Panera Hero

Emails with Live Updates

From: Panera
Date: 10/13/18
Subject Line: Amy, vote for your favorite Mac & Cheese!

Panera Cropped Email    Panera Animation

We’ve seen it before: emails that refresh the content each time you visit. Mostly it’s been used to count down the time until a sale ends. Well, Panera has come up with an innovative way to use live email updates. They ask subscribers to vote for their favorite Mac & Cheese creation, with the email displaying the live results! What a cool way to get customers up-to-date information that’s also interactive. In this case, it was also a fun way to let customers know that new fall “Soups and Mac” have arrived.

The live results aren’t the only thing Panera is doing right in this email. They also animated the hero to grab my attention, used my name in the subject line and email to make it feel personal, and made the design mobile friendly. Nicely done!

I could see this strategy being used for other types of retailers. For instance, Gymboree recently had a vote-for-our-next-toddler-model contest. Wouldn’t it have been cool to see which child was “in the lead” in the email? I could also see a clothing retailer having shoppers vote on their favorite fall outfit. What about having subscribers vote what the next holiday “deal of the day” should be? The possibilities are endless!

Read More

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.

Read More

Target

Right On, Target

I’ve noticed two things that Target is doing nicely. First, they have been selecting products that coordinate in color for their sections. For example, in this email all the decor is teal, the electronics are silver, etc. Doing this makes the groupings aesthetically pleasing, feel as if they belong together, and helps to define the sections. Even the products in the recovery module are coordinated in Target’s signature red.

Second, is their use of responsive coding, which best optimizes rendering for desktop vs. mobile. On a computer the email is significantly wider, with the hero image to the left and it’s related links to the right. Whereas on a mobile device the sections stack vertically. This makes the text and images larger on a small screen, therefore, easier to read and click.

From: Target
Date: 8/22/15
Subject Line: Psst! Save 30% on kids’ clothing. Ends today.

On a computer:
Target Computer

On a mobile device:
Target Mobile

Read More