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The All-New Guide to CSS Support in Email

Take a look at our All-New Guide to CSS in Email.

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7 Opportunities Perfect for Building and Using Email Templates

How email templates will help you send beautiful emails in an efficient manner

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A Day in the Life of an Agency’s Creative Director

Learn what’s it’s like to work as the Creative Director of an email marketing agency.

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Conversion-Centered Design Principles for Email

Learn how different aspects of email design influence how a subscriber connects with your brand.

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9 Inspiring Emails and the Creatives Who Love Them

We spend a lot of time checking out emails here in the Campaign Monitor creative department. Whether we’re obsessing over new email technologies, lusting over good-looking design or infatuated by well-written copy, we occasionally play favorites. In this post, we’ll look at nine emails selected by members of our Creative team.  American Eagle This email plays off Sir Mix-A-Lot’s famous pop song “Baby Got Back.” American Eagle created a fun GIF in which clothes move down the email and eventually reveal the clever headline: “Baby Got Packed.” *Mind-blown* It’s so awesome and fun. Kudos to American Eagle for having such creative emails. – Kate Reyes, Art Director Lagunitas  Lagunitas is a company that knows its brand and its target. Right at the top of the email, they let you know what the email is about and they do it with a sense of urgency: “Tickets on sale now” for their famous Beer Circus and a complete listing of easy to click on locations. The email is full of big, beautiful, and fun images, plus there’s a lot for the reader to discover and enjoy. The voice and tone of the email is totally on brand with copy like, “See things you can’t unsee!” and “A new bomber? WTF?” to promote their Whiskey Tango Foxtrot beer. They include video enabling readers to see their amazing beer canning line in action—again Lagunitas knows their audience! And at the end, they provide some social ways to “mumble along” and stay in the know. After all, their brand motto is Beer Speaks. People Mumble. – Jimmy Cabral, Creative Director The Trunk Club I love this email from Trunk Club because it’s simple and beautiful. It’s a combination of smarts and style. It can be difficult to create a retail email that is also upscale.Trunk Club showcased one product, with many options, while giving a nod to the fact they have a great selection. Additionally, they used a nice witty headline and pulled this tone through the rest of their copy. Nicely done, Trunk Club, And not an exclamation point in sight. – Anne Lewis, Senior Copywriter Rifle Paper Co. I’m a long-time fan of Rifle Paper hand-drawn stationeries by Anna Bond. Many people have tried to imitate her styles, but once you’ve seen her work before, you can always tell and recognize it among the other look-alike stationaries on the shelves. Her beautiful and whimsical illustration style really sets the tone for every product she puts out. I always feel excited to check out Rifle Paper’s email newsletter, and I’m always in awe of the design choices they make for different types of campaigns. There are so many beautiful emails they sent out it’s hard to pick just one, but the one that sticks out in my mind is last year’s Cyber Monday newsletter. Rifle Paper uses a simple, casual, yet catchy subject line (Good thing you saw this) in this newsletter, that makes you curious to open it. It’s vague but leaves you wondering what’s inside. Damn Rifle Paper. (Looking at their catalog now…) – Novita Prasetia, Designer Two Associates [iframe src="http://twouk.createsend1.com/t/ViewEmail/d/7BBAF227BB35BE3A/"] A simple and elegant way to send warm wishes for the holiday season. More importantly, it displays Two’s unique talents: amazing creative, as well as innovative thinking by harnessing their customer’s quiet time during the holiday, inviting them to interact with the email and post their creation on Twitter. So fun. – Dustin Finkle, Marketing Project Director FontShop I’m a huge fan of the emails FontShop creates and sends.They are one of the world’s largest typeface resellers, consistently creating flawlessly designed emails that support their products and their mission. Big beautiful full-width images, perfectly crafted typography, excellent use of white space, and small details like hover states all add to create a very contemporary and inviting email. What stands out is how responsive they are. This allows the emails to work well on all screen sizes. By giving the user an option to view the email in the browser, it opens up a world of opportunity to show off their typefaces. This allows them to create a uniquely branded experience, in a world where email design is stuck at 600px wide, using web-safe typography, and are not responsive. They are blurring the lines between email design and website design which is super interesting. Some may say their emails may lack support, but for their target audience (designers) I feel they are spot on. It’s also a brave and innovative way to look at email design. Nice work, FontShop. – Mike Twigg, Senior Art Director Pret The out-of-the-box thinking in this email is what impresses me the most with its interactivity and how the fallback is so seamless. Viewing this email, for email clients that utilize the webkit vendor prefix and supports CSS3, readers get to interact with it as if it were a web page. The interactivity uses default click functionality on labels to check a hidden radio button which, with clever use of CSS detecting when a button is selected, triggers a change of display of the appropriate container and begins a CSS animation rolling through an image to make it appear as though the cup is filling up with the flavor chosen. This gives the email an extra dimension to what email normally provides a reader and allows the reader to engage more with the email. For email clients that don’t support these things, a still image is provided which ensures this email displays correctly no matter what email client is used. Smart, effective, and engaging – all things you want in a good email. – Ash Durham, Lead Developer Dollar Shave Club When it comes to email design, few are better than Dollar Shave Club. The design-led company has brilliant and humorous branding, amazing user experience, and aesthetic. Dollar Shave Club puts their well-designed products first by contrasting them over clean white and gray backgrounds, centering the attention on the product alone. The short, bold headlines allow readers to see and digest the information quickly. The bright orange CTAs catch your eye and you can’t help but want to click, click, click. Dollar Shave Club’s UX is keeping millennials like myself engaged and satisfied. Perhaps my favorite experience occurs once a month when I receive an email before my order is shipped. The email prompts me to add additional items before my order goes out. They’ve done an amazing job by including CTAs under each product prompting you to add to your existing order. The link automatically logs you in and the item is added to your order. There’s no confirmation. No, are you sure? No credit card. This is the type of painless UX that leads to impulse buying- tricky, Dollar Shave Club, but I like it. – Dexter Gary, Designer AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts) Love this email by AIGA! It pushes the boundaries of what we expect from email. Reminiscent of a well-designed webpage, the interesting layout jam-packed with graphic shapes, unexpected colors and images make an impact in my inbox like nothing else. Grabbing attention is one thing, but if you can’t keep it – you’ve lost momentum. Notice the unexpected logo animation? Surprise and delight keeps the viewer engaged. So too does the succinct and digestible copy. Adding text tags to each section makes the content easy to scan, and provides information without being overwhelming. But the beauty of the email doesn’t stop there – everything is clickable. Images and headlines function as buttons, which means no fumbling around with clumsy fingers attempting to click small links or buttons. Nothing like a good-looking email that’s optimized for click-throughs. Nice work, AIGA. – Nikola Keavy, Art Director Wrap up We hope you’re feeling inspired to jump in and create your own email masterpiece.  For a head start check out the template gallery, designed by us. Or take a look at the best of the best, the Campaign Monitor top email picks in our Top 100 Emails Gallery.

