Category Archives: Marketing Tools

20 SECRETS OF TOP-CONVERTING WEBSITES AND HOW THEY CAN BOOST YOUR HOTEL BOOKINGS

Re-cap of Bryan Eisenberg’s presentation at SES Chicago

If the average conversion rate for a website is around 3 percent, why do some websites achieve a 10 percent conversion rate? What do they do that the others don’t? This is the question that Bryan Eisenberg set out to answer in his presentation ‘20 Secrets of Top-Converting Websites’ at the SES Chicago conference this December. Bryan revealed 20 of his most valuable tips that will help you increase your hotel website conversion rate. Bryan is a New York Times bestselling author and a recognized authority in improving conversion rates, persuasion architecture and persona marketing.

First of all, what is a conversion? A conversion is when someone takes a desired action on your website i.e. they purchase a product, download a whitepaper, or in the case of the hotel industry, they make a reservation. You may attract a lot of traffic to your website but this means nothing if your site isn’t designed to facilitate conversions.

How effective is your hotel website in regards to conversions? You can learn this by analyzing the metrics of your Analytics software. Through analytics you can learn what the most popular pages on your site are, where users spend the most time, and where you may be losing people. No matter what your conversion rate is, chances are you could still improve it. Below is an outline of tactics that the top converting websites use according to Bryan. Does your hotel website incorporate these tactics?

THE TOP CONVERTING WEBSITES DO THE FOLLOWING:

1. They Communicate Unique Value Propositions & Unique Campaign Propositions

Does your hotel website communicate your Unique Value Proposition? What is it that makes you unique among other hotels, and how does this appeal to your target audience? Think about your unique campaign proposition too. How are you packaging up and selling your hotel?

2. They Make Persuasive & Relevant Offers

Are you offering promotions and packages that are relevant to your guests? How persuasive are your offers?

3. They Reinforce Their Offer Site-wide

Make sure your offer is consistent and repetitive throughout the site. If a guest sees your offer on your homepage, make sure it is repeated on your reservations page so they feel confident they are still going to receive the offer.

4. They Maintain Scent

Make sure you have a consistent look and feel on every page and on every form of your website so that users always know they are on the right track. For example if a user clicks on a form it should match the previous page so they won’t feel lost. Make sure your offer doesn’t change anywhere along the way either. If you promise something, you must deliver it.

5. They Make A Strong First Impression

Similar to first impressions of people, users will size up your website in a matter of seconds. Make sure your first impression is impactful.

6. They Appeal To Multiple Personas/Segments

Your website must appeal to different personality types. Bryan segments the personalities into four groups: Spontaneous, Humanistic, Methodical, and Competitive. He referenced Jacob Nielsen who has also conducted research on these personality types and web usability. Below is a list of the four personality types and the questions they will want answered on your website:

A person who has a competitive personality is decisive and looks for the bottom line. This personality asks ‘what’ questions. Regarding your hotel, this person will want to know location, comparison to other hotels, and star rating systems.

A person who has a humanistic personality appreciates a hotel with a friendly staff that is helpful and polite. This personality asks ‘who’ questions. He/She wants to feel good about a hotel and values learning about the experience of others who have stayed there.

A person who has a spontaneous personality is impulsive and appreciates a personal touch. This personality asks ‘why’ questions. He/She avoids cold, hard facts and wants to know if the staff will help her, or if there is a restaurant or nightclub. This personality type will be impressed by silky sheets, quality toiletries and special touches.

A person who has a methodical personality likes to see the hard facts and wants to see the information presented in a logical manner. This personality type asks ‘how’ questions. He/She is not impressed with the personal touch and will look for things such as check-out times, prices, and what comes with the room.

7. They Don’t Slice & Dice (Website) Optimization

Not only should your website appeal to these four distinct personality groups, but you must also optimize your site design, content and search features in a way that meets the needs of each personality type and encourages conversions. Website optimization is the art of improving your website to optimize the visitor experience and conversion rates, not to be confused with search engine optimization, which is the process of improving volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines.

Let’s look again at those personality types and see how they may navigate through your hotel website. If the different personality types cannot access the information they are looking for, the way they want to look for it, they will get frustrated and leave your site.

A person with a competitive personality may go directly to the online reservations page. This person will most likely choose a hotel from the drop down menu by city and select the first hotel. He/She may also look at hotel details and the map. This personality type won’t typically look at the other pages on the site but will rely heavily on the search button.

