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The Current State Of Email Marketing Programming: What Can And Can’t Be Used

Many people want to create the best email campaigns possible, and this goal can be realized by following best practices for email design and coding and by implementing advanced techniques correctly. This comprehensive guide, for novices and pros alike, delves deep into the nitty gritty of email marketing.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • best practices for email design, from creating a theme to designing the footer;
  • how to add images and incorporate rich media (GIFs, cinemagraphs, video) in your emails;
  • how to design responsive emails for a better user experience;
  • email client support for responsive mobile emails;
  • finally, advanced techniques in email design.

Introduction

Emails have transformed from being an ordinary text-based personal communication tool into a future-proof marketing channel. We have moved into a world of visually attractive HTML emails that have the feel of microsites in the inbox.

Getting acquainted with the best practices of email coding is, therefore, imperative if you want to avoid a broken user experience and instead improve user engagement. Moreover, as the digital world becomes more mobile, creating responsive emails is the need of the hour.

In this article, we shall delve deeper into best practices to follow for all email clients, as well as advanced techniques you can include for email clients that support interactive elements.

Let’s start with the basic structure of an email.

Basic Email Structure

As Leonardo da Vinci said, ”Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Accordingly, keep the design of your email simple.

Check out the email design below by Charity: Water. Simple yet engaging.

A simple yet engaging email design by Charity: Water.


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Developers have been coding emails using <table> layouts for a long time now. So, it is recommended that you place your email elements in a grid-based layout, rather than arbitrarily placed. Moreover, any element that might overlap needs to be added to a different layer.

The email shown above by Charity: Water looks like this when exported to a tabular layout:

Email design by Charity: Water divided into a grid.


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Email design is made up of different subelements. Let’s explore them now.

1. Email Theme

The logo is not the only element that reflects your brand’s personality. The overall theme of your email, including the fonts, color scheme and imagery, should be in sync with branding guidelines.

2. Width And Height Of Email Template

Because your subscribers use diverse email clients and devices, your email should be appropriately visible in the preview pane of all email clients. Keep in mind that the email will be displayed according to the display pane of the email service provider or client. Only certain email clients, such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail and native mobile email clients, will display email at full width.

For other email clients, the display boxes have variable sizes. Many service providers, such as MailChimp, go over the basics of HTML email, by recommending, for example, 600 to 800 pixels as a width, so that the full email gets displayed. Remember, that most subscribers never use the horizontal scroll bar in an email.

The height of your email template should usually be long enough to accommodate your copy within two scroll lengths. You can certainly have a longer email template if you have to convey a huge amount of information. However, if your email template gets too long, it might become boring for subscribers, who will be less likely to scroll to the end to check out all of the offers and promotions included.

The height of the preview pane of most email clients (which contains content commonly referred to as “above the fold”) is generally between 300 and 500 pixels. Make the best use of this space, so that the content included above the fold entices the subscriber to scroll down.

Every email developer knows that if an email’s file size exceeds 102 KB, Gmail’s app will clip the email, and they will not be able to track metrics.

Check out the screenshot below to see what an email looks like in Gmail when it is clipped:

Email message, the weight of which exceeds 102 KB, as seen in Gmail, with ‘View entire message’ at the end.


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To avoid Gmail’s clip, make sure your email does not have unnecessary code and is not over-formatted. Go for a minimalist email design, without any shortened URLs. Note that images will not be embedded in the email and, so, will not increase the file’s size. That being said, removing unnecessary images will help to reduce the email size.

For marketers who use predesigned templates, the height and width will already be taken care of. If you want to use your own design, consider the ideal width and height of an email template.

3. Body Of Email

Emails usually begin with a hero image at the top, followed by the main copy, a call to action and then the footer.

Because most people read on screens positioned about 2 to 3 feet away, your h1 title should be around 16 pixels; if your title is short, it could even go up to 20 pixels. A good idea would be to render the h1 title as text, along with an attractive hero image.

Your descriptive text should not be smaller than 12 pixels. It should be easily readable across all email clients and devices. Moreover, the alignment of paragraphs and paragraph size also play an important role.

