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KOMPLETE Emails: Design Lessons from Native Instruments

Jake Gibbs | January 22, 2016 

Design matters more than you think. Yes, the offer itself and powerful copy are important, but without compelling, creative designs your messages will likely fall flat and bore your audience.

If you’re looking for inspiration on email design, look no further than Native Instruments, whose KOMPLETE hardware and software product lines allow musicians and producers to push boundaries in creating very, very cool music.

Not only do their products impress, but their email designs really do encompass the “complete” package of what makes a great email.

Let’s check out the Native Instruments website and these 5 email examples (click on them for a larger view) to grasp the power of a KOMPLETE design.

Example 1

komplete-email-1

Example 2

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Example 3

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Example 4

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Example 5

komplete-email-5

Layout

Traditionally, emails have a logo and some sort of menu or top bar, right? Notice how none of Native Instrument’s emails have those things? These emails go right into the main offer or message without the distraction of anything else! Talk about intentional design! Native Instruments wants the recipient to be 100% focused on the email content, not on sorting through clutter.

Native Instruments show us that breaking conventional design patterns and venturing out into new territory makes for a much more interesting email user experience.

The body layout of their emails is incredible. In each email, the design is distinct. The recipient is forced to admit, “I’ve not seen an email like this from them before”. This visual interest created by their layout grabs attention and makes you want to know what it is about.

Footers in emails are usually boring afterthoughts. But Native Instruments does 2 things well here to make good use of their footer. First, they have visual interest in their footer with the dotted bar graph imagery. This creates closure, solidifies the design, and emphasizes their modern brand feel. Second, they separate the entire footer content from the email itself. All disclaimers and contact information are distinctly below the email. The text color is bright enough to read, but dull enough to not distract from the email.

Color

Going with a cool, modern vibe, their dark color scheme with black, greys, and white allows them to make their products the focus of the email without the distraction of everything else. Notice how in all of their emails the products are the only prominently colored objects? Even their links and calls to action take a backseat to their product. This goes to show that color should be used intentionally and even sparingly.

They show that contrast matters more than color in creating effective messages. The headlines, text, and imagery all contrast sharply with the dark or white backgrounds, even though color is used sparingly.

Text

Again, the black and white theme emerges as a main reason these emails are so cool. White text overlaid on dark backgrounds creates contrast, while the font choice and headline font sizes are appropriate and compelling. Well done!

Imagery

Wow. That’s all I can say about their use of imagery. If these images they use don’t grab your attention and get the recipient interested in their hardware and software, I don’t know what will. From urban themes and desert scenes to frosty pines and glowing backgrounds, they pull all the stops to impress and persuade their audience.

Calls to Action

Most of the time, calls to action are almost over-the-top, in-your-face, pathetically-begging-to-be-clicked. Yes, bold, colored buttons as calls to action can be useful, but notice how Native Instruments handles their calls to action.

The key they use is contrast. Their transparent buttons have black or white text and outlines. When paired with the opposite white/black color in the background, they certainly get attention and create visual interest, but without screaming with a megaphone. Text links use a subtle blue color to let users know they are links, but again, without being over-the-top about it.

Lastly, notice how they often have 2 calls to action side by side? One is usually a direct call to buy, while the other is a more soft call to learn more. This shows that they understand that their customers may want to research and thoroughly understand their product before buying. No pushy sales emails!

In conclusion, bravo, Native Instruments. Thanks for the lesson in design. They show us that breaking conventional design patterns and venturing out into new territory makes for a much more interesting email user experience. Now let’s all go make our emails better than they are now…

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Jake Gibbs

Jake Gibbs | Design Specialist

Jake Gibbs is a Design Specialist at ListEngage and an expert at designing and building elegant, cross-platform compatible, mobile responsive emails and landing pages on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud. From brainstorming and ideation to polishing the final product, he loves the creative process. Jake has worked with more than 60 clients since joining ListEngage in 2014. Some of his projects have included L’Oreal, Vanguard, Carhartt, Harvard Business School, RCI/Wyndham, Huggies, and Planet Fitness.