Social Media

Let’s Talk Social

With the many forms of social media out there, it can get confusing to know what kind of information can be found in each place. These brands did a good job breaking it down.

From: The Land of Nod
Date: 7/27/2015
Subject Line: Keep up with the latest and greatest.

This is my favorite design. I liked the use of tape, clips and fun fonts. It’s not overly wordy. The combination of bold and blue text made it easier to scan. Even the implementation of the icons is lovely.

Land of Nod

From: HomeGoods
Date: 7/30/2015
Subject Line: Like, tweet, pin, post, watch. Connect with us, Amy!

I love the quote bubbles that show what type of information can be found in each section. Rather than describing, they give an example — “I scored this for a client @HomeGoods for $299!! Made my day.” The information is easily digestible and thoughtfully put together.


From: J.Crew
Date: 7/30/2015
Subject Line: Hello, @jcrew

I like the design and simplicity of this email. In this example, the images pretty much do all the speaking.

J Crew

From: Bluefly
Date: 7/25/2015
Subject Line: You Have A Friend Request!

I like the overlapping samples of imagery in the Instagram and Pinterest sections. It’s enough examples to give a really good idea of what can be expected in each location. Facebook could have used a bit more love though.


From: UncommonGoods
Date: 7/29/2015
Subject Line: Be First to Know

This email was well done overall, but one of my least favorite of this group. Even though the design is nice, the information wasn’t quite as scannable. They could have used titles or other ways of breaking up or highlighting text.


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Don’t Cop-Out On Your Opt-Out

From: Old Navy
Date: 05/01/2015
Subject Line: We Can’t Buy Your Love

Old Navy Opt-Out Email

Let’s face it, opt-out emails are scary — you worked hard to get those subscribers. A bad list though, and it’s straight to the junk folder. I suggest your opt-out email remind them WHY they signed up in the first place. If it’s for your spectacular products, make them the focus. Your unique style? Show it with an amazing design. Maybe it was an added bonus they received by signing up, so throw in an offer they can’t refuse. For Old Navy, it’s their spunky attitude and great deals, so that’s what they put into their opt-out email. I love the wording they chose, both in the subject line and email — it’s right on target with their style and audience. The design, however, leaves something to be desired… but for the brand it still works.

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So, You Want to Learn HTML?

Learning how to code HTML (ahem!) almost 10 years ago, without a doubt, changed my life for the better. It provided an opportunity to change careers in a completely new direction, shortly after my first child was born. Previously, I was the Sommelier + Maitre’d of a 4-star rated restaurant, a job that I loved, and in which I excelled. However, as I quickly discovered after returning from my maternity leave, trying to maintain the long hours required with restaurant management, along with the demands of a newborn did not make for a happy family life. I was most fortunate that my brother encouraged me to take a course in HTML. I remember being terrified, and had serious doubts that I could learn coding, but my awesome brother assured me that “any half-way smart person” could learn it…so that’s what I did!

There are many great books out there, and I got my start by reading Beginning Web Programming with HTML, XHTML, and CSS (now in 2nd Edition) by Jon Duckett, and enrolling in a 2 day intensive HTML course at LearnIt!, a San Francisco Bay Area based outfit, that now also offers Live Online Training. As luck would have it, the previously mentioned awesome brother was launching a boutique Email Creative Services agency, and I was able to hit the ground running with immediate part-time contract work, which enabled me to stay home with my baby daughter. Regardless of what a person does with their acquired HTML skills, it can be used across a wide array of career paths from Coding and Graphic Design, to Marketing and Advertising.

Below, are a few additional industry respected resources for learning about HTML, and Email Marketing:

Once you are feeling confident of your coding chops, and you are ready for some work, here are a few reputable places to find freelance gigs:

And a few useful tools for once you are more established in the Email Marketing world:

  • eDataSource (the perfect tool for mining data and analytics from the competition)
  • Litmus (a must have tool to ensure your emails are rendering and looking pretty across multiple platforms and devices)

Good luck HTML students, and potential future Code à la Mode coders! 🙂

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