Topic: Creative Email Design

Whiskey & More has a brilliant welcome email. It’s on brand, concise, humorous, tells you everything you need to know, sets the right expectations, and it does it all in about 60 words.

Why this email is particularly brilliant is that they state that they won’t inundate your inbox with emails,  because they are ‘too busy sussing out great deals on whiskey’.

Which surprisingly, contrary to pushing people away, is actually comforting for the subscriber because it sets expectations up front that they don’t need to be afraid of them flooding their inbox, and drives home the concept that these guys are focussed on what they do best and as a subscriber that makes me feel even more confident in them and their products and services.

It makes me look forward to the very infrequent emails I will be receiving, because supposedly they will be packed with some fairly impressive whiskey deals, and really from a whiskey company that is what you sign up for right?

Whiskey&More

Click on the image to see the full version of the email

 

It’s great when a brand sends emails that are so true to it’s brand, that you can almost hear them speaking and taste their product through the email.

One such company is Innocent Drinks, who do the cutest emails and has one of the easiest and funniest sign up, welcome and email processes I have come across.

I thought I would start at the beginning and run through the process, first the sign up, then the welcome email then the newsletter, so you can get a sense of the process in order. (Better yet go to their website and sign up if you haven’t already and get a taste of this for yourself!)

Like every good website should, they have a prominent email sign up facility, and it’s humorous, by enticing me with a comfy couch and love and friendship, (But no pocket money)

Sign Up

I sign up, and immediately a note appears in place of the sign up form saying: ”You will shortly receive an email confirming your subscription. By the way, we will never, ever pass your details on to anyone else, but you knew that anyway, didn’t you. Your information will only ever be used to send you what you ask us to send you. If you would like to leave the family, use the unsubscribe button when you next receive an email from us.”

This is a great way to instantly and effectively confirm that I have subscribed, and assure me they won’t share my details with anyone, and let me know I can unsubscribe from ‘the family’ if I want to, however by giving me the option and not feeling locked in, makes me feel safer and makes me never want to leave…. aww.

Sign Up Confirm

That message the disappears after a short time, and they claim back a bit of space on their website,  and I then receive a cute and welcoming welcome email right away. It’s opens with the subject line ‘Welcome to the innocent family’ which gives me warm fuzzies and makes me feel like I am being welcomed into some big friendly and exclusive family.

I also love that the call to actions point to the ‘ceiling’ and the ‘moon’ and the ‘grass’ and the email includes a polar bear in a snowstorm! Can you see him?

 

Welcome Email

Click on the image to see the full email

After you have digested the entrée welcome email and clicked on all those links and seen where they all go, it’s time to wait for the main course of the email newsletter to arrive into your inbox. And there are many delicious ingredients!

Innocent Drinks

Click on the image to see the full email

Overall I love the use of creative copy and the tone of their brand language in the emails. For example, in the pre-header,  instead of saying ‘click here to view online’ they say ‘If this email looks a bit weird just click here to see it look not so weird’. I also really like the fact they have included a ‘sale’ star in the header that let’s you know the email is free! (Woo!) I know we all know emails are free but something about putting that star there telling me it’s free makes it feel even more like a bonus and my brain is thinking it’s getting a great deal!

There is strong brand consistency between the email and the website, with the same font, logo, colours, so when I do click any of the call to action links from the email to the website, it feels like the same environment.

The content of the email is fun, engaging, has a good mix of bright colours, white space, company news, human interest stories, and fun links to click on, and best of all, in their footer, they say “call us on the banana phone

These guys are really engaging, provide a seamless experience between email, website and social media, they use clever copy, great design and interesting content to deliver fun, fresh and funky emails, and in my eyes they are doing everything right.

It is never to early to prepare for Christmas, especially if you are an elf – they prepare all year long.  So we thought we could help out by sharing our tips for maximising the effectiveness of your Christmas campaign, and help you stand out amongst all the other Christmas mail.