A person with a humanistic personality will look at the homepage first, and be drawn to particular adjectives in the copy such as ‘charming,’ ‘cozy,’ or ‘historic.’ This person may try to search for hotels in the city under these adjectives such as ‘historic.’ He/She will also want to see the image gallery and the video, and will most likely look at services and amenities. This personality type will also want to read reviews before making a reservation.

A person with a spontaneous personality will look at the hotel brands on the home page. He/She won’t read much about the brands but may be impressed by the logos. This person will look at descriptions of area attractions such as shopping and restaurants. He/She will also look at images of the hotel and imagine if they would have a good time there.

A person with a methodical personality will most likely spend the most time on a hotel website. He/She will try the registration tool and read through all the copy, which they will most likely find too ‘fluffy.’ This person is looking for facts and would appreciate a ‘fast facts’ list. This personality type will check all the maps and driving instructions and will want to find it all.

To learn more about personas and personality types see Bryan’s blog post ‘Use Personas to Increase Conversion Rates.’ 1

8. Leverage Social Commerce: Use Voice of Customer

People love to read and write reviews. This is especially true for the hotel industry. Do not try to hide from these reviews, instead use the voice of the customer to help sell your hotel. Bryan referenced the case of Amazon selling Tuscan milk2 on their site. It is one thing to sell it, but a surprising 1,141 people have written reviews about the milk, and hundreds more have claimed the reviews as helpful. Some of the reviews are even in the form of poems.

9. They Use (voice of customer) For Navigation

Listen to what your customers are saying, and make sure your navigation caters to their needs. For example, if you host weddings at your hotel make sure it is easy for guests to navigate that section of your website. Listen to your guests’ common questions and check to see if their questions are being addressed on your website.

Listen to what your customers are saying, and make sure your navigation caters to their needs. For example, if you host weddings at your hotel make sure it is easy for guests to navigate that section of your website. Listen to your guests’ common questions and check to see if their questions are being addressed on your website.

10. They Use It (customer reviews) For Promotions

You can also incorporate guest reviews on your promotional material or e-mails. For example, you could put testimonials from meetings or weddings on your e-mail campaigns that are targeted to that segment.

You can also incorporate guest reviews on your promotional material or e-mails. For example, you could put testimonials from meetings or weddings on your e-mail campaigns that are targeted to that segment.

11. They Use It (voice of customer) For Credibility

People tend to trust reviews written by past guests. If you have these reviews on your website it adds authenticity and may even help your guests learn about your hotel. For example, if a previous guest wrote that your hotel is far from a subway stop, the next guest will be prepared to take a taxi.

Bryan referenced ‘The Brooks Group’3 website which sells sales management books. They post reader reviews on their site, as well as a ‘would you recommend to a friend’ feature. These reviews have helped The Brooks Group increase sales and have lowered their book return rate.

12. They Use It (voice of customer) For Feedback & Research

You can learn a lot about what is working in your hotel and what isn’t, by reading the guest reviews. There may be some problems with your facility or staff that you were unaware of, and the reviews allow you to identify the problems and fix them.

You can also use a focus group to test your website usability. You may think your website is easy to navigate until you watch a user try to click through it. Bryan promoted the use of sites such as www.usertesting.com. This is a company that will conduct a test on your website for $100.

13. They Use Persuasion Principles Like Scarcity

Persuasion principles such as scarcity are very effective. If you offer a room discount for a limited number of rooms, chances are that guests will feel that they can’t pass up a special deal. Bryan referenced Robert Cialdini’s 4 six principles of persuasion, which are reciprocity, commitment and consistency, social proof, authority, linking, and scarcity.

14. They Make Forms Engaging

Every form on your website should be easy to use and follow a consistent look and feel. Bryan referenced proflowers.com5 and said they make everything on their site engaging, including their forms.

Make sure your forms are short and there are no surprises. Some websites trick the user and claim all they have to do is enter their e-mail address to receive something, but when the user hits submit, they are taken to a more extensive form.

15. They Provide Point of Action Assurances

A point of action assurance will help your guest feel more confident about taking an action on your site or making an online reservation. For example, make sure the guest knows they can make changes to their reservation, show them the lock symbol when they are entering their credit card information, and let them know you are not going to share their personal information with anyone. Make sure you are responding to any lead you receive. Bryan claims that the average lead loses 6 times its power in the first hour you don’t respond to it.

16. They Keep You In The Process

Make sure your site communicates with the user what the next steps are. A good reference for this is the ‘Land’s End’6 website. For example when a shopper makes a purchase they see a pop-up with an image of their selection to assure them that they are ordering the correct item. When a guest makes an online reservation on your site make sure they know exactly what they are getting, and what they have to do to confirm the reservation.