4. Call To Action

The primary objective of email marketing is to persuade customers to take action. To do that, your call to action (CTA) should have engaging, actionable verbs. Use convincing and actionable text, like “Start the free trial,” rather than drab phrases like “Click here.”

An interesting study by ContentVerve, “10 Call-to-Action Case Studies With Takeaways and Examples From Real Button Tests”,” shows that use of the first-person perspective in CTAs increase clicks by 90%, regardless of the product. For example, “Get my free copy” converts better than “Get your free copy.”

Create a sense of urgency in CTAs and get higher click-through rates by adding the word “now.”

This email from 'Alice and Olivia' has a CTA in bright pink, contrasting with the white background.


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Campaign Monitor, in one of its guides, “10 Tips to Optimize Your Calls to Action,” emphasizes that a CTA button should always contrast strongly with the background color, so that it doesn’t blend in and that it grabs the subscriber’s attention. Based on your target audience, your industry and the message to be conveyed, including CTAs at regular intervals can increase email conversions and the desired subscriber action. Its height should be at least 30 pixels, and it should be easily tappable with a thumb on mobile devices.

Check out the email below from Asana. It places a CTA strategically above the first fold and also follows the CTA best practices discussed above.

Email by Asana strategically places CTA above the first fold.
Email by Asana strategically places CTA above the first fold. (View large version)

5. Images And Interactive Elements

If you are putting images or rich media in your email, add relevant alternative (alt) text, so that the purpose of the email is preserved even when the visuals are blocked by the email client. This is also greatly helpful with accessibility, because screen readers will be able to read the alternative text and convey your message.

Most email marketers tend to send emails consisting of a single image, which is first of many common HTML mistakes compiled by MailChimp. It recommends a text-to-image ratio of 80 to 20, to make sure that emails do not get trapped in spam filters. According to a recent study by MailChimp, 200 words per image yield a good click-through rate.

Using linked images in your email ensures an optimum file size. Load images from an external server using <img> tags.

The main advantage of this technique is that you can change images even after sending the email. It makes the email light and reduces the time taken to send the email. The disadvantage is that subscribers will have to download the images from the external server, which will incur download costs for those on metered connections, and the images might also get blocked by some email services.

Rich media elements, such as GIFs, cinemagraphs and video, are becoming popular in email these days.

You can add a GIF or cinemagraph in an email simply by uploading the file to the server that stores your images. Then, copy the URL and use the following HTML:

<pre class="lang:default decode:true" title="Code for adding GIFs or Cinemagraphs in Email"><img src="/wp-content/uploads/thefiletobeinserted.gif">
</pre>

Test the email to make sure that the GIF works properly.

Embedding video is a very adaptable technique of web development, but unfortunately, it’s not supported in email. Therefore, opt for HTML5 video.

To add a video in email, use the code below:

<pre class="lang:default decode:true" title="Code for including video in email"><video width="400" height="200" controls poster="http://www.art.com/images/blog_images/Imagefiles/2017/html5_video/valentinesday.jpg"><br/><source src="http://www.videofile.com/htmlfiles/movie-14thfeb.mp4" type="video/mp4"><br/><!-- fallback 1 --><br/><a href="http://www.xyz.com" ><br/><img height="200" src=" http://www.art.com/pictures/important/Imagefiles/2017/html5_video/valentinesday.jpg " width="400" /><br/></a><br/></video><br/><br/><br/>
</pre>

HTML5 primarily supports the MP4, OGG and WebM video formats.

Pro tip: Apple supports the MP4 video format in its email clients and browsers.

Some points to remember:

  • Make sure that the server configuration you use can output the right MIME type, so that the email client identifies the correct video format when retrieving the video.

  • If you are using an Apache web server, add this entry to the .htaccess file: Add Type video/mp4.mp4 m4v.

6. Number Of Email Folds

Your email should have just two folds, as mentioned earlier. The first fold should capture your brand and include the h1 title with a relevant CTA. If your email template exceeds two scrolls, then the third scroll should cross-sell your products. The idea is to change up the content and keep subscribers hooked by providing interesting information.

