2014: Things to watch for in Email

Device Responsive Email:  This is still a big thing because not everyone’s doing it. But there’s no reason not to be doing it. Litmus reported in October 2013 that now 48% of all email opens are done on a mobile device – that’s basically half! 63% of people say they will delete an email if not mobile friendly. Get this off your to-do list in 2014!

Image Blocking: It happens, get over it and start dealing with it! There are many ways to work round the issue from Pizza Express’s beautiful but time-consuming solution to the nice and easy Mozify tool, courtesy of Email on Acid. But the easiest has got to be this, make all your text actual text and use images to complement it only. Don’t hide your message inside images. This includes your CTA buttons. CTAs are the whole point of your email! You can either very simply make them a cell with a background colour, or you can code in bullet proof buttons. Whatever your skill level and budget you have no excuse for letting blocked images ruin your campaign.

Video: We’re so close now to being able to use video in email itself. But to be honest, do we need to? I’ve had so many people (actual normal people, not email marketers or other techy geeks), who’ve said things about seeing a great video in an email (ie a cute cat falling over), but when I’ve dug deeper, it turns out that it wasn’t actually IN the email, but was one of those video look-a-like images, which then links through to a page with the actual video. Or it was an animated gif. But your average Joe doesn’t notice this stuff. So, while video continues to be hard work and time-consuming to do, and isn’t supported widely, it’s probably not worth bothering.

Animated Gifs: To me, animated gifs are something that is totally underutilised - I’m genuinely surprised that these haven’t taken off more widely.  From a subtle CTA, to ‘fake’ videos, to beautiful cinemagraphs there are some great options out there.

Gmail: Gmail seems to be blazing trails in webmail, (tabs, buttons in subject lines, stored images). Some good and some bad for email marketers, but it’s certainly not boring! If only they’d let CSS and Media queries work, and I’d love them forever! Keep an eye out for what they might create next, and keep an eye on the other webmail clients who may be trying to keep up, or who may come up with their own little gems!

Wearable Tech: Google glass and watches are the latest in gadgetry– how will email evolve with these devices? The subject line button introduced by Gmail may become a much bigger thing. How soon before we start having voice activated CTAs…?

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