Is it time to pimp your email campaigns? Before you go under the hood, here’s a few tips from Newism, who recently relaunched
EE-Garage, an ExpressionEngine add-on site.

The relaunch posed both challenges and opportunities – while there was the monumental task of creating a new site and matching email campaigns, also presented was the once-in-a-lifetime chance to seriously impress customers, both old and new.

One of the results was an attention-grabbing email design (above). To find out how this came about, we spent a moment with Wayde from Newism, who had some great pointers for designers who are planning email redesigns of their own.

Hi Wayde, a massive hat tip to your redesigned EE-Garage newsletter. First of all, what goals were you hoping to achieve?

Thanks, Ros! The purpose of the campaign was to introduce our new branding to our existing customers and to increase member numbers on the site.

Our original branding was very minimal – almost generic even – and that was due to our need to launch the site quickly. Our original name was generic, so we had nowhere to go with the branding. The main requirement of our name change was to come up with something both memorable and brandable. The new name EE-Garage gave us lots of opportunities for rebranding, and that of course, flowed into our email marketing.

To achieve our secondary goal of increasing member numbers we ran a giveaway promotion as part of the member mail-out. We gave every existing member a free license for one of our ExpressionEngine add-ons, then asked them to Tweet about it. We let Twitter do the rest. At last check, we’ve given away over $20,000 worth of add-ons and our member numbers have increased substantially. We’re running the promo for the rest of February, so anyone who is interested can grab a free addon.

Given the design looks so similar to the EE-Garage site, were there any particular design and code challenges you faced when designing and coding it?

“…we followed the steps in that article, based our template code on yours, and it worked perfectly, first go…”

None! The style was well defined from the outset, and we stole the code from you guys! The post, ‘Mobile Design in Practice’ helped us immensely. Seriously – we followed the steps in that article, based our template code on yours, and it worked perfectly, first go in our design tests.

How have your customers and subscribers responded to the redesign?

The feedback on Twitter has been great, both about our rebrand and the email itself. The campaign was meant to generate buzz on Twitter, but a decent amount of activity was created by the email itself. We “borrowed” Campaign Monitor’s lovely Forward/Tweet/Like toolbar for our email and this generated a few new followers and likes for us. Bonus!

Finally, there are a lot of folks out there who are keen to refresh their newsletters, but lack time, know-how, or resources. Do you have any advice or encouragement?

“…check out the free templates and get someone who is up to speed on latest techniques to perform an overhaul.”

We look no further than the Campaign Monitor blog and Resources section. Our team at Newism have refined our development techniques with Campaign Monitor’s awesome help over the years, and the majority of that know-how is available for free as part of their downloadable templates. That would be my advice – check out the free templates and get someone who is up to speed on latest techniques to perform an overhaul. Something simple like the addition of CM’s new Twitter and Facebook functionality to your existing template can boost your marketing reach right now.

Many thanks to Wayde and Newism for sharing their experiences and practical advice with us. To see their handiwork in action, check out the new EE-Garage.

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