AI email render-ation sensation, part II

Email can be tricky. The emails you create that look fabulous in your email generation software might not always translate when they are actually delivered. Why is that? The answer is that there are countless email platforms and countless devices, and between those two factors, the combinations are endless.

In the first part of our series we explored coding superior email designs that will render properly, and look good, across all email clients and devices. In this part of our series we will explore how we treat images and then conclude with a very important part of email design: testing.

Images in rasa.io emails – Imgix

Careful consideration of email image treatment is another important part of making our emails look great here at rasa.io. One of the tools we use is an image processing service called Imgix, which helps us format and crop images inside of our newsbriefs.  

As we gather news articles for our newsbriefs, we are storing the images in an Amazon S3 bucket (cloud storage) and then giving Imgix access to that bucket. We can than enhance and crop our image by passing query parameters (filters for image processing) to the end of our images hosted URL.  

In the example below, we have the original image on the left and two examples of cropping using query parameters. Imgix gives us the ability to recognize faces in an image and that is denoted by the “fit=face” query param.

However, as you can also see in the example below, it does not work perfectly all of the time. A setting we later discovered was Imgix’s entropy setting. The idea here is that the most “interesting” part of an image will be the areas of high contrast. By setting “crop=entropy” we can now crop to the most “significant” part of an image. Imgix is a great tool that we use in every newsbrief.

email rendering using imgix for image cropping at rasa.io

Figure 2: Imgix image cropping examples

 

Testing rasa.io email design – Email On Acid

Another great tool we use is Email On Acid (EOA). We use EOA to test the responsive layout and look of our emails across multiple email clients. EOA gives us the ability to quickly view what our email will look like on over 80 email clients.

Viewing our designs over multiple email clients is important because, as I mentioned earlier, the top 3 email clients which are iPad, iPhone, and Gmail are included in EOA’s test summary (Figure 3). Also, there are several versions of Outlook that are included in EOA’s test summary.  Outlook can be troublesome when trying to get an email layout rendering properly. By utilizing EOA’s email client test summary we can ensure that our clients will receive a great looking newsbrief.

Figure 3: Email on Acid Test Summary

 

Summing up our email rendering series

In summary, in part one of our series, we briefly discussed how we build responsive email designs by using a combination of inky and jinja templating languages. We also mentioned some of the techniques we use for image cropping to the most “significant part” of an image. Lastly, we covered the comprehensive test summary offered by Email on Acid.

Why is this important? At rasa.io our core purpose is to better inform the world. One way of informing the world is through our daily newsbrief. The reason we exist is to help people engage with relevant information more frequently. That’s why.

Are you ready to take your association emailing to the next level and leverage artificial intelligence to generate content that your users want to read? Are you ready to give your brand a boost? Contact the experts at rasa.io today.