Tips for creating real “hero” newsletters with wallpaper images and enticing Call-To-Action buttons

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schreibtisch-macbookPerfect newsletter design with Mail Designer Pro: more Mail Designer tips can be found on our Mail Designer Pro Tutorial Page.

What are you trying to accomplish with your newsletter? You want to win hearts, clicks, fans, and followers, right? On average, your recipients only have an attention span of about 8 seconds. An intelligently constructed, image heavy newsletter is sure to increase sales.

The leaves have begun to change color and fall, triggering an eager, optimistic target group becoming even more enthusiastic to buy. As they snuggle under their fleece blankets on the comfy couch, by the glow of their iPhone screens, thoughts of the upcoming holidays fill their minds. It’s high time to power-up your email marketing campaigns – Halloween, Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s are right around the corner!

Clever Designs with Mail Designer Pro, increase your potential for success. We’ll show you how…

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Take it up a notch with Wallpaper Mode – Backgrounds with a bang!

A picture is worth a thousand words, and boy do they sell! Pictures put readers in the right mood and give potential customers a stronger emotional connection to your products or sales. With the improved background features from Mail Designer Pro, you can create brilliant, breathtaking effects with full surface hero images. Be creative and stretch mood pictures over an entire email. A catchy slogan and large fonts will help give your newsletter that extra umpf.

Tip: It’s important to use an image that works well in Mobile Mode because when viewed on a smartphone, your recipient will be scrolling. Basically, within 8 minutes of viewing your newsletter,, your readers should get into the right mood, recognize your style, and understand the offer and promotional period at hand.

background_lunch_2Pictures add an extra value to the style of your newsletter: A special fall menu for your restaurant, an invitation to an Open House, or a last minute weekend sale – the right background adds a subtle, but meaningful reinforcement to your message.
A little bit of taste is helpful for bringing across the right message. We’ll show you how to use background art for your desktop and mobile versions.

Find the right background image

Bigger is better. Ideally, you should look for pictures that are at least 4000px wide. This gives you more leeway for positioning and the picture will remain sharp for Retina displays

Extra leeway: Keep in mind that you will most likely want to include text boxes on top of your picture. Therefore, it is not recommended to use a picture with lots of details throughout but instead one with depth, colors, or slightly blurred. This way it’s easier to find appropriate spots for Headlines and texts.

unsplashPicture databases as inspiration: If you search the web for pictures, you’re sure to find some good image databases for downloading pictures, such as these:

Sometimes, simply browsing through the different images can give you inspiration for your newsletters. Of course it’s always best if you start off with your own ideas.

Layout cheat sheet: Create emails with backgrounds

More or less text? Before you start, it’s best to decide if you want to work with transparent text boxes or with non-transparent layout blocks. The latter variety is appealing when you’ll be including a longer text.

Give your background space: Try to keep the top and up to the first third of your newsletter free. This space is important to let the background image make its impression. For texts, you could use a text/picture layout block and reduce it, such as seen in the following example: Texts should be at least 16px big so that the work well on mobile screens.

background_wildStyle with transparent layers: If you use minimal text, as in: Quick information, sales, transaction emails – you can give your background picture even more room. Try working with picture layout blocks which you can include layer by layer for your texts.

Check out these 3 examples to see how different the moods can be depending on how a background is used…

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For the layers, drag a square or circle onto your picture layout block from the Graphic Tools. Turn the opacity down to around 80% so that it is slightly see-through. With this method, it requires a bit more work to create the mobile versions.

Tip: Increase your click rate: Try this method as well to help push your Call-to-Actions. Adjust the picture so that the background drags attention to one of your links.

Apply, position, and optimize the background for your desktop version

To position a background, click on the background icon link at the bottom. Now you can pull the edges of your background to adjust the size. With the zoom feature, you can adjust the background image to fit your newsletter exactly. By holding the mouse button while you drag, you can move the inner area of your background picture.

Tips: Background images can increase the volume of data in your newsletters. Using Optimize Background, you can further compress the image. Decouple and adjust the background for the mobile version.