Make sure your site communicates with the user what the next steps are. A good reference for this is the ‘Land’s End’6 website. For example when a shopper makes a purchase they see a pop-up with an image of their selection to assure them that they are ordering the correct item. When a guest makes an online reservation on your site make sure they know exactly what they are getting, and what they have to do to confirm the reservation.

17. They Consider Email Preview

E-mail is still the number one way to reach your target audience. You should only send targeted messages to people who have chosen to opt-in.

18. They Budget For Experience

Budget for some website testing and for some trial and error. What is it going to cost to improve your site, and how will that pay off? Bryan claimed that Amazon has hundreds of tests being conducted on their website at any given time. Even very small changes can greatly affect your conversion rate.

19. They Utilize a System for Prioritization

Prioritize your website goals and make sure your website design is in line with these goals.

20. They Make Data-Driven Decisions

Make decisions about your website based on the data you can collect from analytics software and your testing. Too many companies make the mistake of depending on the HIPPO (acronym for Highest Paid Person’s Opinion). Collect the data of what needs to be improved and make a ‘to do’ list.

And the bonus tip which also the most critical point . . .

21. They Know How To Execute Rapidly!

You need to be aware of what is going on in the travel industry at all times, and be prepared to execute changes. For example, just 2 hours after Michael Jackson had died, Amazon changed around their whole website to accommodate demand for his books and CDs. Focus on trends to see what is spiking up or down.

Bryan also suggested 5 steps to great conversion rates next week:

1) Identify the problems, review the analytics, check for high exit-pages, bounce rates, or poor quality scores.

2) Create a ‘to do’ list on things to improve.

3) Develop a hypothesis for why something isn’t working on your site and why the changes you propose should solve the problem.

4) Prioritize your ‘to do’ list by resources and impact.

5) Start testing.

As Bryan says, think of the small details – they all add up. Similar to website optimization, any small step you take can have a big impact. Start with the 5 steps listed above and analyze the data from your analytics to see if your conversions have increased. Do not think of execution as a one-time event, rather it is an on-going process.

References

1 Use Personas to Increase Conversion Rates

2 YouTube – ABC News Amazon.com Milk

3 The Brooks Group

Robert Cialdini’s Principals of Persuasion

www.proflowers.com

6 Land’s End

High Converting Websites Referenced by Bryan:

http://www.proflowers.com

http://www.overstock.com

http://www.mint.com

sheet music plus

lower my bills

See Nielsen List of Top 10 Online Retailers by Conversion Rate: March 2009

Vía Oroko Hospitality

Facebook test a major change in its timeline

Facebook just scared the hell out of publishers in one small test that were conducted in some countries, when those publishers lost almost 60% of the organic reach in little time. The question here if there is anything Facebook do wrong, or the companies expect to much from them.

In newsrooms in six countries scattered across the globe, alarm bells started to go off over the weekend: Something very strange was happening to the newsrooms’ posts on Facebook. Instead of appearing in the News Feeds of people following them on the social network, the posts were appearing in a new, separate section of the site, termed Explore Feed.

Facebook in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala, and Cambodia had begun to function differently, separating out posts from people and posts from pages.

On Saturday, Filip Struhárik, a journalist at the Bratislava-based newspaper Denník N, published a warning on Medium that spread quickly among social-media managers and Facebook observers. “Pages are seeing dramatic drops in organic reach. Reach of several asked Facebook pages fell on Thursday and Friday by two-thirds compared to previous days,” he wrote. “Sixty biggest Slovak media pages have 4 times fewer interactions (likes, comments, shares) since the test. It looks like the effect in Guatemala and Cambodia is the same.”

Several headlines have since focused on another part of the test: that pages could pay to appear in the main news feed. Mashable called it “a nightmare” pay-to-play scenario.

Needless to say, publishers were worried. In response to Struhárik’s story, the head of Facebook’s News Feed, Adam Mosseri, responded to him on Twitter. “This image reflects a test in Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Serbia, Bolivia, Guatemala and Cambodia,” Mosseri wrote. “It’s not global and there are no plans to be.”

When Struhárik followed up to ask how long the test would take—“days, weeks, months”—Mosseri replied, “Likely months as it can take that long for people to adapt, but we’ll be looking to improve the experience in the meantime.”

“It seems hard for me to see how the Explore Feed could be anything other than bad news for publishers.”

Publishers outside these six countries could breathe a sigh of relief. The effect of this kind of drop in traffic, particularly in the fourth quarter, when many (American) publishers have sold through a higher percentage of their “inventory,” would be devastating.But for those inside those countries, newsrooms were, to put it gently, freaking out.

