12 of our best-looking (and smartest) designs yet

November 16, 2015 McKenzie Gregory

If you've spent time exploring our template gallery recently, you may have noticed some new designs – 12, to be exact – sprinkled into the mix. 

Our newest templates not only look great, but they’re some of the most helpful designs we’ve ever released. They were designed to mimic the best emails landing in our inboxes – a beautiful combo of form + function. Plus, the placeholder copy is filled with email marketing tips and tactics so you can learn while you design.

Here's a deep dive into the templates and the marketing smarts baked into each one. 




1. Toque

Give a warm welcome. A top-notch welcome email is one of the best ways to start your relationship with new subscribers. Welcome emails build trust, reduce opt-outs, and boost sales right out of the gate – a true triple threat. Plus, they’re incredibly effective: The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50%. Boom.

Take advantage of smart automation. Automate your welcome message to fire off as soon as someone joins your email list. It’s one of the easiest, most efficient ways to reach people right when they’re most interested in your brand – you only have to set up the mailing once, then it does all the heavy lifting for you! 

Incorporate compelling imagery. Fill your welcome email with bright, engaging, compelling imagery that's begging to be clicked and explored, and – in this case – eaten.


2. City Eye

Supercharge engagement with video. Did you know that including a video in your mailing can boost open rates by 20% and increase click-through rates 2-3X? Or that simply using the word “video” in subject lines boosts open rates 19%, click-through rates by 65%, and reduces unsubscribes by 26%? That’s powerful stuff!

Capitalize on content. Supplement your video with content buckets, which help pique the interest of your subscribers and drive more traffic to your website. Short, concise copy helps tease each piece without sending it into TL;DR territory.

Reel them in above-the-fold. An attention-grabbing header makes your email stand out in a crowded inbox and compels recipients to engage with all the cool stuff that follows. Want a new custom header that leads to your cool stuff? Let our design crew whip one up for you!


3. The Place to Learn 

Optimize your CTA. To inspire more clicks from your subscribers, use a big, eye-catching, call-to-action button. It’s super easy to do using our CTA button block. And be sure to test different colors and copy – the more you experiment, the more you’ll learn what gets your subscribers clicking and tapping.

Always think mobile. Compelling images with bold headlines are attention-grabbing and make for easy scanning on mobile devices. And linking out to a video is a great way to share your message without cluttering up the design with a whole bunch of copy.

Promote engagement. Include social buttons in your mailings to boost engagement, build your audience, and encourage sharing. Adding these buttons to your email can lift click rates by 150%!




4. North State 

Break up copy into clear sections. Traditional newsletters are going the way of the dinosaur, so we don’t usually advocate including a lot of copy in emails. But sometimes you just have a lot of news to share, especially in the university space. Brings yours out of the Jurassic age by breaking it into clear, scannable sections separated by images and headlines.

Make an impression with images. People process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and they’re much more likely to remember text when it’s accompanied by images. So choose your images wisely, and if you need a hand designing the best graphic for your email, our design team has your back.

Include links (when possible). Rather than putting everything in your mailing, include links at the end of each section to keep things as streamlined as possible and drive traffic back to your webpage. Think of your email as the appetizer that leads to the main course.



Re-engage subscribers. You work hard to get people on your email list, but don’t take it personally if someone hasn’t engaged in a while. Instead, create a segment of those subscribers who have gone dark and win them back with an exclusive offer. It works, too. 45% of subscribers who receive re-engagement emails open subsequent mailings.

Use an image of someone looking at your CTA. That guy in the header isn’t just modeling the jacket. He’s looking in the direction of the call to action. Eye-tracking studies show we’ll look where someone is looking or pointing, so take advantage of this natural behavior to draw more attention to your CTA.

Maintain focus (most of the time). Stick to the point by featuring one key product in your email. But also provide an opportunity to see the rest of the collection in a banner at the footer of the email – that way, you won’t get in the way of your main CTA, and you make it easy for subscribers to explore everything else you have to offer in case they’re not interested.


