Email marketing is a powerful tool, but it needs a facelift. The most successful online sites, services and tools all have one thing in common: they are interactive, they provide information live, they are fast and easy to use. But if you follow the news on the email market – as we do – you know that those who shape the future of online communication are not done with email yet.
At The Email Design Conference last week we had the chance to observe some of the amazing new features that are in the works. For example the organizers of the conference sent out emails to the attendees, which did not only include the hashtag and CTAs to tweet about the event, but the email itself contained a live Twitter feed.
Embedding interactivity in a mail like this may seem easy, but it is a very new thought. And this is only a tiny fraction of what we can expect.
Don’t just show the shop, send the salesman
Chad White from Litmus claims that email must adapt to the high speeds at which everything on the net currently works. If you can include 90% of the shopping process in the email itself, you should not direct your customer to your site. You should sell there and then, inside their inbox, and only leave the email client for the secure payment process.
That is exactly what – among others – RebelMail works on. Mark Robbins – a really desperate and innovative email code geek – shared that they intend to embed features that you can find in apps or on websites into emails. These features would allow recipients to be offered and buy what they need, what they are interested in without leaving their inbox. Shortening the customer journey is never a bad idea, and this is a truly innovative approach.
Image source: Rebelmail.com
This is however no small task, mainly because email still needs to be responsive. And in this case responsivity also means that the coding must work with every platform, every system. The amount of coding universally supported in email is minimal. But this is not necessarily something that makes embedding small applications impossible.
Robbins of RebelMail, who coded a little whack-a-mole game directly playable in the email itself, spectacularly demonstrated this causing a jaw-dropping experience for all the email coders at the conference.
Adapt or perish
Of course these features are still in the making and not in any way solutions that are used widely in the industry – that may very well take a few more years. But we have no doubt that this is something that will have a great effect on email.
We at EDMdesigner will therefore look into how features like these can be adapted in a responsive email editor. There is no question that this must be a very general approach, because the technology must work in all cases, not just in individual ones.
We believe that a true breakthrough can only be achieved if conservative email clients accept that it is time to change and adapt. Dynamic content has to be the future of email, but in order for it to prevail a web-like email standard must be established.