Email marketing is no longer as simple a process as drafting an email and shooting it out to a list of addressees. With customers viewing mails on different email clients, different interfaces and even different digital platforms, email marketers have their work cut out for them. Why? Because people consuming information on a specific platform want it to cater to all their specific needs. If an email doesn’t open fast enough, looks cluttered or doesn’t look very attractive on a particular screen, chances are that the viewer will delete or ignore the communication.
Take a look at some of these statistics regarding email marketing in the digital age:
- 48% of users open email on mobile devices
- 69% of users delete the mails that are not optimised for their device or email client
- 89% of marketers lose leads and potential customers due to lack of optimised emails (Source: HubSpot)
Besides the number of people checking emails on mobile devices, each of these devices also offer different email clients making the whole segment even more diverse.
With so many different platforms to cater to, it is essential that brands optimise their emails for all clients. Not only will this help to build engagement with existing customers, it may also make it easier to acquire newer customers as there will be more interaction and higher visibility.
Here are a few helpful tips to enhance the communication and increase effectiveness of an email marketing campaign by optimising it for different platforms.
#1 Prepare plain-text versions of emails
Many email clients have adapted themselves to recognise and self-delete communication that can be classified as ‘marketing spam’. Rich-text emailers usually fall under this classification and this can mean that the user will never see the content. To ensure that the email client does not classify your communication as spam and safely delivers it to the reader’s inbox, one can create a plain-text version of all emails. This is helpful as most email clients expect a genuine email to contain both rich and plain-text formats which will make sure that the email reaches the right readers.
#2 Prepare an online version and include link in emails
Certain email clients or devices may not support HTML formats or may not have the necessary bandwidth available to load them. To avoid this from creating trouble for the customer, brands should create an online version of the communication and include the link in the email which is easy to access. This will make it possible for recipients who cannot view the original emailer to still see it as intended.
#3 Substantiate images with alt text
Alt (Alternative) text is a word or phrase that is included as an HTML attribute to explain the nature or contents of an image. Since most email clients have a default setting to block images unless requested to open, adding alt text to the files can ensure that the reader at least gets to read the content even if the graphic is blocked.
#4 Understand image requirements of each email client
As explained, each email client has different specifications about how images are viewed. To ensure that an email is optimised for a specific client, one needs to understand what the policy is for each client.
- Gmail – all images are downloaded and saved to cache on the server. Then, regardless of device type, the same image is displayed on all platforms making it difficult for email tracking tools to identify whether the email/image was opened on phone, desktop or tablet.
- Hotmail – Image maps are coordinates of a specific image used in order to create a hyperlink to different web destinations. Hotmail does not recognize image maps, so it is best to avoid using them for this client.
- Outlook – Background images should not be used for communication on Outlook as they are not recognized and will not be visible. Instead using solid background colour and including images as part of the body content is a better option.
#5 Optimize preview text
Most email clients allow a preview of email text along with the subject line in the inbox. This preview text is very crucial as it can decide whether the reader chooses to open and read the mail further or ignore it if it does not sound appealing. Setting preview text allows control over what the viewer sees and this can ensure an increased click-through rate if the content is crafted in an engaging manner.
#6 Ensure absolute paths for links and images
It can never be known what environment a particular email will be opened in. Some office or public networks may have relative links which can break the original link making the content unavailable for viewing. To avoid any such discrepancies, it is best to ensure that all links and images have absolute paths and absolute URLs for hassle-free viewing.
There are many nuances of email marketing that need to be mastered to ensure the best visibility and engagement through an email campaign. Edureka’s email marketing program aims to teach its students all this and more to help them excel in all their communication efforts. Through this course, marketers can learn how to effectively strategize, create and execute email campaigns.
Even with all the progress in digital marketing, email marketing still remains one of the veterans of the game. It goes to show, that such an important platform cannot be ignored. Understanding this, brands have begun to personalize and optimize email communication as a priority to drive engagement in their digital marketing efforts.
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