Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Clever Font Use in Retail eMail Design

ModCloth.com sent this to my inbox today. To be honest I think this young brand is very bold in their Online Marketing choices. Not too long ago they completely relaunched their site. I would say they modernized their site by 15 years and brought it up to speed with their competitors. Actually scratch that I actually think ModCloth has the viral/social networking cornered for their space. I'll have to do another post on all of the things that I appreciate about their new website from my user experience. If you can't tell I love ModCloth just a wee little bit.

ModCloth surprises me by dedicating so much of their eMail efforts to Sweepstakes or Contests of some sort. I find that when they do feature clothing items their all in a theme. Versus Brands, New Arrivals, or Sale Items. A while back they sent me a "Mad Men" themed eMail with all vintage themed items/office wear from the 1960's decade.

Take this eMail (seen above) that they sent with the subject line "Color me Mod". First thing first, Kudos to their Creative team. Aesthetically this eMail is very pleasing to the eye. At first I found myself doing a double take. I thought maybe I misread my sender label and I opened FontShop's eMail instead of ModCloth. I also had to cut off some of the extra black background due to using good old function keys to take my screenshot and needing to paste it all together in Photoshop later. Which I wouldn't have needed to do if they had included a link to the web hosted version of this eMail/Html. I think there are 7 different links in this eMail. But it is hard to tell since there are no call to actions (read click here or arrow).

Funny story is that I am NOT a designer. Now that I have my glasses I might actually have a shot at that career choice. Before everything was so blurry (unbeknowst to me) that I couldn't detect the difference between a GIF or JPG. One of the previous creative contractors that I had the priveledge to work with once told me that she didn't believe in CTA's. Designers hate CTA's almost as much as underlining text. Her belief was that most people have some intelligence and do not need labels for where they can or cannot click. While I see her point there is a reason CTA's improve conversion rate. Which by the look of this eMail was not the overall goal.

A few goals for this little eMail that could would be
1. Add link of web hosted image. For those recipients who have not pre-approved viewing of your images.
"Can't see the pretty picture? Click here to view our eMail online."
2. Brand the navigation bar so that it is consistent with the look/function of their web site navigation. Add colored background behind the text. Which should increase conversion rate.
3. My preference would also be to move the "This eMail is from ModCloth" at the top next to suggestion 1#
4. There are social networking links at the bottom of the eMail set on a plain white background. I would also add a colored background (aka bottom navigation bar) behind these icons. It improves conversion and just looks nice. On a side note I don't know their network numbers but I believe for most retailers Twitter and Facebook are their Social Media power players. Most only include those 2 links on their eMail.

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