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Introducing Template Management for Teams

We’re excited to announce “Template Management for Teams” giving you the ability to lock sections…

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3 Powerful Ways to Use External Images in Your Next Email Campaign

Read on for three ways to make your next email campaign more personalized and relevant…

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Top 100 Email Marketing Campaigns of 2016

We chatted with the Top 100 featured customers and got to not only see their…

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Gmail Update: A Closer Look at Google’s Rendering Refresh

We wanted to share what we’ve found out so far about Google’s recently announced updates…

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Responsive Email Support in Gmail Is Coming

We recently announced that we had worked on a fix for the lack of support for responsive design in email clients with the most prolific being Gmail. This lack of support by Gmail has long been the bane of our existence and many have shared their woes over the years. When we asked some of email marketing’s most influential players to make predictions about what this year had in store, Alex Williams predicted Gmail would fix its biggest flaw. That day is finally here. In a brief post on the Google Apps developer blog today it was announced that support for responsive email is coming to their email clients by the end of September. Later this month, you’ll be able to use CSS media queries with Gmail to ensure that your message is formatted the way you intended, whether it’s viewed on a computer, a phone in portrait mode, or a tablet in landscape mode. You’ll be able to change styles based on width, rotation, and resolution, allowing for more responsive formatting to optimize your email for every device. While the announcement focuses on responsive email support, which is huge news, this update actually goes far beyond that. Let’s break it down and look at what’s about to change for those that code emails. The end of inline CSS? The update actually includes a number of similar but distinct email clients: Google’s three webmail clients Gmail, Inbox, and Google Apps, Gmail on iOS and Android, and Inbox on iOS and Android. Lack of stylesheet support across all of these email clients (with a minor exception) has had us grimacing for years, and is the main reason why HTML email still relies so heavily on inline CSS. That’s all about to change with this update, which means inline CSS in email will largely be a thing of the past. What this means is that not only can you drastically reduce the file size of your emails. Eliminating the inlining step from your workflow will also shorten the path to a finished email. Support for media queries Along with the stylesheet support comes support for media queries – one of the cornerstones of responsive design. This lets you apply different CSS based on the email client width and height among other things. It’s almost 2 years since Google confirmed that responsive email support was on their roadmap, and we’re stoked to see them finally reach this destination. Meanwhile, Google’s lack of media query support has resulted in a number of hacks, including the hybrid fluid method and mobile-first emails. While we expect these techniques to continue to work nicely in Google’s updated email clients, it should be possible to clean these hacks up considerably once the new client versions are fully rolled out. Google will also be supporting other media query features like orientation, letting you optimize the landscape and portrait views of your email, and min-resolution, which is handy for applying retina assets. Documentation of CSS support Another big change for email developers is that Google now documents their CSS support in an online reference. This type of documentation is incredibly rare in the email client world, where we’ve resorted to tracking CSS support in email client ourselves instead. Their reference also indicates support for a number of properties Gmail has previously ignored, so we’re excited to try this out in practice and see which possibilities open up. What about interactive email? Something that’s not specifically addressed in their reference is whether the <style> support will also include support for :checked selectors. These selectors are commonly used for various interactive email techniques, so it’ll be interesting to see whether Google’s support for interactive email will improve. Wrap up Now that Gmail promises to make it easier to design emails that will look great across all their clients, more time will be available to focus on the many other aspects of email marketing. An update to this post is available.

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How iOS 10 May Impact Email Marketers

See how email marketers are impacted by the latest iPhone software. Campaign Monitor digs into…

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