Tuesday, 23 August 2011, 11:30 PM

Young People Shop via Newsletters from Other Countries

I’m so delighted to have the opportunity to work on an e-mail project for a somewhat younger target group. Hopefully I’ll be able to tell you more about it soon. The company in question has a really humble approach towards the e-mail channel and is prepared to change and improve things to reach their goals in this regard. I feel so privileged to be a small part of all this. Well, I wanted to learn more about their target group so off I went to the Stapelbäddsparken, a great place for young skate boarders in Malmö. I felt a bit shaky when I approached these young skaters to ask them what kind of newsletter they want to read. And I was sooo astonished! Apart from being very compliant and happy that someone was interested in their point of view they delivered some surprising answers. Here are some of the questions and their answers:

Q: What about the content in a good newsletter?

A: Should be about new things, the latest, sale – all in cool pictures and we would like to see the products from various angles. Clothes for instance, should be worn by a skater when skating. Show pictures on Flickr! More information about skating competitions, tests of new boards, shoes a.s.o.

Q: Do you shop via e-mail?

A: YES! If we get an e-mail when we’re skating together, then we might check and shop together and order things. And we’re so happy that some American sites finally agree on sending products to us in Sweden. But we don’t want to wait too long for our things to get here, though.

Q: How do you feel about a company sending frequent e-mails wanting you to buy form them?

A: No problem, everybody has to make money. If it’s a good deal we gain from it – and so do they. That’s okay.

Q: How is a trustworthy company in your eyes?

A: They’re on our side and consider us as being a part of the society! We want a better status!

To sum up: While we in the ”older” generations talk about not wanting to shop from foreign parties via e-mails, the younger generation says: ”Yes, of course we will!” Youngsters don’t mind e-retailers selling via newsletters providing they offer good things and reasonable prices. That’s interesting! What did I learn? We can’t presuppose that we know what our costumers want. We have to ask them! Apparently newsletters will prevail also in the future generation! If they’re written as the customers want them, that is …

Here are some pictures of the kids I interviewed:

Thursday, 11 August 2011, 10:27 AM

E-mail Design for Mobile Users

A few good points to consider when designing newsletters for mobile users:

  • Use a slightly bigger text than you usually use for home pages. Small text links are difficult to point at.
  • Avoid text sizes smaller than 12 pixels.
  • The same goes for small buttons. Mobile users are often distracted too. (62% use their cell phone when watching television.)
  • Apple recommends a pixel size of at least 44×44 for ”pointable” objects – text links and picture links in this case.
  • Microsoft recommends you to increase the pointing area of the links if they are close to the screen edge.
  • Graphics with poor contrast will probably be barely visible on a mobile screen.

Some of these points are pretty obvious, but I must confess that it has happened that I’ve forgotten the simple solution of just increasing the size of the text. These self-evident(?) reminders will make it a lot easier for our mobile users!

Read the whole article on Style Campaign.

Monday, 8 August 2011, 10:21 AM

Forty Years of Emailing!

Christopher and me were working on a new email presentation when we suddenly realized that it’s forty years since the first electronic mail message was sent. Ray Tomlinson was the first one to send an email to another computer. Sorry to say, but he has forgotten what he wrote in this historic message 🙂 Anyways, we’re happy that he succeeded in his efforts which enable us to see the development of this wonderful channel.

When we made a search for ”e-mail’s 40th anniversary” we quickly realized that we weren’t the only ones to celebrate the event. Mashable already made this chart.

Click in the picture and you’ll see the whole of it:

Monday, 1 August 2011, 9:11 AM

There’s No Topic Too Specific for a Newsletter

A newsletter about fonts only – is that okay? Of course it is, at least if you’ve got the world’s largest collection of fonts on the web.

I subscribe to MyFonts’ newsletters for inspiration, but also because of my interest in typography.

I do like the way they present the fonts – big and clear – with a little story or presentation of the designer for every font. Maybe the pictures are a bit too large, though. Even so I feel that the relation between text and picture is well balanced, which is a good thing, otherwise the letter might get stuck in spam filters, and it’s easy too scroll through the fonts to see if there’s something you like.

Rising Stars

There’s a big newsletter archive on the web since seven years. It’s pretty fun to compare the very first newsletter of 2004 with the latest one of 2011.

Rising Stars

The question is how it’s possible to keep a newsletter alive for so many years. But obviously there’s no topic too narrow or specific for a newsletter. The circle of readers is probably limited – but surely dedicated.

At the very bottom of the letters there’s a little space for the readers’ comments.

Rising Stars

I have designed my own fonts a few times and I can testify that it’s quite demanding when it comes to precision and very time consuming! It’s not to be recommended for someone without a great deal of patience. I haven’t so far dared to try fonts with serifs; I still keep to the straighter ones.

Here’s my latest procreation:

Rising Stars

Wednesday, 27 July 2011, 7:58 PM

Twitter–the Emailers’ Friend in Deed

If I had to choose just one tool to complete e-mail marketing with I would choose Twitter. So here is a simple Twitter-tip:

Check this connection out and reflect on what links you tweet. Are they relevant for your site, your business, or your blog? And remember that it isn’t your friends only who use the links.

In this case we are on the top position on Google when you searched for ”html email boilerplate” first week in June. Not because we really are in superposition, but because we have tweeted the top position. The top position is extremely relevant for our blog – and gives us relevant visitors.

We often talk about relevant e-mail marketing, but naturally it’s about being relevant in all channels.

Supplement: I have to mention though that I don´t really know how Google connects this; it might be that only people in your circle of friends share these extra search hits. But in any case it´s very valuable.

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