Litmus Live 2017 – Top 8 takeaways

I recently attend the Litmus Live conference in London – an event I had been eagerly awaiting! With my Litmus Live workbook in hand, I learnt so many great tricks of the trade from the fantastic speakers who presented there. Here are my top 8 takeaways…

   1. Make your emails accessible.

Paul Airy from Beyond the Envelope provided some great insight into how to develop emails with accessibility in mind. You should start by testing your emails with Apple’s Voiceover text reader to see how well it interprets the content. A top tip would be to avoid using the title attribute on links as it interrupts the flow of screen readers. WebAim is also a useful tool to check colour contrast in your designs, which could be an issue to people with colour blindness.

Litmus-design-icon2   2. Ignore the fold.

Gone are the days where your most important content should be displayed above the fold. With the use of mobile devices ever increasing, people are now very used to scrolling to see content. So, although making your emails as short and snappy as possible is primarily the aim, creating a larger more detailed email should no longer be frowned upon.

Litmus-design-icon3   3. Ensure CTAs are clear.

Decluttering a design is generally a good thing. However, it’s important to ensure in doing this you aren’t confusing the recipient. One example of this is that social links are often seen in email designs, but are the buttons themselves enough? Yes, users will generally now recognise the logos of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. but by clicking these what will happen? You should always include an explanation title describing what clicking the button will result in, for example ‘Follow us’ or ‘Post to’.

Litmus-design-icon4   4. To CAPITALISE or not to capitalise?

Capitalisation can be very effective in drawing attention to key bits of information. However, it only works when used sparingly. Only capitalise text you want to highlight, for example CTA text. Blocks of capitalised text are more difficult to read, so should be avoided.

Litmus-design-icon5   5. Test your subject lines.

Stuart Clark from Red C recommended that it is a good idea to test subject lines with your intended audience regularly. Test out different keywords to see which have the best open rate. Send out 4-5 different subject lines with tiny tweaks; change a word or two, rearrange sentence, alter the length, highlight keywords, and see which one works the best.

Litmus-design-icon6   6. Create your own bespoke imagery.

If stock images aren’t hitting the mark with your audience, Sam Beddoes from Action Rocket explained how to make your own mini photo studio to take your own shots. Watch the video to find out how. It’s a great way to create something really unique, check out this example by Moo.

Litmus-design-icon7   7. Make it personal.

Personalisation should not just be restricted to a Dear ‘name’ greeting at the start of an email. If a recipient’s name is used throughout the email it will draw their eye down to the rest of the content. Becs Rivett-Kemm from Conversio also described how tailoring content, like displaying a recently viewed product in an email, can increase engagement.

Litmus-design-icon8   8. Don’t stop learning.

Once you have sent out your email ensure you create a report of the results. For every email sent you should take time to review what worked and what didn’t. It’s vital you are continually monitoring what your audience are engaging with. You can use this information to inform the next design, to get the very best out of every send.