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The Top 5 Opportunities for Improving Your Email Creative

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Email creative is unlike web or print creative. It has its own unique constraints that marketers must master to make the most of the channel.

In this webinar, Litmus Research Director Chad White and expert email developer and Litmus Product Manager Kevin Mandeville and I will identify the top 5 opportunities to improve your team’s email creative process, based on the findings of Litmus’ 2017 State of Email Creative research report. But they won’t just give you the insights, they’ll share practical how-to advice to help you executive on each opportunity at your brand.

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The Top 5 Opportunities for Improving Your Email Creative

  1. 1. Top 5 Opportunities for Improving Your Email Creative Insights from Litmus’ 2017 State of Email Creative Report
  2. 2. Email creative is unlike web or print design. It has its own unique constraints and opportunities that marketers must master to make the most of the channel. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  3. 3. Based on our survey of more than 3,500 marketers, our 2017 State of Email Creative report identifies the top 5 opportunities to improve your email creative strategy: #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  4. 4. 1.Responsive design 2.Animation 3.Styled ALT text 4.Dynamic content 5.A/B testing #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  5. 5. Over the next 45 minutes, we’ll share research into the usage of each of these, plus how-to advice so you can put these tools and tactics to use for your brand. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  6. 6. Chad S. White Research Director at Litmus Author of Email Marketing Rules #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Kevin Mandeville Product Manager Litmus
  7. 7. The Litmus Email Creative Platform works alongside your existing ESP to help you ensure a consistently great brand experience for every subscriber, work more efficiently, accelerate campaign performance, reduce errors, and stay out of the spam folder. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  8. 8. Litmus offers: ● Email Previews in a wide range of clients ● Builder, our email HTML editor ● Spam Testing in 20+ filters ● Checklist for quality assurance ● Email Analytics for new insights #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  9. 9. Responsive Design
  10. 10. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How popular is responsive design and what are the current trends around it?
  11. 11. Most emails are opened on mobile devices— and have been for several years now. Your brand’s mobile email readership levels can differ, but our industry reached a critical mass years ago. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  12. 12. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  13. 13. A strong majority of brands use responsive design for their emails, although adoption is lower for automated and transactional emails than for broadcast and segmented emails. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  14. 14. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  15. 15. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  16. 16. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  17. 17. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Most brands are using responsive design to create minor changes between the desktop and mobile versions of their emails.
  18. 18. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  19. 19. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How can marketers best act on the trends around responsive design?
  20. 20. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Fluid-to-fixed layout structure
  21. 21. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville <div style="width: 100%; max-width: 600px;"> <!-- Insert content here --> </div> Fluid div by default with max-width constraint
  22. 22. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville <!--[if (gte mso 9)|(IE)]> <table cellspacing=“0” cellpadding=“0” border=“0” width=“600” align=“center”> <tr> <td> <![endif]--> <div style="width: 100%; max-width: 600px;">...</div> <!--[if (gte mso 9)|(IE)]> </td></tr></table> <![endif]--> Wrap in Outlook conditional table
  23. 23. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Fluid-to-fixed layout structure
  24. 24. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville @media screen and (max-width: 600px) { .foo { /* Properties */ } } Media query
  25. 25. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville FREE Templates: litmus.com/community/templates
  26. 26. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville [Tutorial] Creating A Responsive Email Without Media Queries
  27. 27. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Visual editors for responsive email StampReady BEE
  28. 28. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Frameworks for responsive email ZURB’s Foundation for EmailsMJML
  29. 29. Animation
  30. 30. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How popular is animation and what are the current trends around it?
  31. 31. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Motion is powerful because it draws the eye. It’s attention-grabbing. Support for video in email is decent for most senders, but support for CSS animation is stronger and support for animated GIFs is nearly universal.
  32. 32. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Successful email programs are 52% more likely than less successful programs to use animation at least sometimes in their email designs (53% vs. 35%).
  33. 33. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  34. 34. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Animated GIF usage is much stronger among B2C brands. Our 2017 State of Email Creative research shows 38% of B2B brands never use animated GIFs in their emails, compared to only 22% of B2C brands.
  35. 35. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How can marketers best act on the trends around animation?
  36. 36. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville <img src="image.gif" width="500" height="200"/> GIF implementation
  37. 37. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Sprout Social
  38. 38. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Netflix https://litmus.com/scope/706dzzyz5tve
  39. 39. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Uber https://litmus.com/builder/47c769f
  40. 40. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Animated GIFs are not supported in Outlook 2007- 2016 for Windows First frame should include play button and CTA
  41. 41. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville A Guide to Animated GIFs in Email
  42. 42. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Photoshop's Timeline Rocks
  43. 43. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville @keyframes animation-name { 0% { opacity: 0; } 100% { opacity: 1; } } CSS animation implementation @keyframes animation-name { from { opacity: 0; } to { opacity: 1; } }
  44. 44. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville .class { animation-name: animation-name; /* @keyframes name */ animation-duration: 4s; /* Total duration of animation */ animation-delay: 1s; /* Delay before animation begins */ animation-iteration-count: infinite; /* How many times animation runs */ animation-timing-function: linear; /* Set animation speed */ animation-direction: alternate; /* Set loop direction */ } CSS animation implementation
