Moms Day hero 2018

My Mother’s Day Picks

Did your Mother’s Day email fall short this year? Help add life to your message with use of authenticity, originality and humor. Check out the emails that made my list this year.

From: Hot Topic
Date: 5/14/18
Subject Line: Newsflash: It’s Mother’s Day. Get your cool mom a cool gift.

Moms Day Hot Topic Email  Moms Day Hot Topic Animated

This email animates a phone conversation between a mother and daughter. It not only grabs your attention with the animation, but also makes it fun by adding some humor when the mom asks for Slipknot tank for Mother’s Day. It’s smart that they added in the typing […] graphic to the animation to allow time for reading while also making it feel more genuine. I also love how they manipulated the keyboard and word-suggestion area to call attention to the sale.

From: aerie
Date: 5/08/18
Subject Line: You Got It From Your Mama!

Moms Day Aerie Email  Moms Day Aerie Email zoom

Aerie sent out an email asking their models what they got from their mothers. The design features loving quotes and pictures of the moms and daughters together. What makes this one extra special though, is that all of the women are wearing aerie swimsuits and (as is the aerie way) are shown in untouched photography. It’s refreshing to see women of all ages and body types together, having fun and confidence in their natural forms.

From: Anthropologie
Date: 5/13/18
Subject Line: Isn’t Mom the best?

Moms Day Anthropologie Email  Moms Day Anthropologie Email zoom

Anthropologie sent out a series of emails highlighting their female staff with their kids. It’s a different angle to feature the employee as the mom. The photography is really what brings these emails to life. They are shot outside of a studio and look very authentic — Moms hugging and tickling their kids and playing on the beach. It just warms my heart. The script fonts, shadows and ripped edges add to the natural playfulness.

From: UncommonGoods
Date: 5/08/18
Subject Line: Gifts for Woman Warriors (aka Moms)

Moms Day UnCommonGoods Email  Moms Day UnCommonGoods Email zoom

Finally, this email from UncommonGoods caught my eye. It defines Moms as superheroes and lets you choose which comic best fits your mom’s style. The unique hand drawn covers portray different super-abilities that match shopping categories. For example: “Dr. Brainiac” leads to geek gifts, “Mother of Gardens” goes to garden gifts and (my favorite) “The Gray Tornado” features gifts for grandma. The theme overall is original and fun.

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Holiday Gifts Link Hero 2

Tis the Season to Give

Well, it’s officially time to break out those holiday designs! This year, make sure to extend your theme beyond the main message and include it in the framework of your email as well. You can add fun graphics or just switch up the colors for a festive touch. Today, however, I want to talk about one specific addition — a “gifts” button. It provides a quick and easy way for subscribers to shop for their loved ones and see what your business has to offer. Much like a recovery module, it offers an opportunity for click-through even if the subscriber wasn’t interested in the main message. Here are a few examples of gift call-to-actions that popped!

From: Anthropologie
Date: 11/16/16
Subject Line: New tops in need-now shapes: 25% off + free ship.

Anthropologie introduces a new “gifts” link in their footer. It can’t be missed with contrasting red text that animates! See the email animate.

Anthropologie    1118_gifts_anthro_200

From: American Eagle
Date: 11/16/16
Subject Line: A fresh take on destroyed denim

American Eagle follows suit with a red animated link, but they take it a step further by placing it above the fold. Love this idea! See the email animate.

American Eagle    1118_gifts_aeo_200

From: UncommonGoods
Date: 11/14/16
Subject Line: Win the Holidays

If you want to go all out, instead of a singular “gifts” button, break down the gifts by category. Shop by: gender, personality, price point, age, hobbies, etc. — the sky is the limit. (Side note, I just have to say I love this main message design. The use of graphics is so clever, bold and simple. It’s just perfection. But anyway, back on topic…) Uncommon Goods includes a footer at the bottom with “shop by” categories to help simplify gifting. Normally I would say it could use a headline to call out gift giving, or something to make the section stand out a bit more. But since the entire email is essentially a shop-by-category theme, it might have been overkill. Well done.

Uncommon Goods    Uncommon Goods Footer

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Scrolling Story Hero

A Scrolling Story

I love how these emails tell a vertical story. The thought/sentence begins at the top of the email and continues as you scroll down. They use minimal word groupings to make it quick and easy to scan. This concept is sure to keep you scrolling all the way to the bottom. So which email pulled it off better? Check out my thoughts below.

From: Anthropologie
Date: 10/16/15
Subject Line: Fri, Sat, Sun & 20% OFF.

