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Too much choice kills the production and design of your email.

Hi, Creole Company! How are you doing in these 2°C temperatures ? Don't forget your boots because it's freezing today! To introduce this article, I must first of all talk to you the email builder tool "Le Patron that we have designed at Badsender This device, created from a base Mosaico and opensourceallows its users to quickly design emails. But at the same time, if you are reading this article from the Patron blog, you probably know what I am talking about, hm? Am I stupid...

How does it work, in terms of process?

  1. First, we start with a workshop with the client to decide together which "blocks" they want to appear in the list of choices when creating an email. Header, Image block on the left - Text on the right, Cover, Footer, Reassurance...
  2. Next, we create these modules in design. We therefore prepare them on Figma one by one.
  3. Then we submit all the modules to the client.
  4. A first phase of back and forth corrections and modifications takes place, then a second one if needed. But as Claudy says, you never have to shoot twice, if you know what I mean.
  5. Finally, we move on to the HTML and CSS development of the Master Template and its parameterization.

These modules can, sometimes, contain options: the client can decide whether or not to include a call to action on a particular block, choose whether or not to include visuals on reassurance blocks, etc. But these are structural options, which do not necessarily change the design, style or colours of the email.

Block or module options from the LePatron email builder
Options that the user can activate in LePatron

On the other hand, we can also, at his request, let him choose to be able to modify the background colors of the blocks, to import his own background images, to change the size or the color of a text... And there, I say "DANGER ZONE!!!" : because the choice can quickly impact not only on production times, but also on the but also modify the design of product emails. We may end up with very different designs. And a completely different brand image. For the better... or for the worse.

Is choice an issue in email production and design?

It's true that, to please our customers, we tend to want to give them a lot of choice. To show them how powerful our platform is, how full of options and possibilities. That they can customize many parameters on the different elements. But it plays tricks:

  • The tool quickly becomes a gas factory...
  • The identity and look of the brand are sometimes no longer respected as the emails are produced.

We often blame it on marketing interns... We entrust them with the production of these emails, thinking that it's something a bit boring. And since they have no taste, they come up with an atrocious email with different font sizes everywhere, and colors out of nowhere. We end up with a kitschy looking email, all of it.

But the trainees have a good back! And here I'm going to play the pookie: First of all, it doesn't only happen to interns! You don't become a designer or a marketer just like that, and not everyone is born with the gift of choosing colors and formatting! As a result, solutions must be found to address this risk. But first, let's recall the major objectives of our Email Builder...

The initial goal: Improve the efficiency of your email production and performance.

The tool is supposed to save time. Simple, fast and efficient, these are the advantages offered by our solution. Leaving too much choice can be a waste of production time because the customer does not necessarily know which colour to choose, which size of typography to use for his email design if he is not constrained a little. (unless you use the new functionality of predefined color palettes for example. #autopromo).

Faced with an avalanche of choices, the email marketer loses production and risks degrading the initial design
Bug in the face of the avalanche of possible choices for a Marketer

Production times are always too short, I know you agree on that, hm? There are a number of elements that disrupt the process of setting up your campaigns. And among these elements, the layout and the graphic design. So why go through Le Patron if, at the end of the day, you're still wondering about the "look" of your emails? No, no... It can't, and it should not happen like this. You must remain productive, fast, efficient!

One of the arguments we present on our site is the following: gain in productivity while keeping creativity. You should therefore be able to play with a few structural elements, choose from a few colours or a particular layout (a block with a dark background OR with a light background for example)but not to reinvent the wheel with each new campaign.

The drawback: falling into a gas factory.

Indeed, Le Patron is intended to be simple to use and intuitive. If we leave our customers too much choice in the formatting of their texts, in the choice of their colors, how can we continue to put forward the argument of simplicity of use and intuitiveness when the customer will have to go to the specific windows for each text? Definitely, not.

Secondary objective : Respect your graphic charter.

You need templates that respect your graphic charter. The idea is also to dispense with the mock-up stage for the designers. It is therefore inconceivable to lose time in the production of the design. Le Patron is there to help you to respect a graphic charterguidelines! You must thus obtain coherent emails with each other.


Solutions:

On your side.

Well, why not after all! You can also contribute to avoid the loss of production time and the loss of coherence of your campaigns, by following the following points:

  • Entrust the use of the Patron to someone who does not always question the established principles.
  • Don't ask an intern to handle this. Nah, we're kidding.
  • Listen to and take into account our advice during the preparatory phase of designing the Master Template: the choices we make are generally justified, and not random. Please accept our recommendations.
  • Don't be too greedy! The fewer choices you have, the faster and more consistent you will be in producing your emails.
  • Trust us, we are experts. #laissetohelpbaby

On our side: The creation of a design system specific to the email communication channel.

It is therefore necessary to know limit the possibilities of our tool and the possibilities given to the customer to change the "style". In an industrialization process, this must be thought out in advance. During the preparatory phase of the project, we therefore propose to design, if it does not exist, a collection of good practices and guidelines regarding the presentation of texts, call to actions, the use of elements, pictograms, colours, etc.

This way you limit the possible choices, and optimise production times and the design consistency of the email products. It can also be called an "emailing design system" as it provides a repository for marketers. It allows the client to UNDERSTAND why these choices were made. And to respect them! (in any case they will have no choice since from then on all possibilities will not be given).

Design System emailing

Here is a concrete example (and that's just an overview) A client case: Recently, we received guidelines and graphic elements from a client. In these documents, it is stated that tatatum temporis We decide to apply this same rule to the Master Template: the margins between the contents will necessarily be multiples of 8, listed as a list of options in a for example from the platform.

Here is an example, however small, of how "respectful" the graphic charter is, and how "intuitive and simple" our Email Builder is.

The easy argument: less is more.

We're being petty. But it's so true. I did the test on emails produced in the name of Badsender or Patron, which are produced directly from the tool... Yes, Le Patron is a Patron client. It's like being in a Christopher Nolan movie: am I in a dream? Am I in a dream? Or am I awake? In short, we're getting lost...

Well, when you create emails for Badsender from Le Patron for example, you have drastically limited the possible choices of graphic formatting on texts, colors, etc. You can't play with the margins between different blocks for example. We can't play with the separation margins between the different blocks for example. So ok, our emails are a bit more "fixed"... But we can still play with the structure, the visuals, the writing of the texts... But limiting the choice keeps the design consistent, and the production time of an email is 10 minutes. Well, yeah, guys.

choice limitation to optimize the production and design of emails produced from the LePatron email builder
Example of a structural option on the Badsender Master Template.

Email (not enamel) craftsmen.

Hey, did you catch that the name of our tool also refers to the patterns used in sewing? How crazy is that? So you're going to use a pattern to produce emails faster than Vin Diesel in Fast&Furious 12, so there may be slight changes in style, but not all of it!

A pattern is a model according to which certain craftsmen work. We are email craftsmen, and we are here to show you the best practices. To let you benefit from our experience. If you go to an upholsterer tomorrow, he'll also give you recommendations on how to maintain your new sofa. Well, it's the same, except we're not an upholsterer: we tell you what to do to respect your emails produced since Le Patron.

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