Email marketing and Mother's DayMother’s Day is upon us. It’s not too late to get out some last minute promotions, either. Such events are also a great exercise in keeping things simple, and that’ what I’d like to focus on in today’s blog.

Often, we can go a little bit overboard with our email designs. With tools like mailingmanager making it fantastically easy to achieve draw-dropping designs and complex content structures, there’s the understandable willingness to really go to town and impress your subscribers. The reality is that, in doing so, you might actually do the exact opposite and put them off.

Email marketing is all about answering your subscriber’s questions and doing so as quickly and conveniently as possible. It is also about ensuring they can pick up the email and get everything they need from it, regardless of which device they’re using.

That means simple, eye-catching design, and I’ve got a great example for you.

This isn’t from a small, local business, it’s from one of the world’s largest tech companies, Apple. They’re perfectly placed to make the most of Mother’s Day and, while it’s debatable how many people would buy an iPad for their mum on such a day, it hasn’t stopped them suggesting it’s a good idea.

As always, let’s start with the subject line:

Email subject line


Email design isn’t just about the images. You design everything – including the subject line. And, what more did they need to say here? The message is clear, I’m expecting it and I’d like to find out how they can help me.

Onto their opening gambit:

Email intro


Notice we’re still rather light on imagery? We’ve hit most of the ‘above the fold’ stuff and we’re still yet to see any form of real design. It’s just text, centred, with a call-to-action (CTA) button and their logo plonked top-left. But it works – as is usually the case with Apple – brilliantly. The central message is repeated and our eyes are drawn to where they want us to click – that ‘Shop Now’ CTA.

Of course, there is an image at play here and it is a short scroll below the above:

Email main image


That’s it. No fancy border, no shading. Just an image of the product. And a brief one at that – they’re not showing us all of it, so it works as a great, tempting lead in to the main event.

Lastly, they’ve gone for the up-sell with the rest of the email:

Email footer


And, again, there is little to no design at play here. Just simple columns, marginal image use and a focus on the copy. As a result, this email also works perfectly on my smartphone.

Events such as Mother’s Day don’t have to be the only time we focus less on what is perceived to be ‘real’ design – every email we send should be a practice in designing simplicity. Great, unique imagery, imaginative and engaging copy. That’s what your subscribers want – give it to them!


Main image courtesy of 89studio /


Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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