Marko Miletić works for the Serbian site Mašina, which saw its Facebook pages reach 58 percent fewer users last week as the test began to roll out, and 72 percent fewer interactions. “We don’t know how long this test will last but it can influence informational and political pluralism (at least the amount that existed on social network),” he wrote to me. That’s because, as he sees it, Facebook’s organic tools are all that smaller media publishers and “grassroots political initiatives” have. They can’t afford to pay for distribution on Facebook by “boosting” posts.

Other publishers are trying to put a happier face on the changes, or at least withholding immediate judgment.“It’s too early to say anything definitive about the impact this is having on our traffic and reach,” Jenni Reid, the web editor at The Phnom Penh Post, told me. “The two feeds still don’t seem to be fully separated yet for some people here in Cambodia, but so far it doesn’t look positive.”

Reid, who was a social-media editor for The Economist before her current position, said that it was hard to imagine how the Facebook change might positively affect their number of readers. “In its current format, it seems hard for me to see how the Explore Feed could be anything other than bad news for publishers,” she said. “It seems a strange move given that Facebook has been trying to build bridges with news organizations since the start of the year through the Facebook Journalism Project.”

“Seven out of 10 of the most popular Facebook pages here are news websites or newspapers.”

These changes are significant for the broader media ecosystem in Cambodia, Reid said. “Last year, Facebook edged ahead of television as the number-one source of news for Cambodians according to one survey. Post Khmer, the Khmer-language Facebook page for the Phnom Penh Post, has the fourth-most likes in the country, and seven out of 10 of the most popular Facebook pages here are news websites or newspapers,” she told me. “That’s striking compared to, say, the United States, where there isn’t even a news publisher in the top 50 most popular pages among Facebook users.”

Reading between the lines, it’s clear: Cambodia’s news infrastructure experienced a radical change, overnight. And none of the editors I was able to contact, or anyone that they knew, had heard from Facebook about the change before it happened. They just walked into work one day and everything was different.

 It’s possible that, in the long term, separating page posts out from people posts would be a good idea. News Feed has serious problems. Maybe the split feed would be a superior experience. But to see how it would be before making a huge change, one can imagine Facebook would want to do some major testing.
From Facebook’s perspective, the company has to be allowed to try out new versions of its software. It can’t be asked to keep its tools static because publishers have gotten used to them. And some tests might need to be disruptive to get to a future, better Facebook. This iterative process is, in fact, how Facebook has built the product that so many people use for an average of more than 50 minutes per day.

But Facebook did not simply end up controlling news distribution in countries across the world. They strategically entered the market, much as any company would, as part of their own competitive battle with other internet companies. Some responsibility must come with the deliberate rerouting of the public sphere through Facebook’s servers and ad networks. Right?

None of this is to get at the content of the test. Vox’s Matt Yglesias argued that the change could be good. “Facebook-induced traffic boom just devalues page views,” he tweeted. Total ad spend in the country is fairly fixed, so a decreasing number of page views should lead to rising advertising prices for publishers over time, he said. Certainly, when Facebook started sending more traffic to publishers, we saw the reverse: Ad rates declined as there was simply more supply. The reverse could be happen (although I can’t imagine there is a digital-media sales team out there who wishes they had less inventory to sell).

Facebook’s scale might estrange it from how other people see the world.

In any case, if you’re a publisher in one of the six affected countries, that must be cold comfort.

Facebook has been unusually forthcoming about this test after it was initiated, which is good. Mosseri responded on Twitter and followed up with a blog postthat partially explained their rationale. “The goal of this test is to understand if people prefer to have separate places for personal and public content,” he wrote.But Facebook’s response has been strangely blind to the bind that it has put whole countries’ worth of publishers in. Mosseri’s response to a Slovakian journalist was to assure him that there were no plans for the test to go global.

Facebook executives like to argue that people don’t understand the company’s staggering scale, but the test shows how that very scale might estrange it from how other people see the world.

Are all the people in the test areas some tiny percentage of Facebook’s user base (say, 1 percent) who want to see more posts from their family and friends, or are they the citizens of six sovereign nations who have come to rely on Facebook as a crucial part of their news-distribution infrastructure?

They’re both. And in this case, their news publishers are simply stuck reckoning with internet-company power, desperately tweeting.

I put these questions to Facebook: Were media organizations notified of, briefed about, or consulted with before the change was made? How were these countries selected? What deliberations were made about the possible trade-offs between what you’d learn and the probable deleterious effects on the media business and information ecosystem in these places?

Facebook has not responded.

