February 13, 2013
Last week I attended the Email Evolution Conference in Miami. It is one of the leading email conferences and it brings together hundreds of people who are passionate about email and who are collectively shaping the future of email marketing. Not only that but it was based at the Fontainebleau Hotel in sunny Miami. What more excuse did I need to escape a wet and snowy Manchester ?
The conference was attended by leading email gurus, people who write a lot about email marketing and highly regarded figures in the industry. These included Loran McDonald of Silverpop who writes the Email Insider blog, Ken Magill who writes the Magill Report and Matt Blumberg the CEO of ReturnPath who writes the onlyonce blog. Not to mention a number of my friends and colleagues from the DMA UK Email Marketing council.
A hot topic this year as you would expect was mobile. There were a number of sessions centred around emails on mobile devices. Some people said design for mobile first and then use this to create your desktop version. This apparently helps you create better content. Others said use responsive html to create your designs to give better portability across all devices. Another group of people said create separate versions for mobile and desktop or use a third-party provider to serve appropriate content. Services such as those provided by Moveable Ink allow you to serve images dependent on the device you are reading the email on and even the device location. Pretty neat.
It is true that responsive design is more technically difficult and requires more resources. I think the key is to know your audience and look at your current stats. There is no point investing time and money in your mobile version if only a small percentage of your users read your message on their mobile devices. If the opposite is true then it probably is worth the time and effort and you may want to consider different versions for mobile and desktop. However if you have the knowledge and resources then create a responsive template as it will be easier to maintain in the future.
Deliverability is always not far away when talking about email marketing. These days, deliverability is more about your IP and domain reputation and less about your content. This doesn't mean that content can't get your message blocked because it can. Spam filters now use fingerprints of messages to match against known spam. If your fingerprint resembles that of a spam message then it may get blocked. The key thing to remember is it is much easier to destroy your IP reputation than it is to build it so look after it.
In my next post I will talk about the keynote presentations from Matt Blumberg of ReturnPath and Dela Quist of AlchemyWorx. They talked about making email smarter and a new email metric called "Open Reach". All very interesting.
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