Have you heard the adage, “Drink your own champagne”? You might also be familiar with its mildly nauseating counterpart, “Eat your own dog food.” The idea is simple: practice what you preach. But for busy marketers, it’s not always that easy.
Case in point: at Movable Ink, we’re a true partner with our clients. That means we spend all of our time supporting them and optimizing their campaigns.
Here’s another saying for you: “The cobbler’s children have no shoes.” It rings true for many marketing teams, and it was certainly true for the Movable Ink team. Our own email newsletter was in need of a facelift, but we didn’t make time to update it.
We decided to drink our own champagne. We not only gave our newsletter a design refresh that is on-brand, we added additional contextual elements to showcase some of the awesome contextual technology that Movable Ink can deliver. Here’s a breakdown of each part of our new newsletter, where we added context and what we learned from the experience.
The focus of any newsletter should be its content. Our old newsletter’s design was fairly basic, allowing the content to speak for itself. While simple is good when it comes to email design, there were several missed opportunities in our old template that needed some attention.
For one, our brand’s vibrant color palette wasn’t represented, so it didn’t feel cohesive. The events section was a bit lost at the bottom and it wasn’t eye-catching. The newsletter also lacked a header.
In our new newsletter, our “Movable Pink” color appears in the headings, social buttons and call-to-action buttons. There is a dedicated events section (more on that later) that truly stands out. A vibrant header ties the newsletter together for a consistent look and feel that just screams Movable Ink.
What we learned: Great email design is balanced and consistent. Every part of your email should be on-brand, with your fonts, styles and colors coming together to tell a greater story.
Web-cropping is a contextual marketing tactic that gives you an easy way of automating the content in your newsletter. It pulls content directly from your website or API into your email, so your emails always display up-to-the-minute information that is consistent with your website.
All of the blog content in our new newsletter has the ability to be web-cropped. Web-cropping pulls in images too, which helps reduce design time. The “Upcoming Events” section is also pulled in automatically. So if your company is promoting events or deals that change frequently, web-cropping can save you a whole lot of time.
What we learned: Shocker: web-cropping really does save a ton of time, not to mention the headache of manually coding emails. While this isn’t news to us, putting it to use has enabled us to streamline our email workflow in a big way. If we didn’t use web cropping and we wanted to execute the same location-based events section, we’d have to to create new email creative for every location, along with a different list of events for each location.
Speaking of the events section in our newsletter, all of the content in it is based on each subscriber’s location at the moment of open. That means people living in Philadelphia will see a different set of events than people in L.A.
Location personalization makes it easy to promote events that are relevant to your subscribers. Relevant. location-specific events mean more registrations for you and a better overall email experience for your subscribers.
What we learned: Since this section is automated and unique to each person’s location at the moment of open, it’s ideal for engagement. If there’s one event in particular that we want to draw attention to – like a webinar, for example – we can also use one of the content blocks above it to make sure it doesn’t get lost among the other events.
Live social feed
Social and email are the ultimate power couple, and social sharing can boost your reach up to 24%. So how exactly do you combine the two? Add a live social feed to your emails when you want to drive engagement.
In our newly re-designed newsletter, we added both our Twitter feed and Instagram feed to the bottom of the template. Each is updated in real-time, so every subscriber will always see our latest posts. If we wanted, we could also pull in specific hashtags. This is helpful when you’re running a campaign and you want to boost awareness of it on social, or even showcase user-generated content.
Finally, we list each of social channels in this area too, giving our subscribers an opportunity to easily follow our content.
What we learned: Social and email work hand-in-hand, and an email newsletter if the ideal place to test out your live social feed. It’ll encourage people to keep up with your brand on social and hold you accountable for updating your social accounts regularly.
Our newsletter redesign would be for naught if it wasn’t for device targeting. According to Litmus, 55% of emails are opened on mobile – and that number may be growing.
Thanks to device targeting, we know every element of our template – from headers to images to our live social feed – will render appropriately across devices. Think of it as your email design and deliverability secret weapon.
If you wanted to promote your mobile app, you could use device targeting to automatically include the right download button for iOS and Android devices. It’s little details like these that make it so much easier to deliver amazing experiences with email.
What we learned: Device targeting is a must-have for any email marketer. For us, it’s simply peace of mind knowing that our emails will render properly in everyone’s inbox, all the time.
A little context goes a long way
As marketers, drinking your own champagne can be challenging when you’re hyper-focused on the needs of others. But it’s incredibly important to take the time and review your own content and how your execute that content.
If you’re considering an email design overhaul and you’re not sure where to begin, you can start by testing small elements of your email newsletter. You can test CTA colors or experiment with different headers before doing a complete template overhaul.
Short on time and resources? Web-cropping can be your best friend. We recommend trying it out to see how it impacts your workflow. Check out how using web cropping to deliver live content can improve your email production process.
Finally, if you want to learn more about contextual email marketing, download our guide, Everything You Need to Know About Contextual Marketing.
We hope you find time to drink your own champagne. We did, and it’s delicious.