Bath & Body Works hero

An Email Worth Scrolling For

From: Bath & Body Works
Date: 2/01/20
Subject Line: 💘 your Valentine’s Day gift guide 💘
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Bath & Body Works Email

Every now and then I get an email that makes me jealous, as a designer. Today was one of those days.

According to a study done in 2019, the majority of emails are opened on a mobile device (roughly 42% mobile, 40% webmail clients and 18% desktop). Viewing on a smaller screen forces you to scroll more than on a desktop. Therefore, it’s important to create designs that entice you to reach the bottom.

Bath & Body Works Phone Scroll

When you look at this email as a single image, it really isn’t as impressive as seeing it scrolling. Bath & Body Works was able to create one long vertical image that SEAMLESSLY incorporates multiple products — while also creating flow, balance, and dimension. I find myself dissecting the image, looking for any seam or a misplaced shadow, but I can’t find one. It’s amazing work. They also add interest by including an animated gif in the header (the candle flickers).

Bath & Body Works animation

The only missed opportunity is the lack of call-to-actions. Bath & Body Works does include a link at the top and bottom of the “scroll area” to SHOP GIFTS. (I appreciate the CTA at the bottom, BTW!) However, the products within the scroll are missing these. The long image is broken into multiple pieces to allow for multiple links (room fragrances and 2 new scents), but all sections link to the same landing page (Gifts for Her).

This design, graphically, is nothing short of inspiring!

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Sur La Table Recipe Email Hero

Now THIS is How You Sell a Product

From: Sur La Table
Date: 7/17/16
Subject Line: This Week’s Recipe—Shrimp and Pineapple Curry

From: Sur La Table
Date: 7/24/16
Subject Line: This Week’s Recipe: Barbecued Corn & Tomato Salad

Sur La Table Pineapple Email    Sur La Table Corn Email

I ADORE these recipe emails from Sur La Table! These are great examples of how to feature a product in a way that can appeal to anyone. They’re packed with information including a recipe, product, tip and trivia — but despite all the content, they are fun and don’t feel overwhelming. The gorgeous recipe hero image is eye catching and includes a large call to action above the fold. Right from the start this email has added value by giving you something for free without trying to sales pitch you out the door. The well implemented left-to-right flow and wonderful use of negative space draws your eyes to the next section where you see the product that was used to make the recipe. A video is included in both emails to illustrate how easy the product is to use. There are so many graphic design choices that really add interest, including: textured headline backgrounds that POP, drop shadows on products, boxes with dotted borders, overlapping imagery, various arrows to lead the eye, colored drop shadows and the headline flourish in the trivia section. I ❤❤❤ these emails! Nice job, Sur La Table!

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Forever 21

A Design FIT for Greatness

From: Forever 21
Date: 2/05/16
Subject Line: A (F)IT Girl: Tips From SELF Magazine

Forever 21

There’s a lot to like about this gem from Forever 21. The clothing retailer steps up their game by making the email all about the workout. They offer 3 muscle-building moves to add to your routine. Each move is paired with an image of a model in fitness attire that can be purchased. The design is inspiring with many positive takeaways.

Let’s count the things I love about it:
1) Flow. I love the line that draws your eye down the page from the very beginning. The movement continues by use of staggered imagery and text placement.
2) Scanability. The bold and concise headlines make it quick and easy to read.
3) Organization. The large pink numbers provide nice separation between sections. They keep the email from becoming a jumbled mess with no end in sight.
4) Style. The editorial type layout resembles that of a magazine (after all the subject line says the tips come from SELF magazine).
5) Depth. The overlapping imagery in varying sizes adds interest to the design.
6) Theme. The variety of image types include products, exercise equipment, and motivational signs. The image mix adds to the feel of the email so it doesn’t look product driven.
7) Details. The careful attention to alignment gives the design a finished feel. For example: In the first section the number 1, the title and the copy box are all top-aligned. In the next section the vertical lines align with the title and the copy block.

As much as I adore this email, there are a few things I would change:
1) Clearer Instructions. I would have liked to see images or illustrations of the steps for each routine. Sometimes it’s difficult to understand in words; plus, images are so much quicker to scan. If there’s not a good way to work them into the design, a link to a landing page could work.
2) The CTA. I have a few gripes on this one. There is only one call to action for the primary message, and it’s placed at the very bottom. I would have liked to see product names as links throughout the design, as well as a general button above the fold. The CTA wording is also lack luster and unclear: “Shop Now.” I would assume this would take me to fitness clothing, which it does… but then the next section says “Shop Activewear” which goes to a different landing page. So I’m left wondering what the difference is between these sections.
3) Last, I have a small copy suggestion. In the right column of the opening paragraph, it bothers me that it begins with a number. I would have rearranged copy, added words, or spelled out eighteen to make sure that didn’t happen. The length of that line compared to the others also doesn’t settle well with me. It wouldn’t be so bad anywhere else, but it doesn’t work well in the first line of a column. Nit-picky, but that’s my 2 cents.

Overall, I love this email. Nicely done!

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Superbowl Mobile App Hero

Super Bowl Stunner

From: American Eagle Outfitters
Date: 2/07/16
Subject Line: Time for kickoff: 20% off your purchase on the app!

American Eagle Outfitters

I received many football-themed emails the day of the big game, but this one is my favorite. AEO uses this email to promote their new mobile app. They offer a 20% discount for shopping on the app, beginning Super Bowl Sunday. The copy is clever, incorporating football lingo throughout the email. Here are a few examples: the app-time show, fumble-free shopping, and no penalties for excessive celebration. The copy is also a good length for scanning. I <3 the design. It has great movement which is made possible with angled products, negative space, and sketches that resemble a football playbook. I love the size and placement of the imagery. Even the color selection is a plus, providing nice contrast; the dark textured background really makes the white text pop. They find unique ways to incorporate screenshots of the new app into the design without it getting boring.

They followed up the next day with the same email, but updated a few portions of copy:

  • Subject Line: INSTANT REPLAY: 20% off ends today!
  • Headline: We’re Goin’ to Overtime
  • Preheader: Your closet FTW!

Overall, this email gets an A+ for originality and execution.

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