Does your email need a sidebar?

I created this simple flowchart for a few colleagues at work to help determine if their email communications could be a single column or if it should have a two-column layout with a main column and a sidebar that has additional information. It’s a grossly oversimplified way to make that kind of decision, but we are dealing with internal company email newsletters and announcements going to a few hundred employees, so we’re not exactly running a huge marketing campaign.

The general idea is that text-heavy emails that have a call-to-action should put the call-to-action in a sidebar where it’s easy to see and get readers’ attention instead of burying it in the text of the email (which tends to happen a lot).

Email sidebar flowchart

Does your email need a sidebar?