HTML Email Development, v2 Why Email Matters
Transcript from the "Why Email Matters" Lesson
>> Rodriguez: Email actually has a ton of really good things going for it. Maybe the biggest one is that pretty much everybody uses email. 3.9 billion email users in 2019 which will blow out pretty much any app or social network, that usage. So everybody's literally in the inbox pretty much all the time.
[00:00:19] People spend two and a half hours per week day in their inbox. One of the greatest things is that email generates a huge return on investment. So most marketing channels hover around 5 to $10 for return. Email is usually between $38 and $42 for every dollar spent on an email campaign, which is amazing.
[00:00:40] That's gonna blow out any other digital marketing channel out of the water. So I like to remind people that email is the farthest thing from being dead as possible. We always see those blog posts, we always see people talking about the death of email in favor of negative advertising, social apps, all that kind of stuff.
[00:00:59] But email is not going anywhere anytime soon. It's not gonna be replaced. All those different apps you use, all those social networks, they all require an email address to sign up for them. So I like to think of the inbox as kinda like the holy place online, that's people's kinda personal home.
[00:01:17] So you have to think about that when you start sending them email campaigns. And avoid things like spamming messages, like and all those 180 billion other spam messages that are sent everyday. So you have to think about how you want to create that connection to subscribers and make your emails valuable for them.
[00:01:35] One way to do that is through design development which is what we're gonna be talking about today. Email, four of my favorite things about email, the first one is that email is pretty damn easy to send and it's relatively affordable. You don't need a lot of technology to send an email campaign.
[00:01:52] There's a ton of different companies that allow you to quickly code up or use a WYSIWYG editor to create an email campaign, send it out to a list of subscribers. And then you can track those campaigns. You can track most things in an email campaign. You can see how long people are actually engaging with your email.
[00:02:09] You can see what they're clicking on, where their areas of interest are, how they're interacting with that email campaign. So that means that testing emails is super, super quick and easy. The fact that we can send things so quickly. We can design something one day and send it the next day.
[00:02:25] And we can track everything that's happening with that campaign, allows us to test assumptions. Do experiments in our email campaigns to figure out what's working for our subscribers and for our companies a lot faster than other channels. You might spend weeks, months, years creating a newly designed website for your company, creating new features for your product.
[00:02:47] Then it's gonna take a long time to get that feedback on that product to figure out what's working and not working wnd then iterate on it. With email, you can do stuff in a very short time period. You can make an assumption, have some sort of hypothesis you want to test, send a campaign, and within a matter of hours, if not minutes, then you can see what's working and what's not working.
[00:03:11] Perhaps my favorite thing about email is that it's completely and utterly forgettable. Nobody remembers their favorite email campaign or something that just really pissed them off. It's very rare for people to get super worked up about email campaigns unless something goes really, really wrong. So it's nice that email's forgettable, sucks for posterity.
[00:03:30] We don't have this kinda public record of these great email campaigns we've sent. There are cool places out there, reallygoodemails.com that collect really cool email campaigns. But there's nothing like the webarchive.org, or whatever it is, collecting our history as email can, email marketers and designers. But that's cool that things are forgettable because we all do things wrong in email.
[00:03:56] Things will always break in an email campaign. Whether that's sending to the wrong subscriber list, you forgot to take out some placeholder copy, your merge tags aren't working so people see hello first name instead of their actual name. Having broken links, having broken designs and layouts, even when those things happen, we can quickly correct them.
[00:04:18] We can send an apology email if you need to. We can send another campaign the next day and people forget about it really easily. So our mistakes are pretty easy to overcome, and that's a good thing because there's a lot of mistakes in email marketing. There's a lot of things that can go wrong.
[00:04:32] So it's nice to be able to correct those things, and then move on to the next email campaign. This is some research we did at Litmus. We tracked a couple of months in 2019, three months. And we looked at four different popular email clients so the Gmail apps on iOS and Android and then the Outlook apps on iOS and Android as well.
[00:04:55] We found that over that three month period, there were something around 45 different updates to those four email clients. So all of those updates are potentially things that can break our email campaigns. And this is something that people aren't usually aware of that all these different email clients are constantly changing.
[00:05:14] They're always pushing updates. Well, modern ones at least, are always pushing updates that could potentially break our HTML or CSS. So that's something we wanna be aware of. So a lot of email development is really about kind of coding defensively. And making sure you know what works where, what doesn't work where, testing your email campaigns on a regular basis to make sure these updates don't break our campaigns.
[00:05:37] And just get in that defensive mindset to make sure that your emails aren't breaking and all these different email campaigns or email clients rather. But yeah, email's awesome. I hope everybody kind of understands this that no one really owns email. It's this open protocol out there, anybody can build an email app with minimal headaches, I guess, as some TP is.
[00:05:59] Sometimes a little finicky implementing iMap is hard to do, but it's open. It's open technology that anybody can use. Everybody uses email to some extent, it's completely universal, it's ubiquitous, it's everywhere. And perhaps, most importantly, for people that are working for companies using email, it makes a lot of money with fairly limited investment which is a good thing to keep in mind.