A couple of days ago I launched a side project called HTML Email Designer. No prizes for guessing what it’s all about! In this post I’ll explain the site’s premise.
What HTML Email Designer Offers
I wanted to create a website geared specifically towards offering HTML email newsletter design and development services, with the ability for clients to easily be able to manage their own newsletter content each month, and also send out campaigns with complete ease. Email marketing is a great way for clients to keep contact with existing customers and also promote special offers and latest news, and I still feel that too many small businesses are passing up a great opportunity here. So that’s why I decided to create HTML Email Designer. A place for small businesses to start out on the road of email marketing at (hopefully) quite affordable prices. The services I’ll offer are pretty simple
- I design an email newsletter for you, provide you with the PSD and you develop it. Perfect for developers who need a bit of design flair or companies who have an in-house development team.
- I develop your newsletter based on a design you provide. Perfect for a busy designer who doesn’t want to waste time testing their design in Hotmail, Outlook etc.
- The complete package – I design, develop and integrate an HTML email newsletter with Campaign Monitor or MailChimp allowing you to manage your newsletters content, access some great analytics and send out your campaign each month without the hassle of having to pay a designer/developer to do so for you.
Campaign Monitor & MailChimp
Both these solutions in my opinion are fantastic for sending out email newsletters. They let clients update the content of their newsletter with ease, and also provide some very interesting statistics enabling you to see how many people opened the email, what links they clicked and much more. There are also some cool ways to integrate social media into your campaigns these days. In terms of developing newsletters for each platform, yes there are some differences, but I believe offering both as options is the best way to go as each have good and bad points. The decision to use Campaign Monitor or MailChimp for a certain project will definitely depend on the clients needs and also the frequency with which they intend to send out their campaigns as the pricing does vary with both.
Thoughts behind the HTML Email Designer design
Initially I set out designing a site that was much more in depth and I even started developing it. Client work took a front seat and I put the development on the back burner. When I came to get started again I knew I’d bitten off more than I could chew trying to develop a reasonably large site in between client work. With that I started from scratch and tried to simplify. I wanted to create something really clean and easy to use, with a focus on typography and also past email newsletter designs I’d created. At the time Typekit has just announced the release of Futura on its platform, so that was the perfect excuse to use that for many of the headings you see on the site. Unfortunately the condensed version of Futura isn’t available on Typekit, so I had to use image replacement there. In the ‘hire’ section at the bottom of the page I also wanted to spell out the process for the client, letting them know exactly what to expect.
Behind the scenes
I built the site using HTML5 (as I do for all client sites now) and also used some subtle CSS3 to further enhance the experience. Mainly on the email client logos, using subtle CSS3 gradients and box-shadow transitions when you hover over them with the mouse.
Overall the site came together pretty quickly and I’ve had some good feedback so far. I think its going to be an interesting little project because now I need to promote the site (cue this blog post!) and get some visitors to it. I’ll definitely be pointing my clients to the site once I finish working on their website projects. After all having an email newsletter to match your brand new website is the perfect partner in my opinion!
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