NatureScapes is one of the longest running websites for nature photographers to network and learn from each other. As a brand, NatureScapes is comprised of several different business segments of photographers in their audience.
Since 2009 I’ve designed and developed hundreds of email communications to support various stages of the customer journey. These areas include messages for online store advertisements, luxury travel, monthly newsletters, and transactional emails throughout the website.
All emails are responsive. I have designed, developed, tested, and analyzed them from the ground up. I’ve exceeded many benchmarks including consistently high open and click rates along with low bounce rates. Less than 10% of Constant Contact users accomplish this, resulting in strong customer engagement and loyalty.
To increase email list sign-ups, a special offer was implemented using an autoresponder. This change resulted in a 447% increase in email list growth over 6 months. In turn, the offer’s campaign conversion rate increased by 23% with 3x the transactions in 6 months.
After creating an outline of the types of email messages that are sent, I determined which elements were the most common. The goal was to create a responsive template that could be used throughout different types of communications.
When I first started at the company, there was not a cohesive email system in place therefore I had to build one from the ground up.
Every email design starts with a goal using research and content creation as the foundation. My favorite way to design a promotional email is to create a theme. It’s a great way to be creative, try new approaches, and keep messages engaging.
Email campaigns need to be designed swiftly without sacrificing quality. Using the template, campaigns are designed based on seasonal company goals. Generally, I’m given a list of what to feature to make a content plan for the layout. At times I repurpose website content, while at other times I perform more research and write additional material to bring a unique point of view to the message.
Pictured above are wireframe sketches for three different emails. Using the message content, I draw ideas and notes by hand for every email design before working on the computer. I discover the best ideas when sketching first without restriction.
Once the content is complete, I always sketch wireframes by hand and mark them up with notes to incorporate into the visual design.
When an email design is approved, the development phase begins. The campaign design is developed within the core template layout. A text only version is formatted and included for email subscribers who receive text only communications.
Following the visual design of an email, it gets sent for review and changes are made if necessary. Afterwards, the design is developed as part of the responsive email template using responsive HTML and CSS, with a formatted text version to match. Testing each email in various email clients is a must for compatibility prior to deployment.