Modernizing a Food Icon: A new look & strategy for Betty Crocker emails

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Joanna Wing

Our agency has worked with Betty Crocker, one of America’s most well-known food brands, since 2003. Consumers can opt in to receive Betty’s daily marketing emails, which are filled with recipes, tips, and helpful product information; our email team creates these emails from start to finish. We review metrics, plan content, write and design the emails, then build and deploy them. Every day, we send Betty Crocker emails to millions of subscribers.

In 2021, Betty Crocker introduced new brand guidelines. As the brand updated its look and tone, our email team modernized the marketing emails to follow suit. We gave them a fresh new design and made Betty more relevant and relatable, to attract a whole new generation of home cooks. Here’s a look at our creative process and how it’s evolving:

Design & Creative Direction
Over the years, Betty Crocker emails have transformed based on new content, technical abilities, and design trends. We started out sending these emails weekly, or even bi-weekly, with a lot more content in each one. At one point, each email even had its own color palette based on the recipes that were in it!

Following the new brand guidelines, the updated Betty Crocker email design has a lot more white space than before — it’s clean and modern. We’re using a scaled-back color palette, which is mostly bright red with blue accents. We call out the brand in multiple ways — sometimes with the classic spoon logo, but more often with the new script logo.

Betty Crocker has also introduced a new font that we use for big, graphic headlines, so we can make simple words stand out in a bold way. We’re incorporating more lifestyle imagery, using clean patterns, and using food image cutouts when we can, to give our emails some fun variety.

We’ve given Betty’s email copy a modern makeover. We’ve added short, bold headlines — like “Takeout fakeout!” or “Soup’s on!” — next to the recipe images to capture the reader’s attention and bring some fun, youthful personality. We’ve also introduced more modern words and phrases to Betty’s vocabulary — like flex, glow-up, and WFH — along with a few light food puns. We’ve even snuck in fun words like zhuzh and bougie!

Finally, we’re very conscious of using words that are more inclusive, especially when it comes to topics like gender roles, calories, and diets. Our goal is to reach out to every kind of cook — every kind of Betty.

Content Strategy & Planning
Building engaging emails is a lot like putting together puzzle pieces. As we plan these emails, we’re constantly looking at what’s “buzz-worthy” now; we listen to what our audience is telling us through social media channels, user-generated content, and user reviews. We leverage the Betty Crocker social media and website editorial plans and consider what we’ve seen perform well in past emails. Finally, we test content and subject lines to learn what our audience prefers, and then we optimize our email content based on those results.

User Experience
Once we have all those puzzle pieces in place, we make sure that our emails not only look good, but also provide a great experience for all our users.

We always approach design with a “mobile first” perspective. Mobile users can make up about half of your audience, so we work to ensure that every element of these emails looks great and functions smoothly on mobile devices as well as on desktop.

As part of this, we’ve taken into account a relatively new feature called dark mode, which is a display setting that switches the default dark text on a light screen to light text on a dark screen. If dark mode isn’t accounted for in design, it can result in display issues. We design our emails to be clear and readable, regardless of how the user is viewing them.

We also work to ensure that our emails fit current accessibility guidelines, so they can be read, heard, and understood by everyone in our audience. We make sure the colors stand out from each other and are easy to discern; we add alternative text to images so they can be read by screen readers; we use a larger font size that’s easier for everyone to see; and we keep the copy short, so it’s easier to see line breaks and digest content.

Celebrating a Classic Brand … Then and Now
Last October, Betty celebrated her 100th birthday. This is an incredible milestone for any brand! It’s been a wonderful opportunity for us to look back on all the ways Betty Crocker has impacted home cooking. We’re thrilled to have the chance to give a new perspective to this iconic brand and introduce Betty to a whole new generation of makers.

Are you looking for ways to modernize your brand? We’d love to be your strategic partner on that journey. Send us a note at and we can work together to zhuzh it up!