Effective campaigns do not write themselves. And, sadly, they do not design themselves either. So as you sit down to create dazzling works of email art , here are five simple ways to put the finishing touches on your e-masterpieces:

1. Choose a font style and stick with it.

An attractive campaign is one that’s easy on the eyes. After all, if the eyes are comfortable and enjoying themselves, they’re more likely to hang out and keep reading. Remember that too many fonts and colors, or too many 18-point over-the-top exclamations, can overwhelm those poor eyes and send them running for the hills. Start by choosing your font style. Are you a smooth Verdana person, or a straight-laced Arial type? Perhaps you’re more of an old-school Times traditionalist, or maybe your sophisticated palate lends itself more to Trebuchet. Whatever your font, using it consistently – and choosing your bolds and colors wisely – will make eyeballs everywhere happy.

2. Use images to enhance your content.

A recent study by MarketingSherpa found that recipients read more of an email’s text if it contains graphics near the top. (Incidentally, if you don’t know the ‘Sherpa, it’s a fabulous resource, and we highly recommend subscribing to the EmailSherpa newsletter.) If you’re using custom brand stationery and a stylish brand masthead in EmailNow, you’ve already got a leg up in this category. When adding other graphics, remember that bigger isn’t always better. Instead, use images that work proportionally with your overall layout and enhance your content instead of creating visual clutter.

3. Use simple, bold headlines to make your point.

An appealing campaign also makes its appeal to readers early. Too many otherwise nice-looking campaigns bury the lead, to borrow a bit of newspaper terminology. Stylish, bold headlines can grab your readers’ attention, help make your point, and add separation and structure to text-heavy campaigns like, er, this one. What can we say, dear people – we love words like we love a good bread pudding or red velvet cake

4. Keep your content from being a chore.

How much content you include in a campaign depends in large part on what you have to say and how much your audience needs to see. But in general, remember that you have just a few seconds to convince a reader to, well, read. By presenting them with a newsletter that goes on for days, you’re risking coming out on the wrong side of readers’ mental math when they calculate how long it will take to get through it. Rather than getting them now, you may be relegated to the dreaded “Library” or “Read Later” folders.

5. Make sure your subject line is beautiful, too.

Don’t forget that the most important part of your email may just be the five to ten words that introduce it. After all, the relative appeal of your subject line can mean the difference between someone moving on or stopping to look, read, and respond. Experiment with different phrasing to see what works best for your audience.