In our "Anatomy of an Email" series, we break down the design and strategy choices behind emails from some of our favorite brands. This time, we're putting the spotlight on PetSmart, a retailer that continually impresses us with their work in the inbox.
To be fair, emails that feature photos of cute and cuddly pets probably already have a competitive advantage. However, the PetSmart team doesn't just let warm-and-fuzzy imagery do all the work for them. Instead, they smartly include design elements that help encourage action and improve user experience in every send.
To see what we mean, check out this recent example:
1. This one's a bit of a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many retailers neglect to include a clean, branded top nav in the header of their emails. Not only does the consistency help you achieve instant recognition in the inbox, but providing your most popular product categories and services at the top of the email makes it easy for people to quickly act if they already know what they want.
2. Sure, not every brand can include adorable dog photos in their emails. However, they can include images that evoke some sort of emotional reaction from their audience, whether it's nostalgia, a sense of urgency, whatever. Include imagery that supplements (rather than distracts from) your primary message and adds to the story you're trying to tell in each email.
3. The choices you make for your call-to-action are crucial, as that's the element of your email that will ultimately compel your subscribers to do whatever it is you want them to do. Choose buttons over text links to make your CTAs easier to tap on mobile, and use active, first-person language over generic copy like "Click here."
4-5. Email marketing and apps are effective communication tools by their own rights – but when they come together, that power increases tenfold. Maybe a subscriber would prefer to book grooming appointments on your app than on their web browser, so maximize audience touch points by using email to promote all of your other communication channels. They key is to provide plenty of options and remove as much friction as possible.
6. Similar to the header, a footer full of links to your social channels is absolutely key, especially for brands with an active social presence. For each channel you can get your subscribers to follow, that's that many more opportunities to reach them with messaging and promotions.
Interested in checking out more "Anatomy of an Email" posts? Explore the rest here.
About the Author
McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager 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.Follow on Twitter More Content by McKenzie Gregory