Friday, December 21, 2012
Over the next several weeks, we will be sharing predictions on the future of marketing from 25 industry thought leaders. These predictions have been compiled in our new whitepaper, Inspired Marketing Predictions for 2013. Today, ExactTarget’s own Kristina Huffman shares her thoughts.
Email Flexibility Unlocks True Creativity
In 2013, designers will stop redesigning the wheel with every email send and set up flexible email templates so they can increase production efficiencies and spend more time coming up with new ideas. Ideation and openness to change are innate to a designer’s nature and training and can be a hugely valuable asset in broader creative conversations outside of just cranking out emails.
We will all get our heads out of the “Apple tree” and start to recognize Android as the mobile market leader, accommodating its preview pane and image-blocking when we design. We will monitor the open tracking data and market share data and make appropriate, informed decisions for the future of our subscribers. Subscribers are starting to expect mobile legibility. Clear communication equals good design— don’t be deleted.
We will stop hoarding and hyper-analyzing all of our competitor’s emails. Instead, we’ll replace that time with true collaboration between internal stakeholders to develop and test new, crazy ideas that really speak to the personality and uniqueness of our business. You sent a Columbus Day sale email, but can you really explain what Columbus Day has to do with your business? Be honest and transparent with your subscribers and they will return the favor.
The static, print-inspired email will die. Emails will not look the same in every email client, whether it’s because we’re using progressive enhancement tactics or responsive layouts. Content and design will be tailored to subscribers. This means giving up some control around how an email looks, which isn’t always easy.
Finally, we’ll see socially-ranked and curated content take front and center, letting customers connect directly with influencers. Customer-curated content is trustworthy and personal—two aspects of marketing that are the hardest to achieve. It’s a win-win—influencers are featured, which extends their reach, and marketers receive thoughtfully crafted content for their communications.
Let's create this future together!
Design Practice Lead
Kristina Huffman is a design leader in ExactTarget's professional services organization, helping clients achieve better-than-best-practice creative results in their email and cross-channel campaigns.