Keep an eye on email client changes
Email is the most fragmented field when it comes to coding standards. Unfortunately there are still major differences among the HTML rendering engines of Apple Mail, Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook (and many others).
There are some email standardization projects, but the developers of the various email clients still tend to ignore them. The bad news is that even new mobile / desktop email clients tend to use old-school technology and build-in limitations that harden the life of modern email developers.
So* if you are using hand-coded HTML email templates, always make sure that you *have a support contract in place with the developers of your template since there might be major / minor changes from time to time, which may require you to change the HTML code itself.
If you purchased a responsive email template from Themeforest or Stamplia, you will have to be in touch with the developer as well, and ask for updates if required. In an ideal situation you should be notified if an updated version of the template was published (till your support contract lasts).
Be careful if you are using a* responsive email editor – not all of them are future proof! If you have are using an email editor, where *you have access to the HTML source code it’s quite likely that your templates won’t be updated with latest responsive email tricks automatically.
EDMdesigner Compatibility – March 22, 2016.
You’re safe if you have a responsive email editor, with published email client compatibility list. It usually means that the provider of the editor keeps an eye on email clients changes for you! So you can lean back, and have a cold drink, while the email editor software itself handles the “code update” for you. At EDMdesigner we support over 90%+ of all web, desktop and mobile email clients and will always make sure that your email are future-proof!
Make sure that your email designs render properly
Before sending the final blast or finalizing your newly created email template for your marketing automatization funnel, always make sure to run some email tests yourselves.
You may use your own test devices and also an email testing service like Litmus *(from $79/month) or Email on Acid *(from $45/month). These are both paid services, but really worth the money if you are unsure about the quality of your responsive email template.
We invested thousands of hours research and development to built our responsive HTML generator engine using test devices, Litmus and Email on Acid. If you are using EDMdesigner, you won’t be able to modify the HTML code of your templates so your emails will always render properly in all supported email clients, without even testing.
Although we still advise our users to run various tests with their own devices at least to check for typos and minor rendering differences – which may arise from different screen sizes (and are not visible in any email testing service).
Follow the latest email design trends
I have to admit, that this is a really tough job, but come on, if you want to be innovative you have to follow trends, right? This is the same in case of email marketing of course.
It’s great if you follow web design trends, but it’s important to mention that email design is not the same as web design. It’s much more limited than modern web design. Parallax scroll, video content, CSS animations, sexy web fonts… won’t work in most email clients.
In many cases you’ll need compromise if you want have consistent email design among all the different email clients and devices, but if you are open for experimenting with latest tricks with your Apple users, go for it. They will love to see some fancy things in your emails.
Analyze the behavior of your subscribers
Big data was a trendy buzz word a few years ago, but it’s already here and you should take advantage of it. There’s tons of data available about subscribers in any ESP, but most email marketers tend to look only at open and click through rates…
Besides analyzing the basic metrics you should go deeper and start building up user profiles for your clients, where you can see and track all the interactions with the given person. You’ll better understand your behavior only if you know how they interact with your site and which products are they interested in.
Experiment with new email template versions
If you already got to know your audience and user personas it will be much easier to create super targeted email templates for a given audience (people living in X city) with a specific interest (prefer buying ebook vs. paper back).
Your email templates don’t have to be very different in terms of layout, but image and text content has to be adjusted to your target customers needs manually or automatically (if your ESP or Marketing Automatization tool is prepared for such customization).
Invest your own time and money continuously
This one is quite obvious, so we’re sure that you already know it if you found this post and read it till the very bottom far. You’re already on the right track and we are happy to help you in future as well, with educational blog posts and latest email design news.
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