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Litmus Email Design Conference

Litmus is a great partner of Knak and we are excited to be attending their Email Design Conference in Boston this week.

There is a great speaker lineup from companies like Amazon, Salesforce, Litmus and a bunch of others. We’re looking forward to the following sessions:

  • How to look good naked: optimizing emails for image blocking
  • Perfectly Practical: HTML typography in email
  • Building interactive email
  • Responsive email without media queries

We’ll be live blogging from the event, so make sure to follow the blog for all the latest tips, tricks and best practices when it comes to designing bulletproof emails.

And before we get started, here’s a little taste of Boston from last night. No one does a lobster roll quite like them!

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5 Companies That Send Awesome Emails

We’re always looking for inspiration for our latest email and landing page templates. There are a few companies in particular that we subscribe to for some epic emails.

Litmus

Litmus

No surprise that Litmus makes the list. In fact it would be a bit troublesome if they didn’t, given that they test emails for a living! Although these emails are visually appealing, the code is some of the best in the business. Even our developers have nothing bad to say about it, which basically never happens. And what’s fun is they often have little hidden Easter Eggs in the emails if you know where to look!

Tesla

Tesla

Did you know Tesla uses Marketo? At least that’s what this job posting would suggest… anyways, their emails show how simple and clean can be very sophisticated. Always responsive, always clear calls-to-action. They are a good example of how images can bring your copy to life.

FreshBooks

FreshBooks

This is the first of two Canadian companies that made our list. FreshBooks, known for their cloud-accounting software, does some great emails. They use fun, interesting animations in their banners to change it up from all the other serious stuff you get in your inbox. Their emails are seamless when you move from the desktop to mobile, they look just as good regardless of the platform you’re on.

Shopify

Shopify

Shopify is also Canadian, eh? They are all the rage in the eCommerce space and are fresh off a hot IPO. They’re emails are responsive, fun and not only do they have very good layouts, but appealing calls-to-action. Shows how clever headlines that illicit click-through-rates and boost the conversion of your emails.

Uber

Uber

We just wrote about Uber last week so we couldn’t leave them out. If one thing separates Ubers emails from the rest, its their amazing use of animation. Animated GIFs are all the rage these days people. We’ll be doing another blog post on those shortly.

That’s it!

Which companies do you guys look to for inspiration? Let us know in the comments below.

Uber: An Example of the Future of Email Marketing

The first thing I do when I get to a new city is to see if they have Uber available. Uber has made it easier than ever before to get around in new places. I was recently in Taipei, and even though I cannot speak a word of Chinese (and the drivers English is usually no better than my Mandarin) I was able to get where I needed to go effortlessly with Uber.

I recently got this email from them, and was blown away by the design, sophistication and execution of their email. It’s not the first time I have been impressed by Uber’s emails, but this one in particular stood out for me.

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Animated

It’s not visible in this screenshot, but the background of Uber’s email is completely animated. The little dots flicker and glow adding an amazing visual dimension to the email. Since most emails are static (and may I say boring) this one really catches your eye, and tells the recipient that they are seeing something different. Capturing your audiences attention is one of the hardest things to do in email, but animation is a great way to get that extra second or two of attention, and then get your message across.

Personalized Analytics

Not only are there some great stats in the email, but Uber is actually taking my personal ride stats, and displaying them to me in a dynamic fashion. Marketo makes this possible with the use of tokens in your emails. This provides the recipient with a personalized experience, and makes them really feel like this email was made just for them.

Responsive

Surprisingly, many emails that Marketers send are still not using responsive emails. Uber does a great job of coding their email so it is fully responsive, so that no matter what device the recipient is on, they are able to get an amazing viewing experience. You can always tell if an email is responsive by dragging the size of your window and seeing if the layout changes. The best responsive emails are constantly rearranging things to suit the size of the screen. Here is what Uber’s email looks like on typical phone dimensions.

uber-email-mobile

Tested

The best emails work seamlessly across all devices. Regardless of if I look at Ubers email on my iPhone, iPad or MacBook, it looks great everywhere. Not surprising since I hear they hire a lot of former Litmus employees to work in their email marketing department

Beautiful

Last but not least, the email is beautifully designed. There is something about the simplicity, colors and layout that makes an email marketer like me happy!

Intrigue

Often a lost marketing art form, but the intrigue of the open text field asking where I will go next was too much for me not to click it, I had to see where it would take me.

That’s it. Hopefully I have inspired you guys to go out there, and try and make an equally beautiful, thoughtful, analytical and personal email like Uber did!

Cheers!

Marketo’s New Email Editor: What you need to know.

On Friday as part of Marketo’s July release, Marketo released an update to their email editor. It is a cosmestic update, with a nicer/cleaner UI.

We like how you can now navigate to the image library without having to drag the image element onto the email and that the UI is a bit easier to use.

However, there are a few problematic updates with this new email editor, especially if you are using Knak templates:

1. The new hyperlink editor removes all styling on links

This means that if your template was setup to style a link to match the rest of the colors in your email, that now when you edit a link using Marketo’s new hyperlink editor, Marketo ignores the built-in styling of your Knak template and inserts a blue line under your links.

2. Image editor removes all styling on images

Editing an image using the new image editor removes all styling on the image. Given that many email templates have code behind the images for sizing or responsive behavior, by removing all styling behind the image, this will break the template.

We recommend all Knak users take the following action immediately to avoid unstable Marketo/Knak templates:

Switch to the ‘Legacy’ editor. You can do this by going to Admin>Email>Edit Editor Settings.

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Knak Partners with Marketo to help Marketers Make Better Emails & Landing Pages.

Fresh off the presses, Knak is officially listed on Marketo LaunchPoint. LaunchPoint is Marketo’s partner ecosystem where they list ‘some of the world’s most innovative, best-in-breed marketing solutions‘.

Sounds pretty good to us!

Check out our shiny new listing here: http://launchpoint.marketo.com/knak/2013-knak/

We’re really excited to be official Marketo partners, and looking forward to the future. Almost 10% of Marketo’s customer base are now using Knak to make best-in-class Marketo templates!

And if you haven’t yet, build a brand new responsive Marketo template using Knak in less than 5 minutes – no coding required! www.knak.io

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