Vía The Atlantic

 

50 Of The Best Email Marketing Designs We’ve Ever Seen (And How You Can Create One Just As Good)

In case you hadn’t heard, email marketing isn’t dead.

In fact, the reality is quite the opposite. By the end of next year, it’s expectedthat the total number of worldwide email accounts will increase to over 4.3 billion. Like it or not, we live in a time where people like to email. It’s fast, convenient and most important – effective.

As a business tool, McKinsey & Company found emails to be 40 times more successful at acquiring new clients than either Facebook and Twitter – just one of the many interesting statistics to support the success of email marketing.

If you’re a startup or brand wanting to leverage this success, a well-designed email is crucial to break through the pack. Amongst so much competition, a great email design needs to capture the attention of the reader right away to avoid being deleted and risk never being seen.

Engage your customers and create email marketing campaigns to reach a massive audience. Here’s how the pros did it – we hope this post inspires you to create your own awesome email designs!

We credit Beautiful-email-newsletters.com for the work they’ve done to bring some of these examples to our attention, for use in this article.

01. Experiment With Colour Blocking

The color blocking and beautiful tinted colors in this example from The Stylish City are striking and very effective; the muted color palette paired with the blush and black create a modern and sophisticated feel. The layout is appealing and unique, like a newsletter and fashion editorial all in one, however the type still manages to pull central focus by being front and center, and on top of the image.

Design By The Stylish City

02. Use Colour To Attract Attention

In this example by IS Design + Digital, a neon colour to gets the reader’s attention fast and makes it very hard not to stop and read the headline. The square box around the type maximizes this effect to the point that the name of the festival could likely be recalled by even the most uninterested of readers. Strong images, standout calls to action, and strong contrast are all effective elements in this design.

Design By IS Design + Digital

03. Have Fun With Animations

This example by Mika Osborn uses a fun and creative GIF that delivers one simple and clear message with a unique, surprising and memorable design. The message is perfectly delivered to its customers, encouraging them to follow the brand’s Pinterest and be inspired by more great images like this one. A neutral background and center position creates absolute focus on the gif, with the surrounding information perfectly placed to motivate to reader into action.

Design By Mika Osborn

04. Keep It Simple

This email design by Apple employs a great use of white space and a clear central focus on the product. The product is nicely displayed with pops of color to add interest and the information is perfectly aligned and carefully placed, with a vertical hierarchy for easy skimming. The use of different type sizes and grayscale colors let readers understand what’s important and what’s less important. This design is straight to the point with minimal elements and simple structure.

Design By Apple

05. Let Your Content Shine

Beautifully captured photographs are the central focus of this design by Artur, and they do not fail in tempting readers to take a second look. The white type manages to pop out next to the images and everything else in the design stays neatly in the background. The dark gray complements the colours of each image and gives the overall design a cool and modern look.

Design By Artur

06. Develop A Strong Colour Palette

A brilliant color palette with strong, vibrant tones and a unique concept is what makes this email design by Engage an attention-grabbing piece. The pairing of the vibrant yellow feature colour with the textured image and black and white graphics makes for a simple but fresh color scheme that is sure to stand out in the crowd.

Design By Engage

07. Make It Pop With Colour

This eye-catching email design by Studio Newwork showcases the work done by creatives within the agency. Its brightly colored background is eye-catching and frames the displayed work effectively. This use of colour allows the visual work to pop off the page and directs the eye right to the content and the abstract elements and creative placement of text helps to add movement to the overall design. This design pairs vibrant colour with minimal elements, to makes for a great design.

Design By Studio Newwork

08. Make It Recognisable

This email design by Burberry is a great visual solution to showcasing their brand’s iconic trench coat and reinforcing brand awareness. The design manages to achieve instant recognition thanks to the tan color palette and diverse shots of the signature coat. The choice of typefaces are clean and clear and the consistent grid lets the reader follow the visual story very easily. A simple, streamlined and easily recognised design.

Design By Burberry

09. Less Really Is More

Beautiful and strong, this design by Chanel uses simplicity at it’s best. Theres one image used to represent the brand, one headline, one description and one call to action, all centrally focused and aligned, no one element overpowers the other. While the overall design is fairly minimal, the use of the ribbon to represent the brand keeps the design engaging and playful.

Design By Chanel

10. Ramp Up The Contrast

This example by Churchmedia demonstrates an interesting way to construct an email event announcement. The diverse font choices contrast nicely against each other, the mix of thin and thick and serif and sans-serif helps the type jumps off the page and adds to the visual hierarchy. The color palette also has a nice and punchy contrast, giving the overall design a very modern feel, with an fun and vibrant edge.

