Posts Tagged ‘design’

This month’s email makeover from the expert team at Jericho is…  Grabaseat!

Click the image below to check out the ‘before’ email:

 

Click on the image below to check out the ‘after’ email:

What do you think of our Grabaseat email makeover?

Back in 2008 we saidWelcome emails have a huge advantage in that they are the most opened of all emails you’ll ever send

Back n 2010, we saidThe email you send to welcome a new subscriber or customer is always the most read email you will ever send

Back in 2011, we saidThe welcome email is the most important email you send because for many of your subscribers, it’s their first email experience with your brand, and perhaps their first interaction with your company

In 2012, we saidEmail provides the highest ROI of any digital marketing channel, and that welcome emails provide the highest ROI of all

Whether it’s the first time someone registers for your e-newsletter, the first time they walk into your showroom, or their first on-line purchase, first impressions can make a huge difference to whether the prospect is ‘in’ or ‘out’ of your on-going eDM program – and with lifetime value measurements, your on-going revenue!

We have been writing about welcome emails for years. It’s always good to recap so we thought we would bring all our welcome posts together and all the best and worst welcome email examples we have collected and give you a grand line up of welcome emails. We have gathered more examples of welcome emails for you to look at, comment on, learn from and copy for your own welcome email program. We have underlined key areas of each Welcome email, and each thumbnail links to a larger version of the email image. Also each company name below links to their website.

Example 1: We Heart It is a new site like Pinterest, that allows you to find and collate images and share them. I just signed up the other day and they sent me this nice welcome email. It is a clean, simple email that covers what it needs to, introduces you to the site and provides some key links for the subscriber, including links to download their app.

Example 2: Polyvore is a fashion site where you can create outfits, collate items that you like, mix and match products and share it with others while offering brands insight into their customers. Their welcome email, like WeHeartIt, is a clean, simple email that covers what it needs to, introduces you to the site and provides some key links for the subscriber, including links to download their app.

Example 3: KNOW from Positively Wellington Tourism is a top quality e-newsletter that features all the latest events, places, people and news that is going on in Wellington. The KNOW welcome email itself is simple yet smart. It  clearly and concisely sets the expectations to the subscriber the frequency of communication, the type of content, reminds you of the email address you registered with, it links to key content on their site, they invite you to connect with them on all their social networks, it even allows you to invite friends. They even link back to the subscribe page in case you forward this email – allowing a clear path to subscribe if the friend you forwarded it to wants to sign up too. We can’t find a thing wrong with this email, can you? (Disclosure: KNOW is a client of our agency, Jericho)

Example 4: Anthropologie is an office favourite here at Jericho. We love the gentle design and the clever copy in the Anthropologie emails. The Welcome describes the frequency and content of the emails, and they invite you to help the emails arrive by adding them to your address book.

Example 5: Alice is the shopping site where you can buy all your non-perishables, leaving you free to get your fresh supplies from your local markets. The Alice Welcome email includes clear calls to action to get started – the best place to do this is in the welcome email. Could improve: They mention emails they will send that are related to your activity, but no mention of what else they will send or how frequently.

Example 6: Old Navy  If a Welcome offer for your first purchase is what you are after, Old Navy is here to help with 20% off your first purchase. In their welcome email they link to their family of brands, to their Social Media profiles, and offer T&C’s for the promo. Could improve: There is no description of email frequency or content, and there is no way to share the email to your social networks which means missing out on the newly engaged readers propensity to share right when they are most excited to meet you.

Example 7: Rachel Zoe  earns a special mention before we even examine the Welcome email. That’s because as you’ll see if you visit the site, the home page is all about the email registration. It is unthinkable how many websites we find that force you to search to sign up for email. The best email marketers (including the GAP family of sites) use the priority real estate of their home page to sell you to the sign up. If you make money sending email then your number one goal should be to get the email address of your site visitor. Sure you want them to look around, but if you get the email address you get the chance to make your case time and time again… This Welcome email does a number of things right. It welcomes warmly. She sets expectation of frequency, and content. She covers the housekeeping with how to get the email delivered to you and tell your friends, and a nice obvious unsubscribe too.

Example 8: The Whiskey Shop email is a basic looking email with a value-add which incentivises the registration, The Whisky Shop from Auckland nails a great Welcome on a low budget.


Example 9: Underground Skate has a basic email that covers what it needs to and major subscriber engagement – works so well because of the style, and copy. In fact their copy is so good we have previously done a whole blog post on it which you can read here.

 

Example 10: Outstanding in the wrong way this welcome email misses the mark in almost every way. Dull, unengaging and confusing. It was also sent in the middle of the night long after I had subscribed. This is a major Government department and although we expect them to be a bit behind there is simply no excuse for emails like this leaving the building. The newsletter it prefaces is a useful and important communication, however it is let down by this welcome email. Check out the reply email address. Not only am I unlikely to retain this email for future reference, as am I commanded to do, I am actually a little bit frightened of it.

