Last year, for the first time ever, consumers did most of their shopping online vs. shopping in brick-and-mortar stores. In an annual survey by comScore and UPS, shoppers reported making 51% of their purchases online.Even big purchases like furniture are more easily made via the web these days. With direct-to-consumer cost benefits and swatch samples and showrooms, modern furniture and home decor brands make online shopping appealing. And, in this new era of e-commerce, brands do a particularly good job of presenting themselves as smart, savvy, modern retailers. This is reflected in their modern furniture email design, so let's take a look at how four modern furniture brands are polishing their email designs.
Interior Define amps up white space, pares down text, and uses modern photography and illustration
Interior Define's aesthetic is immediately striking. Its furniture is branded as well-crafted, custom, and fairly priced, and its visual brand shows that. Even with the pared-down, modern look, the brand still feels friendly and fresh. Most emails employ a combination of beautiful, bright photography with custom typography and a bit of illustration. Here's one that plays off of the "but first" meme in reference to its fabric samples.
There's hardly any text, and the content that is included is large and easy to scan. Plus, the text is always paired with visual content, too, like the icons in the second module. In-between all that, white space abounds. Another email, below, has a similar look.
As you can see, the welcome emailintroduces the brand's value proposition in just a few words, and the diagram in the second module pairs illustration with photography to communicate visually how the customization process works. In one quick scan, it's easy to understand what Interior Define is all about, and the CTA button uses active, unique language to entice readers to click.Bottom line: Each part of Interior Define's emails is strategic, working together to present the brand as smart and chic.
Joybird incorporates in-email explainer GIFs for quick communication
Like Interior Define, Joybird offers customizable, quality furniture and goods for the home. It's another modern, online-only brand that seems to shout "artisanal retail." Its visual brand is colorful, approachable, and features plenty of millennial pink couches. Also like Interior Define, Joybird's emails pare down text and amp up visual communication for longer emails that include more photography as well as GIFs. Here's a look at their swatch email:
The s-curve pattern modules are a delight to the eye. And to seal the deal, Joybird shows just what you'll get if you choose to get free swatches.While this is a video preview, the GIF's frames already do a lot to reveal the contents of the package:
In another email, Joybird introduces its blog, called Canvas, with more beautiful photography, as well as another video-preview GIF:
A "get to know us" video is also a great way to build brand loyalty and trust. And, instead of just sticking a stagnant image in the email, the GIF below helps catch readers' eyes.
Bottom line: Joybird amps up the friendly factor with clickable GIFs that invite readers into their brand.
CB2's modular listicles promote product pairings
Unlike the above brands, CB2 doesn't operate solely online. It's got brick and mortar stores, but it markets to a similar crowd as the new e-commerce brands. Keeping up with its e-retail competitors means pushing the design envelope as much as possible. While brands like CB2, West Elm, and Pottery Barn often send more traditional, content-cluttered, image-only emails, CB2 seemed to be creating the most visually interesting emails. Notably, a few recent messages employed a listicle approach, guiding readers through step-by-step decor guides.
The email would benefit from live text (to stay out of spam filters and improve mobile viewing), but the interesting crops and layered colors work well. Still, the font used in the body text doesn't add much brand value. Why not use a simple Helvetica or Arial layered atop background images? This could be the next step in CB2's design game.Here's another example of a recent list-in-email message:
Again, the shapes, colors, and photos used in the list makeit easy to read and appealing to the eye.Bottom line: Everyone loves a good list, but live text is a must-have for any well-designed email.
Parachute packs in user-generated content
Parachute is a bedding and home decor retailer offering goods "expertly crafted by the world's finest artisans." It has a few stores on the West Coast, but like other modern brands, it positions itself as a better option than traditional chain stores, and it's primarily an e-retailer. The visual brand feels light and airy—like a good set of sheets—with emails featuring less text and more photography, like other contemporary e-retailers. The brand also does a great job of incorporating user-generated content into its email marketing strategy. In this recent email, a real customer review from "Sarah S." is prominently featured in the first module, and best-sellers and beautiful product images are also highlighted against mostly-white backgrounds.
Another email, though, takes user-generated content to another level. For National Dog Day, Parachute curated Instagram photos of real customers' pets enjoying their products.
The result is a smile-worthy (and click-worthy) content roundup.Bottom line: Curated user-generated content is a great way to showcase products. Readers get to see the items "in the wild," and you don't have to start at the drawing board of content creation. (Ask permission to share first, though!)
Wrap-up: How modern furniture email design stays fresh
Email is your direct line to consumers. This is why it's such a critical space to present yourself as a brand. And, since most modern furniture and home decor companies don't have brick and mortar stores, it's all the more important for their online presence to make a statement. Take their techniques and make them your own by trying BEE Pro for free. You can create modular designs that will look great and be responsive on mobile, and our text-over-background-image feature will put you ahead of the crowd. If you haven't signed up yet, try it now!