Design By Churchmedia

11. Direct The Focus

This design by Corbis is another perfect example of how to let your content act as the main focus. The emotive photographs on a solid black background with large margins to avoid overcrowding makes for a very powerful attention grabber. This design really plays up on the linked content by using quotes from the story as titles as well to even further entice viewers to read on.

Design By Corbis

12. Balance It Out

This email newsletter by Toben has a simple and minimal design that still manages to be interesting and inviting. The carefully composed images and logo are a unique touch and the pop of orange adds life and dimension The center alignment and balance of elements gives this email a harmonious composition that encourages the reader to take a minute to peruse the content.

Design By Toben

13. Make It Legible

This design by SoSweet Creative uses large type, a limited colour palette and strong hierarchy to make for an exciting, fun and easy to navigate email invitation. Each typeface complements the others around it and is easily legible, the yellow highlights draw attention to key pieces of information and the large arrow motifs guide the eye. An easy to read and attention-grabbing piece.

Design By SoSweet Creative

14. Work With Some Shapes

The interesting use of circle frames and geometric divisions are what make this design by Piotr Świerkowski eye-catching. While the design remains very linear and streamlined, geometric shapes and leading lines give the design a unique edge while also helping relay information and point out what’s important. Consider introducing some geometric shapes into your design for an interesting effect.

Design By Piotr Świerkowski

15. Use Colour For Cohesion

This design by Lindsey McMurray represents a fun brand with bright and clean colors divided up with plenty of whitespace. The colours are used cohesively throughout the design to help tie the written content with the visual content. The paint splatters are fun and reinforce the creativity of the product while also keeping in with the palette and overall cohesion. A strong colour palette offset with plenty of white space can help tie your design together nicely.

Design By Lindsey McMurray

16. Blend Fun and Function

This design by Marni has undertaken a creative concept by styling the images as paper cutouts, which gives the design a nostalgic and tangible feel while also engaging the reader into imagining how each piece would work together. This email sets itself apart from the rest by presenting the items they are cataloguing in a unique, fun and functional way.

Design By Marni

17. Develop A Theme

A strong theme for your email design can make it stand out from the rest. For example, this design by Open Season has developed an outer space theme that ties in with the brand and the newsletter’s topic. A subtle planetary animation in the header, constellation graphic, space-themed film screencap and carefully worded type make for a strong theme and strong design for this brand’s newsletter.

Design By Open Season

18. Make It Seamless

This design by Big Sea Design & Development uses a simple and clean photo in the header that has a light coloured backdrop that has been made to extend seamlessly into the rest of the design. Instead of cutting off your images with a border or harsh line, try to make it seamlessly work into the rest of the design to make for a cohesive and calmer design.

Design By Big Sea Design & Development

19. Visualise Your Message

This design by Need Supply Co. has a creative and unique approach, each element is carefully thought out and placed in an interesting way to help communicate the sale. The bold white circle attracts the eye instantly and makes the message hard to miss, as does the sliced image of man and woman, a clever visual representation of the 50% mark down. The neon green also helps to pull the eye directly toward each element to ensure that the message is really and truly communicated.

Design By Need Supply Co.

20. Order Your Information Logically

The neatly organized layout and vibrant pink highlights are what make this design by Simon Ker very effective in communicating a lot of information. The links in this design stand out with the hot pink against the dark background, creating a sharp and eye-catching effect. Neatly aligned boxes and consistent spacing between elements creates order among a large number of elements. A great example of how to create order and hierarchy in densely-packed information.

Design By Simon Ker

21. Have A Strong Tone

The minimal design in this example by Elizabeth Lies helps communicates this company’s message loud and clear. With a brand mission to show the simplicity of life on the road, the use of as simple type and uncomplicated images help to give the reader a clear picture of exactly what the mission and tone of the brand is.

Design By Elizabeth Lies

22. Keep It Tidy

This email newsletter by Hatch Inc has a straightforward and effective layout that manages to organize a lot of information into a clean and well-balanced design. It takes the reader on a journey through the featured content in divided sections. Each image has been given a wide enough margin to avoid overwhelming the design, and type is kept minimal to further prevent clutter. A beautifully balanced and even design that is easy to consume.

Design By Hatch Inc

23. Use A Dash Of Colour

This design by Nick Cade does a good job in communicating a lot of information in a clear, organized, and attractive way. The pastel green is used throughout the article to break up the blocks of black type and introduce colour throughout the piece while the neatly sectioned type and consistent font choices make for an easy read.

