3 email design principles that beat the creative silver bullet 

3 email design principles that beat the creative silver bullet 

Life – and email – don't come with guarantees. Although we know what doesn't work in email design, no single design solution - the silver bullet - will work every time.    However, email does have general principles that designers should follow to give subscribers the best possible experience: an email message that looks good across browsers and devices, serves their needs, encourages them to act and portrays your brand in the best light possible.   1. Follow good email design practices for every campaign. Email design is more creative than ever, with new approaches to image and copy combinations, images, animations and video and even real-time content adding impact to every message . But every design should follow these basic best practices that encourage your subscribers to open and act on your emails. Make subject lines, preheaders and headlines work together.  We see many email messages that use the subject line content in the preheader (the first line of copy in the message that often...
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Recruit More Guests and Create a Global Look for Email

Recruit More Guests and Create a Global Look for Email

What we did: New Creative Approach Responsive Layout Creative Animation Performance Testing Airbnb is an online marketplace that enables people to list, find, and rent private lodging spaces for a small processing fee. It has over 1,500,000 listings in 34,000 cities and 191 countries. The Brief Airbnb needed more guests to become hosts, and establish a global look for their email communications. However, previous Airbnb email campaigns lacked a consistent brand look, and overall engagement with email communications was low. The project involved finding new ways to communicate the benefits of hosting in a clear, simple, and motivating way, while redefining the email’s creative layout to improve engagement—all in just one email. The Story Trendline stepped in to develop a new creative approach to Airbnb’s email. This strategy included a responsive layout that progressively enhanced with a full width background using CSS animation to grab subscriber interest. After a successful test performance, the redesign’s layout would be applied to the rest of Airbnb’s email communications. Trendline’s new...
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Launching a Product and Inspiring Customers

Launching a Product and Inspiring Customers

What We Did
 Product launch campaign Copy and positioning strategy Creative design   Wacom, the leading brand in creative pen tablets, has supported digital artists with exceptional tools, product support, and innovation for more than 30 years. They inspire innovation and equip individuals to make the world a more creative place.   The Brief Wacom, a leading brand in creative pen tablets, was launching a new line of Intuos products for illustrators, designers, artists, and photographers. They began this campaign by reaching out to their opted-in prospects and existing customers. However, Wacom’s audience was a discerning group of creatives with an eye for quality. To reach this market, the creative had to be aesthetically appealing and had to clearly differentiate the four new Intuos products. It also needed to drive traffic to the Wacom website, inspire recipients to explore the world of Wacom, and encourage them to purchase new products. The Story Wacom’s audience could only be reached by a creative campaign that was engaging and inspiring. Thus, Trendline...
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Value Creation Through Testing

Value Creation Through Testing

What We Did
 Strategy Audit Testing Strategy Master Template Design Platform Support and 
Journey Development SMS & Push                 Banfield Pet Hospital is the largest general veterinary practice in the United States with more than 1,000 Hospitals and growing. The company employs over 3,600 veterinarians committed to providing high-quality care to over three million pets annually. Banfield is committed to its purpose because pets make a better world for us.   The Brief  Banfield Pet Hospital originally came to Trendline with the following goals: Increase revenue by decreasing appointment no-shows and health plan payment expirations Increase visibility into customer satisfaction Drive customer engagement through new email creative Banfield also sought our help with navigating their current platform, and the business was considering making the switch to a different system. Trendline was tasked with performing a strategic audit to take a holistic view of Banfield’s current operations, finding areas of improvements, and making recommendations to propel 
Banfield forward. The Story First, Trendline recommended that Banfield continue using Salesforce Marketing Cloud...
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Trendline’s Top 10 Articles of All Time

Trendline’s Top 10 Articles of All Time

August marks Trendline’s 10-year anniversary, and we’ve had a lot to say! Here’s a list of our top-read articles of all time. From holiday emails to deliverability resources, there has been no shortage of Trendline content through the years. 10. Overview of the Enterprise Email Service Provider Landscape The Enterprise Email Service Provider (ESP) landscape continues to evolve, and choosing which platform is right for you can be a challenge. Learn from Trendline’s CEO, Morgan Stewart, about the strengths and weaknesses of each of the ESPs. 9. The Best QA Process to Produce Error-Free Emails Our QA process at Trendline not only needs to produce and test error-free emails but do it as quickly as possible. Trendline’s VP of Email Operations, Molly Privratsky, gives the full scoop on how the QA Team maintains a high error-free rate at blinding speeds by utilizing the Litmus tool. Read the full case study. 8. Soft Bounce vs. Hard Bounce: What’s the Difference? So your email bounced. What caused...
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People Don’t Read–They Scan

