October was Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a yearly campaign to raise awareness about the disease. In the U.S., each woman has a 1-in-8 chance of developing breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Given the disease’s far-reaching impact, we see a lot of brands take up the cause – and it’s certainly a worthwhile one!
Because the disease touches many of us so closely, Breast Cancer Awareness Month emails often speak from the heart. They offer us much to learn about how to tackle sensitive and personal topics in email marketing, and about how email design can support that connection. Let’s take a look at some emails that caught more than our eye this year:
Subject: On a personal note
This is a simply designed email with big impact. Whenever you’re addressing readers in a different way—that is, you’re breaking from your typical email marketing format—it’s so important to establish the shift in tone immediately. (That’s how you earn attention!) UrbanStems does just that with (1) the subject line and (2) the upper banner that announces exactly what the email is: a message from the CEO. This is just the right layout for a letter-style announcement email. The content gets right to the point—no modules or CTA buttons needed. And the signature is the perfect way to show how personal this message is. (PS: If you want to create a seamless transition between the background color of an image and the background color of the body of your email, check out this tutorial.)
Subject: Support Breast Cancer Awareness with Us!
Hint is fruit-infused water. You might not know that from this email, because hint does a pretty good job of shifting the focus from their product to the real humans behind it. (Zero product images!) These testimonial notes are a beautiful use of user-generated content. Since they’re the centerpiece of the email, hint uses a nice large size font (easy to read) and sticks to live text (no rendering issues). And while there’s no personal sign-off like UrbanStems (because the email is from the brand voice, not a single person like a CEO), hint still adds a touch of warmth to the tone by addressing the email to “our community” and signing it “the hint family.” These are simple copy choices that work well here because they match the serious nature of the content.
Subject: F*!# BREAST CANCER
Lunya is a luxury sleepwear brand for women. This message, like the ones before, speaks from the heart. And f*** cancer isn’t just a sentiment; it’s also the name of Lunya’s collaborator: F*** Cancer is a movement and organization dedicated to prevention, early detection, and emotional support for folks impacted by cancer. When it comes to design, Lunya makes similar choices to hint and UrbanStems: no nav menu or clutter at the top; no frills or buttons. The message is direct, which makes the email feel personal. And the founder includes a signature, too, giving this message the vibe of a hand-written note.
Subject: Join us this October
There’s more going on in this email than in the previous ones, including this animated GIF at its center:
That’s because, unlike the other emails so far, Athleta has a product to introduce in this breast cancer awareness email. The email is beautiful and the message is important, even though Athleta doesn’t follow many of the usual email design best practices we espouse to make sure emails render well across devices and ESPs (live text, bulletproof buttons, HTML background colors, and so on). But one thing that caught our eye was how easily the hero image and text could have been optimized by using a background image instead. In BEE, we love having the ability to upload any image, then position and format plain text over the top however we like. (And buttons, too!) If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this easy-to-use feature.
Subject: Let’s talk about boobs…
If you often send content round-ups or content heavy emails, this email layout from Well+Good is a great model to follow. The modules are all formatted the same (same size image + plain text header) so it’s easy to skim and tap on what grabs you. This is a classic, single-column, mobile-friendly design. And check out the awesome animation in the hero image!
The Company Store
Subject: Help Us Fund the Cure
This email design from the Company Store does a great job of leveraging white space, modular design, a z-pattern content layout, easy-to-spot CTA buttons, and sweet spot illustrations. But you already know what we’re going to say: a little plain text would make it even better! And bulletproof buttons. We don’t want to be a broken record; we just want to make sure your emails stay out of spam folders and render beautifully 🙂
Subject: Introducing our new collaboration with Susan G. Komen
We’re glad to see great use of live text in this Crocs email. Some argue that “ghost buttons”—buttons with the same color as their background and only an outline—can be tough for readers to spot, but the ones Crocs uses here stand out. That’s because they’re sized really well with large text and a good amount of padding. Easy to tap, especially on mobile!
Subject: Things We Love | Think Pink
Unlike some of the more personal emails shown at the beginning of this post, this one from the Laundress is more of a direct, simple call to action. Which is totally fine! Not every brand needs to tug on readers’ heartstrings. Every company will be different. Here, we appreciate how succinct this message is and how the CTA is customized and clear.
Subject: Support Breast Cancer Research with AERIN
And for good measure, here’s one more breast cancer awareness email to close out our collection. It has a fresh, airy, pretty vibe. But aside from what we always suggest (yes: live text), would you make any other updates to this email? One thing that comes to mind is one of our takeaways from #LitmusLive 2018: It’s best to left-align body text in email. Centered text, as seen here, can be tough to read. Did you notice?
We hope you enjoyed this roundup and gleaned some design inspiration for your upcoming campaigns. If you’ve spotted other enviable Breast Cancer Awareness Month emails, send them our way!