I get sent a lot of emails which demonstrate both good and bad practices. This Design Spotlight is going to focus on what I recently received from Virgin Trains, and in my books they’ve got it right!
I receive Virgin Trains campaigns on a regular basis and the design is always consistent and on brand. I always open them as they make their campaigns friendly, fun and easy on the eye.
First off, go to the bottom of this post and take a look at both the desktop and mobile versions of the email campaign (everyone should be doing this now right? If not speak to us, we can help) and then read on…
They look visually stunning
Every email received is eye catching and full of well thought out puns. Christmas is just around the corner and they’ve used the theme to their advantage, giving a clear message that Santa is even giving up his sleigh to ride with Virgin Trains!
They use a clean and simple layout making all the content easy to scale through. I particularly like that they include a train journey which is on offer relevant to my past journeys, as well as keeping a generic message as I won’t always travel to the same place.
The inclusion of a competition makes it rewarding and with the message below this about planned engineering works, they’re giving me information for free without pushing me to buy a ticket!
The mobile version is just as attractive with the call to actions clear and tapable. I like the way they hide the view online link at the top and have a nice, friendly/confident phrase for it now in the footer, making sure all the relevant content is easy to view.
Simple yet effective background colour
A solid background colour is always safe and effective when it comes to your campaigns. Virgin demonstrate this well and have shades of grey to differentiate between each section, as well as a break showing a strip of the background colour. This allows the user to easily scan through the email and get the information quickly.
It may sound simple, but all of their links work. It is a well-designed email campaign with full functionality. It also displays correctly with no errors! It also has a lovely mobile version with nice big images, clear call to actions and clear cut sections which allow the email to be skim read at ease on both the desktop and mobile versions.
As we covered previously, informative emails are more effective than promotional. Consumers nowadays are smarter as well as overloaded with sales emails. If you can offer something other competitors don’t, useful information with a personal touch for example, it will make all the difference. Virgin Trains blend the 2 together in a nice way with a generic selling message at the top, and a personalised selling message after relating to my recent booking with them. They then offer 2 things FREE, a competition and some news on works being carried out so that I am informed of any potential journey delays before I book. This is the value that I, as a user, enjoy so that it’s not just sell sell sell.
The only area I would say could be improved is the lead image. Although the graphic is great with its festive theme and delivers the message to the audience, it is however large and with images switched off would cause a great deal to be missed above the fold. This could discourage people from scrolling down, making them want to look at another email.
It gives you value
Even though the 1st two sections of this email are trying to get you to buy, the last 2 easily make up for it with the competition and useful information. These little touches make the user feel appreciated and not just a target for potential sales which in turn gains their trust and loyalty for future campaigns.If you would like our feedback on your designs, or for us to design and mobile optimise your templates for you, then get in touch with our friendly team here.