Welcome to the next in our monthly series featuring email creative that makes us tingle all over. This month we’re featuring emails that (more or less) honour the industry best practice of 60% text 40% images. In all cases, these emails show us the unlimited creativity that is possible when you work inside constraints.
Lots of big brands can get away with breaking the rules and featuring one, big image in their email creative simply because the have strong brand loyalty and a high open rate. Other brands are not so lucky. Ignoring industry standards can result in your email (regardless of how beautiful) being flagged as spam. This can affect your long-term deliverability.
The six emails below show us different ways of incorporating HTML text into spacious (and frankly, adorable) templates.
The Atlantic: Special edition newsletter
We like this. It’s corporate without being square, playful without being goofy. The Atlantic is using a classic newsletter layout. The images bring a nice flow, so you know that the topics all tie together into one piece. It’s a nice amalgam of the Atlantic brand, with a special issue twist, so you know it’s not their standard newsletter.
Evernote: Short and to the point
Why say more than you have to? Why cross-sell when all you want to do is up-sell? Evernote nails it with an email that is short, sweet and punchy. There is nothing extraneous here. Remember: If you plan on dedicating more than half of your real estate to copy, make sure your copy sings. Evernote shows you how it’s done.
Uber: Night out
We admit we may have swooned over the combined effect of this email’s fireworks, a twinkly little city, and no-nonsense copy. If that isn’t enough, apparently Uber’s Fourth of July collaboration with MADD featured a magical exploding firework animation… here static.
Animated or not, we love how Uber used black to deliver a simple message that’s as delightful as it is serious. What better way to talk about safety behind the wheel without raining on anyone’s parade?
SpiritJS: Adorably ghosty geekery
We. Just. Can’t. The ghosts in this beautifully constructed welcome email from SpiritJS are giving us all kinds of feels. Admittedly, the copy is not as strong as it could be.
However awkward, this email still says all the right things in the right way, introducing each feature as a you-facing benefit. It just lacks polish. But we’re full of forgiveness, what with that geeky little font and the ghost friends to show you how it’s done.
Soundcloud: Fresh, so fresh
Everything about this welcome email feels sweet and easy. While it may be a little slim on text, we’ll forgive Soundcloud this time (but they better not break our hearts again).
What works: this email speaks to anyone and everyone who just signed up, regardless of ability, interest or musical taste… something that can vary widely on Soundcloud.
We like how Soundcloud doesn’t go overboard on describing features (and boy, it sure could). They pare it down to two universal calls to action: find what you know; discover something new. Why say more?
RESY: Tasty (and scannable)
Mostly we like this email because it makes us hungry. And you know what they say about the path to one’s heart being via the stomach. Our rumbling stomachs aside, the “Resy Hit List” shows us how to make straight-up text easy to scan and pleasant to read.
Rather than using some boring template to break up the space into blocky photos and text, Resy includes copy that you actually want to read: it’s well written and well spaced, with easy left to right titles. We’ll agree that the calls to action are a little weird. But they succeed at punctuating a space in what would otherwise be a boring list. Yum indeed.
Emails that inform and engage
What do these emails all share (apart from making us tingly)? Each has its fair share of engaging copy, well spaced with friendly design elements. Every email has a strong sense of purpose — in fact, not one of them is directly selling stuff — their key objective is to inform and deepen engagement.
Did a recent email make your pulse quicken? Did you make one you’re humbly proud of? Pass it along. Maybe we’ll feature it in next month’s summary.