Design By Nick Cade

24. Have A Reason Behind Every Decision

The images used in this design by Pixel Buddah are beautiful still shots that capture and then hold viewers’ interest and set a distinct tone that is also reflected in the soft colour palette. The type in this example is set beautifully and thought has been put into the copy’s phrasing. The use of the simple word ‘more’ as the main call to action motivates the reader even further and is a clever way to encourage action. The thoughtful use of space, color and type is what makes this design effective.

Design By Pixel Buddah

25. Consider Monochrome

A great monochromatic palette and excellent use of contrast are what make this email newsletter by Seipp a standout design. The use of grayscale colors and geometrically divided sections of information creates a sleek, modern and sophisticated look. The way the images, type and graphic elements have been composed allow for the eye to easily move around the page and sort through the information without confusion. There is a great sense of harmony throughout this monochromatic design.

Design By Seipp

26. Balance Your Type And Images

The layout of this email by Shopbop is balanced, organized, and straight to the point. The images are eye-catching and seductive with brilliant pops of color and are balanced out with short, sweet and simple type. This design has all the right elements to call on readers to click on their links.

Design By Shopbop

27. Divide Your Information Horizontally

This design by Beans N’ Rice Creative Studio uses consistent sections to allow for this design to communicate several messages at once, each with equal importance. The header and footer are clearly separated and the vertical sequence, divided horizontally lets the reader scroll through the information with ease. Each image is simple but strong in color and composition letting section to speak for itself and no one section overpower the other.

Design By Beans N’ Rice Creative Studio

28. Ramp Up The Contrast

The black background, colorful imagery, and white text give this design by Stolen Girlfriends Club a highly contrasted, sleek and interesting effect. The big white numbers and boldly highlighted headlines lead readers from top to bottom creating an easy to navigate path. The alignment varies but stays consistent and interesting.

Design By Stolen Girlfriends Club

29. Make It Rustic

This design by Need More Designs has created an authentically vintage feel with the old school typewriter font and a taupe color palette. The handwritten greeting adds a nice personal touch and helps create a connection with the reader. The product images are nicely shot with cool textures in the background and the calls to action and descriptions are kept minimal to motivate the reader to discover more.

Design By Need More Designs, LLC

30. Encourage Your Audience To DIY

This design by Terrain was based on a fun and creative idea that was successfully executed. There are a lot of unique elements and the design feels like a party that is just waiting to be planned. The chalkboard effect combined with the real life items and step-by-step layout, gives this a do-it-yourself vibe, one that encourages the reader to take part in it themselves.

Design By Terrain

31. Create A Visual Map

This email design by Petr Pliska includes a visual map for the reader to follow which helps the information process more easily. Each point has its own icon which acts as small visual cues to ensure the amount of information isn’t overwhelming. Lots of white space and minimal color palette keeps this design balanced and easy to digest.

Design By Petr Pliska

32. Flaunt Your Imagery

This design by Wildfox has an elaborate use of imagery that creates a strong theme for the brand. The use of vibrant and dreamy photos creates a fantasy-like aesthetic that instantly pulls the reader in. This design has a great use of handwritten type that complements the overall design without compromising legibility.

Design By Wildfox

33. One Big Call To Action

This example from J.Crew has been designed with the user in mind. The slow reveal of the large exclamation mark as the user scrolls down and then the large and intriguing call to action makes for an email that will be easily read and a link that is likely to be followed – people’s curiosity often gets the better of them. A very simple and daring but well thought out email design.

Design By J.Crew

34. Play With Patterns

This design by Kate Spade has chosen to use high-contrast patterns and a simple but loud palette as the main visual element. The use of strong black and white patterns against the vibrant yellow and turquoise attracts instant attention to the copy without ruining any of the legibility. Consider introducing bold patterns into your email design for a simple way to attract a lot of attention.

Design By Kate Spade

35. Get Festive (The Right Way)

A big time for retail sales and email newsletters is the holidays, but when it comes to designing an email for the festive seasons, try not to fall into cliche design elements. This email design by J.Crew has been done up for Halloween, but instead of replying on the typical orange and black, lots of bats, lots of cobwebs etc. designs that are typical for Halloween, J.Crew has instead opted for a classy design that is in line with their brand, using predominantly monochromatic design with a pop of the signature orange. A classy twist on the typical festive design.

Design By J.Crew

36. Draw It Out

This design by Urban Outfitters has a very simple layout that would be nothing flash to look at if it weren’t for the added hand drawn elements. By adding small black doodles around the photographs, this design becomes a lot more personal, fun and unique, all of these qualities fitting nicely in with the brand. Proof that just one added element can completely transform your design.

