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Litmus recently published their “2016 State of Email Report” and we thought we’d summarise the best bits from it. The report looks into what happened in 2015: the movers, shakers and innovators; which should give email marketers some insight as they prepare for the year ahead.

And it will be a busy one as, alongside the annual events, 2016 offers a year of sport (Euro 2016, the Olympics, Paralympics and the Ryder cup) that is sure to garner marketing interest.

Apple revives Plain Text

Despite Apple leading the path to aesthetic greatness, their watch (as well as other market leaders’) does not make designers go weak at the knees – at least not with excitement.

Smartwatches are still increasing in popularity, understandably so too, as we are constantly told that the world of business is getting faster and so we need to be on the pulse at all times. However, email takes a hit as smartwatches reduce the space in which you can engage an individual. Many don’t render HTML or CSS either. Plain text then, although never dead, is sure to see a resurgence in popularity as designers work toward emails that can be viewed on a screen the size of an After Eight.

Adestra-Email-on-Apple-WatcAction: Continue to use plain text as part of a MIME strategy.

Email is read everywhere

As expected, email opens on portable devices have taken chunks out of the web and desktop clients’ market share. That chunk is sizeable too, with 2015 seeing mobile and tablet devices take 55% of the market. iPhone alone is responsible for 33% of this.

This trajectory for mobile devices may not be as steep from hereon in but it’s likely to continue its growth and so mobile optimisation will be key to a marketer’s strategy in 2016. Especially as more and more business takes place outside the office (and often in cafes).

Action: Make sure you know your audience and how they’re opening your email.

Design by Data

With the changes in opening trends, wearables changing how we see content, updates to email clients and Microsoft’s continuing consolidation of its own selection of clients – it is important to look at your data before you decide on how you design your emails.

By looking at how your customers engage with your campaigns, and optimising appropriately, you can maintain and improve your engagement levels. Make sure you have a hypothesis that you wish to test too, so that you can split test campaigns based on any trends you foresee with your client base.

Action: Analyse your data and use it for more than just your business review!

Mark-as-spamMake it easy to unsubscribe

This may seem illogical. Why would you want to make the unsubscribe button more visible? Well, there is method in this madness.

Gmail introduced their ‘block’ option in September, similar to Office 365’s ‘Sweep’, which prevents an individual from seeing emails from a sender again. Whilst this may lower your potential spam score, as people are likely to use ‘block’ rather than ‘report as spam’, it may now provide a lower bar for ISPs to intervene and block emails from a sender. Again this is because people are likely to choose ‘block’ over the email’s own unsubscribe button.

Action: Don’t hide your unsubscribe button, give it its own space. It’s better to get an unsubscribe than a block or spam complaint.