The footer is the most overlooked part of any email. However, it probably has information that subscribers are looking for, such as the company address, social sharing buttons and contact details. In order for your email to be CAN-SPAM compliant, the footer should have some additional elements.

An “Unsubscribe” link should allow subscribers to opt out of your mailing list easily and will reduce spam complaints.

Your contact details should link back to your company website and should include your postal and email address.

Additionally, you can have ancillary links, such as “Forward to a friend” and “View in Browser.”

As stated in “The Best Practices of Footer Design” by Bee, the fine print of your email should have the following sections:

  • Explanation of why the recipient got this email
    Your subscribers have probably subscribed to numerous mailing lists. Subtly remind recipients of the reason they received the email, to maintain your reputation as an emailer and to minimize spam complaints.
  • Copyright
    Include the copyright mark, along with the current year and your business name.
  • Privacy policy
    Link to your privacy policy, because subscribers should know where that information is stored. This is critical for e-commerce retailers.
  • Terms of use
    If you are sending out a promotional email highlighting discount offers, share the terms of use that govern the deals.

Cramming information into the footer sounds tempting, but you should determine the most important information for your business and restrict the footer to the minimum. Stuffing it with too much information could lead readers to dismiss it entirely because they will not be able to figure out which links to click.

Check out the footer below by Cotton on Body. Although it is well organized, it could be overwhelming for the subscriber who is scanning the email.

The Cotton on Body email footer, which is too lengthy.


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Have a look at the footer below by Alice and Olivia. It is simple, and it maintains a visual hierarchy according to the actions they want subscribers to take.

Alice and Olivia's email footer is concise and designed with all good practices in mind.


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The footer by HSN below is clean and makes good use of padding and white space. It is not overwhelming, yet it conveys important information that readers might be looking for.

HSN's footer is clean; padding and white space are used appropriately.


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Mobile Responsive Emails

Most subscribers will check email on their phone. Owing to this trend, your emails ought to be responsive. Responsive design includes several elements, such as media queries, fluid grids and fluid images, so that users can view the email as intended, regardless of screen size or device. The basics of responsive email design include the table element, easily stackable sections and full-width CTAs.

If your subscriber list consists of many mobile users, then avoid overlapping layouts. Hide non-primary sections, such as navigation and email advertisements, to cater to mobile subscribers. Mobile-specific email elements such as a navigation menu and image sliders can also be used.

Responsive email design is supported in these email clients:

  • iOS Mail app
  • Windows Phone 7.5
  • Android 4.x Email (OEM) app
  • BlackBerry Z10
  • BlackBerry OS7
  • iPhone Gmail app

The following email clients do not support responsive email:

  • Android Yahoo Mail app
  • iPhone Yahoo Mail app
  • BlackBerry OS 5
  • Windows Phone 7
  • iPhone Mailbox app
  • Windows Phone 8
  • Android Gmail app
  • Windows Mobile 6.1

Responsive design enables you to do the following:

  • change hierarchy,
  • modify navigation,
  • enlarge fonts,
  • change layout,
  • scale images,
  • add padding,
  • change or hide content.

Designing Responsive Email

To make their emails responsive, developers use a media query that is commonly referred to as @media. It is a special set of CSS styles, included in the header, that work as conditional statements or dynamic rules.

The point of media queries is to identify the screen size of the device being used and to execute various rules according to that screen size. The challenge is that media queries do not work in all email clients and might need detailed planning and testing compared to other design techniques.

Have a look at the media query below:

<pre class="lang:default decode:true" title="Structure of Media Query">@media only screen and (min-width:479px) and (max-width:701px) 
.em_main_table 
     width: 100% !important;


.em_hide 
     display: none !important;

}
</pre>

When this email is accessed on a device whose screen is between 479 and 701 pixels wide, the email’s width will be 100%, according to the width: 100% !important; attribute. The !important function forces this attribute in email clients such as Gmail, where it might be ignored.

The styles in the CSS rule block should specify the container or element type that the styles will dictate. Assign these rules in the HTML if you want them to work.

