case studies

During the COVID-19 health crisis, leading online graphic design platform Canva was looking to send more valuable emails to their millions of users across the world. Check out how they used Braze to send localized, engaging emails at scale.

Even today’s most successful email strategy can fall apart if there’s not a focus on tomorrow. Email is not a set it and forget it channel—it’s a constant evolution to meet rising customer expectations. It’s adapting as technology pushes the limits of what’s possible. It’s experimentation, iteration, and always putting your customers first.

No one knows that better than Canva. Using Braze, the online graphic design platform ensures their strategy never gets stale and they keep delivering value.

An Email Is Worth a Thousand Words

As people adjusted to the widespread stay-at-home orders brought on by COVID-19, Canva wanted to ensure that every piece of communication is not only valuable, but also tailored to their interests. As they program messaging in 20 different languages, creating relevant communication quickly was the primary focus.

Their focus was threefold:

  • Share helpful and engaging content relevant to their users during COVID-19
  • Increase email sends while maintaining deliverability
  • Save time with a new localization strategy

To start, Canva used an advanced IP warm up strategy that allowed them to safely and effectively grow email sends from 30 million to 50 million a week. In order to maintain their coveted 99% email deliverability, Canva calculated what their daily send volume could be, did not push the upper limit of this volume, and only increased a certain percent each day using a random bucket strategy. They sent email campaigns that had seen previous success, such as top ten trending content, and launched them in leading markets with miniature warm ups each week.

Additionally, Canva worked to deploy a new localization strategy. As English-speakers make up to 45% of their user base, if they can’t localize at scale, they can’t communicate with the majority of their users. To send emails in different languages, Canva uses Connected Content, the Braze platform’s dynamic content tool. Prior to implementation, each email was translated but used the same template. Now, they automatically pull in localized, translated content using Connected Content through the Google Sheet API, effectively saving them full days of work.

As an example of both initiatives in action, Canva sent an email that included a tutorial on how to use Zoom and upload custom backgrounds. Due to the power of Braze and Canva’s new localization strategy, they had the email out in under five days in 20 different languages,achieving high open rates.

Canva’s Results: Increase in Engagement, Increase in Open Rates, and Continued Strong Deliverability

Through Canva’s thoughtful efforts and people-first approach to content, the company saw a 33% uplift in open rates and 2.5% increase in engagement, which is incredible considering they have many millions of users. They also maintained a 99% deliverability while increasing email volume from 30 million to 50 million per week.

“With Braze, we’re able to better serve the global design community quickly and at scale,” Emily Stewart, Head of CRM and Messaging at Canva. “The capabilities of the platform enables our flexible and creative messaging strategy, enabling us to evolve with our diverse set of users.”

Final Note

Never resting on their laurels, Canva consistently works to improve the customer experience by delivering real value with relevant, engaging content. By relying on the power of Braze, they are able to increase high engagement rates—their north star metric—easily and at scale. To dig deeper into innovative email strategy, check out our Email Marketing Guide.

Madison Gardner

Madison is obsessed with the human stories within data. When she’s not writing case studies or discussing retention strategy, you can find her pizza crawling her way through every major city.