Design By Urban Outfitters

37. Be Playful With Your Product

This design by Michael Bodiam for menswear label Mr Porter is the perfect blend of playful, unique and functional. The items displayed in the email have been presented a paper map which helps construct the idea that these items are all necessary for travelling. A clever and playful layout could be what you need to help your email stand out.

Design By Michael Bodiam

38. Put The ‘Mail’ Back In ‘Email’

This template example from Advolocaru binds the information within a letter an envelope to capture the feeling of receiving hard copy mail. This simple graphic helps order the information neatly while still giving it a creative and personal touch.

Design By Advolocaru

39. Experiment With A Slow Reveal

Consider how your audience will consume the email, likely by quickly scrolling down the email and skimming the content at first. This design by Banana Republic plays on this scroll-and-skim action by including a slow reveal of the main type that leads toward a punchy call to action link. A simple way to enhances your users’ experience.

Design By Banana Republic

40. Say It Indirectly

A direct design can get you somewhere quick, but a more indirect design can get you somewhere great. This email by J.Crew has opted to not show any of their products, a bold move for an apparel company. Instead, they have used a simple photo of a fortune cookie with a quirky ‘fortune’ that also acts as a call to action. Within email design, a more indirect approach to selling your product and brand is riskier, but if done well can have a great payoff.

Design By J.Crew

41. Go Minimal

This design by Squarespace has opted for a bare-bones email design with minimal type, imagery and colour palette. Only one image is used, a simple, near-monochromatic nature shot that has a simply-set email heading “10” overlayed and the rest of the email is set in plain black type, all one size, hierarchy is distinguished with font weights only. A design doesn’t have to have a lot of bells and whistles to be effective, experiment with taking away from your design instead of adding.

Design By Squarespace

42. Experiment With An Angular Grid

This design by Sephora has used an interesting zig-zag-like layout, the flat-lay imagery has been aligned to a diagonal grid that is emphasized with the vibrant blocks of colour. The angular layout is both enticing to look at as well as functional to order lots of information and imagery.

Design By Sephora

43. Get Graphic

This example by Handy is a ‘year in review’ based newsletter that thanks customers for their business as well as celebrates their own success with a few infographic-like graphics and data representations. This heavily graphic-based email is a fun and effective way to communicate lots of data and information with audiences in a way everybody will understand.

Design By Handy

44. Experiment With Alignment

The general rule of thumb for type is that left-alignment is most easily legible, but don’t view this as a law to which you must always obey. This example by Brother Moto has aligned most of its elements to the center so that the focus remains directly down the middle of the page to make a pretty effective layout that is still legible and balanced.

Design By Handy

45. Make It Urgent

This design by Jack Spade keeps things simple but urgent, with one visual and a focus on the call to action. Using large type, a vibrant, attention-grabbing colour and a simple visual that relates back to the central message makes for a simple design that still manages to communicate urgency and the need to act fast. A good example of a quick, clean and direct way to communicate with your readership.

Design By Jack Spade

46. Frame Your Photos Intentionally

If you are intending to take photos for your email design, plan them out ahead of time to make sure they will work with your layout ideas. This email by TOMS is a good example of planning ahead – the framing of the images used allow for the foreground and background to act as a textured backdrop for type and other elements. A simple tactic to get the most flexibility out of your images and the most elements into your email while avoiding clutter.

Design By TOMS

47. Experiment With Sidebars

Take a leaf from the book of webdesign and consider incorporating a sidebar into your email design. A lot of email designs section their information in parallel horizontal blocks, but as you can see in this example by Super Things, sectioning your information vertically into a sidebar can help disperse type and data evenly and reduce the vertical length of your emails.

Design By Super Things

48. Cut Down On Type

This design by Canopy showcases the benefits of cutting down on your type. If you are a retail-based company or have some products you’d like to show off, let the images speak for themselves. This design groups items together under a single umbrella that allows for enough explanation for each piece. Cutting down on type allows for this design to be simple, clean and direct.

Design By Canopy

49. Use A Visual Step-By-Step Guide

For businesses that want to introduce their product and explain its functions, a visual guide could be incredibly useful. This example by InVision uses an illustrated guide of the functions of their software that flaunt its features while also providing an easy to follow manual for first time users. Another bonus: only a little type is needed with visual guides, as links can help direct confused readers to a more fully rounded explanation.

Design By InVision

50. Frame Your Content

Flat lay photography has really kicked off lately, so use it to your email design’s advantage. This example by DCW Design showcases a perfect way to make a simple design that is still focussed on the text while still subtly introducing imagery. By laying various stylish items around the edges of the blank background, you create a nice visual frame for your text that complements the main message.

Design By DCW Design

Vía canva.com