Depending on the event, holiday, or season that you are sending the email to, you can customize the email header design to reflect this. Personalization impacts the response from the email clients and helps them feel connected to your brand.

Aside from this, personalizing your email header to represent events, campaigns, and seasons can also keep your brand identity intact.

8. Add an image that sells

email header design retail

Images hold power that is unrivaled by any other elements in the email. It appeals to the audience and helps to grab their attention. You can display your products in your email header design to compel them to scroll down to read the email.

As effective as they can be, keep in mind not to add images larger than 1MB. If the image size is too large, it can take time to load which can make your recipients frustrated and eventually close the email.

9. Don’t be scared to try new options

design email header graphic

If you are finding it hard to decide on the best features to add to the top spot, play around with the different HTML header features such as menus, logos, brand mascots, countdown timers, etc.

Including different header design features gives your users a sense of control over their interaction with the email. However, be sure not to overdo it.

10. Play around with different colors

email design header

Colors are important elements of visual design. They play a huge role in influencing the mood of your email recipients and can be very instrumental in capturing the audience’s attention.

Most colors have special meanings behind them, so when you choose any colors, be sure that the meaning behind the color accurately reflects your intentions. A tip for selecting colors is to ensure that the email header color contrasts with the background color of your email so it can stand out. You can include your brand colors to enhance brand recognition.

8 Tips to Follow When Creating an Effective Email Header Design

Here are some of the tips to apply when creating an effective email header design.

1. Use consistent style

email header designs

Who are your email recipients? What is their style? What values are important to them? These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself when working on the style of your email header design. Depending on the answer you give to the questions, use that to create a visual identity style that works for you and your recipients.

2. Apply the hierarchy of importance to different elements

branded email header designs

Visual hierarchy in design defines the principle of arranging elements in a design to show the order of importance. Visual hierarchy in design is important because it guides the email reader’s attention to precisely the elements you want them to interact with.

Many brands use this to structure the visual characteristics such as the menu, icons, logos, mascot, etc., in the header section so that the readers can easily understand. When designing the email header, ensure that the focus of the design and the visual structure is based on the prospect’s preference. Make it clear, readable, and user-friendly.

3. Use a color that fits your brand identity

best email header designs

As an important visual element, ensure that the colors you choose for your header comply with your organization’s visual identity. Aside from using your brand colors, also ensure that the colors you use do not deviate from your brand values. For example, if your brand caters to kids, you don’t want to use dull colors, instead use bold and vibrant colors to capture the attention of your target audience.

4. Keep your email width around 600px

email headers

Emails can be read on different devices (including tablets, laptops, and mobile phones) and under different circumstances such as from the email client app or a browser inbox. The most universal and all-purpose resolution for email design is 600px.

5. Use web-safe fonts

what are email headers

Fonts are important in visual designs and can be very useful to capture your reader’s attention. Be careful not to use fancy fonts in your email header design as readability matters more than design. Instead use email-safe fonts such as Arial, Arial Black, Courier, Courier New, Georgia, Tahoma, Times, Times New Roman, Trebuchet MS, and Verdana.

6. Draw attention to CTA elements

email headers example

Call to action (CTAs) is a critical element of an email design. It does not only help you capture the attention of your audience but also gives your recipients a way to reach out to you after reading the email.

Although most emails have the CTA at the bottom of the email, you can include your CTA in the middle and work with other elements that can redirect the audience to the CTA. Doing this helps you capture your recipient’s email.

7. Add Unsubscribe Options and Disclaimer in the email footer

analyzing email headers

A best practice among many emails nowadays is to include the unsubscribe button or disclaimers in the email footer to get past spam filters and local legal restrictions. Keep this in mind when designing your email.

8. Animate the header

email headers design

A creative way to design your email header is to animate the header or include motion graphics or gifs in the header to capture your readers’ attention.

Email Header Design: The Conclusion

Email header design can be very instrumental to the way your email readers interact with your email and can influence their decision to read or discard the email. Hence you need to put in good work in the header design.

We have identified different ideas and tips that you can use and play around with to create your perfect email header design. Implement this and watch your email performance soar.

Good luck!

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