Detach and adjust the background for the mobile version

You’ll most likely need to choose a smaller section of the background picture to use for the smartphone version. Go to the Mobile Layout View for Smartphones and then to Background Mode.
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By slightly moving the background picture, Mail Designer asks if you’d like to decouple the background from the desktop Design. After decoupling, you can adjust the background exactly to fit the narrow smartphone screen.

5 tips for catchy CTAs with a good conversion

When it comes to a Call to Action (CTA), it’s best to get inspired by the modern webtrends. The same rule applies here:  The CTA must first work on the mobile version before you transfer it to the desktop one.

cta_styleOne single CTA in a newsletter makes more of an impact than five. The fewer choices your recipient has, the better.

Here are five helpful CTA Design tips for you:

• Slogan booster: Use a modern web font. Position your text on your lead picture and highlight one motivational word in which you build in your CTA. Tip: Using special characters such as “>” actually help to boost your text link.

cta_headline• Transparent surfaces and button graphics give your CTA a modern look

cta_blur• Light lines: Try using simple, (1pt), lightly rounded outline in combination with a thin font (for example: Open Sans) positioned on top of a lead picture.

cta_blur_02• High contrast: It’s not only about the color of a CTA, but the contrast. According to a recent study, an online shop increased its sales by 30% simply by changing their buttons to green. Due to the contrast with the background, they became much more visible.

cta_contrast• Make it different Surprise them with nonconventional button shapes and postions. Who says you can’t use a round button?

bildschirmfoto-2016-10-11-um-16-14-39Check your hero image: Does it help if you move your hero image to a differnt section? Find the best position to make it a real eye-catcher.  Does the content flow? Are the recipients in the zone? Then this is the right spot for an effective CTA.
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Create the perfect sales newsletter with Mail Designer Pro

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MDP_3_Sell6 smart tips on how to become a power seller and win-over every would-be buyer

 

Create a point of attack for quick buyers
1. How to pack all of the important link targets into the header of your newsletter

Many recipients are motivated to make an immediate purchase and are ready to jump and click when they see a sale. You can create easy shortcuts with all important link targets clearly laid out in the header line.

MDP_Powerseller_Header_LinksWith the new Logo Layout Blocks, (Mail Designer Pro 3.0.3 – download here), you can create headers with your logo. At the top right, you can link your logo, as png or .jpg data, to a sales or landing page. 

In addition, you have room to integrate all important link targets as a text. Create your own font style for your links and regulate the spacing with the new Paragraph Spacing feature. Now you can link to the newest collection or a VIP customer sign-in!

In the mobile view, all links are automatically arranged under each other.

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7 Mail Designer Pro secrets to awaken a new creative potential  

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blogThere’s a lot more to Mail Designer Pro then you think. These power tips will open the door to new, incredible possibilities.

How you can create high quality PDFs

With the current version of Mail Designer, you can create PDFs with just the click of your mouse. This is ideal for creating flyers, posters, invitations and also perfect for posting on Facebook or using as part of your next Keynote presentation.

Choose File > Export as PDF > Done!!

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Be even more creative with Mail Designer Pro 3! Four power tips for creative professionals

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It doesn’t matter if you are designing a newsletter for the latest sales campaign or a cool series of events, our greatly improved creative tools in Mail Designer Pro will give you the inspiration you need for all your mailings. Here are 4 of our favorite new features in Mail Designer Pro 3

1. Stay sharp! How to create Retina optic for your newsletters

Sharpen your senses: Mail Designer Pro keeps it in detail. Now you can create desktop and mobile newsletters which arrive crisp and clear in your recipients inbox.

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Go to File then Design Options and tick the checkboxes, Create retina images and Create retina images for desktop.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-17 um 15.04.31You’ll need to use high resolution pictures. Make sure to double the pixel size of picture sizes. So if your mobile design has a width of 320px, the used picture must be at least 640px wide.

2.  Pick up (all) the pixels! Be even more precise with our latest graphic tools

By using refined design elements, your newsletter is bound to make a great impression. Call-to-action buttons, cool layers, or self-made video placeholders – you can create all of these yourself with Mail Designer Pro. The expanded sidebar increases the ease in which you can access layout blocks, shape tools, fonts, and background pictures.

