Tags: Design

How To Design Your Email Marketing Campaign

How To Design Your Email Marketing Campaign

Practical Marketer • April 12, 2018

Email marketing is amazing. In 2017, 54% of the entire planet had an email address. That means there are more people with an email address than there are people who have a Facebook account. And while Facebook is a good way of reaching your audience and increasing your sales, savvy digital marketers use it as a means of capturing people\'s email addresses. They know that email marketing is more effective than social media, with 44% of users checking their email for a deal from a company they know, whereas only 4% will go to Facebook. If someone is on your email list, it’s because they chose to be there. This means all you have to do is keep them there, and to sell them your stuff. How are you going to do that? With a perfectly designed email marketing campaign that contains all the right components, from top-notch copy to engaging visuals. First, you need to... Nail The Subject Line Almost 50% of your subscribers will open an email because the subject line appealed to them. Buzzfeed knows how important the subject line is when it comes to making an email marketing campaign. Their subject lines are always brilliant, and their former newsletter editor, Dan Oshinksy gives great advice when he says that you need to “Make your subject line clear. Nobody should open an email and not know what they’re about to read.” Email marketers struggle with the subject line because they get around 40-50 characters to make an impression on the reader. That isn’t much, and it means you need to do a few things in a limited space:   Tell people what they’re going to get   Be personal - include their name   Tease - arouse curiosity   Outline a benefit they’ll receive if they open this email   Avoid spam words, such as “free” or “cash”   Create a sense of urgency Do you need to be a magician to make this work? Not at all. Here is an example of expertly crafted subject lines: Send Out Awesome Copy No one wants to read boring emails. They want to be informed or at least entertained. Don’t focus on selling something in every email you send during your campaign. In fact, it’s hard to sell to strangers on the Internet unless you’ve first built a strong rapport with them so that they now trust you. Build rapport by sending out emails that are rich in value and tips and tricks. Make a human connection with your readers by relating a personal story of yours. Get to know them with questions. Segment Your Email List Segmentation works. Segmented email lists return almost 60% more clicks and boost open rates by 14.64%. If you don’t segment your email list, you’re essentially sending out the same email to all your customers, who have different tastes, interests and priorities. Over time, some subscribers will feel as though they’re getting no value from your emails and will either stop opening them or unsubscribe. Perhaps the easiest way to segment your list is with a survey or quiz. Keep in mind that your list will need incentivizing - after all, not all of your subscribers will take the time to fill out a survey or list out of the goodness of their own heart. A survey gives you a massive insight into what your customers want, but it also lets you segment your list according to different wants and needs. Then, you can design your email marketing campaign so that you’re sending better-targeted emails out to the right cluster of customers. WordPress has a Quiz and Survey Master plugin that you may find useful. Another way to segment your list is according to past purchases. If a customer bought X product, make sure you retarget them with a similar product - as opposed to a random one that has zero interest to them. This tailors the shopping experience to each and makes it more personal - which is exactly what customers want. Use Color This is one trick that some email marketers miss, but it’s also not important that all marketers use color in their email. It all depends on what your niche is. For example, an organic food newsletter would benefit from some green text that gives the email a vibrancy and freshness. This makes a better connection with the target audience. Color can be a hugely important aspect of your email newsletter, and it can help you to stand out and make an emotional connection with your subscribers. Think about Christmas for a moment. What colors would a festive email need to contain to make it stand out and catch your eye? Red and green would work. Then there is, of course, the psychology behind color and most consumers have said that color influences their decision-making more than anything else. What colors you use depends what your intentions are: Red:   Attracts attention   Creates a sense of urgency (danger) that they might miss out Yellow:   Makes us feel good (sunshine, warmth, happiness)   Use it to promote vacations and deals Orange:   Energetic (sun-kissed, oranges)   Promote food produce Green:   Fruit and veg campaigns Blue:   Promotes a feeling of trust   Water products and cleanliness Black:   Professional   Slick   Elegant Create A Killer CTA Emails with a single call-to-action increases clicks 371% and sales 1617%. They are an essential part of your email. The CTA is the part where you tell your subscribers exactly what it is you want them to do. Want them to buy your product? Tell them with your CTA. Want them to take your quiz? Ask them with your CTA. Make it a button so that it looks clickable, too. In text-heavy emails, visual elements stand out. Rather than placing a hyperlink in the body of text and hoping you receive clicks, create a CTA that is clickable and easy to find. You can use sites like Design Wizard to create a button without the need of a graphic designer. Keep the CTA visually simple but also keep the text simple. Don’t give people too much to do. Give them just one choice: Use a Premade Template Visuals are well worth using. We’re living in an increasingly visual world and if you haven’t yet started to focus on the visual content of your emails, now might be the time to start. In 2017, over 35% of visual marketers said visual marketing is now more important than any other content. A year earlier in 2016, over half of all B2B marketers were prioritizing visual content assets. When you use a pre-made template, it’s a lot easier to implement visuals in your email marketing campaigns. Pre-made templates are especially popular with beginners who have never used visuals in their emails before. They provide a pretty good foundation, though I’d suggest that you tweak any template you use so that your voice comes through clearly. There are tools available which provide you with ready-made email marketing templates that cost you no time at all. For you, there’s no designing involved. All you need to do is pick a template and tweak it so that - as mentioned - your voice and a brand image comes through. Templates are made up of content blocks which you can easily delete or replicate or shift around. Use Images There’s no need to go overboard with images. Just one picture can tell a thousand words. The great thing about images in emails is that you don’t need to waste time and money taking photos yourself. Instead, you can download a stock photograph from an online site. Pik Wizard, for example, offers lots of free images. In fact, there are a handful of sites that offer free stock photos. It depends what your message and brand are, but you don’t always have to aim for high-quality images. A lot of email marketers use memes that are not top-notch photos, but which are humorous and engaging. And sometimes that’s all that matters. Conclusion These are some tips on how to design your email marketing campaign in 2018. Don’t expect instant results, of course. Fine tune your design efforts, be prepared to make changes until the conversions and sales start rolling in. Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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Inside Look: Editor Restyle & Organizational Update

