Welcome to the July Edition of Emails That Do Work, the blog series where we dissect some of our favorite user emails, and talk tips on how to optimize our own.

Aesthetic Images Photography

Email #1 comes to us from Aesthetic Images Photography. This piece is perfect to start with, as it resolves a big problem I can admit I’m guilty of. When I don’t have time to read an email, I open – glance – delete – run, or sometimes leave it there for future reference. Abandoning it in my inbox rarely means I’ll reread it, but this email ensures I catch the message regardless.

Why it works:

  • Color & Size: Though there may be some small alignment issues towards the bottom, this email rocked using eye-catching colors and headlines. The colors are not so bright that I want to look away, but not soft enough that I miss it. And with that size text, who COULD miss it?
  • Straight to the point: Most emails begin with a logo and maybe a header, while this particular one begins with its promotion. When I’m zipping through my emails, whether I delete or postpone it, it’s pretty impossible to miss the message. This piece gives off the impression that Aesthetic Images Photography knows their readers so well, they don’t need to say too much in their promotional emails. And for any new readers? There’s some information below.

ida Los Angeles

The next email of the month comes from ida Los Angeles, a multi-disciplinary design firm providing design services for a diverse range of clientele. This piece is an invitation email to a gallery event.

Why it works:

  • Concise: This creation is so small, I wouldn’t even consider it an email and that is the best part about it. Minus the hyperlink at the bottom, this invitation could have been distributed via direct mail and it still would have been a hit. Remember, no one wants to have to dedicate a time slot in their day to read an email, whether invitational or informational.
  • Branding: If you haven’t yet noticed in my past blogs, I love branding. Nothing makes my heart smile more than a company branding every piece of content it creates. When your content matches your website/brand (http://www.go2ida.com), you’re building your reputation and reminding readers that if they trust you, they should trust your emails.

Fast Forward

Our next email was sent by Fast Forward, an initiative for middle, high school, and community college students and faculty to enhance their knowledge of the transportation enterprise.

Why it works:/br>

  • Consistency/Flow: Fast Forward designed this email layout with repetition in mind, which is super effective in this very long email. Though there is no real background design, they used their repetitive content to help readers want to continue reading the email until they get to the end.
  • Directional Cues: This is one of my personal favorite features in email design. The second blue bar (sub-headline) tells readers there is a particular section within the piece they may want to see, regardless of them reading the rest of the email. As an organization targeting students, highlighting scholarships and internships is a brilliant move. Always remember the audience you’re speaking to and design your email based on what they would want to read when they open it up.

QNAP Security

Next up, we have QNAP Security, the world’s first Linux-embedded NVR developer. This eNewsletter is released monthly, and is put together so well, it ensures that its readers have updates on every move the company makes.

Why it works:

  • Sub-headlines: Very seldom have I seen or received an email with sub-headlines. More creators should take notes from QNAP. Whether I’m searching for a particular section or just skimming the email, I know exactly what topic I’m reading about, and there is a chance another may catch my eye.
  • All in one: Referring back to sub-headlines, this eNewsletter includes an abundance of information. There is nothing wrong with an information overload as long as you display it in a way that readers want to continue reading your email. Using sub-headlines, layout design and page breaks, QNAP proves a heavy email can still be successful.

Ionic Systems Ltd

Last but far from least, is Ionic Systems, manufacturers of The Reach & Wash System. This email informs readers that they are about to begin their 2013 Reach & Wash Roadshows and displays what new systems to look for.

Why it works:

  • Layout Design: Oh, how I love white space. This layout implements boxes and white space perfectly, by boxing up what they want they want you to read immediately (aka encapsulation) and leaving the details within the white space. White space is your friend. Your BEST friend.
  • Circles: Beyond the beautiful layout, Ionic Systems used one particular shape throughout the entire email and inspires me to do the same. Notice, their “reach & wash” logo has dimmed circles in the background. They took the circular element and used it for borders and page/story breaks. Genius, right? Sometimes all you need is to take a step away from the computer to realize your email can come together on its own.