Why am I writing about Email in 2017? It’s simple. Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach clients, and it’s also one of the cheapest ways to do it — total win win situation.
Now if Outlook would catch up to the 21st century and allow us to fully use modern HTML and CSS in emails.
Email Client Popularity in 2017
Anyway, Litmus, a great web-based testing suite for HTML email puts out an Email Client Market Share report on a semi-regular basis. It’s interesting to see the current state of things. Combine the Apple products (Mac OS and iOS) and Gmail, and that amounts for 71% of email client usage currently. The problem, like any look at analytics, is your mileage may vary widely. A lot of our clients are big Outlook users, so we definitely have to cater to that as a lowest common denominator.
In case you don’t know, Outlook took a major step backwards multiple years ago when they chose to use Microsoft Word as the HTML rendering engine over IE. It’s the only situation you’ll ever hear where moving away from IE was a step backwards. Leave it to Microsoft.
Unfortunately too, with a lot of the HTML eBlasts we build, we only do the design and development. We have no control over how and where the emails get sent from. Were we able to do that maybe — just maybe we’d be able to segment emails for a lowest common denominator (Outlook and older mail clients) and modern mail clients.
But then again, a lot of the eBlasts we build end up single one-off emails that are quick-turn projects. There’s probably not time or money in the budget to consider multiple versions. One day, I’d love to see us all pushing for more strategic email campaigns, and fewer single one-off email blasts.
The tools and services out there for email including mail systems like MailChimp, iContact, and larger CRM systems like Hubspot, all allow for more dynamic and effective HTML emails. We’ve just got to make sure we’re always up-to-speed, and the client is too.