1. The first step is to prepare.

It’s the Christmas season and everyone gets busy, every year, so plan to plan well in advance. After spending all year building rapport with customers and sending great email campaigns, the last thing you want to do is hurriedly put together a last minute Christmas email. This is where it counts! Send something they’ll remember all of next year and keep them coming back for more. So here are our top pointers:

a. Think about who your target audience is.
WHAT are you offering?
WHY you are offering it?
HOW often you will email people?
Will you set up a fun series of Christmas emails, or send just the one super Christmas email?

b. Keep in mind the relevancy of the campaign to the recipients. Those Christmas garden galoshes may be superb, but if you are sending them to someone who would rather hear about your garden cricket set, you have lost a major opportunity to both appeal to your customers and sell them something. And with everyone struggling to be heard at Christmas, relevancy is more important than ever! Mail that is tailored to your recipients and personalised will grab their attention over the emails that are bland and generic. So think about how you can tailor your Christmas campaigns to your recipients.

2. When you lure them in, where are they going to go?

a. If you are on Pinterest and if it’s relevant to your brand, why not make a Christmas board full of gift ideas, with each product image linking back to your website  to drive traffic. Just look at all the Christmas posts on Pinterest! Then once your board is full of pretty pictures, click here to read about how to integrate it into your email campaign.

b. You are getting your seasonal campaigns designed, and the Christmas rush is looming  - but before you send that campaign and drive all that traffic to your site, check what you are doing online first. If you have an eCommerce site then you’ll love these insights we heard from Google and the Australian Centre for Retail Studies at a NZRA online retailers seminar this month.

3. The first thing someone sees  is your subject line.

a. If you have done all that planning, and gone to all the effort of making a beautiful Christmas email, but people don’t open it because of the subject line, then it doesn’t matter how great your email is, or how many cute elves are singing in it – getting your subject line right is #1. For more info read this post on creating effective subject lines – and this post on using special characters in your subject line to help you stand out.

b. Make sure your subject line is intriguing, catchy and stands out amongst the rest. Some key things to think about are whether or not personalisation is relevant or suitable. Also you don’t want your email getting picked up by spam filters, so avoid using words like “sale” and “free” too much.

3. Once you have got into their inbox….

a. A creative, well designed email with a Christmas theme that is interactive and fun is great for this time of year. Also, sending your clients an email to thank them for their loyalty over the past year is a great way to encourage loyalty in the coming year and make your clients feel appreciated. So make it a goal of yours this year to have the smartest and most memorable Christmas message of all!

b. If you would like any ideas, our creative team has loads! Get in touch with us now

email-overwhelmLet’s keep this brief, it’s coming up to Christmas and you are busy, sometimes though we can all do with just a little bit of reminding.

So here is your reminder that the holiday season is almost here (No surprise there) and more people than ever before are shopping via mobile and tablets (No surprise there either) so you will want to have your responsive-design-mobile-holiday-season-email-marketing-strategy-machine firing up and ready to go.  To help you fire up, here are some important numbers for your consideration.

27% of consumers over the last year found a shopping website thanks to an email from the retailer which drove them to the website. 22% of consumers arrived via organic search the rest were already existing customers and knew where they headed. (Not to say an email didn’t help them on their way) Any way you look at this, consumers are largely driven to your shopping website thanks to email. So this holiday season how are you going to utilise email to attract attention and drive consumers to your site?

And remember 49% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device… and 75% of those who read email on their mobile delete any email that doesn’t render correctly… so I can’t impress upon you enough the importance of having a mobile email strategy in place if you haven’t already.

With the average user receiving an average of 70 emails a day (That’s on average – for some it’s a couple of hundred) you need to look at what is unique and interesting and appealing about your email….  think about what value are you offering? How are you segmenting your database to better target subscribers and offer more personalised shopping options? Are you using your tried and tested friendly from name? Are you using short, catchy subject lines? Do you have the hierarchy of your content sorted appropriately? Is there an obvious call to action? Are the links finger-friendly? Are you offering something your competitor is not?

This is really just about getting you thinking about your holiday marketing; I will be following this post up next week with a more in depth look at specifically how you can create successful holiday email campaigns, so watch this space….

In the meantime, do you need some inspiration and ideas? Start by checking out our Jericho Pinterest board full of beautiful holiday email marketing inspiration and if you need some more expert advice – email us!