Inside Look: Editor Restyle & Organizational Update

Product & Design • March 22, 2017

Our company has found itself in a new season of change, and our different product teams have been growing and finding their strides. We\'ve made mistakes and have faced a bunch of challenges, but we’re learning to make continuous steps of improvement. So, thanks for joining our team’s journey. Here’s a little peek into what went into our release of the restyle and organizational update to the Drag & Drop Editor. Why did we take this on? Our Editor Product Team is comprised of two designers, a front-end developer, a back-end developer and our key stakeholder CEO. We focus on the three email editors: Drag & Drop, Plain Text and Code Editor. When we were in talks of what to take on next, we identified a reoccurring problematic issue that needed solving: inconsistent UI across our newest tools. Over the past few years, Benchmark has released some new builder tools: three email editors, two signup form builders, email engagement automation and most recently Automation Pro (Beta). One weakness was that each tool had different style variations that resulted from a number of possibilities such as multiple designers, multiple developers, lack of style guide, poor handoffs, problematic legacy code and so on. Some variations were visually obvious and some were code specific. With so many inconsistencies, it was creating a nightmare for our product teams to do any feature updates. Not to mention, it hurts our users’ experience and creates confusion as to what are expected behaviors and visual cues. How does a user learn to trust your app if the action outcome is a guessing game? We needed to organize ourselves and move toward product consistency so that our users could spend less time thinking about how to use our tool and more time focusing on their task at hand. Because of this, our team identified two goals: Clean up our design styles and code Create a more seamless user experience across our updated tools There were multiple opportunity areas, but for this release, we decided to limit it to style and organizational UI updates in the top navigation, active block panels and text editing toolbar. Each area presented its own challenges, so here are some of those thoughts. Simplify navigation within the editor The first opportunity sat with the main navigation in our editor. This was represented by four icons that divided each edit area. The fourth icon (a pencil) indicated when a block was selected but didn\'t actually contain options in its panel when a block was not being edited. It ate up valuable space and was more confusing than helpful to our users, so we removed it. We also replaced the icons with text to improve clarity across all languages. Icons took less room, but we thought it important to use clear labeling here. Dedicating ourselves to nine languages isn\'t easy. It means that all our decisions come with additional challenges and we design with worst case scenarios in mind. One challenge is character count. Most of the time our English text uses fewer characters than some languages such as German and Portuguese. In such a limited area, what happens when it gets too long? Does it push to two lines? Truncate? Expand the area? In this case, we chose to solve the issue through text size and insert fallback behaviors. This is a smaller scenario, but at other times it becomes a larger challenge when there are more factors at play. Text editing toolbar Since this is one of the components that people use the most, we realized that updating and sectioning our icons could go a long way to enhance the user experience. We also changed the behavior of the bar to be more adaptable on multiple screen sizes and devices. The full bar is shown until a user changes their browser size. At this time, each option collapses into a menu that can be accessed by clicking \"More.\" The old design invaded our user’s workspace by pushing their work down, whereas the updated design didn\'t. Active block panels This is the area we focused our efforts on. When we applied UI elements from our newest signup form builders and created any missing ones, it helped with style consistency and gave the panels more breathing room. Beneath the surface, the code was combed through, cleaned up and structured to be more modular and run faster (thanks to our front-end developer!). The second problem was organization and consistency amongst the blocks themselves. If you placed all the block options side by side, the organization was different. Our users were readjusting to each individual block, so we standardized organization across all of them. Our biggest change addressed issues with the amount