We would like this to continue to grow into the best resource for welcome email examples on the blogosphere. You can help! Comment on these ones, and send examples of emails you have received, good or bad, email us!

When the DMA and the EEC sent an email to talk about their upcoming conference this morning we were a little taken aback with what we received.

We might be all the way down here in New Zealand but after 12 years we know our way around email design best practice… and this wasn’t that.

Turns out there was some kind of error somewhere, so we thought we’d try to help and jump in and make it look a bit more like email marketers would expect to see from their guiding lights.

Check out the before and after shots below (you need to click to enlarge them to full size) and please let us know what you think in the comments below or via @JerichoCrew on Twitter:

BEFORE:

Click the image to see the full version

Overall, the original design was quite disorganised. The main focus in terms of imagery seemed to be around the location of the conference, rather than the content. And we’re unsure what re-purposing the classic ‘Got Milk?’ advertising campaign adds to the communication.

The images used are quite rough and, in places, have been stretched disproportionately to fit a gap. The headshots used for the speakers are of varying sizes (which again makes the design look rough/messy) and are laid-out in a way that means they aren’t associated with their corresponding text (profiles on the left).

The various logos aren’t given space, making the composition quite cramped. The main call-to-action for this communication should be to register, but although it features at the top of the email, it doesn’t really stand out and is given no more prominence than the other calls-to-action.

 

AFTER:

 

Click the image to see the full version

We looked to simplify the layout and make it easier to follow. The conference name and date are given prominence, with supporting imagery which ties in with the content of the event, rather than the location.

We used a short blurb to explain what the event was about, followed by the call-to-action, in orange, so that it stands out. We placed the speakers’ images with their profiles and gave their logos space to breathe. The speaker section is followed by the same call-to-action. The reason for this, is that we don’t want recipients to have to scroll back to the top to take action – we’re making it easy for them to do what we want them to.

Our secondary calls-to-action (Join EEC and Join DMA) then follow this and are treated in a way that they are still obviously clickable, but they don’t detract from our primary CTA.

What do you think?  We hope they use it, or at least let us have another try at a design they will use.  Watch this space.

“Countless small businesses send out countless emails every day” . “If you were to sift through campaigns and results (as I do), the mountains of data would suggest two breeds of email campaign: the outstanding … and the invisible. Your emails need to be outstanding.”
~ Gary Levitt from MarketingProfs.

Levitt has a good point and here at Jericho, we see a lot of outstanding emails, and we see a fair few ‘invisible’ ones too. So we wanted to share Levitt’s advice for creating campaigns that won’t get lost in the customer’s inbox.

Don’t be too perfect.
Levitt isn’t suggesting that you include typos or grammatical errors to make your emails more human. But you should allow your personality to shine through. “The best brands—much like the best people—have an identity, a voice, idiosyncrasies, and unpredictable quirks” he notes. We tend not to trust people who are buffed and polished to an unnaturally perfect degree—and the same is true of email campaigns.

Delight with small surprises.
Beneath an email offer, include a customer review, a blurb from a recent blog post or a link to a relevant article. “You might be surprised by all the clicks and social sharing that your little afterthought generates,” Levitt notes.

Make an impression with strong design.
Create a memorable banner-esque header that sets the tone for your campaigns. “Have a graphic designer help with typesetting and graphics,” he advises. “Do it once, and do it right. You’re going to get tons of use out of it.”

Err on the side of sending too frequently.
You should never send an email simply to send an email. On the other hand, don’t hold back relevant, useful, timely content because you’re worried it might be one message too many, he says.

The Point is relax and say what you mean. Email marketing is about developing a relationship with your subscriber—so communicate with that person as you would with a friend.

Unless your email is a service update notice, there will usually be a reason why you send an email. And this reason will probably require a call to action.

Ask yourself these questions: Who is the audience? Why are you sending it? What do you want the recipients to do upon reading your email?

The answer to these questions can be solved with a good call to action.

Do you realize how impactful a good call to action can be? It is one of the most important design elements in emails and usually represents the whole reason you are sending the email.

If you have a fantastic email yet you have no call to action, you won’t get the results, the sales, or the traffic you could potentially get.

Here is a little story for you.  An inbound marketing firm decided to test a few alternative design features. “We were pretty shocked to discover that new call-to-action buttons yielded a 1,300% improvement in click-through rate (CTR),”   How good is that?

So here is some of our advice for creating a great call to action.

Design
Should your CTA be large or small? Should it contain an image or not? Should it be a button? What’s going to work best for your audience? There are no set rules; you’ll only discover what appeals to your customers through testing.

