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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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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Stand_Out_Hero

Standing Out in the Crowd

Sometimes the inbox can get pretty cut & dry with the same design formats regurgitated again and again. If you don’t work to set yourself apart, your email could get lost in the sea of messages. Here are a few designs that were really fun and attention grabbing.

From: UncommonGoods
Date: 8/17/15
Subject Line: Decor Envy

The hand drawn elements that support each product really make this email special. While some of the products may have gotten a bit lost in the drawings, it definitely got my attention and I took the time to find each item.

UncommonGoods

From: Tiny Prints
Date: 8/16/15
Subject Line: A Theme Come True! Plus, 25% Off Sitewide

This email drew me in right away with its bright complimentary colors and the invitation turned rocket ship. The fun continues with textured backgrounds separating each section and little side messages with arrows.

Tiny Prints

From: Banana Republic
Date: 8/15/15
Subject Line: You’ve never seen shirts like these

I love the hand-written notes and the arrows pointing out specific design elements. The thumb tacks, curled up corners, shadows and layers help give this email a fun bulletin board feel.

Banana Republic

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Banana Republic

A Whole New World

From: Banana Republic
Date: 8/11/15
Subject Line: Don’t miss out on your special offer!

Banana Republic

I love emails that tell a story or put you in a setting outside of the ordinary. When I opened this gem from Banana Republic I was immediately transported to another country and into the sketchbook of a clothing designer! The use of photographs, designer sketches and hand-drawn lettering really brought this email to life. If I had seen those blue pants on a shelf at the store I would have walked right by them — but now, seeing them in the context of a chic foreign world they mean so much more to me. I simultaneously see these products in a whole new light AND want to take a trip to France. My only suggestion would be to add the same tone to the copy and subject line.

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