Scoutmob: Making Great Mobile Apps (& Emails!)

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Scoutmob is an app that enables you to find nearby deals at restaurants and retailers. The best part? All the deals are FREE. Plus, they have a mustache cam. Enough said.

While on a business trip in Atlanta, Justine saw a Scoutmob deal promoted in Foursquare as she was searching for a nearby restaurant to try. She signed up for Scoutmob right there & then to take advantage of the deal.

After using the deal, she started receiving emails from Scoutmob; however, since the deal she used was in Atlanta, all of the emails she’s been receiving have been for deals in the Atlanta area—not so helpful since she lives in Boston! We’ll talk more about this later—let’s take a look at the email:


This email from Scoutmob is one of their usual “daily finds” emails and I really love the design. It’s a very visually appealing email with nice imagery and clear CTAs. In addition, the hierarchy of the email puts emphasis on the top deals and “happenings” so the reader’s eye is drawn to all the right places.

However, one aspect of the design that I was a little confused by was the yellow, white and blue highlighted text that distinguishes the % off, the code, and that it’s an “APP ONLY!” deal. At first glance, I thought these were great bulletproof buttons but, after further investigation, I realized that they weren’t linked! This issue was even more prevalent on the small screen of a mobile device since they looked very similar to the main CTAs. To combat this issue and prevent confusion, Scoutmob should present these details in a different way. There’s nothing worse than wanting to click through—and not being able to!


From the subject line (“slap on some jorts & get out this warm winter weekend + 50% off Corner Tavern”) to the deal descriptions, the Scoutmob personality shines through in this email.

Other daily deal emails I receive have simple descriptions with almost no personality in them. The casual, joking tone and sarcasm of this email from Scoutmob made it stand out from the other daily deal emails that I receive. And, it actually made it stand out from almost every other email in my inbox!

The text of the email is so witty that I actually read the description for every deal — nice work, Scoutmob!


Ironically enough, even though Scoutmob creates mobile apps, their emails are not very mobile-friendly.

A multi-column design and super small font sizes (the text under the “Articles + Happenings” headers is only 10px!), this email is extremely difficult to interact with on a mobile device. As I mentioned earlier, there also appears to be many more CTAs than there actually are due to the colored backgrounds of the deals’ details—this effect seems magnified on the small screen of my mobile device.

I would assume that Scoutmob has a high percentage of mobile opens since they are a mobile app company, so I’m surprised that their emails aren’t more mobile-friendly. They should definitely consider using a mobile approach to email — a scalable or responsive design would work wonders! With a mobile app and mobile-friendly emails, Scoutmob would have the total mobile package!


Daily deals are only worthwhile when you can actually use them (troublesome when Justine’s living in Boston but receiving deals for Atlanta!). Since Scoutmob offers deals in several cities, it might be worthwhile to confirm a user’s zip code or ‘home city’ when signing up. Frequent travelers might even enjoy receiving deals for cities they visit most often—expanding Scoutmob’s reach. Another option would be for the Scoutmob app to automatically detect a user’s location and later leverage this data to offer the most relevant deals (or to trigger an email asking users to update their preferences!)


Do you have an email that you’d like us to feature in our inspiration series? Send it to us at!