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Cringe-Free Email Marketing for Gen Z

As the oldest members of Gen Z enter the workforce, many organizations are wondering how to achieve email marketing success with this digitally savvy generation. While some studies have found that only 53% of Zoomers enjoy receiving emails from their favorite brands (a decrease compared to millennials), email marketing remains a valuable tool for reaching Gen Z. Here are Pure Firefly’s 5 steps to success for Gen Z email marketing.

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You Can’t Fake Authenticity

Authenticity seems to be this decade’s biggest marketing buzzword. Many brands are taking up the call by infusing emails with humor and casual language. However, there’s more to authentic marketing than throwing in a pop culture reference here and there. In fact, many brands reaching for authenticity miss the mark entirely with cliches or outdated slang.

Instead of putting on a false mask of authenticity, keep things simple. Transparency and honesty will go further than miscalculated humor. Use true stories from your organization, behind-the-scenes content, and straightforward language to naturally cultivate authenticity.

Don’t Doubt a Discount

Gen Z is known to be value-conscious and cautious of overspending. Incorporating discounts, exclusive offers, or rewards programs into your email marketing campaigns can be highly effective in capturing their attention and driving engagement. Highlight the value they’ll receive and make each offer clear and easily accessible. Consider leveraging time-limited offers or flash sales to create a sense of urgency and excitement.

Personalize & Automate

In 2023, personalization and automation are essential for effective email marketing. So before you hit send on the 5th batch-and-blast “LOL, Pizza Night!” email of the week, remember that 74% of Gen Z-ers feel bombarded with advertisements. Don’t compete for attention by further clogging an already crowded inbox. Instead, use automation and personalized messages to respond effectively to subscriber behavior and reach subscribers when they want to hear you.

Gen Z are Search Engine Pros

As the first generation to grow up using search engines, Gen Z is adept at filtering through vast amounts of information online. To capture their attention in their crowded inboxes, create subject lines that are concise, engaging, and searchable. Use relevant keywords and phrases that align with their interests and the content of your email. Experimentation with emojis and creative language can be a great way to boost open rates, but avoid clickbait subject lines when reaching Gen Z. 

Rather than responding immediately to a fun subject line, many Gen Z-ers will respond to emails on a delayed basis, searching for what they need when they need it. For some subject line ideas, check out our top 100 high-converting subject lines for nonprofits.

Reach Gen Z with Pure Firefly’s Expert Tips

When it comes to mastering Gen Z email marketing, Pure Firefly has a track record of success. Our email expertise has helped nonprofit organizations and B2C companies increase profits and boost engagement with their audience. Pure Firefly offers one-on-one training and consulting services to help you unlock the full potential of your Gen Z email marketing campaigns. 

Contact us for a free quote!


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Alternating Background Colors in Mailchimp Templates (2023)

Alternating background colors are a simple design technique that can help your Mailchimp templates pop. In this blog post, we’ll explore three strategies for creating an alternating background color effect in Mailchimp, including both the new builder and classic template builder. Get ready to captivate your audience with alternating background colors in Mailchimp emails!

Classic Builder: Using Sections for Alternating Background Color

In Mailchimp’s classic builder, the simplest way to create an alternating background color effect is by using the pre-built sections. Depending on the template you choose to begin with, these may include:

  • Preheader
  • Header
  • Upper body
  • 2-column section
  • Lower body
  • 3-column section
  • Footer

As you can see from the names, these sections place some restrictions on the layout of an email. Additionally, sections in the template cannot be moved or duplicated. The upper body will always be placed above the footer, etc. 

Without using custom-coded templates, classic builder emails allow for a maximum of 6 sections, which can each be assigned a unique background color under the style settings.

Still wondering how to make section backgrounds work for you? Book a 1 hour training session for answers to all your questions!

Classic Builder: Using Boxed Text & Code

For users looking for more flexibility in background color, without creating an entirely custom-coded template, there is another option. Mailchimp’s boxed text & image card blocks give you the option to assign as many background colors as you want throughout an email. However, both boxed text & image card blocks come with a few pixels of padding on all sides.

Reflect Digital has a great guide on working around this restraint. Their method involves creating a boxed text block, copying the html code, and pasting it into one of Mailchimp’s “code” content blocks. Then, users can locate the padding settings in the code and remove them.