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Just like with professional graphic programs, shapes can be created pixel perfectly and positioned precisely. Once you’ve created a new shape element, the exact pixel measurements are immediately seen on the sidebar.

It’s possible to regulate the desired size, pixel by pixel. Maintaining proportions is also easy by simply ticking a checkbox. Now you’ll also find the rotating and mirroring tools for your shapes, directly under the measurements.

3. How to create newsletters to “involve” your readers: freely position background graphics

Now you can give every newsletter the perfect mood.  It doesn’t matter if it’s an event invitation, a summer sale, or an annual update. Once you’ve found a stylish motif for your background, click the paint-roller icon on the bottom left of your screen to switch into background mode.

backgroundsDrag your desired picture into the middle of your design template. By holding down the mouse button, it’s now possible to move the background into the best possible position.

On the side bar on the right, you’ll find a zoom controller, which you can use to enlarge or minimize the size of your picture. It’s time to explore new horizons!

4. Winning titles: How to give your fonts more style

Web fonts are cool, but you can make them even cooler by adjusting the font weights. Now with Mail Designer Pro 3, it’s even easier to define font weights.

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You can choose between email safe fonts, web fonts, and your own fonts. Add a new fallback font to your main fonts by clicking Add fallback font. This way you’ll be sure that a nice substitute font will be used in case your recipient does not have the chosen font in their system.

For the web fonts, there is a drop-down menu to choose available font weights. For example, It looks great when you choose a very modern, thin font weight. Try it out with the style fonts, Works Sans, Quicksand, or Josefin Slab.

Go for it! Our expanded style refill offers more than 20 brand new newsletter design ideas (in total: 70), making it easy to turn any template into your very own exciting newsletters in only 5 minutes.

The new Mail Designer Pro 3 is now available for a special introductory price of only 49.99 Euros. You can download and test the demo (requires OS X 10.9 or later) here for free.

1,2,3…go! With these marketing tips, your next event newsletter will stand out from the crowd. Off to perfect start…

By | Allgemein, Mail Designer Pro Tutorials (EN) | No Comments

Aufmacher_BlogThe grass is growing, the sun is shining, and the grill is warming up – it’s time to promote your summer and sporting events! We’ll show you how to overcome your Inner Email Grouch with Mail Designer Pro. With these invitation newsletter tips, you’ll make your mark.

1. Get a Running Start with an Early-Bird-Special

It’s better to receive an invitation well in advance. There’s nothing more exciting than getting a secret V.I.P. invitation or a “SAVE THE DATE” newsletter with teasers, dates, and facts. Your “Early Bird” specials should include some kind of V.I.P. discount, better seating options, or some other rebates or bonuses.

Don’t forget: Include a “pass it on” special in your newsletter.

It’s best to create for your event a Facebook page. For a recurring event, we recommend a generic title without a date. For example; “Munich Run Series“ (That way it can be used again). Your “VIPs“ can take part in the event via Facebook and help you to win new fans and “likes”.

Should it be even more exclusive? Another trick, without using Facebook, is to announce to your recipients that it’s an invitation-only event and that they must show the invitation upon entry.

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2. The Big Picture – You can only make one first impression

Welcome to life! Big lead pictures with brilliant backgrounds are necessary to get your recipients into the mood of your event. With Mail Designer Pro, you can easily set pictures as complete backgrounds and post dates and infos on top. And the best part is, you can even create a stunning, mobile friendly, Retina optimized version as well. Find more tips for mobile optimization here.

Link backgrounds and teaser graphics to your event landing page or the sign-up page. Persuade your recipients as to why they must come to your event. Feature guest stars and the best scenes from the past year. Including a teaser video of the last event is also a great way to attract attention. Either add a Youtube link or integrate a link from your own video server.

Save the Date
3. Inbox Optimizing: Your pacemaker

Are you touch-ready? Most people will quickly scan your invitation in action mode on their high resolution smartphones. That’s why it’s important to ensure your event invitations are just as attractive for mobile displays as they are for desktop screens.

