Rich media is one of the reasons that email marketing is a thriving medium to communicate, interact, inform, and promote your products or services to prospect buyers. When it comes to an email inbox, the attention span of a subscriber is like a kid at Disney World. It is not just overwhelming, but the sheer number of emails one receives each day and what emails they decide to open and interact with is based on the visual representation of it all.
37% of marketers have revealed that visual marketing is not just important for their business, but has proved to convert monumentally. While using rich media in your emails will definitely amplify your email performance, one wrong step can break your email program. If you want to know how to incorporate rich media in your email efficiently, read on as we dig deeper into the science behind it.
What is Rich Media?
Any form of media other than texts, used to engage and improve email experiences, is included in rich media. Rich media helps to close the gap between and sometimes replace textual communication and enhances the copy. But what many marketers need to know is that rich media is not just a cool sidekick but can be a lifesaving superhero if implemented right.
Other than interactivity and increased conversion, you will be making actual connections with your users, contributing to a much stronger relationship with your prospective buyers. So your brand development will not just stop at conversion, but building loyalty amongst customers, nurturing, and retaining your leads all by leveraging emails that are impossible to overlook.
The Impact of Rich Media in Emails
Human perception is largely based on sensory cues and specifically visual cues play a very important role in perceiving things. When 94% of online first impressions are based on design, you need to consider how much your email relies on the email template design. To understand the emotional triggers of colors, refer to the image below.
The right balance of white space and the right amalgamation of colors will not just help the buyer make the right decision but make that decision quicker and effective. The right color for your marketing propaganda will help you deliver the message psychologically, added to the fact that it brighten ups the inbox.
Including visual representation in your content increases engagement by 650% compared to text-only content, but it should be noted that the right message cannot be delivered without the right colors.
Other than colors, emails have a lot of content and a balance of visual elements of text and other media. Sometimes, an email might have a lot of information to digest and an ambiguous call-to-action makes it even worse. In situations like these, as a marketer, one should guide the user toward the desired action, through visual cues.
The psychology behind the accessibility of most emails is often like that of an inverted pyramid (Not the journalism one). The most important action of the email is concentrated to the bottom of the email with a decreasing amount of copy and interaction, leading the viewer to the CTA. Another similar look room pattern is the Z-pattern in which the content, images, and CTA is placed in the corners of an imaginary formation of the letter ‘Z.’
Rich Media Trends Email Marketers Should Embrace
With 41 billion email users globally who are mostly just skimming through their emails in the inbox, it is very important to understand the usability of rich media in email design and making the most of it.
Although with more than decades of presence in email marketing, rich media has gone through a glow up in the last few years. With most of the email clients working toward making complex email designs deliverable on their platform without any renderability errors, Google being the latest to support AMP in emails, it is a long way to go for the usage of rich media in emails.
With that in mind, email marketers are required to keep up to the ever-changing trends in the email marketing industry. Let’s get to the core of it.
It all started with the good old static images. We are aware of it that images are way more interesting and engaging among the recipients than text.It should be a practice to put whatever it takes to deliver images relevant to the purpose of the email.
Using stock images (unless it’s a meme that the recipient can relate to) can miscommunicate that you don’t care enough to make an effort to get real images. Images can be made interactive by using carousels and collages to exhibit them.
Misfit foods have used a colorful email layout and real images, which brings out all the elements and adds relevancy to the copy as well. This email had the subject line- Oh my Gourd! (They have placed a gourd in the hero image as well).
The following email by Nat Geo and Missguided are completely variant brands, different target audiences, and email marketing goals. But the only thing common in them is they both have beautifully used their images to not just enhance the email, but to exhibit their products and services.
The only disadvantage of using images in emails is that if the subscriber has turned off images, they might not be able to understand what the email is about. To avoid such a situation, one can provide alt-text so that the viewer doesn’t miss an important message. The CTA and the main headline of the email are always advised to be text-only, although they can be enhanced by images and colorful buttons.
Caption: Providing alt-text will ensure better deliverability
Never send a complete email as an image. In case of deliverability issues or slow internet connection of the viewer, they might not be able to get the message of the email.
A GIF is a short animated picture without sound. With more than 30 years of existence in communication media, GIFs are older than they are assumed to be. In email marketing, irrespective of its existence, GIFs have come to prevail only recently. These animated graphics not just help the email to hold much more images and visual presence, but makes the mundane inboxes a little more fun.
Be it a welcome email or a promotional email, you can totally nail your email message with the support of GIFs. See how Asana and Headspace have brought life to their emails by inducing elements of rich media.
This email by Asana not just welcomes the subscriber but gives an induction process into knowing how things work around there. The GIF used as hero image gives a little idea about the platform’s interface and the visual elements supporting the copy and the CTA.
In this email, the bright colors and the fun design of the email tell you it’s a feel-good email. With offers on Headspace subscription for a year, this brand has chosen a lively GIF, a copy that is equally jolly, and an action-oriented CTA.
This email by Vans is one of the most fun ways to incorporate GIFs in an email. They have used it as a background as well as enhance the message of the email.
This email by Sprint is not just a GIF, but it is interactive as well. This is just a cherry at the top of the cake.
A few email clients might not support GIFs and display them as static images. So make sure the GIF is also accessible as an image with all the necessary information.
A hybrid of a photograph and a video, cinemagraphs have subtle motion in a loop. This minor and repeated movement is what gives it a video-like feel. This is saved in GIF format and can be embedded in emails to engage customers.
This email by Netflix has used a cinematograph in this teaser email of a show. Although that is an image from the show, it looks as if it is a video playing.
This email by Diyode uses a cinemagraph to give a video effect to the otherwise static and boring image.
Try keeping the size of file light, so that it doesn’t take forever to load the email. However, make sure that the visuals are in high resolution.
We know what videos are, but what are the ways one can implement it into their email programs, is the main question here. Videos cannot be ignored as it is one of the most modern email design trends. A video replaces a large amount of copy and so many links to different video platforms.
Lego embedded a video in their email to demonstrate the beauty of their VW Beetle.
View the live email HERE.
Don’t include a video in your email just because everyone else is. Know what resonates the most with your subscribers and accordingly design your emails. Use a video to add value to your email and to your email marketing ROI.
With the HTML 5 <audio tag> music can be embedded into email design to enhance the visual experience. Audio transcriptions can also be delivered to users with visual imparity.
Here’s an example by Email Uplers. (erstwhile EmailMonks)
View the live email HERE.
Just make sure that you have a proper fallback so that all your subscribers can see the emails without any rendering issues.
We have established quite a few trends with examples as to how they have nailed them in their email campaigns all year round. Be it a personalized welcome email or a cart abandonment or a promotional email with a sales offer, rich media has backed these brands.