Email has always had its limits when it comes to designing, thanks to the old-school coding that designers have to follow; tables within tables rows, after rows and columns after columns, not really allowing text and images to float freely on the page. Or when they do, it’s due to broken code that makes your email campaign look like a Picasso painting!
Creating something that stands out is harder than it looks. Producing an email that’s image heavy could result into the email going straight into spam. Anyway, most email clients will not allow you to see images until you agree to the content, therefore the first impression you see in the preview pane will predominantly be white and plain giving you no information at all (which is very bad practice!)
How about Typography I hear you ask?
Nope! Again, there’s a limited catalogue of fonts that are email friendly. So trying to make a typographic masterpiece is a big bold NO.
With all the limitations that designers face when designing an email campaign, it seems to be a losing battle trying to create something that will stand out on the screen while keeping on the good side of best email practise. However, problem solving is a hobby of mine and I love a challenge like this. As designers we were always taught, “If you can’t break the rules, why not bend them?”
Recently, I was amazed by an email sent to me. It was so simple and yet done perfectly. A social media site trying to claw its way back from the dead.
For me, this email has everything that an email campaign should have!
Subject line: Todays top headliners. Tomorrow’s next big thing.
Short, very snappy and catchy, “Tomorrow’s next big thing.”
Design and Layout
- Everything aligns in the centre;
- Easy to read with a clear call to action;
- Catchy header that gives the subscriber a sense of urgency;
- Short paragraphs with eye-catching images and links to the right article/page.
Wait It Moves?!
The image behind the heading is an animated gif!
This was a stroke of genius as the design forces your eye to interact and lock on to the email. Another reason why this works so well is that it’s only an image and the important information is another element which is placed infront, therefore the recipient doesn’t lose the crucial details if the .gif is blocked by an email client.
Finally, the heading itself is great as it gives off a sense of urgency; “What’s Now, New and Next”. This will undoubtedly increase the campaign’s click-through rate.
It has been over seven years since I logged into (or even looked at) my MySpace account, due to other social sites having my captivated and undivided attention – and I know that’s extremely typical. But as I received this campaign I was astonished that an email which is so simple yet attractive pulled my attention back to the long-neglected pages of MySpace. I don’t think I’d care if my inbox was flooded by emails if they were all like this – so well thought-out that they even took my attention away from my work!Tweet