The Email Design Conference (TEDC) 2016 Takeaways

Last week, three of Whereoware’s email marketers headed to Boston to attend the Litmus Email Design Conference. Today, they share key takeaways from one of the smartest email communities in the world. In case you missed it:

headshot-dancaro-smallDan Caro, Whereoware’s Director of Marketing Operations. (@dcaro12) Takeaways:

The Email Design Conference continues to be the premier event for email marketers. Speakers only get 30 minutes to present, so there’s no time for the fluff you get at other email conferences. They even replace Q&A with email speed dating sessions with some of the best minds in the email community, so every attendee gets actionable advice.

One of the conference themes was building modules into emails. Modules are time-savers to save you time on coding and testing. This allows email marketers to spend more time on strategy and less time on code.

Another theme was user experience. Treat your customers like humans, not cash machines. Your emails design and copy should center around getting the customer to interact first with your email and then on your website. If an element doesn’t line up with the intended experience, it shouldn’t be in the design.

Litmus also announced a partnership with Microsoft. The goal is to improve the Outlook product for users and email developers. Even though there is not an instant solution, everyone agrees it was a step in the right direction. Let’s hope there is a partnership with Gmail coming soon. 🙂

I had a great time spending the week with my fellow #emailgeeks. They’re a fun and quirky bunch. Who knew a pillow could be so valuable?

shaunaShauna Plesmid, Whereoware’s Online Marketing Manager. (@shshauna) Takeaways:

The most prominent theme to me was there’s no one right way to do anything. Whether we’re talking about a production process for emails or other projects, a modular template design, or call-to-action buttons, it’s up to the marketer to test, research, and conclude what works best for their audience.

As with all marketing, there’s no silver bullet. However, hearing people from very different industries and backgrounds divulge their email marketing tactics gave insights into how to best connect with your audience. Many presentations had a psychological and sociological component to them. They touched on how to be persuasive and elicit emotion, as well as why people opt in to your campaigns (and why they opt out).

Another major theme was the importance of establishing a recurring, repeatable process for all projects. Not only does a clear process avoid surprises (and mistakes), but it creates a transparent and sturdy foundation for communication between the client and yourself (whether that’s an agency/client relationship, or an internal stakeholder/employee relationship). A few components of a stable process:

1. Create naming conventions or generate project/job ID numbers for files
2. Establish a project timeline document
3. Enforce strict deadlines (and impose penalties, if necessary)
4. Communicate outside of emails (pick up the phone or set up a video call).

Taking the time to identify a process for your organization is crucial to its success and directly relates to the outcome of your projects.

joyJoy Piirto, Whereoware’s Online Marketing Manager. (@joyp26) Takeaways:

When planning a marketing campaign, start with your customer and work backwards. Just because your campaign makes sense to you doesn’t mean it will work for your customer.

If you can think like your customer, you can create a campaign that is user friendly that they’ll like or find useful. In addition, taking a moment to define the intention of the campaign is crucial to success and drives the design.