Here is the CSS:

<pre class="lang:default decode:true" title="Code for CSS"> td[class="body-header"] font-size: 18px !important; 

And here is the HTML:

<pre class="lang:default decode:true" title="Code for HTML"><td align="left" class="body-header">
</pre>

It is important that the element (td) and the class (body-header) added in the CSS and HTML match each other.

Advanced Techniques

With the advent of advanced email clients, such as Apple Mail, which is based on Webkit, email developers can even play around with keyframe animation, interactive elements such as carousels, and live feeds.

Conditional coding for different email clients (such as for Outlook and for Samsung and Apple devices) has also become possible.

Conditional coding for Outlook and for Samsung and Apple devices


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Wrapping Up

If you follow these simple tips, you will surely be able to create awesome email marketing campaigns that convert, whether you are a novice or pro at email programming. In the end, aim to create a good user experience and make subscribers look forward to your emails. Happy emailing!

Smashing Editorial
(da, ra, yk, al, il)

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The Current State Of Email Marketing Programming: What Can And Can’t Be Used

How Indian Brands Drive Conversions On Independence Day

How Brands Drive Conversion on Independence Day

The Indian Independence day is right around the corner. For consumers in India, it’s a day of rejoice and celebration. And, for marketers, it opens a box of opportunities.

For marketers, the opportunity to leverage spirit of Independence translates into consumers’ buying decision for marketers.

In India, especially during major festivals and occasions like Independence Day, you can expect cutthroat rivalry among major brands. And yet, there are big winners in such intense situations.

How does this happen?

What are the strategies and tactics that these brands deploy to successfully pull off a nationwide campaign?

We studied various campaigns of India’s largest online brands to find out the answer.  

And we saw that there were five different ploys deployed to pique the interest of the average online consumer in India that resulted in the success of these campaigns.

1. Tapping into consumers’ emotions

Independence Day is the time of the year when citizens are filled with joy and hopes for prosperity for the whole nation. Marketers very well understand these emotions and know how to leverage these to their advantage.

A fitting example would be the outstation campaign by Ola, one of the largest cab aggregator in India.

When the Independence day is close to a weekend, people love to travel a lot. Weekend getaways are popular among the public, and folks love to spend time with their friends and relatives at places nearby.

Ola appealed to its customers’ emotions by offering them outstation deals during the Independence week. The company even offered an INR 300 discount for its first-time outstation users. Ola also partnered with Club Mahindra and Yatra to offer deals on hotel stays.

Ola Outstation Email

Ola encourages taking a holiday while thinking about it as a viable brand for traveling to nearby getaways.

2. Limited Period Offer

The sad part of these festive sales and offers is that these need to end after a short span. These campaigns generally run from 2 to 5 days around the festival.

For example, Flipkart Freedom Sale which celebrates India’s spirit of Independence only ran for 4 days, so people had limited time to buy what they wanted to.

Freedom Sale Flipkart

Most consumers plan their purchases for such special occasions to get the best deals for the intended product. For others, marketing events, sales, and giveaways always take place with an expiration date.

Setting up such a trigger pushes prospective buyers to make purchases fast, to avoid missing out on the deals.

3. Creating a Sense of Urgency with the help of Micro Events

Some brands build upon the limited nature of the sale and go out all guns blazing to create a sense of urgency.

On top of the limited nature of the sale event, there are few micro-events incorporated into the sale that runs for a few hours to minutes. These sales are exclusive to people who can decide and act fast as they come with an additional discount.

Amazon does this very well with their lightning deals, which generally last from 2-6 hours throughout the event (which itself is 4-day long). The lightning deals have an additional discount on an already stated discount. The catch is the limited time and the sense of urgency it creates.

amazon-lighting-deal

If people have to buy a product which has a lightning deal, they can add it to their cart and checkout under 15 minutes or the deal is gone forever.

4. Exclusive Product Launch

These festive events also leverage their audience’s interest by providing exclusive product offers during a sale.

