What do electronic mail design and Legos have in widespread?
Email design expert Matthew Smith explains how to create design systems that will help you create beautiful, memorable emails quickly and profitably.
From Kelly Forst November 2, 2020
"Email Design Systems." Sounds pretty complicated, doesn't it?
Not in the way Matthew Smith describes it.
As the founder of Really Good Emails and Fathom & Draft design agency, Matthew Smith – also known as the "whale" on social media – is breaking up email design in a way that anyone can understand and implement.
In this episode of The FWD: Thinking Show, Matthew shares his thoughts on the key elements of email design, how to simplify design using an approach called "Design Golf," and how to create an email structure that you can use to be in less can achieve more time.
Matthew Smith believes email design is a relationship building tool.
And while design can be intimidating for small business owners who don't have formal training or experience, Matthew shares that it doesn't have to be complicated at all.
“Email design systems are like Legos. Think of each component – typography, spacing, headings, and paragraphs – as the building block for creating your template. "
This design approach allows you to create a scalable process that allows you to send beautiful emails faster without a designer. And when you move faster, you can work more efficiently and increase your profitability.
Additionally, Matthew shares that simplifying your email design can be one of the best things you can do. He talks about the concept of "design golf" as a system that can help you determine if your email has too many design elements.
Legos and Golf? This episode sounds too funny to read about. Click the button below to listen to the episode now.
Timestamp for interview highlights
4:18: How really good emails came about
6:15: What is an Email Design System?
9:03: Not a designer? Here's what you need to know about design:
10:50: Play design golf to tweak your email design
13:20: Email design best practices to make your email easy to scan
16:43: How do email design and copy work harmoniously?
6:30 p.m .: Some super cool ways to use AMP for Email to make email interactive
21:10: E-mail is a relationship building process in every phase of the customer journey
26:15: Let's calm down this myth: plain language vs. HTML emails
29:00: You can test which design elements you should share in an email
34:15: Mathew's best advice for new small business owners
Learn more about Matthew Smith
Matthew Smith is either two clever bear cubs in a trench coat or a full-grown man – some days it's hard to tell. He heads Fathom & Draft and Really Good Emails, two companies born out of his obsession with shaping the relationship between customers and the organization. He has worked directly with clients like Walmart, Seth Godin, the Gates Foundation, and MIT to name Drop. All of this feeds into his talks on design, emotional intelligence, email, business, the euphoria of Japanese ramen, and the golden age of email – it's coming, so put on your spam pants and get ready.
Follow Matthew on Twitter and connect with him: @whale.
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