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Responsive Email Design

If you send email based newsletters and other emails as part of your digital marketing activities, it’s more likely that your customers and subscribers are now reading your emails on a mobile device or smartphone – such as an iPad, iPhone or similar. In 2011, Campaign Monitor found that almost 20% of emails were being opened on such a device, and in April 2012, email providers Litmus showed that mobile 'opens' had reached 36% of emails, overtaking both desktop and webmail.

This trend will only continue – hence marketers and designers need to assess the impact this is having on their email marketing. One of the most important points is to ensure your email displays properly on mobile devices - remember with mobile you’re generally working with less screen and a different method of navigation (that being based on ‘touch’ rather than mouse-based pointing). Without taking action your mobile using customers could be set for poor user experience.

Techniques exist for overcoming the challenges that mobile throws at us – and they’re generally the same as those used for responsive web design (that being the creation of a web site who’s design and architecture responds based on the device being used to view it). It is possible to work with the code used to build the email; and to define one layout for say, standard email clients, and another where screen width may be restricted (in fact, you could really go for it and start building device specific emails).

By doing this your ‘mobile friendly’ email can:

  • display big, clear, readable text with a minimum font size.
  • offer chunky, touchable buttons for links rather than text (in fact you could adhere to Apple’s iOS guidelines to ensure usability).
  • send your customers to a mobile optimised web site.

Of course designing a responsive email involves more than code tweaking; you need to consider the structure and content of the email, the visibility of the ‘call to action’ and the use of images (new iPads come ‘retina display’ enabled so you could include higher resolution images for these emails). Our own newsletters are now responsive, it’ll be interesting to keep an eye on usage and engagement statistics as time rolls on.
 

Simon Newing
Simon

Created on Wednesday September 19 2012 11:12 AM


Tags: userexperience emailmarketing emails


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Digital marketing strategy launched for SSE

Digital marketing strategy launched for SSE

We've recently embarked on a series of new digital marketing campaigns for utilities giant Scottish and Southern Energy.

Currently, consumers that switch to SSE products receive most of their follow-up literature and promotional material through the post - leading to high costs for personalisation, printing and postage. We're helping SSE  move their communications into web and email - so that customers who sign up for online tariffs are emailed information and updates at key stages throughout the transfer process - rather than being sent postcards and letters.

Long term this will save SSE hundreds of thousands of pounds in fulfilment costs and manpower, and it's more environmentally friendly.

And very soon we're going to be talking to SSE about how our technology can help them distribute welcome packs and contracts more efficiently and securely.

Simon Newing
Simon

Created on Thursday March 31 2011 11:26 AM


Tags: emailmarketing campaigns


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How to get a bullseye when targeting your email broadcasts!

How to get a bullseye when targeting your email broadcasts!

We've been conducting some in depth research here at Focus HQ. Having studied the success of some of our email broadcast campaigns we have the following top tips to get the most out of your email campaigns:

1) HTML emails as opposed to text only emails are 10 times more likely to have their links clicked. So get creative with some graphic design!

2) Generally emails with subject titles that contain 'Top 10 offers' or 'Top 20 offers' score low views - it just sounds like a lot of information, people can't face reading a long email. Keep it short and sweet!

3) Emails with 'exclusive offers' or discounts in the subject titles tend to be more successful. Everyone likes to think they're getting a bargain!

Now we've armed you with these top tips you're ready to aim and fire your email campaigns! Of course if you want some help with an email campaign, we're always available for a chat!




Opt-in/Opt-out trickery and confusion

Opt-in/Opt-out trickery and confusion

I am becoming far more aware of large brands trying to deliberately mislead their users into opting in to receive future communications.

An "opt-in" generally refers to a tick box which, if filled in by the user, indicates that they would like to be contacted by a particular form of communication. Unless the user ticks the box then the organisation cannot use their details for the form of marketing listed. This is in contrast with an "opt-out", where the default position is that the user will be contacted by that form of marketing, unless they tick the box to indicate that they would prefer not to be. The benefits of opt-out over opt-in are obvious, whereby the assumption is that the user wants to receive future communications, meaning more emails can be sent to more people.

People already receive enough SPAM or unsolicited emails so it should be best practice to make it as easy and clear as possible to the user that if they wish to opt-in to future communications then they can do so.

The All Party Parliamentary Communications Group (ApComms) said the internet advertising industry's self-regulation on behavioural advertising was inadequate, and that a law change was necessary.

"We do not believe that it is at all appropriate to consider the deployment of any type of behavioural advertising system without explicit, informed, 'opt-in' by everyone whose data is to be processed, and whose behaviour is to be monitored and whose interests are to be deduced," said ApComms in a report on its findings.

"We do not believe that 'opt-out', however commercially convenient, is the way that these systems should be run. To that extent, the Good Practice Principles promoted by the Internet Advertising Bureau are insufficient to protect people," it said.

"We recommend that the Government review the existing legislation applying to behavioural advertising, and bring forward new rules as needed, to ensure that these systems are only operated on an explicit, informed, opt-in basis,".

A technique I've also seen used is to include a combination of both opt-in and opt-out, one after the other. For example, when recently applying for a credit card from a leading brand they say:

Using the boxes below, please specify whether you want to hear about these offers, and, if so, how you want contact to be made.

Please DON'T CONTACT ME with offers from:
XXXX and XXXX companies:
by post ❑ by phone ❑

Please DO CONTACT ME with offers from:
XXXX and XXXX companies:
by email ❑ by text message ❑

Let’s hope that the existing legislation is reviewed and the rules will be made clear for businesses and consumers alike.

Created on Monday January 11 2010 12:34 PM


Tags: opt-in opt-out emailmarketing spam emails campaigns


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