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Daily Reminder Email Design from DuoLingo

Email Subject

Daily Spanish reminder email

Mobile Email View



The design of this email focuses on simplicity. It’s short and easy to read.

There’s a lot of attention to detail. For example, the header includes an Inca temple, and the Inca Empire shares some history with Spanish (the language you happen to be learning).

People on the web usually skim through content looking for highlighted keywords, meaningful headings, short paragraphs and scannable lists. They’re in a hurry and will skip what’s irrelevant to them. The designers were aware of that—the message is effectively communicated even if you were to scan through the email.

There’s a good balance between text and images. Too much text makes an email lengthy and boring, most of it won’t be read. Too many images makes the email appear spammy and cluttered; the email would also load slower, which is a big factor if you have a global audience like Duolingo does. Many people in the world are still on slow connections.

The email is focused: continue learning a language via Duolingo. To motivate you, a progress bar with a description indicates how far you are to the next level. With a goal in mind of reaching the next level, it’s easy to get started because the call to action is the next thing you see.


The subject “Daily Spanish reminder email” is entirely accurate, but not very engaging. I would delete the email without opening it if I were busy, because the subject does a good enough job of reminding me. Unfortunately it needs to do more than remind you. Do a few tests to experiment with different subject lines.

The progress section says how many points you’re away from the next level, which doesn’t tell me much. How do I get the points? How long will it take? Give me something I can understand. E.g. “133 points or ~2 lessons away from level 7”.

The button text “Begin challenge” may be too intimidating. Could you get more conversions by making the task seem less risky? Or jumpstart the process by using the language you’re learning as the button text. The hardest part to starting something is taking that first step, which they just did by reading the button in another language.

The layout isn’t as nice in mobile view. The owl image is missing, yet the text is still left-aligned. The unsubscribe text can easily be reduced to two lines.

Commentary by Dennis Ideler   •   View more commentary by Dennis   •   Follow Dennis on Twitter

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