of options shown at a given time and had impacts on user workflow. Some blocks were getting really bloated and weren’t scalable for the future. So for those blocks, we separated their options into two tabs based on function and then usage level within the tab. The first tab contained options relating to the overall block and the second tab dealt with options relating to the elements within that block. So, what’s next? A lot actually! Our team has been taking baby steps to gain deeper user insights by moving toward the “Jobs-to-be-done” methodology. If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend checking out Intercom\'s ebook :) They nicely describe it like this: People buy products and services to get a \'job\' done. The key to success is understanding the real job customers are using your product for. This year is shaping up to be full of new and exciting releases. Hopefully, we’ll be chatting about them along the way! Until we meet again ...


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Jennifer Bertrand: How to Be a Design Star

Jennifer Bertrand: How to Be a Design Star

Beyond • September 30, 2015

Sure, Jennifer Bertrand may be the winner of HGTV\'s Design Star, but she joined us on the Heart of Business podcast to lend some tips on how to be one without the help of a reality TV show. We covered everything from the design of an office space to how your business cards look and everything in between. Often times, Jennifer flipped it on Claude and Andy and asked them the questions. It was a blast!


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How to Design Emails for Smartwatches

How to Design Emails for Smartwatches

Beyond • August 17, 2015

Believe it or not, Smartwatches are starting to sell. They have been around about a year now, but the launch of Apple Watch gave a kick-start to wearable communication devices. According to Nielsen’s Connected Life Report, the number of wearable devices sold will increase ten-fold by 2018. This means people will be staring at their wrist more and phone less. Although it is the small section of the market, it is important to consider how people will react to your emails. Here are some smartwatch email design tips which will help marketers maximize success. Sender Details Sender details form part of the notification when someone receives an email and are even more important for smartwatches. You should use a recognizable name that could be either your own name or the name of your company. Here you can also make use of A/B test feature to determine which will work best. Subject Lines Screen size being smaller on wearable devices leaves minimal display area for other information. It is very important to keep your subject line short and catchy. It should be engaging enough to capture audience attention. Try to keep your subject line around 3-6 words so that you have more space for other email text. For example, Apple watches offer 12-20 characters for subject line whereas Samsung Gear S allow 30-45 characters for the subject. Preheader Text Preheader is the text followed by the subject line and provides an overview of the rest of the content. It gives you an idea of what the message is about before you open it. As wearable devices are getting popular, it is essential to entice readers at the beginning of your emails. This helps the user to decide whether to mark this for later or take the action instantly. Call To Action Tell the reader exactly what to do by crafting your call to action early in the email. Links are disabled for apple watches so it is better to mention as a text rather than a link. You can make the address and phone number a link to allow wearers to call up straight away or open the address in maps to make a visit. Plain Text Smartwatches lack built-in browsers so most of the time they ignore your fancy HTML and CSS. This makes the plain text version of your email more essential and requires a compelling introductory message. If your email doesn’t have a plain-text alternative, it will be more or less useless. Without a text version Android watches render raw HTML, whereas Apple watches tell you that “The full version of this message isn\'t available, but you can read it on your iPhone.\" Marketers know that the best way to reach customers is to message them wherever they are and wearable devices allow marketers to engage with their audience in new and fun ways. You can only win by standing out in the cluttered inbox, so start optimizing your subject lines and preheader for different devices. Wearable devices are part of a bigger picture and they are here to stay. If you have any suggestions for smartwatch marketing please let us know in below comments.


