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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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.


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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Above the Fold Hero

Give It a Scroll

When designing an email it’s important to keep “the fold” in mind. In other words, get your message across in the small space the subscriber will see without needing to scroll. If you can’t squeeze your information into that small area, give them a REASON to scroll.

Date: 8/25/15
Subject Line: Last Call…Dresses & Tops from $20

I don’t know if I should file this email under “oops” or “genius.” Lol. I had to scroll just to make sure.

GUESS Mobile Fold       GUESS Email

From: J. Crew
Date: 8/30/15
Subject Line: You’re really missing out… Extra 40% off sale styles & free shipping on orders of $100+ ends tonight.

I was enticed, so I scrolled. I’ll give them points for originality, but in the end it wasn’t worth the scroll. The bottom of the email didn’t contain any new information. I expected to find some information about the promo? sale? new products? I was pretty sure they weren’t selling ice cream, but I had no clue what this email was about (aside from the subject line). Once I clicked through to the landing page and saw the copy “Summer Treat” and the promo code “saletreat,” the connection with the ice cream made sense. However, the email lacked context or a reason to click.

J. Crew Mobile Fold       J. Crew Email

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