Email Design Look Book a Sign of the Times

Responsys, Inc., a leading provider of email and cross-channel marketing solutions, has released its fourth annual Email Design Look Book. The Look Book, available for free download, celebrates 20 innovative and inspiring email designs. 

"Responsys' experienced team of designers, copywriters, strategists and services employees analyze tens of thousands of emails every year to ensure we're keeping up with the cutting-edge of design, messaging, coding and strategy," says Chad White, Research Director at Responsys. 

 "Each piece stands on its own as a great example of email marketing creative, but when viewed together, this collection reveals the priorities that are critical for our industry:

     * Mobile is forcing email designs to adapt.

     * Designs must deliver something unexpected to stand out in crowded inboxes.

     * Personalized content allows one-to-one messaging.

     * Automated programs deliver messages to subscribers when they're most helpful.

     * Defensive design creates engaging experiences even when images are blocked."

The Look Book also serves as an inspirational tool for email marketers.

"Every year marketers enjoy the Email Design Look Book because it gives them a chance take a step away from their own program and get a fresh perspective from brands that are trying something different," says Wacarra Yeomans, Creative Director at Responys. "The Email Design Look Book provides exposure into industries, programs and countries a marketer may not already be tracking. 

"Marketers are creative people by nature; when they take time to look at the way other marketers tackle the same challenges, it can spark an idea that leads to a new spin for their current program."

Responsys is also open to new ideas. With four Look Books to its name, the company has also evolved with the industry.  

"The most important difference between the first and fourth editions of the Email Design Look Book is that we've broadened our definition of "design," says White. "Over time we've put more focus on strategic and tactical designs, in addition to looking for great creative design. Rising consumer expectations around relevancy and technology, changes like the adoption of smartphones and tablets, have forced email marketers to become more technical and take advantage of data analytics like never before. The REI, Helzberg and Sky emails in this year's Look Book are great examples of brainy designs, as is the LinkedIn email from last year's.

"We've also taken a more worldview over time. The first edition Email Design Look Book only had emails from U.S. brands, whereas 30 percent of this year's are from international companies. U.S. brands are undeniably the world's leaders in email marketing, but European brands are not far behind and there are some great gems to be found in Latin America and elsewhere. As the world gets smaller, marketers should cast a wide net when looking for inspiration. The Pizza Express and Royal National Institute of Blind People emails are two of my favorite examples from abroad."