Dr Libby sent this very cute and very timely Halloween email which I wanted to share with you …

Dr Libby Email

Click on the image to see the full email

I liked this email not just because of the very cute pumkin that greets me when I open the email, but also because of the call to action – when you click on the trick or treat buttons at the bottom, the buttons direct you to a webpage where it’s either trick! or treat!

This promotes Dr Libby and generates leads to her content and is relevant because its seasonal and is totally fun!

What Halloween emails did you receive that stood out for you?

How do I love this Upworthy email? Let me count thy ways.

Upworthy

Click on the image to see the full Upworthy email

I love it because it starts with ‘Well, hello there! How do you feel? Because you look great!’ And really who wouldn’t love that.

I love it because the subject line is one of the coolest I’ve ever seen besides being the optimum word limit for subject lines, it is unique and attention grabbing which is the whole point. It says: Welcome To The Upworthiest. Turn On Your Images And Buckle Your Seatbelt!

I love it because the pre-header which besides being a best practice feature is very chatty and friendly and encourages replies and interaction:  Want to say hi back? Reply to this message!

I love it because the content of the email uses humour to set the expectations about what you can expect in future Upworthy emails, it points you to some of the best content on their website to immediately engage you on their site.

I love it because the call to action is big and bold and direct and potentially cheeky but effective and says ‘Want more? We got more. You’ll just have to keep opening our emails!’

I love it because the sign off says ‘Love from all of us at Upworthy’ in big bold letters – so it is both friendly and really obvious who it is.

I love it because of the awesome copy in the footer, which reminds people where and how they signed up for these emails, using visual cues to jog peoples memories, which is in the past, (Because people do forget) they then introduce the welcome email which they are reading, which is in the present, then get the subscriber looking forward to future emails, using humour and emotional appeals, which is in the future, (Because who doesn’t love getting stuff that makes them laugh and cry and share great content) and it ends brilliantly with an obscure question that really gets you thinking, and which got me imaging how much fun the copywriter and designer had making this email and writing the copy, because it is just so brilliant.

Dear {Generic Subscriber}

Thank you for taking the time to read our long email all about our company even though you have 573 emails to read and you are very busy.

All the information contained in this email is generic and fairly bland although very informative. We are sending the same information out to everyone, so don’t worry we haven’t taken much time looking at creepy data analysing your particular preferences or interests. Why spend time doing that when all 15,679 of our subscribers will enjoy reading the same generic news ins our batch and blast email this week, next week, and every week. In saying that, we may get busy and  just send one really long email with out dated news once a month, which we are sure you will want to read because it’s all about us.

Also it is not mobile optimised as we haven’t prioritised mobile optimisation yet but that’s OK, you still read your emails on a desktop computer right? The email also won’t contain any dynamic content or personalisation which would make the email more about you and your preferences, because as we mentioned we haven’t got the time or budget for that.

We didn’t spend too much time thinking about the subject line, so as you can see that says ‘September Newsletter’ which is exactly what this is. Also we don’t tend to put much emphasis on testing  so there might be a broken link in there somewhere. Just email our esp if you find it.

Also we probably won’t notice how many of you clicked on anything or who is engaged or not engaged because we don’t tend to do any reporting or analysis on our campaigns. And we we will be sending the email at 5pm on a Friday as we don’t really prioritise our email marketing or think about what the best send time is, just as long as we get to send our news out to everyone before we leave for the weekend.

We hope you enjoyed reading our generic email (that you care about even less than we do).

Insincerely and apathetically yours,
Batch and Blast Inc.

BrandsTalk
Sadly the above story is not so far from the truth for many companies. If the whole area of personalisation, engagement and analysis seems like a lot to get your head around, take a moment to read these posts that are bulging with best practice advice on everything from how to really your subscribers, how personalisation can make a huge difference to your readers and how engagement has a flow on effect to your reputation and deliverability.

Do much more than just batch and blast

To personalise or not to personalise

- Here’s how to really show your subscribers some email love

- How and why you should treat your subscribers like friends

- Why engagement is important and how to do it

EmailLove

See, that wasn’t so hard. All it takes is for you to implement a few simple best practice initiatives into your email marketing and you can be seeing a remarkable improvement.