But be aware: The mobile flow already starts in the inbox. Mail Designer offers unique features for Inbox Optimizing. This way, you can already motivate your readers with the clever subject line or snippet text. (How Inbox Optimizing works – more tips here)
Save the Date

4. Finish – How to gibe your “Call to Action” a boost

Try to give your CTA that extra special kick, because there’s nothing more lame than a button that says only…click here! With Mail Designer Pro, you can create professional looking buttons directly in the app. Try to think of a clever CTA, such as; “It pays to click”, “Reward yourself” etc… here are some examples:

  • Reserve & get Workout-PDF 4 free
  • Sign up & get Warm-up-Guide for free
  • Sign up now & get free Trainings-Playlist
  • Sign up now and get your Welcome Kit

You’ll see how much of a difference a little incentive makes. Your click rate is sure to be pushed to the limits!

Why creating newsletters with Retina resolution pays – 3 tips to keep your Mails sharp

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Flashback – Close your eyes. Can you remember the smartphone you had 5-6 years ago? You know, those times when you strolled around the city while surfing the web on your iPhone with 3GS? Back then, an iPhone had a measly resolution of only 480×320 pixels. Now hop back into the time machine! In the meantime, the iPhone 6s Plus has reached a whopping resolution of 1920×1080 pixels! Smartphone screens have become so much sharper, quicker, and more sensitive. Whether you’re carrying an iPhone 6s, a Nexus 6 or a Galaxy 7, the pixel density is so high that you’ll hardly believe your eyes.

This is even more reason why your mobile friendly newsletters need to stay crisp and sharp, down to the last detail. Here are 3 Mail Designer Pro tips to help you achieve just that:

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1. Totally broad: Find the right width for your mobile newsletters
In order to display as much as possible on mobile screens, the width of your newsletter can easily be adjusted in Mail Designer Pro. You can find the settings File > Mobile Options. Based on our experience, an average width of 375 is usually best.  This covers smaller displays and the iPhone 6s pixel-perfectly. Your newsletter will come across crisp and clear on the iphone 6s, with its higher resolution, yet an outer white border remains. In settings, you’ll need to check the box, Create Retina images.

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2. Export high resolution pictures for your mobile version 

When creating pictures for the mobile versions of your newsletters, you must always use the double width of the picture which you previously adjusted under Mobile Options. For a mobile newsletter with a width of 375px, you’ll have to use a picture with at least 750px. It can also be larger, leaving room for scaling.

Using Pixelmator, Adobe Photoshop, or Affinity Photo, you can export your pictures as a PNG with a screen resolution of 150 dpi (bzw. 144dpi in Photoshop). Now you can take your PNG picture and drag it into the picture place holder of a mobile layout block.

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When you select the picture, you can view the original resolution by right clicking and choosing Original Size. A red “2x” symbol warns you in case pictures happen to be too small for a Retina presentation.

3. Individually adjust image compression in mobile newsletters
Using lots of high resolution pictures can cause the data volume of your newsletter to add up quickly. If you’d like to minimize the data for individual pictures, you can adjust the compression by going to Menu > Edit > Optimize Image. Switch the tab Format from automatic to JPEG. Then you can adjust the quality down to a value of 75%. Now you’ve definitely reduced the amount of data.

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Does your Mail have enough attitude? 7 Mail Designer tips to make your newsletter the next top model!

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Digital mailboxes are the catwalk for today’s email marketers. You only have a short time to make an impression for your Spring SALE or your up-coming event. It’s time to get your newsletters into shape! These 7 Mail Designer tips are sure to make your next campaign a hit!

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1. Word up  – 3 new Design fonts you absolutely need

Elegant fonts help turn any newsletter into a glamorous performance. With Mail Designer Pro, you can install more than 500 web fonts to use in the text area. Some of our favorite fonts can be seen in this video…

If you’re looking for even more fonts, then check out www.fontsquirrel.com. It’s full of great fonts for styling your newsletter headlines and captions.