Key pointers:
Make it obvious
Make it big

Colour
Colour is an effective way of drawing attention to an element. One good tip is to use colour to distinguish the call to action from other elements in your email to make it stand out.
Also consider what colour it will be as different colours mean different things.
(Keep your eyes out for our upcoming post all about colour)

Key pointers:
Pick a colour that best represents your brand
Pick a colour that brings out the emotion or state you wish to inspire in recipients

Placement
Some people advise always placing the CTA ‘above the fold’ however we often see emails with the CTA near the bottom of the email. Which is better? Again, testing and trials will help you determine what’s right for your campaigns.

Key pointers:
Make good use of white space
Position it well

Purpose
It is also important to be focused in your calls to action. Why did you send the email? What do you want your recipients to do? Too many options and the recipient can be overwhelmed. By limiting the number of choices someone has to make we reduce the amount of mental effort and increase the chances they will click that one big old’ ‘buy now’ button.

Key pointers:
Have a distinct action
Make it simple

There are no set rules for the best call to action, but with testing, you will discover what works best for your campaigns and your recipients.

To complement our two part email series on preparing for Christmas, we wanted to share our tips for maximising the effectiveness of your Christmas campaign, and how to stand out amongst all the other Christmas mail.

1) The first step is to prepare.
It’s the Christmas season and everyone gets busy, so plan in advance.  Here are our top pointers for preparation.

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?)

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.

And speaking of WHO, WHAT, and WHY, 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) The first thing someone sees before opening your beautiful email is your subject line.
If you have done all that planning, then people don’t open your email because of the subject line, then it doesn’t matter how great your email is. So getting your subject line right is important. Make sure it is intriguing, catchy and stands out amongst the rest. Some key things to think about are whether or not personalization 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 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!

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

Top Tip:
Your subscribers are about to be inundated with communications from various businesses and chances are they‘ll unsubscribe from a few of them. So why not get to know them a little better, and ask your subscribers to update their preferences with you before they get bombarded. Then you can use this information to provide them with more relevant communications during the Christmas onslaught. The more relevant your communication is, the more likely they are to be engaged and the less likely they are to hit that unsubscribe link.

Today we have received a lovely email from Anytime Fitness with a great deal. However we couldn’t really identify said deal from their email…

 Some of our staff go to this gym and they are great, and their staff are lovely. However from the email we received from them today, we identified a few things they could do to improve on their email campaigns.

 

 

1) Font color. Their header font is white and their footer font is black. And the blue link in the footer is almost impossible to read. It is always important to ensure that you stay with your brand look and feel, and stick to consistent design, font colors, etc.

2) Font size. This font is OK but any larger and can have the tendency to look like spam. Be aware that the optimal font size is 10 or 12 (This is what we stick to when designing emails) and if it is any bigger it usually gets picked up by spam filters.

3) Watch your use of jargon. Note the sentence “You are able to use your access fob…” Now I have spoken to someone who attends the gym and even they don’t know what the fob is. Always watch your use of jargon.

4) Template. You may have seen some of the stunning templates we get to put together for clients at Jericho. They are structured, have a set width, includes images that catch the eye, they are structured into tables that help certain elements stand out and makes everything easy to read. More importantly, spammers don’t tend to use templates, instead choosing to use line after line of plain text. So this only serves to highlight how this email could have been improved by a template.

5) Centre Aligning. I think this came and went with comic sans.  It is very difficult for people to read so be sure to keep things left aligned.

6) Lack of prominent offer or call to action. We here at the office are struggling to identify what the offer actually is and where to find it in the email. And what do we do now? Where is our clear and simple call to action? One of the most important things to include in your email is information that answers these questions – who is this from, what is it for, what’s in it for me, and what do I do now?

7) Line height. It doesn’t help that the font is large and centre aligned, however we suggest increasing the line height to improve readability.

8) Contrast. The contrast of black on white generally is quite hard on the eyes – we suggest using a softer colored font, or a subtly colored background.

9) The main thing we noticed was what initially appeared to be Name and contact number fields that hadn’t been filled out correctly. The words in capitals do say ‘your free membership links’ so I was expecting to see links to something that gave me free memberships.  So I thought this was a matter of them not having checked the email correctly before sending. However after looking at the email 10 more times I see that it is actually where I need to input the names of 6 of my friends and then reply to the them with that information… Not many people look through emails more than once, so if they were like me they will miss this entirely. I will now reiterate the importance of having a clear call to action as mentioned in point 6.

10) I will give them this - they had a catchy subject line that was clever and worked well, and the email did pass all the tests on litmus that we ran it through. Litmus is the service that tests your email campaign against all major spam filters and will tell you if it will pass or fail the filters requirements, and gives you grades accordingly. Any number of things can influence this such as having all images or all text, or words such as ‘deal’ free’ sale’ and ‘$’.

So you can see how the little things can make such a big difference. We hope you use this as an opportunity to review your own campaigns and look out for the little things you could do to enhance your emails.