This tip is a great way to work around the classic builder’s limitations, but users with no code experience should be careful. Messy HTML can create deliverability issues and render poorly on different devices. To work with the support of a professional, contact Pure Firefly about custom-coded templates.

New Builder: Background Color Settings

In Mailchimp’s new builder, users can now customize the background color settings within each content block. This makes an alternating background effect much easier to achieve. Just use the left-side style menu to choose the background color for each section. Mailchimp’s new builder also saves a swatch for each color you’ve used within the template, allowing users to create a cohesive template. If you have yet to get acquainted with the new email builder, try a training call with one of our email specialists, or keep an eye out for our upcoming new builder webinar!

Unlock More Options with Pure Firefly

Alternating background colors are possible in both Mailchimp’s classic and new builders. However, there are limitations depending on which builder you use. To maximize your design potential, try working with Mailchimp experts like the ones at Pure Firefly. With a history of designs for clients in various industries, our team is flexible and ready to create an eye-catching email for your brand or organization! Just contact us for a quote, or book a training session for all your Mailchimp questions.

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Optimizing Image Size for Email

Many email designers start out with questions about image size: What size should email images be? Is landscape or portrait better for emails? How can I ensure my email’s use of images doesn’t land me in the spam folder? These questions are great to consider when creating a new email template

What Size Should Email Images Be?

In email design, images should ideally be as small as possible without sacrificing image quality. This is because large images can lead to slower load times, which may also negatively impact engagement rates. 

For emails with multiple images, aim to keep each image at or below 250 kb. Emails with one large image (such as a header image) and some text may include an image up to 450 kb in size. Any image over 1MB urgently needs to be reduced in size.

Image Dimensions vs. File Size

While image files should be kept at or below 250 kb in size, the ideal image dimensions may vary depending on an email’s design. 600px has commonly been regarded as the ideal width for email banners. However, newer devices can process larger image dimensions. This is why the Mailchimp template builder caps image width at 1200px.

Even though 600px is no longer a strict rule, keeping images under 900px in either direction is still ideal to ensure fast load times. If your organization includes a signature or logo in every email, aim to keep this image below 250px in either direction.

Deliverability & Images in Email

Deliverability has a critical influence on any email’s success. To maximize deliverability and engagement, design your emails with only relevant images which add value to your content.

It’s important to remember that some email clients may block images by default, which can impact the overall user experience. An email that includes only images is also likely to land in the spam folder. In addition, sending images which are too large can have a negative impact on deliverability.

At Pure Firefly, our template design services consider deliverability by following best practices to ensure that your emails reach the inbox and are likely to encourage engagement. Our experienced team is here to help individuals and organizations of any size create visually appealing and effective email templates. Contact us to learn more.

What Makes an Effective Email Image?

Ultimately, the right images for your emails will vary depending on your industry. However, some key trends and tips apply no matter your audience:

  • Build on your brand: Whether you use photos, icons, or illustrations, ensure that any email image is consistent with your overall brand.
  • Guide the eye: Images immediately attract attention, so place them near the most important parts of an email.
  • Always add alt text: Some subscribers can’t view images in emails. They may have images deactivated in their inbox, while others use screen readers. Add alt text to every image to maintain accessibility for all subscribers.
  • Don’t forget to smile: Images with faces can convey emotion and cultivate feelings of connection with your brand. Don’t be afraid to include a headshot in your email signature or add a candid image to your latest weekly update

Pure Firefly is Here to Help!

If you need a helping hand with your email images, don’t hesitate to contact an email expert. Pure Firefly’s team is experienced with template design across various industries, and specializes in Mailchimp’s new template builder. Schedule a one-on-one training for quick questions, or contact us for a free quote on email design.

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How a Mailchimp Audit Can Enhance Email Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses looking to connect with their audience and drive conversions. However, not all email marketing campaigns are created equal. In order to truly optimize your email marketing efforts, it’s important to start with a comprehensive review of your Mailchimp account. That’s where Pure Firefly’s Mailchimp Audits come in.

What is a Mailchimp Audit?

A Mailchimp Audit is an in-depth review of a client’s Mailchimp account, including everything from deliverability to campaign strategy. At Pure Firefly, we take a holistic approach to our audits. We begin with high-level concerns, including audience organization, deliverability, and legal compliance. A holistic Mailchimp audit also addresses more detail-oriented concerns, including template design, individual campaign setup, and automations strategy. Pure Firefly’s audits even include suggestions that can help save money on your monthly Mailchimp bill.