It is highly useful to build anticipation among shoppers. And, in India, Amazon attracted consumers from the smartphone market. India is known as the mobile-first country, where over half the population owns a smartphone.

keyone-launch

Amazon saw huge boosts in sales due to Smartphone and had exclusive launch of various devices such as Blackberry KeyOne, LG Q6, and the Oneplus 5’s Soft Gold variant. The result was a massive 10X increase in the sales for Amazon through just their Big Indian Sale Event.

5. Omnichannel Promotion and User Experience

Most major brands understand their users and customers. India is predominantly a mobile-first market with a decent penetration when it comes to computers. People love to shop using their mobile devices as well as use their laptops or PCs to make a purchase.

And most users want omnichannel access to the brand of their choice. We saw that a major chunk of brands embraced this philosophy over the Independence week.

For instance, my primary communication happens on my cell phone and brands saw my interaction on cell phones were far more than the email or website and therefore most of the promo I received was over mobile push or in-app rather than through email or website.

Grofers Freedom Sale

Also, there were deals that promoted usage of multiple channels to buy products. Grofers offered an INR 100 discount to shoppers who were open to buying stuff using their mobile app.

Appeal to Your Customers’ Emotions; Don’t Stop Experimenting

Customers are spoilt for choices when the whole nation is celebrating. In these times, marketers need not be intimidated or overwhelmed by their customers. They have to leverage these emotions and keeping building experiences with the help of experimentation.

These are major strategies that have been successfully demonstrated by brands to be effective. You need to understand emotional cues of your customers and accordingly create an effective campaign.

By tapping into your customer’s cognitive tendencies, you can build healthy, long-term relationships with your customers.

The post How Indian Brands Drive Conversions On Independence Day appeared first on VWO Blog.

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How Indian Brands Drive Conversions On Independence Day

Why We’re Addicted To Our Smartphones, But Not Our Tablets

Remember all of the wisecracks about executives and their BlackBerry addictions? Back then, constant contact was limited to the few and the mighty — relatively speaking, of course. But now, the last laugh might be on us. In record time, our smartphones have become indispensable, and as mobile technology has become integrated into nearly every aspect of our lives, our smartphones are shifting from device to dependency.
But while it’s now clear that we are locked in an intense relationship with our smartphones, one has to wonder why this courtship hasn’t turned into a love triangle with tablets.

View article:  

Why We’re Addicted To Our Smartphones, But Not Our Tablets

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Why No One is Reading Your Emails on Mobile

keanu-email-featured
Optimize your emails and help Keanu turn that frown upside down!

Did you know that almost 66% of all emails are now opened on a mobile device? A statistic all marketers should be aware of, no doubt, but what should really grab your attention is that 75% of people who receive email that isn’t optimized for mobile will just delete it.

If you’re a marketer who is sending emails that haven’t been optimized for mobile, you’re missing out on so much of the action that you might as well choose another profession.

The good news is that there are solutions to your mobile woes, none of which require you to be a rocket surgeon. Just a little bit of data mixed with a little bit of design with a dash of common sense thrown in for good measure.

Here are four reasons your emails might not be getting opened and read on mobile – and what you can do to correct it.

1. You’re not teasing the content of the email

The crucial first step of any marketing email is getting people to open it. In most mobile email apps you have three lines to convince your audience to open and read that email: the subject line, the first line and the from line.

image-subject-line-image

Our friend Aaron Orendorff has written a handy guide that breaks down the importance of these three fields and how to get the most out of them. Here’s what he says, in a nutshell.

Subject lines

An ellipsis can’t tell anyone what you really mean, so before your subject lines start trailing off into a mess of meaningless dots, remember that you have just 20-30 characters to reach your mobile readers.

That actually works out quite well, as 28-39 character subject lines get the highest click rates.

With so few words at your disposal, you may wonder which ones will do the best job of reaching your future readers. Aaron breaks that down as well, with a little help from the good folks over at Retention Science:

  • Personal words like “you” and “I” work well, as do slang terms and colloquialisms. Even emoticons are starting to help open rates here at Unbounce, however slightly. The point is that your email should sound like it’s coming from a human.
  • Emotional words that give your audience some sort of attachment to your value proposition are super good.
  • In one study, using pop culture references saw an open rate of 26% over ones with traditional subject lines, which were opened only 16% of the time.

But don’t get carried away. You still have to make sure that you’re matching your subject line with the copy on your landing page. “You can learn to dance like Beyonce!” might fit the criteria above, but if you’re selling car parts, you probably won’t get too far.

Mobile email message match
Make it your own. Image credit: vi.wikipedia.org

First lines

The best kind of marketing is sincere and personal. According to Aaron:

The first line of your automated emails should read as much like the first line of a real email as possible.

Unbounce co-founder Oli Gardner often does this in his emails to prospects. A couple of examples of first lines from Oli:

CRO Day was one of the proudest moments of my professional career.

Hard to believe, but Page Fights is one year old!

They read much like an email that you’d get from a friend, which prospects are more likely to open.

From lines

Automated emails should come from a real person and not look like they’re coming from an automated system.

Again, Aaron sums it up perfectly:

Avoid from lines like support@yoursite.com, customerservice@yoursite.com, sale@yoursite.com, or, worst of all, the dreaded word auto.

Instead of sending the email from your company as a whole, send it from a specific person with a face and a name.

This article from Crazy Egg reveals some numbers behind personalized From lines. According to one study, personalized emails had a 29% higher open rate and 41% unique click-through rate.


Personalized emails can receive 29% higher open rates and 41% unique CTR!
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As a marketer who is trying to get email content opened, read and acted on, adding a personal touch is a simple way of getting your audience to open your emails and click through to the next stage.

2. Your font size is creating friction

You work hard on the content of your emails, and so you want to make sure people are actually able to read them.

I subscribed to The Economist the other day. Their content is great, their delivery through their apps is spot on, but this email that I got after I signed up was a prime example of what not to do.

mobile-email-fail

What is that, an email for ants? Here’s a better job from our friends at Inbound.org.

inbound-email

Well, that’s much easier to read! The text is much larger and doesn’t require a microscope or any pinching or zooming.

So, how do you make sure that your text is readable on any given device?

While the iPhone automatically resizes tiny text, other devices won’t – so you want your font to be legible by default.

This comprehensive article on the Salesforce Canada blog recommends a minimum font size of 14 pixels for text in the body of the email, with minimum 22 pixels for headers.

But you’ve really got to test yourself to find that sweet spot for your audience.


If no one can read the tiny font in your mobile emails, you’re better off not sending them.
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3. The design of your emails is getting in the way

Good email design is all about enabling readers to actually see your content.

As my colleague Brad puts it: “Get out of my way so I can read the damn email.”

This isn’t a statistical analysis, but it does speak to the heart of what we’re trying to get at: the best designs are the ones where the people reading the mobile emails are not aware of the design.

If you include images in your emails to mobile readers, there’s a good chance they won’t even be seen. As Rose Barrett at Storyports points out, 43% of Gmail users read email without turning the image display on. Some mobile email clients, like the Blackberry and Windows phone clients, block images by default.

Mobile-Email-Client-Image-Blocks
Image credit: Storyports.com

The way around this, according to Barrett, is to use HTML emails instead of text emails with images added. You’ll still get to send highly stylized and informative text to your readers, and because CTA buttons are separate from the images, they’ll still appear in your email.

And if you do decide to use images, don’t forget to keep the design consistent between your email and your landing page. Good design match never hurts conversions.

The key is to keep it simple. And don’t forget to test. What works for one audience may not work for yours, so make sure you’re testing all the things!

4. Your call to action isn’t very touching

By now you get that there is limited space on a mobile device, and the real estate that you do have is valuable. The point of your email is to get people to click a link that takes them to your awesome landing page.

Give your email readers the ability to click that link by making your call to action button big enough for them to see, and big enough for them to actually be able to tap it with their thumbs.

You want to avoid text links as CTAs in your mobile emails. Remember, your mobile audience is all thumbs (badoom pssh), and you can reduce friction by making your CTA big and beautiful.

Below is another email from Oli that shows this in action. The CTA button is large enough to see and large enough to actually tap.

Mobile email cta

Make your CTA buttons in mobile emails big enough so readers will want to tap that.
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Chris Hexton at Optimizely does a great job of breaking down the art of the email CTA. The goal here is not so different from that of your landing page: make your CTA stand out.

Chris is fond of using the CRAFT method of CTA design. That means making your CTAs:

  • Colorful: Make them stand out from the rest of the text
  • Relevant: Keep CTAs in line with the message in the email
  • Actionable: Keep it clear, direct and understandable
  • Forceful: Tell your readers what to do
  • Targeted: Speak to what your readers’ needs and aspirations

By doing so, you give your readers a reason to take action and convert.

Mobile is not going anywhere

Take the time to get to know them by going through your email analytics to see how many are interacting with your emails via mobile. Dig in deep and see what you can learn about them. Offer them great experiences whether they’re on mobile or desktop by making sure that both your emails and your landing pages are mobile responsive.

Not adjusting to the needs of your mobile customer means that you’re leaving money on the table. And we’d hate to see you do that.

As always, we’d love to hear from you. Are you seeing a lift in your conversions by making use of any of these tactics? Let us know in the comments below!


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Why No One is Reading Your Emails on Mobile

How To Set Weights And Styles With The @font-face Declaration

If people are on your website, they’re probably either skimming quickly, looking for something, or they’ve found what they’re looking for and want to read it as easily as possible. Either way, keeping text readable will help them achieve their goal. [Links checked February/21/2017]
Bold and Italic Help to Organize Content A few months ago, I wrote an article on “Avoiding Faux Weights and Styles with Google Web Fonts.” I ended the article by showing that weights and styles are an important UX element when setting text.

Continued:  

How To Set Weights And Styles With The @font-face Declaration

How To Give Our Clients The Best Deal In Mobile

Are we cheating our clients when it comes to mobile? More precisely, are we allowing our desire for mobile work to get in the way of providing our clients with the best solution for their business needs? This is the uncomfortable question we asked ourselves recently when redesigning our agency’s website, and we want to discuss it with the broader Web community: You, dear reader.
When redesigning our own website, we were forced to challenge our reasons for putting so much emphasis on mobile development.

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How To Give Our Clients The Best Deal In Mobile

Separate Mobile Website Vs. Responsive Website

The US presidential race is heading into full swing, which means we’ll soon see the candidates intensely debate the country’s hot-button issues. While the candidates are busy battling it out, the Web design world is entrenched in its own debate about how to address the mobile Web: creating separate mobile websites versus creating responsive websites.
It just so happens that the two US presidential candidates have chosen different mobile strategies for their official websites.

Continued: 

Separate Mobile Website Vs. Responsive Website

Mobile Prototyping With Axure RP

Validating a design through user testing is necessary for the success of almost any product. And it’s even more critical in the mobile application space, where context and individual devices play an important role in how a product is experienced.
Fortunately, interactive prototyping is a time-tested way to quickly get your design onto a user’s device and into their hands. So, let’s look at why prototyping matters and explore one powerful tool that will enable you to do it quickly.

Continue reading here:

Mobile Prototyping With Axure RP

iPhone App Designs Reviewed: Critique Board and Lessons Learned

Some time ago I started a mobile app design review section on our company’s website. The idea behind this “Crit Board” was simple: if mobile developers want to create apps that people want to buy, they’ll need help with design and usability. But most of the time they can’t afford it. On our Crit Board, developers can send us their mobile apps (iPhone apps, Android apps, Blackberry apps) along with questions and problems, and we (free of charge) will pick apart key usability issues, illustrate our design recommendations and post our findings.

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iPhone App Designs Reviewed: Critique Board and Lessons Learned

How To Design Style Guides For Brands And Websites

A website is never done. Everyone has worked on a project that changed so much after it launched that they no longer wanted it in their portfolio. One way to help those who take over your projects is to produce a style guide.
Edward Tufte once said: “Great design is not democratic; it comes from great designers. If the standard is lousy, then develop another standard.” Although there’s no stopping some clients from making their website awful, by creating a style guide, you’re effectively establishing rules for those who take over from you.

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How To Design Style Guides For Brands And Websites