Anthropologie

The drop shadows on the products add nice dimension. Normally I love a strong hero but in this case it sort of feels disconnected from the story. (Especially with the large headline that appears below it.) I would suggest starting the first cut out overlapping the hero. Either that or use a method like an arrow or an alternative graphic to tie it all together. The landing page links work as expected — each product links to a page for that category, beginning with the product featured in the email.

From: Banana Republic
Date: 10/16/15
Subject Line: Spice things up (with accessories!)

Banana Republic

Both emails did a good job placing a call-to-action above the fold. However, Banana-Republic one-up’d Anthropologie by placing an additional button at the bottom of the email. Their call-to-action also stands out more. I love how the color of the products and the title bring everything together. The growing words really add interest to make you want to scroll to the end. Banana Republic scores one again by not only adding drop shadows to their products, but also angling them. They went with a different approach with their links. Instead of having separate product links, all of the products link to the same page. This page contains everything featured in the email. Personally, I prefer Anthropologie’s landing page approach more.

So IMHO, the winner of this round is (drum roll, please) … Banana Republic. My challenge to you: Take the vertical story idea, improve upon it, and make it your own! I would love to see Land of Nod (or any children’s brand) use the vertical story concept with a cute children’s book theme.

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Inspiring Blog Hero

Inspiration Becomes Reality

I look to many brands as a source of inspiration — whether it be for fashion, cooking or decorating. I’ll evaluate the design, dissecting each element to determine what makes it so great. I love that these emails do the work for you. They pull you in with an entrancing image, and then break down the products that bring the final look together.

From: Anthropologie
Date: 9/06/15
Subject Line: Out-of-sight outerwear + final days, 30% OFF.

Anthropologie

From: Rejuvenation
Date: 8/12/15
Subject Line: Looking to update your bath? Start here with Free Shipping!‏

Rejuvenation

From: Sur La Table
Date: 8/01/15
Subject Line: Recipes & tips for a Thai-inspired stir-fry

Sur La Table

From: J. Crew
Date: 9/06/15
Subject Line: September in 60 seconds: the shoe, the jacket, the sweater & more

J. Crew

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Who Wore It Better Hero

Who Wore It Better?

I’m sensing a trend here. What better way to make someone feel like they’re getting the most bang for their buck than to offer a versatile garment that can be worn day after day? Here are three emails that highlight just that. So which email design “wore it” best? Let’s evaluate.

MY FIRST PICK:
From: Anthropologie
Date: 8/14/15
Subject Line: Our most versatile dress yet (+ free ship).

Anthropologie

0825_check-mark Product image above the fold
0825_check-mark Design flow
0825_check-mark Outfit pairing(s)
0825_check-mark Stunning product imagery
0825_uncheck Landing page expectation

I love this email’s outdoor photography (as opposed to studio) and the product pairings with each outfit. These two elements make the design most appealing and adds value by doing the tough “pairing” work for the subscriber. Not to mention that it offers the most opportunity for click-throughs. My only criticism is that none of the links take you to the featured product. Instead they go to the general category where you are forced to scroll to find the product. Even though their copy suggests that it might go to the category (tanks, shirt dresses and pullovers), the imagery and email topic sets another expectation. I would suggest either providing links for the product in addition to the category, or at the very least providing the name of the featured products.

SECOND CHOICE:
From: Banana Republic
Date: 8/21/15
Subject Line: Take this dress in 2 directions

Banana Republic

checkmark Product image above the fold
checkmark Design flow
checkmark Outfit pairing
uncheck Stunning product imagery
checkmark Landing page expectation

Banana Republic comes in a close second. While it has lots of things going for it, it doesn’t have as much versatility when it comes to product uses and pairings. Out of the three emails, it’s landing page was handled the best (although still not entirely ideal). It too only has a link to shop by the category. However, what makes it better than the others is that the product list begins with the featured dress.

FINALLY:
From: LOFT
Date: 8/25/15
Subject Line: How to wear it: 1 piece, 2 ways

LOFT

checkmark Product image above the fold
uncheck Design flow
uncheck Outfit pairing
uncheck Stunning product imagery
uncheck Landing page expectation

Although LOFT places last, they excel in original uses for the featured product. The text slightly overlaying the images (also done in the Banana Republic design) is a nice touch to break from the norm and tie in the copy with the images. Their biggest downfall is with their landing page. Like the other emails, the “shop” links all take you to a category page, again forcing you to scroll and search for the product. The “explore” button (that’s above the fold) takes you to a more appropriate landing page that matches the email design, but even the links on that page have issues. For example, when the “shop” button below the cargo skirt is clicked, it goes to a page featuring the poncho or the cardigan first. IMHO, the skirt should appear first and the pairings below it. The hero image is also broken on EVERY product page, saying “Hold, please. Image coming soon.”

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