Prior to constructing your email, make sure that your message is clear and concise. Develop and refine what you want to say so that readers don't lose interest or get confused about what your call-to-action is. What is your offer? How will reading and clicking through this email help the reader? Make sure they know what's in it for them. Before and during the building process, continually ask yourself, "What would I think if I got this in my inbox? Would I immediately delete it? Or worse, report it as spam?" Rule No. 1 -- don't be spam.

Even the most compelling message can be rendered ineffective if it's presented in an undesirable way to your readers. During this process you may encounter many challenges and obstacles. Your design team may want to create something striking and beautiful, but your audience may not want it. At the same time, don't throw readers for a loop with a design that is off-brand. Your email design should be able to flow well with the look of your website as well as any pieces collateral offered. Consistency is good. Also, design the email around your readers by responding to their personality. Are they tech savvy? Parents? Students?

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