Archive for: April 2011

Email winner: SKY’s beautiful html5 email ‘Game of Thrones’

Last night I came across this beautiful email promoting a new TV series called Game of Thrones: it containes a 15 sec video trailer of the series. The video is integrated using Liveclicker html5 email video tech and has an animated gif for when your webmail or email client does not support html5. Subject line: The wait is finally over…

Here’s a screenshot:

You can find the video here, and the animated gif looks like this:

The full version of the email can be found here, which is much longer than the email screenshot above.

You can guess why I think this is an email winner, right? Here’s my points:

– Using html5 video in email, -with- fallback to animated gif
– Snippet text is there:  Catch this year’s must-see TV blockbuster
– Beautiful design of the complete email
– Nice balance between text and imagery

It’s good to see that new web technology is starting to have a presence: especially with html5 which imho still is one of the most crucial new developments for email marketing.

With thanks to Riaz Kanani for sharing this: check out his DMA Council article on video email here.

Related Posts:

Email news: don’t use no-reply, Android testing on Litmus

Spring is here, and Easter is almost here as well: are your email campaigns ready? This time in the email marketing news: avoiding the use of no-reply addresses (I wholeheartedly agree), Litmus now includes Android testing and will Facebook destroy email (I believe not). Have a look:

Corporate news

Bronto: new whitepaper e-book called ‘Roadmap To Deploying Integrated Marketing Across The Customer Lifecycle

Email designs / webmail clients / browsers

Gmail: Fixing the little things
Campaign Monitor blog: Appstrakt by Cowboys and Indians
Email design review: Change of Address Email – Best Practice (IP Warming Campaigns)

Deliverability / (anti) spam / security

Deliverability.com: Why you should not use ‘no-reply@domain.com’
Bronto: CAN-SPAM vs  best practices
Magill Report:  Epsilon Breach Brings out the Stupid
Slate: Does Pfizer (the Viagra company) have special spam filters?
Marketingweek: It’s not just security email marketers need to worry about

Mobile

Litmus: Android testing live
Screenwerk: Forget ’18-34′ Men, Mobile Is about Moms

Other email marketing news and posts

Bizcommunity: Do you have an email strategy?
Email critic: “Why Should I?” How To Sell Your Signups
Jaymail: 8 Steps To Better Email Copywriting

Social media vs email vs …

iMediaconnection: Golden rules of social media (video)
Technorati: Will Facebook destroy email
Socialemailmarketing.eu: Identifying and Engaging Influencers Where Social Media and Email Integrate

Also, follow Emailblog on Twitter for more daily email marketing bits and bytes.

To conclude with a video, here’s a great one called ‘The Break Up’ about a consumer vs advertiser. Enjoy!

Email insight: less is more

I’m a great fan of the KISS principle: Keep It Simple Stupid. Simple but good designs go a long way. I have mentioned this in Holiday season pt2: art of persuasion, but I believe this deserves more attention. Why wouldn’t a company go all out with their email designs? Flashy (or flashing, with animated gif..) logos, big text effects and buttons everywhere. A reason why is because people’s heads would spin and they wouldn’t know what to read or where to click. A missed opportunity which can be avoided.

True good design focuses on something called UX: the user experience. Now in the UX world there’s a debate about designing UX, and that it is actually not possible. However you can design for UX, which is noted in this great Smashing Magazine post. Designing for a great user experience means taking the facets of that user experience into account. These have been defined by Peter Morville, and graphically represented like below:

Hit all points right and you have a done deal: the people (your subscribers) will love you. It’s that simple, really. Some of these facets apply more to design for email marketing than others: I believe valuable, usable, useful and accessible fall in that category. What’s the optimum design plan then? Here are some pointers:

– Purpose: what’s the purpose of the email? Inform, engage, influence, persuade, etc: what should the email do?

– Audience: who will be the people receiving this email? Older people who will want bigger fonts for reading pleasure? Younger people who like hip designs and colors?

– Time: do people need to act now, today, or any day? Timed offers need a different approach than a new product introduction.

– Followup: what will happen ‘after’ the email? Do people need to clickthrough? Fill in forms? Call a hotline? This is sometimes called the customer journey.

– Tone of voice: this is tied to purpose and audience: how do you want your message to sound? Cool, fun, sexy, scientific, innovative, etcetera.

There are many more pointers, but these should get you started and thought about even before the first email design comes rolling off the Photoshop work belt. When trying to actually design an email, design like you are the receiver: how would you react to the email? This can be difficult at first, but is necessary because many times email marketing is viewed too often from the sender side, and not enough from the receiver side. Email marketing should be great and fun and valuable for all people involved, not just the people actually ‘doing’ it.

If you have any examples of great or flawed email designs concerning user experience, don’t hesitate to post them in the comments.

Email winner: UGG Australia creates summer desire

Who said UGGs are ugly? At least the flip flops are cool, which the Australian company shows in this email:

And yes, this makes me long for summer indeed. The picture was taken on the Greek Santorini island, with it’s famous blue roofed buildings. The subject line is neutral but clear:

“Check out the flip flops from UGG”

Why is this an email winner? Here’s my take:

– GMail snippet and Outlook preview ready: with the See all our flip flops top left shown first it’s a nice tagline to drive traffic to the website
– Double social media integration: both sharing of the email, not just including Facebook and Twitter but also MySpace, Digg and email
– Even though it’s an image heavy email, there’s a ‘view with images’ save-me button top-right, and the email has a great layout
– Also, continous experience: from the e-mail you go to the website including the same picture
– Lastly on the website-part: top-part of email contains website navigation, which helps in getting to where you want to go fast

All in all it’s a no-frills, cool designed email with a great photo to create a nice atmosphere: well done guys.

Email marketing news: Kindle email, Campaign Monitor mobile email design

After the big wave of tweets, posts and updates on the Epsilon email data breach (read more here), there was some other news in the email marketing industry. Among the news is a post by Stylecampaign concerning email on the Kindle, and one by Campagin Monitor focussing on how they redesigned and optimized their newsletter for mobile. See the email marketing news and posts below:

Corporate news

Benchmarkemail: Free email marketing guides, and guides by industry

Email designs / webmail clients / browsers

Stylecampaign: Email on the Kindle!?
Smashing Magazine: Multivariate Testing 101: A Scientific Method Of Optimizing Design

Deliverability / (anti) spam

Deliverability: Has Hotmail discarded the list-unsubscribe functionality?
Lashback: Epsilon data breach sparks debate
MailerMailer: My emails are being rejected by MailScanner!

Mobile

Campaign Monitor: mobile email design in practice, the new Campaign Monitor newsletter

Other email marketing news and posts

Retailemailblog: Season Finale: President’s Day 2011
Brasstackthinking: How I Pwn* My Inbox At All Times
Mashable: 6 Common Email Marketing Mistakes Small Businesses Make
Deliverability: Choice & Control: The Ultimate Email Marketing Weapon

Social media vs email vs …

Socialmarketingforum: The marketing power of online communities
Selligent: Social and email: identifying and targetting the influencers
eMarketer: what brands expect from social media followers

Finally a video again – this time with Jennifer Shaheen discussing whether email marketing and websites are dying: