Watch out for wearables

Wearable devices are all the rage at the moment. They can track your fitness, tell you the time and make the tea. You can mutter instructions to them, gesticulate randomly in public and leave them on in the bath. If you’re lucky, there may be a new phrase “never punch a man wearing Google Glass”. But are wearables relevant to email design?

What’s a wearable?
You mean like my watch? No. Well, kind of. This magical period of manufacturer experimentation has fed us a lot of cool stuff in recent months. I’ve even seen a video of Tony Hawk riding the World’s first functional hoverboard and I wasn’t even particularly disappointed.

Wearables come in several flavours at the moment:
  • The Paired Device. A watch or armband (even a ring!) that tells you some of the details that your phone has received without the need to strenuously remove it from your pocket and look at it. Best used in dull meetings.
  • The Face Accessory. A heads-up display for your actual head, Google Glass and the like give you information direct to your eyeballs. Voice and gesture control only, a great way to maintain your personal space on public transport.

Just a step away
In a sense, wearables create another barrier or step between someone clicking and opening your email. People feeling bombarded with unwanted emails can now delete the stuff they don't like before it even makes it to their normal inbox. Apple purport to use a “handoff” system where users of the Watch judge an email based on a few lines of text-only content, then either delete it straight off the bat or use another device to actually respond to it. This means it's more important than ever to get the subject line right.

As we already experience with people opening emails on mobile devices – some use their mobiles merely as an early warning system (sometimes known as Email Triage) and actually go back and open their email on a larger device to view it properly and click through. Given the limitations of wearables I would expect this trend to be even more prevalent in this sector.

Text only?
What will an email look like when opened on a watch or a pair of glasses? Given the smaller (for smaller, read tiny) screen sizes it seems that emails will be stripped down to text only for easy scalability. Depending on the device and the theme you’ve chosen it’s likely that all formatting will be standardised, so the end result may well be white text on a black screen regardless of how you designed it. Emails comprising of only graphics will just look like a subject line and nothing else. If they're not labelled as spam they will most likely be deleted without another thought.

Whether the weather will weather the weather
For a long time email weathered the mobile device takeover but in the ever- and over-connected world, early adopters have been using email in these formats from the off. With wearables in mind I think it’s prudent to ensure your email contains real text content and makes best use of the subject line and the first few lines of text

A guide to email marketing in 2015

Email marketing has fallen down the list of priorities for many brands over the last few years due to the popularity of social media, however, email marketing campaigns are still one of the most effective ways to increase your ROI.

So don’t let email sit on the side-line this year, instead follow these marketing trends to create a more effective email marketing campaign that will help ensure you reap the rewards.

Make it personal
Personalisation has long been a proven tactic for email marketers. One of the reasons why it’s so effective is because it engages readers on a (you guessed it) personal level. By treating your recipient as an individual and making them feel special you can encourage interactions and sales. Sending an email to John or Hannah, or inserting the company name may seem like an obvious thing to do but it can make a difference. In fact, email personalisation can boost click through rates by nearly 20%.

Start segmenting
If you don’t know who you’re talking to, you won’t know what to say. Segmentation is a key strategy for creating more personalised emails and a massive priority for marketers in 2015. While it's very tempting to send a generic email to your entire database, this won't produce the best conversion rates and may eventually turn your subscribers into non responders. By segmenting your database and targeting your emails, you'll be able to write about what your subscribers are interested in which will get a much better response rate. For instance you can separate you database into groups based on their gender, location or purchase history. This means you can target both genders with different email content, offer people information relevant to their area and recommend other products that may interest them.

Go mobile
With the majority of marketing emails now opened on mobile, it has become vital to ensure your email marketing templates and creative are effective on smartphone and tablet devices. Thanks to help from email service providers and growing industry knowledge, responsive design is getting easier to implement and use effectively. Here at NewZapp our responsive HTML templates give you the power to create campaigns which display perfectly on desktops, smart phones and tablets. This means your email will automatically display beautifully on all devices thanks to our amazing design team, leaving you free to concentrate on the campaign message without having to worry about responsive HTML.

Test, tweak and repeat
As with every part of your marketing efforts, the only way to know how successful you are is to the measure results and test different approaches. While A/B testing may seem like it adds more work and effort, it can actually save you a lot of time, and get you the most optimised marketing results for your business. Split testing subject lines is common practice but in 2015 it’s time to take your email experiments further. Other things you can test include delivery date/time, from name, copy length, image vs text hyperlinks – the options are endless.