Gallery: Halloween Special

See the complete email designWe couldn't resist getting into the spirit of things today by featuring this Halloween inspired email newsletter sent by South Africa based Glasshouse Multimedia.

The Halloween theme is carried throughout the entire newsletter, from the almost 3D looking header to the photo frames around their new team members and the email copy itself.

In the same vein as the fantastic Christmas emails we featured toward the end of last year, this is a great example of mixing up your standard email newsletter design to stand out from the crowd in your subscriber's inbox.

Designers:  Cara Truter and Nick Coyne   |  See the complete design

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 1 Comment

Gallery: Word Harvest Mission News

See the complete email designToday we’re highlighting a very nice looking email invitation sent on behalf of World Harvest Mission.

This beauty is entirely CSS based, and just like Mark Wyner’s sample email, degrades gracefully to a nicely formatted rich text email in those email environments with less CSS support, such as Gmail.

The design also looks great with or without images enabled, and we were also impressed with the attention to detail used in the secondary conference informaiton at the bottom of the email.

Designer:  Les Swift and Matthew Smith  |  See the complete design

Read this post Posted by David Greiner

Optimizing for Gmail’s snippets and Outlook’s AutoPreview

Inspired by Jeanne Jennings great write-up on designing emails for Gmail's snippets and Outlook's auto-preview, I decided to run a few tests of my own. First things first, a Gmail snippet is that small chunk of light grey text immediately following your email subject in the Gmail inbox. It usually includes the first few lines from your email to give the recipient a sample of what's to come. Outlook's AutoPreview feature is a very similar concept. Problem is, the first few lines of your email might be a link to your web-based version or an unsubscribe link - probably not the optimal text to encourage your recipient to dive into the email. Then Jeanne came out with this gem:

Yes, you can simply place your fabulously engaging snippet/AutoPreview phrase at the very top of the e-mail where all will see it. Or you can use alt tags and place it beneath an image at the top of your e-mail (say, your logo). The alt tag text will come through in the snippet or AutoPreview area, but it won't be seen once the reader opens the e-mail.

What a top idea! We decided to have a go at this technique with the latest version of the Campaign Monitor newsletter, which of course, was sent a few hours before we saw this article. We left the original email completely untouched, but added the following single pixel transparent image to the top of our email with some alt text that gave a good overview of the email contents, like such: <img alt="14 new email designs in the gallery, loads of tips and the latest updates for Campaign Monitor" src="explanation.gif" width="1" height="1" /> Here's a before and after sample of the original version of the email in both Gmail and Outlook and the updated version with the transparent image:

Gmail

The alt text version now gives the recipients a much better idea about what to expect from our newsletter. Gmail snippets before and after

Outlook

For some reason Outlook was inserting a weird line-break in our alt text that we couldn't avoid. If anyone knows the reasoning behind this we'd love to hear it. Either way though, a much improved bit of teaser text.

Outlook AutoPreview before and after

As you can see, that small hidden image gave our recipients a much better teaser about the content of the email, which would hopefully encourage more of our subscribers to check the email out. Big props to Jeanne for introducing us to the concept. I'd say we'll be using this approach for all our newsletters moving forward, and encourage you to do the same.

Read this post Posted by David Greiner - 21 Comments

Gallery: Anderson Illustration Associates

See the complete email designWe instantly loved this quarterly newsletter design for Wisconsin based Anderson Illustration Associates. As well as looking fantastic, the design also does a great job of squeezing in many of the essentials, including:
  • A reminder to add their sending address to the recipient's address book to improve deliverability and ensure images are displayed by default.
  • A link to the web-based version of the email
  • A forward to a friend link and a subscribe link, which is important for any recipients that have received a forwarded version and might wish to subscribe.
They've even done a nice job customizing their forward to a friend page. Designer:  Cynde Quinn  |  See the complete design
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“A dream come true for agencies”

In my opinion Campaign Monitor truly canes the competition out there, it's cheaper, easier, and for agencies it's a dream come true.
Ben Pujji, Pujji like Gucci
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Gallery: NZlive.com Newsletter

See the complete email designToday we’re featuring an impressive inaugural newsletter design for the equally impressive NZLive.com, a directory showcasing upcoming cultural events in New Zealand.

The email introduces the actual concept of the new web site, as well as highlighting a number of upcoming events. The simple design is also consistent with the NZLive web site, ensuring recipients immediately recognize the sender. A great example of clean, effective email design.

Designer:  Flightless  |  See the complete design

Read this post Posted by David Greiner
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