6. Green Office 

Take advantage of white space. It gives your recipient's eyes a break from constant stimulation and draws their attention to what’s really important in your message. Plus, it helps improve reading speed by 14% and comprehension by 20% – which is huge since average adult attention spans are now shorter than a goldfish’s (sad, but true).

Let your products lead the way. A super-organized layout allows you to put lots of options in front of the audience without making your email feel too cluttered.

Use dynamic content. Segment your subscribers geographically, then pull in a map that will show them the locations closest to them. It’s a great way to drive more traffic to your brick-and-mortar locations.



7. Boundry

Have one goal. Send a dedicated email that introduces a single product or piece of content to subscribers. Bonus points for adding a little exclusivity by pointing out it’s an early look just for your email subscribers.

Keep it simple. It doesn’t get much more straightforward than this. A logo, a powerful image, and a clear CTA can go a long way toward boosting engagement (and sales).

Don’t forget to link the image (please). When you have a large image image like that, people will click on it, especially on mobile devices. It can be easy to forget or overlook, so make sure the image also links to the landing page you’re driving traffic to.


8. U-Fit

Optimize for mobile. Over half of all email is now opened on a mobile device, so it’s more important than ever that you’re optimizing your messages for the small screen. Mobile-friendly templates like these are a must, and be sure to use CTA buttons that are large enough to be easily tapped on a smartphone.

Organize into headlines. Can’t say it enough: Your recipients are likely only scanning your emails, so your design and copy choices have to take it into account. Make it easy for the scanners by including bold, easy-to-read headlines that catch the eye. Otherwise, they’ll look right past your content.

Place the CTA above the fold. You want your subscribers to click, so make sure your CTA is one of the first things they see when they open your email. Click maps show that’s where most of the action is.


9. Taika Events 

Put your event in the spotlight. Email + events is a match made in marketing heaven. Use Emma’s Eventbrite integration to pull in information about your event and link directly to your registration page. The integration also allows you to pull in a clickable Google map that displays your event location.

Quickly see the ROI of your email. Another great thing about our Eventbrite integration, you can see the tickets sales that resulted from your email directly in the Response section of your account. There’s no better way to see what’s working and what’s not when it comes to you event email marketing.

Use content buckets. Add a little spice to your invitation (see what we did there) by including a few pieces of relevant, compelling content within the body of your email. For instance, a restaurant could include links to an “About Us” section, their menu, and a recipe for a signature dish.




10. Bluegrass Festival 

Combat the “trough of death.” Event marketing is known for its peaks and valleys – ticket sales at the beginning and end will be through-the-roof and in the middle they’re, well… not. Fill in the gaps by engaging your audience with strategically timed emails.

Use a consistent feature design element. If you’re marketing an event, you likely already have a ton of great creative assets at your disposal. Use them in your emails – imagery like posters or even a big, bold logo help give your event a distinct look and make your messages really pop. And if you need some help freshening up your look, give us a shout!

Give sponsors some love. Emails are a great place to spotlight your sponsors. Include their logos in the footer of communications you send to your subscribers; it’ll help get their name out there and show them that you truly appreciate their support.


11. Blok 

Develop better customer relationships. Use date-based automation to send your subscribers special messages on their birthdays, on their signup anniversary, whenever! It’ll show them you’re thinking of them and help build long-term customer loyalty.

Draw the eye with big, bright images. Emphasize the areas of your email you want to highlight with bright, bold colors that draw the eye (and the clicks!). It’s a clear signal to the brain that it’s looking at a new piece of content.

Include a navigation bar. Take a page from web design and include a top navigation bar in your email. We’re all used to this interaction, and it drives traffic to your website even if subscribers aren’t interested in the primary subject of the mailing.


12. Y + S

Keep it clean. A digest format is a great way to present a lot of information to your subscribers without overwhelming them with a wall of copy. Include image tiles for featured articles and a smaller, secondary column of content you think might interest them.

Mix it up with video. Your subscribers love video – especially when it has an educational element. Including it in an email digest is a great way to mix up the types of content you offer them.

Emphasize social sharing buttons. Add another level of engagement to your emails by incorporating an attractive, eye-catching row of social sharing buttons at the bottom of your template.

About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a content writer on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

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