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Rounding up the Best Email Designs for Retail, Business & Organizations

Rounding up the Best Email Designs for Retail, Business & Organizations

Beyond • July 20, 2015

Now that we’ve gotten a solid understand the basics of what your email campaigns should look like in order to be conversion-friendly, the next step is how to go one step further and create email designs for your unique industry. The top three tiers of industries include retail, business and organizations. Here, we break down how to approach email marketing designs for each one. Best Email Template Designs for Retail How you design your retail email marketing campaigns will depend heavily on your demographic. Millennials will want out of the box thinking, while anything before Generation X will prefer a more traditional approach. For example, consider two national shoe retailers: Naturalizer and TOMS. While a younger demographic that is frequently on their feet may rely on a Naturalizer shoe, the brand is really catered toward a more mature audience. What bridges their mature demographic with their 20 something year old that will purchase their product, is a need to opt for a practical shoe. Naturalizer’s email marketing reflects that clean lines, categorized info and easy calls to action that are still youthful in design. The layout gives you quick access points for shopping, and is in fact design to replicate a website shopping experience. You enter their email and you’ve entered their story. And like any good email marketing campaign from a retailer, there’s an incentive to act: the $10 coupon plus free shipping offer. There’s a good chance the coupon code is also tied to that specific email marketing campaign to help track conversions. Equally as practical, our other example here is TOMS. TOMS are comfortable but that’s not why you buy them. The demographic is completely different, which is why this is a great example. With each TOMS purchase, you’re buying into a piece of their culture. In an MTV Insights conversation with TOMS’ cofounder, Blake Mycoskie, revealed the “DIY collaborative mindset of the millennial generation … [and] how the entire brand is playing upon the millennial currency of the experience.” TOMS’ email campaigns reflect that experience. They take a more creative approach that looks like more like an Instagram photo than a traditional email marketing campaign. Again, their audience is not just looking to buy a product; they’re looking to buy an experience. The email campaign does just that by tapping into your imagination and showing you how to pair their products with one of the busiest seasons of the year – wedding season. Best Email Template Designs for Business Businesses should approach their email marketing in a slightly different way. Rather than featuring a product, their task is to prove value and create multiple points for calls to action. The most stunning business newsletter I’ve seen is from marketing agency in San Diego called Tribus Media. Their email marketing format is also designed to read like a website, but includes a very strong content marketing strategy design to guide prospective customers to key areas of information that help with the sales cycle. After two key points of conversation designed to pique curiosity and sell, their template funnels down to reaffirm authority and then encourage a conversation. Best Email Template Designs for Organizations The one thing organizations tend to do is be content heavy. That’s a mistake. Organizations need to be even more creative, exciting and methodical in who they communicate their messages – especially because of the lack immediate gratification their work tends to offer. So with an organization, you’re not setting a product or a service – you’re selling an experience, or an association. In that regards, organizations can learn the most from millennial marketing in terms of cultivating experience through multimedia messaging. Here are some gorgeous examples that do just that: Doltone House and Four Pillars Gin. Though the industries are different, the takeaway is the same. Be breathtaking. Even though were speaking here in terms of templates, as a marketer you should never think in terms of templates. A template isn’t supposed to be mold. Rather, it’s designed to act as a framework for your ideas, to help your team organize and present content in a meaningful way. A template design can take or either a very creative look or it can have more structure. Whichever route you decide to take for your emails, a great rule of thumb is to have several templates ready to go. You’re going to want a template for standard weekly newsletters, one for quick memos or announcements, another for quarterly emails, holiday campaigns and one for events or highly conversion-oriented campaigns. And, every once in a while, shake it all up and try something totally new to keep your audience interested and on their toes.