People Don’t Read–They Scan

You may have heard that digital readers don’t read–they scan. Some people even suggest that our brains have adapted to this new way of “reading,” meaning novelists should be alarmed. But what about digital marketers? Should we be alarmed, too? Well, there was a stat bobbing around recently that said humans now have an eight-second attention span, one second less than that of a goldfish. While it takes approximately 8.5 seconds to debunk that stat, we do know that the people who are “reading” our digital marketing messages are often just bumping their nose on the glass and moving on. Readers spend three seconds or less on an email message Some solid research on email readers tells us that, depending on the device, anywhere from 20% to 43% of readers spend three seconds or less on an email message. That goldfish is looking pretty good. Why do people scan? Because they have to! There’s simply too much information out there. So what does that mean...
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Think Like a Designer to Increase Email Metrics

Think Like a Designer to Increase Email Metrics

Form and function are the most important elements in determining a design’s success, but understanding what that looks like and how it works is a challenge all marketers face. If an email looks great but functions horribly, you will lose out on clicks. If it functions well but looks amateurish, you will also lose out on clicks and, most likely, the respect of your subscribers. Balance is the key. However, it can shift depending on various factors. Some of these factors are easily identified, while others rely on designer instinct. But what if you aren’t a designer? Being able to think like one can have a positive impact on your next email campaign. Keep in mind the fundamental goals of an email: To communicate a message To engage and entice interaction To uphold brand integrity To adapt to the target audience With these goals in mind, adapt them for your purposes. For example, you want to send a sale-promoting email, where users...
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Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Email Deliverability

Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Email Deliverability

You’ve written, designed, coded, and sent your email. Job is complete; no worries, right? What if your email then lands in your subscribers’ spam folders? All that work beforehand isn’t going to matter much now. Managing and deploying an email to a list of any size can be stressful, and sometimes you just want to hit send after looking at it for so long. However, if you aren’t taking the proper precautions, your email may end up in the wrong place, where all that work isn’t returning your investment (in time and money). Focusing on deliverability tactics can help make sure that you’re getting the greatest potential ROI from your emails. Get Deliverability Help Top Ten Tips to Improve Your Email Deliverability Here are ten tips to help improve your email deliverability. Improve your data collection tactics. The collection process is the source of all your data for your work, so good data in and good data out. Provide clarity and transparency in the...
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Partner POV: The Ultimate Guide to Email on Android

Partner POV: The Ultimate Guide to Email on Android

This is a guest POV from our industry-leading partners at Litmus.   Building emails that perform well on mobile is key for every email marketer—and with that, optimizing for Android environments has become more and more crucial. Google’s Android is the world’s most popular mobile operating system, followed by Apple’s iOS. But building emails that look great on Android devices is hard! That’s because there isn’t just one Android environment to optimize for, but a highly fragmented market that challenges every email marketer who aims for a consistent experience for all subscribers. What makes building email for Android so tough? There are three key factors that impact how your email renders on Android: the Android operating system (OS) version, the app or email client your subscribers use, and the size of the screen your email is viewed on. Let’s look at them one by one: 1.THE ANDROID OPERATING SYSTEM Like any other operating system (OS), Android comes in different versions. Unlike Apple’s iOS, which enjoys high adoption rates...
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The Real Challenges of Responsive Email Design

The Real Challenges of Responsive Email Design

*This is an updated repost of one of our most popular blog entries, originally published in 2013. As this information is still highly relevant and valuable to those looking to understand email design challenges, requirements, and solutions regarding responsive design, we wanted to share it again. Enjoy. The Real Challenges of Responsive Email Design For us folks who have been in the email marketing world for a while, the iPhone was a godsend. With the introduction of WebKit rendering engines into our universe, we could now balance our past-expiration technique of nested HTML tables to get emails to display correctly, (placed on us by our draconian overlords Outlook and Gmail), with CSS3 which allows us to target particular screen sizes and restyle, resize or remove content from rendering on mobile devices. Hallelujah! We could now, at least on mobile devices, make email a more native-web experience. Many of these techniques are lumped under the term "Responsive Email Design." This term is a bit...
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