28 Days of Email Inspiration: Day 1

We love email…and we love sharing our passion with you. During the month of February aka the “month of love”, we will be featuring one email a day with tips, commentary and more from industry experts.

Day 1: PADI Inspires with Creative Graphics

28Days_Day1_PadiSubject Line: PADI Dear Fellow Diver – January 2013 – Diving Australia, Guru Boycotts the New Year and Dive In to ScubaEarth
Industry: Outdoor/Recreational Education
Type of Email: Newsletter

After subscribing to the PADI newsletter for over 2 years, this is still by far my favorite monthly email that I receive. Why?

  1. The images make me want to travel and scuba dive more
  2. The design is creative and customized to a water theme
  3. The newsletter contains content and images relevant to my passion.

So what is not working and missing in this email? I have laid out some of my thoughts below. What do you think about this email template? Like/Dislike?



IMAGERY – This is probably one of the coolest and well-designed header imagery that I have received. The creativity of combining the “splash” water marks with the background and navigation is incredible.

NAVIGATIONUpfront, readable, and concise navigation is a plus to any newsletter but PADI did a great job implementing the navigation links into their header area. This allows for the reader to easily click on links to their website if they don’t want to or don’t have time to read the newsletter.


ARTICLE FEATURESThe newsletter covers about all topics a diver would need/want to be updated on a monthly basis. It allows readers to read more (linking to a page on their website) or keep scrolling to a topic that interests them.

BRANDING PADI does an excellent job with branding from their manuals to their website to their emails. Consistent branding allows for a cohesive user experience and trains readers on what to expect. PADI uses tranquil colors and images that complement their background, images, and text; rather than surprising readers with analogous content. Buttons, text, colors are all consistent and match – which is particularly eye appealing and important for me.

SECTION TITLES AND HEADLINESPADI did an amazing job using readable text on their buttons, titles, and headlines. Not only does this allow for editable text (for future edits and newsletters) but will also show in plain-text emails and when images are not downloaded.



FEATURED PRODUCTPADI chose to feature “SCUBAEARTH”, a new online interface for their divers. Not only does this relate/match to the JUST SURFACED area at the top, but it reinforces the new system at two linked points. Reinforcement is key when introducing new products or systems.

NAVIGATIONPADI mirrored the header navigation and imagery to allow users multiple touch points and opportunities to visit their website whether they read the entirety or not.

EMAIL STANDARDSPADI did a nice job implementing their unsubscribe link, contact info, and copyright. All which is standard but doesn’t necessarily have to be the most prevalent.


  • NEWSLETTER TITLE“Dear Fellow Diver” has never really struck me as a newsletter title. While the emails are always personalized with a mail merge, I rarely connect the two. However, I do like that PADI establishes comradery by using “fellow diver”. This makes readers really connect with the newsletter and the content. I feel as though they are sending me personalized information since I “belong” to the community.
  • EMAIL CLIENT PREVIEWSHow far do you have to scroll to see your name or what the newsletter contains? I enjoy seeing the large image of Australia as much as the next person and want to eventually dive there; but that generally isn’t my main interest and I may not want to scroll to see what follows. Also, the email client preview screen likely won’t show anything else.
  • IMAGESThere is no alternative text for the images. If a recipient chooses to not download images or show them automatically, they may not know who it is from or what the image says.


  • EMAIL LENGTHThe total length of this email is about 3000px which requires a lot of scrolling and dedicated time to read. Generally most emails are under 1500px and several email clients stop displaying or produce errors past 1800px. The length doesn’t have a direct or fast call-to-action but rather allows the reader to explore more (if they have time). How long do you normally real one email?
  • NUMBER OF NEWSLETTER FEATURESThe newsletter features 6 different sections whereas a lot of newsletters only feature 3. The positive is that you don’t have to split or segment your newsletter into different sends. The negative is that I have to keep scrolling to view everything and the newsletter might not be as compatible among email clients.
  • SOCIAL MEDIAI had an issue that I had to scroll almost all the way to the end of the newsletter to see that PADI was active on social networks. Why not feature them in the pre-header or at the top in an icon format so I can access them easier?
  • .com WHATThe header image and footer are the only areas that feature “padi.com” spelled out. If you want readers to visit the website from the footer – why hide it in small text at the bottom?

Do you have an email that inspires you? Send it to us now> or tweet us with hashtag #28DaysofEmailLove.

Need assistance with your email template? Contact our creative services division Bright Peak at brightpeak.com or 877-228-8377 option 3.

About Luke Siegle

Joining Swiftpage in July of 2010, Luke currently manages Bright Peak, the creative services division of Swiftpage. A Colorado native, he can be found outdoors skiing, fishing, or hiking. He also enjoys traveling and spending time with friends and family.


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