‘You’ve got mail’

Posted by Jake Neal, 27 July 2018

Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for businesses to communicate with clients or customers, and brands are beginning to push the boundaries of traditional methods to increase engagement.

In the past there have been limitations on the techniques used by developers due to the constraints of email clients such as Yahoo Mail and Gmail. The common method used was a well-designed email header with some basic information and a click through link that leads to an external website to complete the user journey.

Up until recently there has not been the functionality to support things like animation, interactives and cart checkouts. However, brands are starting to embrace new techniques as technology evolves in an effort to boost open rates and interaction with marketing material.

Why are they doing this? Well it’s simple, according to research email marketing generates around £29bn in retail sales per year in the UK. A further report found that in 2017 the average return on investment was £32.28 for every £1 spent on email marketing. Having been through a period of decline it is now enjoying a resurgence with brands looking at ways to further push boundaries and incorporate new ways of thinking into communications strategies to maximise return on investment.

What’s new?

As email clients begin to improve the functionality of each platform’s capabilities, its allowing for more engaging design elements to be built into email marketing material. Brands are starting to incorporate interactive elements such as image galleries and animation within campaigns to make content more captivating and encourage user engagement.

Brands such as Channel 4 have placed particular focus on using animated content to help promote Philip K Dick’s series Electric Dreams and its coverage of UEFA Women’s Euro 2017. Hewlett Packard used interactive picture galleries to promote its all-in-one curved PC. Nest created a specific campaign to promote black Friday deals and incorporated an on screen add to basket function to speed up the purchasing process.

Gmail is one platform that has made significant strides in improving its email system. Originally it had limited capabilities when it came to email marketing, but it has listened to its users and has now upgraded its functionality by improving its rendering function to support more complex content.

The Gmail upgrade is part of a wider Google project, AMP, Accelerated Mobile Pages, which was launched in 2016 and enables high-speed page rendering and content delivery. AMP pages are designed to load in full in under one second and any website that incorporates AMP will appear higher in Google rankings.

The introduction of AMP to Gmail is huge, as it’s an indication that Google sees a future in interactive email and is willing to invest a significant amount in its development. AMPHTML Email, as it is known, offers everything from image carousels and form submissions to responsive elements within email messages. All aimed at improving the user experience and maximising engagement with content.

Email client support: 57% interactive and 29% limitedSourced from Email Client Market Share

How can we help?

So, if you’re looking to improve your email marketing or need support with creating an effective strategy, get in touch and find out how we can help. The team at Big Brand Ideas has over 40-years combined experience when it comes to email marketing and we’d be happy to have chat and see how we can help.

By Jake Neal

Web Developer


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