Spring has sprung for many, except for the few areas over east with pockets of snow (boo). The flowers bloom, the birds and the bees mingle, and businesses everywhere send out spring-themed emails to their faithful readers. Now that I’m done setting up this imaginary tea party, let’s sit down and chat about Emails That Do Work.

Main Street Wine Bar

The Main Street Wine Bar is based in Stahlstown, Pennsylvania. Right in the heart of the Laurel Highlands, this cozy bar features wines from around the world. The small and intimate restaurant specializes mainly in its hefty selection of wines, either by the glass or bottle. Menu items feature delicious small plates, hand tossed pizza, and main dishes that can easily be paired with any wine offered.

Why it works:

  • Proper Dress Code: This email is well themed. From its imagery down to the colors used for the bottom fold, a mere glance is more than enough to convey what type of business the email is from. The rich reds and the scenic graphic paired with small glimpses of half-filled wine glasses is creates a very relaxing aesthetic. Nothing turns off readers more than misleading or confusing content. It’s safe to recommend that your emails should establish at least a somewhat relevant environment for your subscribers to recognize and open.
  • Inviting Format: Good emails don’t necessarily need to be anything more than simple. Main Street Wine Bar stays on point with nothing more than informative content. This is an invitation with details – anything else, the reader can definitely do without. When structuring an email layout, think of what the purpose of your email will be. In this case, the Main Street Wine Bar is inviting all recipients to a wine tasting event. The next step would be to consider the information necessary for these recipients to attend. Remember to keep the objective in mind before executing anything else.

Escade Media Entertainment Group

Since 2009, The Escade Media Entertainment Group (Escade) has been working to offer professional services to all clients. This innovative DJ booking agency has more than 10 years of experience within the music industry, acting as an international agents for a roster of aspiring artists and DJs worldwide

Why it works:

  • Balance: There is a lot of attention to balancing the vibrant, dynamic imagery with structure. Without compromising movement and visual appeal, Escade has managed to contain the excitement of the imagery with organization in layout. Regardless of what industry you’re working in, putting some thought into simple tactics like this will demonstrate the quality of your business. In this case, Escade has skillfully balanced structure with creativity by presenting bold and intensive imagery in their emails while making it an easy read.
  • Functional Folds: The folds of your email each serve a different purpose and therefore, hold different value. What do I mean by “folds”? The term “above the fold” refers to the upper half of the front page of the newspaper. Applying this to what we know today (ahem, the Internet), this term has now evolved into what we know now as content being “above the scroll”. Escade keeps this good practice in mind with their current email. Splaying out the main headline with louder imagery in the top fold was no accident. If emails have real estate value, anything “above the fold” or “above the scroll” is considered to be the highest priority. Important content is prominently displayed to ensure that the main message is visible to all users on a default as soon as the page loads.

Small Business Expo

Small Business Expo is the largest networking event, trade show and conference for small business owners. Hosted in seven of the Nation’s largest small business cities, Small Business Expo offers more than 5,000 registrants, 25 workshops, and 150 exhibitors in each market. Speaking of which, Benchmark is an active sponsor. Come visit us at a city near you if you can!

Why it works:

  • Brand Mentions: See the list of logos in the bottom of the email? Cross promotion is a great way for your business to form and develop relationships with other businesses. Competition is always key, but never forget potential allies that can do a great deal of work in brand awareness. Many SMBs are now working to form partner/affiliate programs and integrations with other businesses. Not all businesses can afford some of the larger sources of branding and promotion. Those who can usually hire ad agencies to execute media buys, outdoor and guerilla advertising, viral web campaigns, the whole nine yards. They lie in wait, hidden in the metaphorical business grass waiting to pounce during their multi-million dollar Superbowl ad time slot. For the rest of us, building a great foundation through lasting business relationships will simply have to do (because it works).
  • Links: Emails that promote upcoming events, like this one, need to also offer the user ways to contact, share or sign up for the organization’s event. Small Business Expo provides social media sharing links to make it easy for their subscribers to share or sign up. Removing these options may not seem like a big deal, but the extra click or spare minutes your readers take to look for the information themselves can cost you more than you will know. A sign up, perhaps?