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The Holy Grail of Designing Your Email Templates for Conversion

Beyond • July 15, 2015

The ultimate goal of any email marketing campaign is to drive conversion, which is why your email templates are critical to achieving this goal. Consider the following 10 fail-proof tips the Holy Grail of email templates design. Dump the Links. Go for the Buttons The mistake a lot of people make is to stick with the old tired trends. For digital media, websites used to have links guiding people to points of interest. Now it’s buttons. However, email marketing hasn’t quite caught on and the same old strategies are still being employed in email templates. So instead of a link, try having a button instead. It’s more visually appealing and it’s more engaging. When designing your template, some people will prefer designing in Photoshop while others will prefer code. Whenever possible, go for code. HTML buttons will download even if the image doesn’t, which happens more often than not since not all users allow for auto image downloads. Squint Test Last but not least, there’s the squint test. It’s just about as simple as it sounds: squint your eyes to see which parts of the email template stand out the most. Your call to actions should be the most noticeable when you’re squinting. Squinting allows for the same “quick glance” view that most users have when they’re scanning through emails. Think of the seven second rule that websites live by: you have 7 seconds to entice your reader. If you can’t manage to rope them in within seven seconds, then you’ve lost them. The audience is a little more discerning for email marketing campaigns. You’re lucky if you have about half that time, particularly in light of the many emails users still need to get through to reach inbox zero. Follow the Picture You may have heard of logos that have subliminal designs in them design to get you to associate their brand with a direction or a message. Think of the “happy face” that’s created in Amazon’s logo, which also guides you from “A to Z,” which is just about what they cover – everything from A to Z. A picture is more than just a thousand words. A picture, whether in your logo or in your email marketing campaign, can direct a user to what you want them to see. It can act as an arrow. Take the example here by Alex White, who shows you how the picture of a baby in a retail campaign, is actually serving a dual purpose. Even in a squint test, you can clearly see what the baby is looking at –which is what you’re going to be looking at too. The face that images can be used in such a strategic way also underscores a point we’ve made several times here: images are a crucial component of your marketing strategy. The image you select can empower or deflate your campaign long before anyone gets to the content. On that note, the layout and design and equally as important. A great image with a poor design is a defeating move. However, great imagery with a powerful design (and compelling content), is going to get you that conversion.


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The RWD Founder’s Top 10 Tips

