May 1, 2016

Favorite Emails: April 2016

April has come and gone, bringing some amazing email campaigns with it. In no particular order, here are my favorite emails from the past month and a few thoughts on what made each great.

Shutterstock Editor Beta

Just check out this interactive email from Shutterstock:

Shutterstock Example

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Hovering over (or tapping on) the three icons on the left triggers some really great animations that show off their new tools for customizing photos. The interactivity and animations work together to both entertain subscribers as well as give them a taste of what to expect from the tools before even touching them.

The combination of education and entertainment is perfectly suited to email, especially when using animations or GIFs to illustrate concepts. I’m a huge fan of the technique and think Shutterstock did an excellent job of putting it to work.

Sprout Social Reports

While not as educational as Shutterstock’s animation, this GIF-based email from Sprout Social was still one of my favorites.

Sprout Example

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To start, that GIF is so damned smooth. Whoever animated it deserves a beer or two.

Moving on, the rest of the email is ace. The concise copy is given room to breathe in a very clean layout. The “Key Changes” section and well-defined typographical hierarchy make scanning the email effortless. And the bright green call-to-action is eye-catching enough—without being ostentatious—to round out an extremely elegant email campaign.

Framer’s Monthly Highlights

I love the look of this campaign from design tool Framer:

Framer Example

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Not only are those color bands great at separating sections of the email, but they look absolutely superb, too. Pulling colors from the iPhone mockups is a nice way to tie everything together.

The email is also a great example of how to do curated content without falling into some of the tropes of the typical curated newsletter. While the email is essentially just a list of links to various content pieces, the different sections help break up what could be a monotonous email, and the commentary on each link gives the campaign just the right amount of color to keep you interested.

The only thing that could have made it more amazing? Throwing in an animated GIF of those parallax clouds. With a headline like “Cloud Parallax”, a GIF showing off the effect seems like a no-brainer. Maybe it’s just a trick to get me to click through to the Dribbble shot? It worked.

Apple’s WWDC Announcement

Apple, never one to disappoint with design, used this brilliant email to announce its upcoming developer conference:

Apple Example

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The concept, the colors, the audience, the execution… it’s just fantastic. While it may be nitpicking, the only thing that could have made it better is using CSS animations on the cursor instead of relying on an animated GIF.

Sure, there’s less support for CSS animations across email clients. But it’s Apple. Announcing WWDC. If Apple can’t bank on an audience using amazing hardware and top-notch email clients, then who can?

If you come across any great email campaigns, send them my way. I’d love to check them out and maybe feature some in my monthly Favorite Emails series. Just shoot me an email or chat me up on Twitter.