At the beginning of a new year, we all need fresh inspiration to rev up our creativity and stay at the top of our game in business. One of the best ways to do this is to check out the competition. Knowing what the competition is doing, and especially where they’re crushing it, is not only essential to business strategy; it is also one of the most potent sources of business inspiration. Taking a look at how other companies are being creative, excellent, and successful at grabbing the focus and dollars of your audience is a great way to get fired up—and armed with fresh ideas—to do the same.
Over the years, we’ve collected a list of websites that help us keep up with our competitors’ success in email marketing and web development. Some of these sites curate a “best of” list that give us a clear snapshot of who knocked it out of the park last year, and how. Others simply stay current with the latest trends and insights. We circle back to them frequently throughout the year as needed, and recommend you do the same.
Over 200,000 businesses use Campaign Monitor for their email marketing campaigns, but they’re also known for keeping track of responsive email design best practices. This gallery shows thumbnails of last year’s most effective emails. Click on a thumbnail to see the full spreads of the email, along with testimonials from the client and key performance and result metrics.
In addition to being a strong email service provider, Listrak is a strategy and consulting firm for online retailers. Their Resource page links to a list of whitepapers, webinars, and blogs providing leading-edge insights for building excellent email campaigns. Their upcoming “2016 Digital Marketing Year in Review” webinar (Jan 26) is sure to offer a survey of takeaways from last year that could be valuable for you in 2017.
The folks behind our favorite email QA service (Litmus) like to call themselves the “nerds” of email marketing. Their blog features both articles and podcasts, and covers the best of their marketing research and analysis with easy-to-read infographics. Check out their recent post “The Biggest Email Marketing Trends in 2017 will be…”
This gallery keeps current with the most creative email and newsletter campaigns created by MailChimp’s 2 million users, which include online retailers, event promoters, media companies, and more. Click on the thumbnails to view the full campaigns.
This site is the Pinterest board of marketing emails — it’s an inspiration site pulling from the best responsive email design examples released through Campaign Manager, MailChimp, Litmus, and more. How great is it that these guys stay current on what’s going on in email so we don’t have to?
Awwward’s international jury of web developers reviews hundreds of submissions and votes on the Sites of the Day, Month, and Year based on a scorecard that measures design, usability, creativity, and content. View each winning website, check out their scores, and submit your top web project!
Shopify, one of the current leading ecommerce platforms, chooses four websites from thousands as the winners of their Best Overall Design, Best Homepage, Best Product Page, and Best Mobile UX awards. This blog post presents the sites and insights from the designers about the concepts behind their winning designs. If you have an ecommerce site, you won’t want to miss this!
Webby Awards designate the “Best of the Internet” in every imaginable category of design, content, and application. No matter what kind of organization and website you have, this is a great place to look at what other people like you are doing on the web.
Foundation is another popular open-source framework powering web sites, mobile apps, and email for thousands of leading organizations and companies. Their Showcase highlights innovative and excellent examples of how clients are using Foundation, along with brief explanations of how and why these uses are effective. You can also sign up for their monthly newsletter, which stays up on web design trends. It’s excellent.
Do you have a favorite go-to site for getting inspired in your business? We’d love to hear from you. We’d also love to address any email marketing or web design questions you may have in this blog. Please email us or respond in the comments below.
Here’s to a great 2017!