B2B Email Design – Gallery 2

March 17, 2010

Last week I started an email design gallery containing a series of HTML emails I received. This post is another installment of the “gallery” concept so that you have more designs to review and use in your own creative process. Is good to see what’s out there, what is working and what is not. The emails in these galleries are mostly B2B marketing in nature, but the design principles can be applied to B2C as well.

Note: The emails are in no particular order and the senders were selected at random from a variety of emails I get. Click on the images for larger version.

Design #11

  • Email Sender: Tableau Software
  • Email Title: 50 Metrics Every Marketer Should Master

  • What I Like: Small but visible logo on top left identifies the company immediately. Clean header graphic with big and concise title. Short copy. Right side bar with useful links related to the webinar.
  • What I Don’t Like: Copy is a bit too short… I did register for the webinar and missed it but it could have a bit more copy enticing me to go on and watch it on demand.

Design #12

  • Email Sender: Cision
  • Email Title: Discover the secret weapon

  • What I Like: Header graphic ties into the title of the webinar. Big blue lead in. Good use of bullets and of bolding of words within the bullets, drawing reader’s attention to them.
  • What I Don’t Like: Three different font sizes in the header graphic. The “sign up today” hyperlinked text at the bottom looks out of place, not sure if because of font size but doesn’t seem to fit within the design.

Design #13

  • Email Sender: OB10
  • Email Title: Setup the Perfect e-Invoicing Project

  • What I Like: Logos for Hertz and Xerox calls attention. Clear and concise title tells you right away what the subject of the webinar is about.
  • What I Don’t Like: Image used at the header (top left) is one of those generic stock photos that don’t add much to the message. Copy has nothing to do with the Hertz logo. I look at the logo and think it will be something about how Hertz did their e-Invoicing project but the copy doesn’t address that. Left side bar with Xerox logo talks about another webinar, which could be confusing. What do you want people to do after all, register for this one or for the other one?

Design #14

  • Email Sender: Bulldog Solutions
  • Email Title: Roadmap to Demand Acceleration

  • What I Like: This email was optimized for Outlook as you can see by the very top of it containing plain text. Sure, it may not look that good when you open it but if you’re using MS Outlook with “preview” or with images off, then you can clearly identify what the email is about. Simple but strong header graphic with webinar topic. Good balance between copy and design elements.
  • What I Don’t Like: The words they use in bold at the bottom are completely opposite to what I would have bolded.

Design #15

  • Email Sender: Manticore
  • Email Title: 23 Questions Marketing Automation Vendors Don’t Want You to Ask

  • What I Like: Big attractive header graphic with compelling title and nice “hero shot” of the buyer’s guide being offered. Compelling lead in. Concise bullet points.
  • What I Don’t Like: Seems to have too much copy, I get discouraged from reading it just by opening the email. Copy takes too long to get to the point of what the buyer’s guide is about. There seems to be a weird white space between the last bullet and the final paragraph.

Next I’m thinking about reviewing some email subject lines, because your email design won’t matter if the recipient doesn’t even get to open it!


Email Design Review Gallery

March 9, 2010

Are you tired of what your marketing emails look like? Are you in search of inspiration? Or just want to see what’s out there? Well, this post may be the answer!

Whenever my team talks about changing the design of our email campaigns, we start off my talking about emails we received in the past and that we liked. We also spend some time talking about the emails we hated and those that could be improved. We come out with a list of things to think about and that we could be using in our own campaigns. Is always good to see what’s out there to give you some ideas.

After searching a bit on the web I couldn’t find any “email design gallery” or something like it that would show me different email designs. Sure, our email marketing software has some canned templates but they are very bland. I was looking for some real-life good looking HTML emails I could use as a reference. So I decided to create one and share with you.

This is the first post of a series that will show you some marketing emails (webinar invitations, whitepaper downloads, product announcements, etc.) so that you can take this back to your team for your very own email marketing brainstorming session.

Note: The emails are in no particular order and the senders were selected at random from a variety of emails I get. Click on the images for larger version.

Design #1

  • Email Sender: Marketo
  • Email Title: Social Best Practices for Marketing in the Cloud

  • What I Like: Clean design; date and time of the webinar on top easy to find; orange “Free Webinar” button calls attention to the important action (register now!)
  • What I Don’t Like: Purple graphic on top (Webinar) doesn’t seem to add much to the content; text-heavy email with little break between paragraphs may discourage people from reading it

Design #2

  • Email Sender: Profound Logic Software
  • Email Title: Integrate your modernization efforts on IBM i with Atrium

  • What I Like: Well, its colorful I ‘ll give them that. And there’s a big orange “Register Now” right on top so whatever this email is about I know they want me to register.
  • What I Don’t Like: Too busy, too many things happening in this email that makes it very distracting. I had to read it a couple times to understand what the title was because my eyes kept bouncing around. My eyes go straight to that screenshot before I read the copy and so I have no idea what that shot is about. You are really hoping people stop and read the text, which may not happen all the time.