 

I received an email from Taptastic the other day with the cutest subject line I’ve ever seen to date…

I had many unread emails in my inbox yet this one stood out like a sore thumb… in a good way… and I wanted to share it with you.

Behold, the subject line in all it’s cute attention getting glory:

There has been much talk about using symbols in subject lines - and we even blog about it - what are some of the best examples you have seen? Share them with us!

 

Consumers are flocking to online video, watching more than four billion videos on YouTube each day. Among 18- to 34-year-olds, smartphones now match desktops and laptops as a video delivery device, facilitating the ability to stream video in email and other message formats.

With consumer adoption of video so high, more marketers are beginning to distribute videos through email, which is still the most popular communication channel.

To date, there have been few solutions available for embedding video in email marketing messages, so adoption has been relatively lo,  however recent changes in some email software clients now make it possible to play videos directly within an email.

The Relevancy Group recently surveyed 266 email marketing executives and found that 25 percent of email marketers are currently using video in their email marketing messages.

This level of adoption of video in emails highlights the increased in email software and mobile email browsers now offering video solutions, and the use of HTML 5 is making video streaming ubiquitous. It is still not available across the board yet however so when the video is incapable of playing in the email software, you should always add a link to view the video on a website.

Adoption of Video in Email Set to Increase

81 percent of the email marketers surveyed said that they are “very likely” or “somewhat likely” to utilise video in future email marketing efforts. Marketers are particularly optimistic regarding video because it has proven to capture the subscriber’s attention, drive engagement, and increase ROI.

Video in Email Increases Engagement, Social Sharing, and Conversion

Video and images have proven to capture the subscriber’s attention, drive engagement, and increase ROI.

It may seem a bit obvious to state that including video and images in emails make them more engaging, but it’s worth re-iterating. Some of the best email campaigns I’ve seen come into my inbox recently include GIF’s, images or video. They are the ones in my memory weeks later.

Video connects people to your message quickly, as they are easy to understand and have a more instant emotional impact than text or static images. But in order to grab a user’s attention and convince them to take action, the video must captivate and activate during the first five seconds.

Video in email boosts revenue

When comparing the performance metrics of emails which include video to those who do not, emails that include video had a much higher ROI (10% higher) than those that didn’t.  The marketers employing video in their emails are reporting higher delivery rates, open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Benefits of including video in email:
Increased click-through rates: 55 percent of marketers report increased click-through rates in emails sent with video as compared to emails without video.
Increased engagement: 44 percent of marketers report that consumers spend more time viewing emails that contain video versus emails without video.
Increased advocacy and sharing: 41 percent state that their emails with video were shared and forwarded more than emails without video.
Increased conversion and dollars: 25 percent of marketers report increases in conversion, sales and ROI for email marketing messages with videos.

The Technical Bit

To implement your own successful video-in-email marketing solution, make sure you use software that supports HTML5 for the deployment of any emails that contain video to ensure that the video plays within the email client. This improves the compatibility of the video in the email, and enables playback across a variety of email client software. Be aware that most desktop and webmail email clients still don’t support automatic video playback within emails so be aware for those on your list who read their emails in desktop email clients such as Outlook, you will still need to place an image of the video within the email and host the actual video on a website and link to it. This is still a great strategy as the call to action increases clickthroughs.

The Bottom Line

With all this in mind, emails video really does show a tremendous return on investment and is one of the most effective and powerful ways to create engagement in your email campaigns.

PRO TIP: To increase sharing and engagement further, always include the ability to share the email content to all the subscribers social networks and include links to your companies social profiles.

Alpha Recruitment sent an attention grabbing email recently saying ‘Keep Calm and Like our Facebook Page’ and it certainly got my attention!

They sent this solus email out saying that since they have won their category in the SEEK Sara’s awards so many times they are not in the running this year, however you can still show that you back them by going and liking their Facebook page.

The email is really just one big Like button with the call to action front and centre, with just a brief amount of clear concise copy which explains what the email is about but keeps the focus on the visual call to action. A great feature of the email is their play on the ‘keep calm’ slogan and the Facebook colour scheme which I’m really liking, and all these factors come together seamlessly to create a simple campaign that really stands out.

Click the image below to see the full email: