The role of the e-mail client: renderability is more important than ever


The past few weeks the whole marketing and media industry has been looking forward to the arrival of Facebook's web based e-mail platform. Many believed that it would be a Google Gmail killer. In the mean time it has been launched but it is more a personal and social unified messaging environment than an e-mail platform. The new Facebook Messages is an integrated multi-channel communication and updating system that revolves around someone's "friends" on Facebook.

Naturally Facebook is also used for marketing purposes and so there will also be messages with a more commercial character. And obviously Facebook Messages won't leave the mobile mass out in the cold.

All the attention for connected web based e-mail platforms and the rapid rise of mobile e-mail however make it ever more important for marketers to take into account the e-mail client.

We used to have a handful of e-mail clients and some web based platforms. Now we also have mobile clients, players like Google, new enterprise e-mail environments and so forth.

But that is not the only challenge: the number of browsers has also increased considerably and Internet Explorer has more and more competitors, things to consider for e-mail marketers. Furthermore, every computer operating system also has different versions and people use several OS'es.

Finally, an e-mail in a browser on a mobile device looks much different than on a PC, notebook, tablet or netbook. In short: devices, browsers, operating systems and e-mail clients galore.

Renderability is about customer-centricity and return

As an e-mail marketer it is important that you know which systems your clients use and offer your e-mails, depending on this data. You have to figure this out through your e-mail tools and e-mail client detection. The times of simply "sniffing" to determine whether a recipient uses text or HTML have passed by. The diversity is larger than ever.

But you also have to know in advance what your e-mail will look like. Every recipient has to be able to read your e-mail properly, even if he is the only one using a specific version of a specific e-mail client in a specific environment. A recipient is a recipient.

If you want to work customer oriented, renderability is a must. You have to be able to see in advance what your e-mail will look like. Fortunately there are solutions of which Litmus is the most famous. Next to previewing how your emails will look by rendering, the platform also offers spam detection.

Renderability is not only an issue of customer-centricity and enabling an optimal customer experience: it also increases the response and conversion. In this omnichannel and omni-device reality with an abundance of platforms and communication, choice and decreasing conversions, all this is more important than ever before!

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