  45. 45. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville .class { animation: animation-name 4s 1s infinite linear alternate; /*Shorthand*/ } CSS animation implementation
  46. 46. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Burberry https://litmus.com/builder/2d1329e
  47. 47. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Narcos https://litmus.com/builder/5f40c05
  48. 48. Styled ALT Text
  49. 49. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How popular is styled ALT text and what are the current trends around it?
  50. 50. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Defensive design techniques help your emails convey their message when images are blocked. Those techniques include using: 1.HTML or system text 2.Background colors on table cells 3.ALT text
  51. 51. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  52. 52. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville While ALT text is very common, most brands don’t style theirs often. This involves using CSS styles to change your ALT text’s… ● Font ● Color ● Size ● Style ● Weight
  53. 53. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  54. 54. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Successful email programs are 50% more likely than less successful programs to always or often use styled ALT text (26.6% vs. 17.7%).
  55. 55. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How can marketers best act on the trends around styled ALT text?
  56. 56. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville <img src="image.png" width="500" height="462" style="width: 100%; height: auto; display: block; color: #ffffff; font-size: 36px; font-family: sans-serif; background: #333333;" alt="This is alt text"/> Styled ALT text implementation
  57. 57. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  58. 58. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  59. 59. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville #EmailWeekly
  60. 60. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville The Ultimate Guide to Styled ALT Text in Email
  61. 61. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville The Ultimate Guide to Image Blocking in Email
  62. 62. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Pushing the Boundaries of Creative ALT Text in Email
  63. 63. Dynamic Content
  64. 64. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How popular is dynamic content and what are the current trends around it?
  65. 65. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Dynamic content allows marketers to personalize their emails, which makes them more relevance for subscribers and increases performance for brands.
  66. 66. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  67. 67. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Successful email programs are 68% more likely than less successful programs to use dynamic content always or often in their emails (50% vs. 30%).
  68. 68. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Dynamic content has a bright future. It will benefit tremendously from other major marketing and business trends, such as Big Data, AI, machine learning, omnichannel integration, and customer-centricity.
  69. 69. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How can marketers best act on the trends around dynamic content?
  70. 70. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville What can be dynamic in email?
  71. 71. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Spotify 2016 Wrapped
  72. 72. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville JibJab Halloween
  73. 73. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Advent Calendar
  74. 74. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Litmus Twitter Feed
  75. 75. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Dynamic content services Movable Ink LiveClicker
  76. 76. A/B Testing
  77. 77. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How popular is A/B testing and what are the current trends around it?
  78. 78. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Analytics allow marketers to listen to their subscribers and collect feedback. A/B testing allows marketers to listen to their subscribers in a much more targeted way and iterate on feedback much more quickly.
  79. 79. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Brands are much more likely to A/B test their broadcast and segmented promotional emails than they are their automated and transactional emails. However, successful email programs are more likely to test their automated and transactional emails.
  80. 80. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  81. 81. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  82. 82. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  83. 83. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville 39% of email programs generate 25% or more of their email marketing revenue from automated and transactional emails; 13% generate 50% or more. That trend makes A/B testing these emails even more critical.
  84. 84. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Most email A/B testing is focused on high- yield elements like subject lines and calls- to-action. However, there are many opportunities further down the value chain.
  85. 85. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  86. 86. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville How can marketers best act on the trends around A/B testing?
  87. 87. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville When doing email A/B testing: 1. Focus your email A/B testing efforts on campaign elements that are most likely to move the needle on performance, such as subject lines, calls-to-action, hero images, and heads.
  88. 88. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville 2. Understand whether your testing will get you closer to a local or global maximum. Janie Clarke of Indeed recommends A/B testing small, medium, and large changes to find both your local and global maximums.
  89. 89. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  90. 90. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville 3. Have a clear hypothesis. 4. Choose a testing victory metric that is aligned with your campaign goal.
  91. 91. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville 5. Use test segments of active subscribers. 6. Test similar groups of subscribers. 7. Ensure your testing groups are big enough to produce statistically significant results. Consider abtestguide.com/calc/
  92. 92. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville 8. Use holdout groups when appropriate. 9. Create test plan and record test results. 10. Confirm results of tests.
  93. 93. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville 11. Share the results of your email A/B tests with other channel owners at your company. Jonathan Pay of Holistic Email Marketing recommends sharing email A/B testing insights with your web, social media, and ad teams.
  94. 94. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville
  95. 95. Top 5 Opportunities for Improving Your Email Creative 1.Responsive design 2.Animation 3.Styled ALT text 4.Dynamic content 5.A/B testing
  96. 96. #LitmusLive @LitmusApp @ChadSWhite @KevinMandeville Download the 2017 State of Email Creative report at: pages.litmus.com/lp/state-of- email-creative-2017
  97. 97. Thank You! Any Questions? You can find all of our State of Email Survey Research at litmus.com/stateofemail

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