May 3, 2009

Autoresponder design inspiration from Apple

mac-pro-thmWe recently purchased a big honking Mac Pro for our video tutorial work, and I got this thank you email from Apple (the full screenshot is below).

Normally, I’m not all that impressed by welcome/thank-you/receipt emails, but this one was a pleasant surprise. Here’s why it was so nice.

  1. The price of this monster computer was about the same as a small car.
  2. As such, something a little bit more sophisticated than an itemized, plain-text email receipt is a nice touch.
  3. The email is actually useful, because it has links to tutorials, resources, help, and training. Not just the expected "here are links to buy even more stuff, please."

Subject line

Their subject line was well done, too.

"Thanks for purchasing your Mac Pro. Now let’s get started."

It has all the important elements of a great subject line:

  • Blink-of-an-eye reminder of who’s sending it – "Mac Pro = Apple"
  • Reminder of how I got on this list – "Thanks for purchasing your…"
  • A subtle sense of urgency, plus a hint that there’s something useful inside – "Now let’s get started."

Email design

The design of the email is as beautiful and thoughtful as expected.

The product photo is the centerpiece (and what a centerpiece it is), and it’s surrounded by helpful looking humans, not just add-on products & services.

And instead of opening the email to a long list of text tips, I get these fun action shots (that have action shots inside them!):


If you look at the full email, notice the soft blue used in the hyperlink is also used in the guy’s t-shirt, the surfing thumbnail, and all the video "play" icons.

And it wouldn’t be Apple without plenty of white spacey gutters.

Since I’m in the email biz, I’m fascinated by really boring stuff like disclaimers in footer text.I figure maybe I’ll learn something. Just in case you could learn something too, here’s what Apple felt the need to say in their footer:


Notice the very bottom text says "this is a transactional email." You can’t really unsubscribe from transactional emails. But they still included a link to unsubscribe from other "marketing" emails. It’s a very nice touch that gives recipients a feeling that they’re still in some sort of control. If you want a similar option in your MailChimp campaigns, you can use our UPDATE_PROFILE merge tag.

If you sell big-ticket items on your website, consider using MailChimp’s Autoresponder tool to send a sequence of helpful followup emails to your own customers.

You might also make your list’s Welcome Emails more customized, like this.

And check out this video tutorial to see how you can customize your MailChimp templates to look like Apple’s: