SmileDirectClub has helped more than 1.5 million people transform their smiles through a pioneering telehealth platform for orthodontia. They're an international oral care leader, with hundreds of SmileShops, more than 1,000 SmileDirectClub Partner Network dental office locations, a network of hundreds of affiliated, certified dentists and orthodontists, and thousands of team members across the globe.
Originally, SmileDirectClub brought me in as a contractor to help create email designs. They were also in the process of going global, so they needed a solution that would allow for them to scale email designs for different countries. Additionally, designers didn’t know much about email html best practices and developers didn't know much about design best practices. To make matters worse, there was very little continuity between the look and feel of their existing email designs.
I quickly identified that a modular email design system was the answer. My first step was to conduct an audit of their existing email streams and emails. This allowed me to identify what needed to be included in their email design system. Then, I learned coding best practices for email html and css (tables, tr, td, media queries). Unlike web code, email code hasn't evolved much since its inception. The code structure is completely different between the two. Once I learned email coding best practices, I was able to design and code emails that embodied best practices (i.e. live type, type hierarchy, email weight, etc.). Then, I worked directly with channel leads (developers, designers, and copywriters) to identify channel specific issues. Once all areas of opportunity were identified, I then worked directly with each channel to create channel specific guidelines.
The channel leads and I created an airtight modular email design system that empowered SmileDirectClub to scale their email marketing production. It also streamlined their design and development processes, eliminating ambiguity between designers and developers. The modular email design system allowed the team to create aesthetically pleasing emails that were "on brand", that embodied email design best practices, and that created continuity between the look and feel of each email. We then refined our design system through AB testing, which allowed us to make data-driven decisions. We then documented everything and put it into SmileDirectClub's CRM Cookbook, which defined the entire usage guidelines for the modular email design system. We hosted Kick-off meetings and ongoing trainings for new and existing team members. We didn't stop there. We then created an email library of prebuilt email templates for quick turnaround on projects. This also doubled as a starting point for most email design projects.
Need help making an abstract idea concrete? Let's walk through the creative process together to present your idea to the world.