Email isn’t dead it’s simply evolving!
Email marketing is one of those disciplines that people often claim is on the way out. However its enduring power for driving traffic and sales means it’s highly unlikely that email marketing will die anytime soon. With constantly evolving technology we’re having to reconsider how we now interact with people and how they interact with us. This is resulting in more kinetically based emails, sparking more user interaction.
The emails of the future are looking much more like sending subscribers a microsite than a static message. Watching videos, browsing product assortments, and even making product purchases will also be possible without leaving the inbox.
“You can’t use HTML5 or CSS3 in email.”
Due to their “limited” support, this is a common myth throughout the email design industry. Whilst support certainly isn’t universal, many of the leading email clients support HTML5 and CSS3. In fact, about 50% of the total market and 3 out of the 5 top email clients support them.
But, what about the email clients that don’t support these advanced functionalities? How will your email look to those subscribers? When it comes to email, it’s all about providing your subscribers with a great experience. However, this doesn’t mean that your email has to look the same across every client – it just needs to be easily accessible for all your subscribers.
What can you do with HTML5 and CCS3 in email design?
Have you been dying to add videos into your emails? Potentially creating a more seamless multi-channel marketing campaign? Embedding HTML5 videos in emails is possible, however support for it on email clients is currently quite limited. With that said, the email clients that do support HTML5 videos still represent over 62% of the market share. Email Applications such as the native iOS client, Apple Mail and Outlook.com will allow recipents to play your video within the email client itself. Other clients like Gmail and Android devices will display a fallback image.
Why should you consider using video in emails?
55% increase in click-through rates
44% more time spent reading emails
41% more email sharing and forwarding
24% increase in conversion rates
And Email Monks says video email offers a return 280% higher than traditional email.
The email industry has taken another huge step recently, with a discovery of a WebKit hack that lets marketers create a fully functional tabbed box or content carousel, where subscribers can click the tabs or buttons in the content block in the email to flip through different images.
Beyond making for a really engaging inbox experience, this hack lets marketers place much more content above the fold. Plus each image in the carousel can support links to different landing pages, so it makes for smooth hand-offs to specific product or content pages. Another great thing about this hack is that it’s compatible with responsive design.
This hack, once again, only works in limited email clients. However, with great fallbacks in place this won’t be an issue.
Cinemagraphs are a revival of the classic animated gif that combines video and photography to create the illusion of a still photograph, but with minimum motion effects. They’ve been used in websites for some time and are now starting to work their way into email as a tactic to make the overall campaign more engaging.
Why should you consider using cinemagraphs in email?
If you’re planning to use cinemagraphs in any campaign, it must be used the right way. In a published article online, Experian reveals that 72% of marketers who use animated GIFs or cinemagraphs have recorded higher unique open rates. For example, IT hardware manufacturer, Dell experienced a 109% increase in conversions as a result of using animation.
Animations in emails can be very effective and attract users emotionally when used correctly. They stand out from other competitor’s campaigns and can be used for many types of email.
Colour changing emails
Using CSS keyframe animations, email developers are able to animate the background colours of the heading section, which creates a mesmerising, hallucinatory effect. It’s subtle at first, but once a subscriber catches on to the animation, they can’t turn away.
With the gap between web and emails finally narrowing, this is opening up more opportunities to create more interesting and innovative email marketing campaigns. CSS and HMTL support in email applications is slowly improving. This is what is keeping email marketing alive, making it by far the most effective way of directly affecting your bottom line and actually effective at growing businesses.
Keep your eyes peeled for our next article on email marketing – Plain Text emails & why they are so important.