Another Valentine's Day has come and gone, and with it the multitude of often-times tacky email marketing that clutters my inbox. Don't get me wrong, as a digital designer I love email marketing. But I tend to be underwhelmed by the quality of email communications that come out during the holiday season. You know the ones I'm talking about. I call them "throw-away season emails." These are the emails that:
- Use the same content that they use any other day of the year, but integrate the name of the holiday
- Add on some poorly chosen stock photo typical to that holiday
- Do not include a special offer relevant to the season
- Send an offer irrelevant to me but pertains to the holiday (i.e. "Get her a Valentine's gift with 25% off women's apparel." Reality, I'm not in the "girlfriend" market.)
But I digress. For every 10 bad seasonal email marketing campaigns out there, I believe there has to be at least one company that's getting it right. This Valentine's Day, GetResponse was the company that got it right for me.
Anatomy of a successful email marketing campaign
For me this email just get's everything right. Besides being designed responsively, it hits on 5 key areas that i believe are important.
- The subject line uses symbols as a nod to the holiday season. I think symbols in subject lines are great. So far they are supported by most email clients (except Outlook 2003), and they are an effective way of standing out in the inbox clutter. Symbols can also help keep the subject line concise, allowing more copy to be present in mobile preview panes.
- The subject line and preheader work together. Good email marketing takes advantage of the preheader area and uses messaging that supports the subject line. In this example the preheader reinforces the offer, while providing additional detail.
- Use of typography over large graphics. A big trend in digital design right now is using large graphics in the header area of websites and emails. GetResponse chose to go a different route using simple icons and nice typography. This helps to increase the overall download speed of the email, as well as drawing focus to the email offer.
- Bulletproof buttons. If you're not using bullet proof buttons in your email, start looking into it. Bulletproof buttons, don't rely on images. Instead they use simple shapes, colors, borders and text. This means you no longer have to worry about whether your audience has their images disabled for them to see the button and take action.
- Adding an animated GIF to create a sense of urgency. Years ago if someone had suggested using animated GIFs in emails, you would have looked at them like they had two heads. Today though, more and more email clients are providing support for GIF animation. GetResponse use of an animated GIF to add a sense of urgency to their message is a great example of how GIFs can offer value to your email campaign.
And there you have it folks. That's how GetResponse swooped in this Valentine season and stole my email marketing heart. Next year I hope they bring flowers.