The RWD Founder’s Top 10 Tips

Beyond • March 31, 2014

We all know that Sir Tim Berners-Lee is the originator of today’s World Wide Web, but how many of us know who the founder of Responsive Web Design (RWD) actually is? The gentleman in question is Ethan Marcotte, and as RWD’s proud daddy his words of wisdom are well worth paying attention to by email marketers of every stripe. Marcotte’s top ten tips on how to master his wild yet indispensable child include: Calculate your formula. The foundation of every responsive email design is fluid or flexible and the formula to determine this factor is: target / context = result. The percentage derived from this formula can be applied to your stylesheets. Evaluate critically. Take a good hard look at the content you’re including in your email and evaluate it critically. Width: how are you going to flex those elements to the varying widths? Hierarchy: Which modules are appearing and where are they? Density: What is the lowest (and highest) levels of detail you’re willing to display at any one point? Interaction: How are the elements of the email’s interface as perceived by the customer changing according to the resolution of the browser window (like when a horizontal image stack at 800 px gets squished into a vertical column at 480 px). Simplify don’t suppress. You’re going to be far better off to simplify than suppress. So when you are down to a browser resolution where certain elements just don’t fit you shouldn’t take the easy way out and just hide them. Make a list of what is critical and what is not, and then be smart about your suppression or lack thereof. Content over nav. When determining your suppression list, give priority to content over elements dealing with the navigation of your email template. Some designs even move the navigation elements right out of the main email body into the footer or header when the display size varies past a certain pre-determined point. Percentages over pixels. Forget all the ol’ skool stuff about pixels and inches and start thinking in the direction of percentages only. Layouts in RWD are fully fluid so if you’re in the traditional mode of regarding a certain element as having to be such and such a size you’re endangering your entire email layout. Redesign legacies. If you’re confronted with a legacy email design that you’re stuck with, you can scale it down with media queries which can help to adjust the layout itself but watch out as this is not always a foolproof solution and you may have to redesign from scratch (definitely preferable!) Work up. Don’t design an email template with all the bells and whistles and then try to shoehorn those characteristics into less capable devices, as you should begin with the stripped down feature list of the smallest common mobile devices and then get into the larger ones as you go. Content breakpoints. Similarly when you’re dealing with your design grids, you’re going to be facilitating both the work involved to craft the email template and the customer’s experience by designing the grids from the smallest element and working your way up from there. This policy facilitates your moving away from the breakpoints which are dictated by the mobile devices and instead concentrating on the breakpoints that are relevant to your content. Don’t supersize.You never want to display a graphic element larger than its original size, so ensure that max-width 100% is always specified in your email templates and don’t just limit that to static graphics but any active media which really get messed up if you try to over magnify them. Know thy viewports. You can’t even begin to design your RWD email template unless you are able to interpret the data of what kind of devices your subscribers are displaying your content on. You may want to deviate from the standard of desktop, tablet, smartphone to a finer granularity which takes into consideration the actual devices themselves. Now get out there and RWD like the email champ you are!


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Crafting RWD Email Layouts To Please (Most) Mobile Subscribers

Crafting RWD Email Layouts To Please (Most) Mobile Subscribers

Beyond • February 27, 2014

Did you know that more than 40 percent of all mobile marketers admit that their email content is not optimized for display on smartphone and tablet screens? Given that approximately half of their subscribers are using just those types of devices to access their email marketing content, this omission has to rank right up there with the great business screw-ups of all time such as failing to check the financials in the AOL-Time Warner merger, or trusting your life savings to that really nice guy Bernie Madoff. Mobile email marketing isn’t just the future as it has evolved so quickly that it is now very clearly the present, and any online marketers who have not already made it their prime priority are destined to bright careers in washing cars and flipping burgers. Horizontal scrolling or vertical telephone pole? Just in case you’ve been sleeping in a cave for the past half decade allow me to bring you up to speed. If your emails do not display properly on the mind-bogglingly broad variety of screens from the tiniest barely three inch smartphone all the way up to the 30 inch desktop monster, then you are effectively selecting a portion of your email subscription customer base and informing them that your competitor is really great and they should rush on over there right away. The necessity to cater to all of the various display formats is absolutely critical as your mobile customer is going to be just as frustrated at horizontally scrolling through your over-wide email layout as the large monitor desktop customer is going to be perplexed by the fact that your email layout is as awkwardly vertical as a telephone pole. RWD can be wondrous or pathetic The answer, of course, is responsive web design (RWD). Yes, it’s sometimes referred in the email marketing world as responsive email design but then the acronym becomes RED and that’s confusing. Like everything else in the technological universe there are endless ways to use RWD in a wondrous and in a pathetic manner. When you take that giant step which will lead you to integrate RWD into your email layouts, you have to put yourself in the position of the email subscriber who is actually going to open and view your email. Is it pleasant, clear, focused, properly-rendered, and most of all, looks like it was specifically designed just for their display resolution and aspect ratio? If the answer is yes you’re a champ and if the answer is no you’re a chump. Consider the major breakpoints You can easily go stark raving mad when you try to devise a layout which is best suited to each of the quadzillion resolutions out there in the wild, so you’re best off to consider a series of major breakpoints. 1. < 320 pixels may seem microscopic but it’s the only way to display well on for the small and relatively antique low resolution cell phones 2. < 480 pixels is a good breakpoint to cater to the more vintage and smaller smartphone displays 3. < 768 pixels is the current practicable standard for many of the more modern smartphones and the smaller range of tablets 4. > 768 pixels is a reasonable standard for the larger tablet screens 5. > 1024 pixels is the only way to go for most screens on laptops and desktops as well as the soon to be released 12 to 13 inch tablets like the rumored iPad Pro. These primary resolutions are not the ultimate solution to all of your email RWD layouts as they’ll be awful on 4K screens but they will readily address the majority of the most popular displays out there in both the mobile and desktop/laptop arena and allow you to craft your layouts with finer granularity as you obtain more information about the types of screens your customers are utilizing. Ricky Nelson famously crooned that “You can\'t please everyone so you gotta please yourself” but that doesn’t necessarily work in the mobile email layout arena. You have to try and please as many subscribers as you can through intelligent implementation of RWD!