Design #3

  • Email Sender: Sitecore
  • Email Title: 7 Habits for Maximizing Website Conversions

  • What I Like: Catchy header with interesting graphic, clear title and date/time of the webinar easy to find. Big “Register for our webinar” button at the bottom makes it easy to find where to click to sign up. Picture of speaker gives it a personal tone.
  • What I Don’t Like: Although the header graphic is good, it could be a bit cleaner (I’d remove the mention of 2 sessions and increase the title a bit); Grey text over grey background doesn’t make it ‘pop’.

Design #4

  • Email Sender: MarketingExperiments
  • Email Title: No idea

  • What I Like: The blue and orange colors go really well with the white background. The picture of the speaker gives it a personal feel. Side banner is a good way to try “sell” additional product and increase registrations.
  • What I Don’t Like: Being an email from MarketingExperiments I was expecting it to be much better. This email is cluttered, is very difficult to determine what exactly are they trying to get me to do. How many webinars are being advertised here? And what’s up with blog posts (side bar) in this email? Too confusing. I think the only good thing going for them is that their name is recognizable and so people may spend some time deciphering their email.

Design #5

  • Email Sender: MarketingProfs
  • Email Title: How Businesses are Marketing with Facebook and Twitter

  • What I Like: Really great color combination makes it easy in the eye. Clear header with big title and date/time of the event. Orange “Sign up” button on top left corner is the natural place for your eyes after reading the header and calls attention. Big but concise lead-in. Sponsor logo nicely placed helps give authority to the email.
  • What I Don’t Like: Bullet points could have been more concise; left side bar is grey on grey background which makes it difficult to read.

Design #6

  • Email Sender: SPSS
  • Email Title: What if you had the power to increase campaign response rates and ROI?

  • What I Like:Cathy header and good combination of graphic with text to get people interested. Not copy intensive and good use of bullet points. Big lead-in helps keep users reading.
  • What I Don’t Like: Lead-in copy “Explode six direct marketing myths” doesn’t tell me much, poor choice of words (although ‘myths’ tend to get people to read). Right side bar basically empty, not helping much. No image of the whitepaper that they are offering (images, or “hero shots”, tend to increase registrations rate).

Design #7

  • Email Sender: Omniture
  • Email Title: A Recipe for Relevance

  • What I Like:Clean, nice looking header containing image of the whitepaper and download button. Very light on copy but direct to the point and making good use of bullet points.
  • What I Don’t Like: The ‘download’ button with the Forrester logo on top and right next to the image looks a bit out-of-place, maybe it’s just me? The copy could have been more precise in explaining exactly what the whitepaper is about, looks to me a bit vague.

Design #8

  • Email Sender: CoreMetrics
  • Email Title: The Effect of Disconnect

  • What I Like: The header graphic is not some random image but rather helps drive the point the title is trying to make about “disconnect”. Whitepaper shot on right is the right size (you can read the title of the WP) and right below it is a big red “download the full report” button that you can’t miss.
  • What I Don’t Like: A lot of copy in this email in a space that makes it look cramped doesn’t help the reader. The only “download” link seems to be the red button to the right, I would have added a couple more ‘download’ options either within the text or right after it.

Design #9

  • Email Sender: Eloqua
  • Email Title: Using Social Channels

  • What I Like: This is a really nicely designed email. Red header with Eloqua name tells me right upfront who’s behind the email, there’s not too much copy, the right side with the book shot catches my eyes immediately and the orange “download now” button is hard to miss, you know right away where to click to get it.
  • What I Don’t Like: Although the email design is pleasant in the eyes, the message is confusing. The big shot of the book on the right makes me believe that when clicking the “download” now orange button I’ll get that book chapter they talk about, but then there’s that other red download link in the middle saying “Download: The Buyers New Toolkit”. So which one is it? The book chapter or this toolkit?

Design #10

  • Email Sender: BottomLine
  • Email Title: ePayment Networks

  • What I Like: Bit header with the title of the webinar also tells me when it will be held. Big unmistakable “Register Now” button right on top.  Small graphic image to the right helps balance the copy.
  • What I Don’t Like: The paragraph right below the register now button is huge (9 lines), it would have been better to chop it off and make it a bit smaller, especially because the image to the right reduces available space. The copy is good but lacks some emphasis on important points such as the fact that Aberdeen Group will be presenting and a Senior Cash Control Specialist (a customer, maybe?) will be presenting. If they had bolded some of those names it would have drawn attention to that part of the copy making it easier to read and more compelling.

That’s it for this installment of Email Design Gallery. Let me know what you thought of these designs and if you have any to submit, please contact me!


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