Mailchimp Audits Can Improve Deliverability

One of the most important aspects of any email marketing campaign is deliverability. Even the most well-designed campaign will have limited reach if your emails aren’t making it to your subscribers’ inboxes. 

Pure Firefly’s Mailchimp audit closely examines domain authentication and list hygiene. For every report, we also run one campaign through a spam checker which tests a client’s email content & preheader text against 19 of the most common B2B & B2C spam filters.

Optimize Your Audience Organization

A well-organized audience is essential to successful email marketing. In an audit, Pure Firefly’s team analyzes all the segmentation options used on any Mailchimp account. This may include audience lists as well as tags, groups, and fields. 

We also study the ways contacts flow into your account in order to ensure data collection is streamlined and compliant with Mailchimp’s regulations.

Get Your Design on Track with Template Recommendations

Regardless of your industry, email template design can have a big impact on engagement and conversions. In the design section of an audit, Pure Firefly’s team closely analyzes the template for one recent campaign. We then make recommendations to help optimize typography, CTAs, accessibility, and overall visual appeal. Our design comments focus on one specific template, but include guidance that can be applied more broadly to any client’s email marketing design.

If design is your major concern, Pure Firefly also offers template design as a standalone service, or on a retainer basis. Contact us to learn more.

Comply with Email Laws & Regulations

Email marketing is subject to a number of laws and regulations, such as CAN-SPAM and GDPR. Our audit’s legal compliance section ensures your email marketing is following these laws and helps you avoid a permanent block on your account. Pure Firefly’s holistic audit checks for the following elements to help ensure your emails are above board:

  • CAN-SPAM-compliant footers
  • GDPR-compliant sign-up forms
  • Accurate campaign defaults
  • Legitimate opt-ins

Audits Help You Strategize

The campaign strategy section of our audit looks at how you’re using Mailchimp to achieve your marketing goals. The days of email blasts to a whole audience at once are behind us, so we dig into the details of email frequency, segmentation, and automation. Our campaign recommendations can ensure your campaigns are effective and efficient. Following an audit, Pure Firefly is also available to create unique journeys and campaigns for your organization.

Why Start with a Mailchimp Audit?

Starting your email marketing project with a Mailchimp audit has a number of benefits. First and foremost, it ensures that all your email marketing is built on a solid foundation. By addressing any issues with deliverability, audience organization, and legal compliance, you can improve the likelihood that contacts will receive and open your emails.

In addition, a Mailchimp audit can help you save time and money in the long run. By identifying and addressing issues early on, you can avoid costly mistakes and ensure your campaigns are running smoothly from the start. Plus, an audit may uncover issues with audience organization that have inflated a client’s Mailchimp bill.

Finally, a Mailchimp audit can help you achieve your marketing goals. By optimizing your audience organization, template design, and campaign strategy, you can improve engagement and drive conversions. Guidance from Pure Firefly’s audit can help advise ongoing decision-making about your email marketing strategy. It’s the next best thing to having an email expert on your team!

Audit with Pure Firefly to Maximize Your Marketing

Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses of all sizes, but it’s important to start with a solid foundation. By reviewing your Mailchimp account in detail, Pure Firefly can help you ensure that your campaigns are set up for success. We’re here to help you achieve your marketing goals – Contact us today to learn more about our Mailchimp Audits.

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Top 10 Email Marketing Template Resources

For some, designing a beautiful template is one of the most entertaining parts of email marketing. Meanwhile, others find template design more like pulling teeth. No matter which camp you fall into, a little inspiration can go a long way. Here are Pure Firefly’s top 10 template design resources (in no particular order) to get the ideas flowing.

1. Mailchimp’s Template Marketplace

As Mailchimp Pro Partners, we have to give a nod to Mailchimp’s template marketplace. With 47 expert-designed templates to choose from, this is a great place to start if you’re a Mailchimp user. Plus, this is one of the only resources on this list that can provide editable templates for the Mailchimp builder.

Browse Mailchimp’s Premium Templates 

2. Really Good Emails

In the event that you’re just looking for inspiration and not for templates to download yourself, we can’t recommend Really Good Emails enough. Their library of over 10,000 templates updates every day with the best in email design. At Pure Firefly, we use Really Good Emails to keep an eye on design trends and incorporate them into our own templates. 

