Ask a Flourisher – Interview with San Lau on Digital Design
1. How long have you been working at Flourish?
I’ve been at Flourish for 9 months and I’ve now spent a total of 8 years as a digital designer.
2. What is your area of expertise?
I love digital design – covering email design, web design & UX design. I’m always trying to understand the user journey, as well as client goals and how to achieve them whilst reducing the number of abandoned pages/baskets, for example.
3. Tell us an interesting fact about yourself?
I once made apple crumble for Snoop Dogg. It was when I was once trying to pursue a career in catering and I worked at Hilton Hotel in London. Snoop Dogg was a guest in the penthouse, and he ordered it, so I delivered!
4. How many emails do you think you have worked on in your career and what was your favourite?
Ballpark figure… at least 125 in just the time I’ve been at Flourish but not exactly sure – there have been so many. My favourite design so far has been for a project we did for Nestle where the brief was quite open ended and I got really good feedback, so it was really rewarding.
5. When it comes to best practice in email marketing – what is your top tip for designing and building the best email campaigns?
Understanding user goals is key. Understanding what makes your users read an email is as important to the design. The sky is the limit with design, so it has to work hand in hand with the content and the strategy from the Flourish team and client, in order to make a successful campaign or series of comms. My job is to ensure that, as well as being beautifully designed, that the email is constructed correctly and can be delivered without issues, for optimal UX, deliverability and viewing.
6. Why is it so important to test emails before sending them?
Because if an email is unreadable then what is the point? If the design isn’t portraying your vision, then you are not adhering to the golden rule about delivering to the right audience, with the right message at the right time. It is key to protecting your reputation management by ensuring content is correctly viewed. It also affects accessibility of emails for people that may have visual impairments, so being aware of these and testing the various colour versions and formats is really important for inclusivity.
7. How do you stop emails from going into people’s junk mail?
Don’t give spam filters the opportunity to identify you as junk. This could be because people have flagged your previous mail as spam which affects your URL/IP reputation, and if your emails are full of high-res images or do not include enough personalisation, or use spammy key words, it may not deliver correctly and be filtered out of your audience’s inbox.
8. Would you say that personalisation in email drives better results?
Definitely, because you are catering for your users directly with key content. Time is precious and you need to hold your recipient’s attention, so using the most relevant content for your target audience will help you stick in their minds and build stronger relationships with them.
9. Do you have advice about how to tackle Dark Mode in email?
Tackling Dark Mode happens more in the development stage of an email, to enable each email client to know when to convert the various elements to suit the user’s DM settings. However, when designing, I do need to be mindful of how colours will translate or be inverted when DM is applied as this could impact readability and also sometimes just look awful, impacting UX. We always test our emails before sending them, to ensure they still look great on every device and every email client and make any necessary tweaks before a campaign is launched.
10. What is the next big upcoming email marketing trend that we should look out for?
Interactivity such as AMP in email. There are some interesting design tech innovations coming through. Things like static elements, and creating more of a website experience within email, is more interesting for the user and can reduce the steps or number of actions you are asking the user to take. For example, booking an appointment within an email or making a purchase without having to actually visit your website, could result in more sales as the user is more likely to drop off the journey.
Need some marketing support for your organisation? Get in touch with our team for a chat, so that our experts like San can help you improve your campaigns and audience engagement.