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The Top 10 Handiest Responsive Email Design Tips

The Top 10 Handiest Responsive Email Design Tips

Beyond • February 12, 2014

Responsive design has taken over today’s email layouts so implement these top ten tips and prove to your users that you are a layout master! Don’t icon, font it. Many responsive email designs require some form of icon somewhere in the layout and since Retina Displays and most other high density pixel devices scale fonts with far greater sharpness than an image, all you need to do is to find the icon you want on some Dingbats font somewhere and use it instead. It will render beautifully and look super sharp. Fingers not styluses. In the famous words of Steve Jobs “nobody wants a stylus” and that’s why today’s mobile screens are designed for fingers and even (gasp!) thumbs. Unfortunately most human digits are not capable of pixel accurate selections so you have no choice but to adhere to the Apple standard of minimum 44 px square for any link or button. Mind the font gap. It seems a paradox that while Apple’s Retina Displays are among the most pixel dense, highest resolution screens in the industry, the iPhone limits any fonts displayed on it to a minimum of 13 points. You can risk turning your well thought out layout into a dog’s breakfast if you use any smaller text as iOS will upscale it regardless of the fact that it won’t fit into your design. Keep it narrow. Limit the single column layouts to no more than about 500 px in width for the best display on mobile screens. The extra added advantage to this width limitation is that if there is a display problem it will be less catastrophic than if you had a much wider layout of 800 px or more. Focus your media queries. You don’t have to limit yourself into designing your responsive emails around a specific pixel range of heights and widths when you can also design for the actual orientation of the screen as well as pixel ratios. Note: You can go crazy and spend hours figuring each one out or you can select the lowest common denominators and call it a day. Input type your forms. One of the biggest headaches with iOS is that special characters can be difficult to find but if you use input type=”email” on your email address form the standard keyboard will give way to a special one that features the special characters you want most, including that all important @. None display:none. When you use display:none to hide the images that don’t fit on the screen you’re actually telling the mobile device to download the image but not display it which is a total waste of bandwidth. You’re far better off implementing one of the CSS or Java based image loading techniques which key the display to where the user scrolls on the layout. Test everything all the time. Even the most code-adept responsive web designers can’t possibly divine every feasible display and that’s where great testing sites such as the one on mattkersley.com are absolutely indispensable. All you need to do is to place your design onto any URL (even a non-public one) and see the results on width only and device sizes as well. Obviate the HTML spec delay. It seems as if the grand poobahs who determine the HTML specifications have been dragging their feet for centuries on integrating responsive images into the holy entrails. You don’t have to wait forever to achieve the desired result, as you can apply any number of JavaScript solutions that get the job done properly. The Jobsis Phenomenon. Daan Jobsis is a designer who discovered a very weird effect during image compressions in Photoshop: Take any image, resize it to 200%, compress it to 25% of the original quality, resize it back to 100% in the browser and the resulting image file size will be smaller and fully optimized for high DPI displays because it retains its doubled pixel density. Strange, but handy! Responsive email design continues to evolve and the brands riding the wave’s crest will be the ones obtaining the best metrics!


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