The process of creating well-designed emails can be horrendous. But emails are written in HTML so it’s just like creating a web page, right? Wrong. Most email applications support only a small subset of HTML features and this subset often varies across email apps, leaving an even smaller subset of features that actually do work across all email apps. So yes, creating an HTML email is like creating a web page, but like it was in 1998.
So how can we make email creation and design easier?
Hiding The Complexity
A common method of making things easier for users is to create an abstraction layer. WordPress does this with a simple, easy-to-use interface that creates an abstraction layer over the underlying technology. The same thing can be done for email.
Writing complicated HTML markup can be abstracted from the user by means of a WYSIWIG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) interface. This means that instead of writing emails in raw HTML, they are written in an interface similar to something like Microsoft Word, or, to continue the analogy, the WordPress editor, where applying styles and tweaking content can be done in just a few clicks of the mouse. No technical knowledge required. This simplification of email editing has many benefits over the traditional workflow.
The benefits of easier-to-edit email are easy to understand. First, think of the types of people who care about quality email content: marketers and designers who are likely non-technical. This means that the old way of editing the raw HTML of an email, for a non-technical person, would require interaction with a technical team member, causing drastic slow-downs in email turnaround time. However, with an easy-to-use WYSIWYG editor, a technical team member is no longer required, reducing email turnaround times from days or weeks to minutes.
If saving time doesn’t sound like reason enough, think about the side effects of this. If performing a task like changing the subject line or altering the call-to-action (CTA) in your email takes only a few clicks, it becomes much easier to make small edits and tweaks, improving the overall quality of the email each time. This makes the following tasks extremely easy:
Addressing user feedback (example: confusing wording)
Improving the subject line (for better open rates)
Adding links and buttons to new content (for better engagement)
At the risk of being accused of yelling, I’m going to emphasize this because it’s extremely important:
Having the ability to easily accomplish these tasks quickly leads to more engaging, high-quality emails that customers actually welcome.
Here at Sendwithus, we spend a lot of time thinking of ways to make email creation and modification easier. We do this because, in the end, it leads to better emails that keep customers engaged, happy, and well-informed.
Non-technical people should not have to deal with the complex task of editing raw HTML to alter a simple email message, and they definitely shouldn’t have to waste time by relaying all of their requests to a technical person. Editing email should be simple, enjoyable, and maybe even fun.