Email Digest Critique - FitBit

It’s Friday, which means it’s time to select another digest email and pick it apart - Siskel&Ebert-style. This week, we’re going to look at a fantastic example of a digest email done right from the good people @ FitBit.

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(I couldn’t help it. I love these guys)

The FItBit Weekly Digest

For those that don’t know FitBit - you should. They are great. FitBit is a company that has designed and built (essentially) a smart, connected pedometer that enables users to track their physical activity on a daily basis. They are a company leading the charge to functional, connected, wearable devices.  

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They hold a particularly special place in my heart because they have also completely embraced the weekly digest email as an essential part of their user experience.

Let’s take a look at a sample and see what we find:

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What I love about their digest - smart, sexy & highly personalized. 

First of all, let me say that the fact that this email digest exists is what I love most about it. FitBit’s entire mission is to help people stay consistently active & achieve their own personal fitness/health goals. Their product, coupled with their digest emails provide users an enormously important feedback loop that keeps users engaged and motivated - exactly FitBit’s mission. 

More specifically, the email looks great. The clean layout, smart hierarchy & and scaling makes it easy to read and to quickly access the most important/interesting information. They didn’t bog the design down with fancy charts or visualizations that would have made it difficult to digest. They kept it simple, but helpful. It’s a pleasure. 

More importantly, the digest is highly personalized. (Almost) every piece of data on the email is relevant to the person receiving it. I know this seems like an obvious point, but it is one that is missed by many companies. Because of this high-level of personalization, the email (and maybe FitBit, in general), is successful.

Finally, a seemingly, small point, but a nice touch. I like the way, at the bottom of the email, they have offered ways for their user to further connect with the brand - (a) Join the Team; (b) Follow them on Twitter; (c) Read their blog. Usually, these items are buried in a footer. I like how FitBit has brought them up and made them inviting. In the future, they could even personalize these even more (don’t show the Twitter box if they know the user already follows them, display not the whole blog, but specific posts, etc).

A few suggestions/optimizations for the email

Just a few small suggestions I would make to improve this email even more. 

First, you will notice on the right side of the email a small section for updates on the user’s ‘Leaderboard.’ FitBit has a feature that allows users to connect & compete with friends and this section of the email is dedicated to highlights from this feature. However, this section of the email displays even when a user isn’t competing with anyone. My suggestion is to either (a) hide this section all together if/when someone isn’t participating in a leaderboard; or (b) create messaging that promotes this feature. Showing it with only one person on the “Leaderboard” makes the email seem a little ‘dumb’ and is a small, but visible, chink in its armor of credibility.

The same goes with the last section of statistics which is there to cover metrics around the user’s sleep quality. Again, this is a feature that not everyone uses. If there are no stats in this box for a specific user, then it should either be hidden and/or contain some promotional messaging. 

In conclusion…Bravo!

Overall, this is a fantastic email and initiative - I commend the FitBit team. This shows me that the FitBit product team understands the experiences and habits of their users - both with their product & outside of it. They understand that once their users configures their FitBit device and enters their profile, goals, etc into the software - once that initial set up is done - this specific, weekly digest email isn’t just something that supports the product. In many ways, this email digest IS the product.

Bravo team FitBit! Keep up the good work!