Check out Really Good Emails

3. Newsletter Glue

While its selection of pre-built templates is somewhat limited, Newsletter Glue is a great option for designers who prefer designing in WordPress to email marketing tools. It’s a WordPress plug-in that integrates with 13 of the most popular email service providers.

Try Newsletter Glue

4. Litmus Email Templates

Litmus is an email powerhouse offering email testing, design, and analytics. As long as you create a free account, you can choose from over 50 templates for use in their builder.

Browse templates by Litmus

5. BeeFree

BeeFree is another free email builder and includes over 1250 templates. Free users can add templates to their favorites, then customize them.

Check out BeeFree templates

6. MailBakery Email Marketing Templates

MailBakery designs & sells responsive HTML email templates. Start with their free options and see if you like their style!

Browse free MailBakery templates

7. Envato Market (aka Themeforest)

Envato Market is an online market for email & web designers. They offer over 1,500 email designs and offer a variety of price points for any marketing need.

Go shopping on Envato Market

8. Free Marketing Templates

Like BeeFree, Topol is another email builder. They offer a monthly plan, as well as a handful of free templates you can edit with or without a subscription.

Browse templates on Topol

9. Stripo

Stripo is an email marketing template resource with over 1300 templates to choose from, including free options. A subscription is needed to access Stripo’s complete functionality.

Check out Stripo’s HTML templates 

10. Canva for Email Design

After getting inspired, Canva is the perfect place to design email graphics yourself. You can start from scratch or with one of their templates. Plus, most of Canva’s design tools are available for free.

Give Canva a try

(BONUS) 11. Hire an Expert at Pure Firefly

When in doubt, working with an expert is the best way to guarantee a fully-functional and aesthetically pleasing template. At Pure Firefly, we use a range of tools to build and test our templates, ensuring functionality on various platforms. After all, email is our happy place. Contact us today for a free quote!

*Note: This post may include affiliate links. When you sign up for Newsletter Glue through this post, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.

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Our Top 3 Email Design Tips for Spring 2023

If you’re in the northern hemisphere, warmer days are on their way. With the refreshing change in weather, why not refresh your email design too? 

Here are our favorite email design trends to help you stay ahead of the inbox competition, whether you’re sending automated emails, monthly newsletters, or promotional campaigns.

Spring Design Tips

  1. Creative image frames
  2. Bright & unexpected colors
  3. Product GIFs & animations

1. Email Designers Frame Creatively

Square & rectangular images have been a standard email design element for years. In 2023, designers are framing creatively. Some of the most successful brands in email marketing go beyond even round image frames and incorporate images with spiky, bubbly, and otherwise unusual edges.

When trying out unique frames for your own email design, use shapes that resonate with your brand. For example, rounded ovals and half rectangles can create modern designs suited to highly professional organizations, like real estate investment firms. Check out our portfolio for inspiration!

Images with transparent backgrounds are another great way to reach outside the box. As inboxes grow more crowded, many brands find success with image-focused emails, often using transparent backgrounds to make a product appear to floar. Try it out for your next promo email or product highlight!

2. Bright Colors in Email Design

When spring flowers bloom, trendy designs burst with uniquely vibrant colors. To help your emails stand out, consider incorporating an unusual background color or experimenting with your button styles. Effective uses of color draw the eye to an email’s call to action and coordinate well with the images used throughout.

If you’d like to use alternating background colors to highlight different sections of your email, Mailchimp’s new builder makes this more accessible than ever. Book a training with our experts to learn how to use it!

Use testing consistently to avoid overwhelming your audience with a blast of color. Mailchimp’s A/B testing tools simplify gauging your audience’s email design preferences. Here are a few email design testing tips: start small, and use click rate to measure a design’s success.

3. Product GIFs & Animations

Depending on your audience, GIFs can bring a major boost in engagement. Lately, many designers lean away from TV & pop culture gifs. Many brands are using custom gifs in top-motion, slideshow, and animated styles. Always test before taking a leap of faith on a new GIF in your newsletter!

Email Designs by Pure Firefly Reach Beyond the Trends

The tips above can help you improve  your email marketing potential. Many brands hoping to maximize their marketing will still choose to work with a designer. Experienced email designers use data-driven practices to tailor design elements to their target audience. Designs in our portfolio have been tested for effectiveness with real clients. If you’re interested in our email design services, just contact us for a consultation.

Pure Firefly also offers one-on-one trainings to take you through Mailchimp’s email design tools.

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