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Deliverability Stories in the News, and What We Can Learn from Them

Lisa Manthei
Lisa Manthei

Email marketing is a tried and true marketing strategy for a reason; it’s easy to use, widely accessible, and can help reach large audiences at once. But with more and more phishing complaints, CanSpam laws in the United States and regulations in other countries, and heightened online awareness, more email providers are tightening the reins on deliverability to protect their customers.

Here are some recent deliverability stories and the key points they illustrate that email marketers can learn from:

Image Blocking and Alternative Text

checking emailWhen it comes to email marketing and user experience, image blocking can be a make or break concept. Every email client has its own default settings, which makes it difficult to consistently plan for media and images across large-scale marketing campaigns.

In order to prepare for these unexpected image blocks, many marketers are turning to alternative text. Styling alt text with CSS is now an integral part of email design, and offers a standard user experience in lieu of images that may be blocked.

Gmail Media Query Support

Recently, Gmail made a change that many in the digital marketing world have been awaiting for a long time: embedded styles and responsive design. To put this in more technical lingo, Gmail previously didn’t support ID’s in the email header. Now, as of Sept. 30th 2016, Gmail will support embedded styles, which means they will finally support media queries to power responsive email.

Today, marketers can rely on responsive design (media queries, embedded images, etc.) to provide the optimal viewing experience on Gmail across various platforms. For the more than 1 billion people who use Gmail on a monthly basis, this means they will now experience fully executed marketing campaigns every time. Marketers must now be sure to optimize every email sent out to ensure the best visual experience.

iOS Email Updates

Back in September, Apple released iOS 10, its new mobile operating system. iOS accounts for 44% of all email opens, which means digital marketers need to pay close attention to all changes on the platform. Our friends at Litmus outlined some things marketers need to be aware of moving forward, and here are the top three:

  • iOS mail now supports list unsubscribe: This means that all iOS users will just have to click an unsubscribe banner at the top of an email instead of searching the footer. Marketers need to focus on messaging and engage readers immediately (read: in the subject line) to keep them hooked throughout the entire email.
  • Video in email is back: With iOS 10, Apple began to support embedded videos for the first time since 2008. Now, readers can play videos directly from the email client without having to redirect to a landing page. Marketers should take this into account when designing media-rich emails, and who knows, maybe it’s time to bring video back into the campaign strategy.
  • Fixed positioning is no longer supported: This tag was really only available in a few email clients, but it allowed for creative marketing efforts and interactive email campaigns. iOS was one of the last email clients that supported fixed positioning, so marketers don’t have to worry about this dated technique anymore.

Final Thoughts

Email marketing as a channel is more important than ever for marketers, so it’s imperative they keep in the loop on current deliverability trends, and stay current on rules and regulations in order to keep customers at the center. Interested in learning more about deliverability? Schedule a meeting with the experts at Emarsys today! Click here to learn more.

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