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Thin, graceful fonts for a slim look on top of a blurred background are still very popular.
Here are a few of our current favorites…

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Must-know facts for iPhone 6s mail design. Create perfect responsive Designs for Peek and Pop

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The mobile opening rate for emails has increased by 30% within the past 5 years. Far more than half of all newsletters are being read while on the go. It’s even more likely that your newsletter will first be previewed in quick scan mode on a mobile device than comfortably clicked and opened by the recipient from his/her personal Mac while sipping a peppermint tea.

For companies who rely on newsletters, this realistic scenario of recipients checking their emails on an iPhone can be compared to an action game where every newsletter has to battle to survive in the inbox. And as we know, in the end, only the strongest survive.

Mobile features, such as the new 3D Touch experience on the iPhone 6s, increasing resolutions, and expanding screen sizes, put an even greater importance on the details and content of your newsletters. With a short Peek and Pop, iPhone 6s users can quickly preview your Mails, without completely opening them. Yet another reason to be sure your newsletter Designs make a solid and convincing first impression.

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GET CREATIVE – How to define preview pictures

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Did you know that you can embed multiple versions of a picture in your mail design? This is perfect when your creative team have to decide between pictures or when you are planing to test out the success of a header design with a powerful A/B newsletter blast.

Here’s how:
• Select your desired picture
• Click on the little variants button
• Drag your picture into one of the variants slots
• Select your next version and add it to another slot

Let the show begin! Now your editing team can browse through the options in  Mail Designer Pro Design Ideas and try out the different possibilities.

GET CREATIVE – use GIFs in your Newsletters

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Those „oldschool“ animated GIFs have recently had a real come-back in the social media realm. There’s nothing better for getting their attention!  Your recipients will be amazed to see such “moving” newsletters from you.

Animated GIFs are super easy to add to your Mail Designs. You can find a whole set of animated GIFs in your Mail Designer Pro Graphics-Palette, ready to bring your newsletters to life. You want to create your own GIF animations for Mail Designer? Here’s how!

Animated GIFs are super easy to add to your Mail Designs. You can find a whole set of animated GIFs in your Mail Designer graphics palette, ready to bring your newsletters to life.

  • Announcing a big sale? Strike out the old prices!
  • 50% off everything – use a twinkling percent sign
  • You want to highlight your REGISTER/SIGN-UP button? Make it pulsate!

To use an animated GIF, just choose one and drag it into the picture area of a layout-block. Adjust the size and position to your liking. You’re done!

 

Some short tips

  • Keep the amount of data in mind: Mail Designer renders the entire picture area as an animation even when the graphic only takes up a small portion of the box.
  • Try to position your animations in a separate, small picture area.
  • If you want to save as much data as possible, then use as few pictures as you can. Normally, small, subtle animations are more affective anyways.
  • Because GIF is a relatively old format, it’s only possible to view it in 256 colors. No problem at all for clever graphic headlines, but for videos, this can take away from the picture quality.

 

Do it yourself: Create your own GIF-animations – Here’s how…

It’s possible to take your time and create an animated GIF picture by picture in Photoshop, or you can try one of the many affordable apps or free web-tools which make it easier and quicker to get creative.

 

Ready for Stop-Motion? Graphic GIFs

You’re sure to have Pixelmator or some other affordable image processing program. For this example, we’ve created a small animated teaser using 10 pictures, frame by frame, and exporting them as a png.

Don’t worry. For simple animations, normally 10 pictures are enough to create a catchy animation effect. You can also signup for specific platforms online such as makeagif.com or GIFMaker. Here you can upload your pictures in .png or .gif format then create and download an animated sequence within seconds. With makeagif, it’s even possible to regulate the speed of the animation.

 

Movies

If you already have ready-to-go videos on your hard-drive or on YouTube, try extracting a short sequence as a GIF. Grab GIF Brewery for only 5 Dollars, and you’ll have tons of options for adjusting speed, adding effects, and more.
Lively eye-catchers in your newsletters are sure to make a big impact on the recipients. If you’d like some inspiration, check out giphy.com.

GIFs are a possibility to make your newsletters stand out from the crowd. It’s definitely worth it to experiment with them to give your newsletters that extra bling. Just be sure not to go overboard with the amount of dat you use.