Email Is Not a Web Page
Updated: Sep 15, 2019
Working in web design, web development, and the overarching field of UX and UI, I’ve seen all too often that digital marketers are breaking the rules of email and the overall user experience to deliver ads and other promotional content that ultimately leads to conversions.
In theory, it would make sense to cut down the number of steps/clicks a user takes to reach a point of sale. Sure. So, digital marketers, today want to conglomerate email with everything a user would need to make a conversion in hopes of increasing profits.
In reality, email is not a web page and shouldn’t be utilized as such because of its very nature. Email is simple HTML. Email marketing designers can get fancy with inline CSS. However, anything more than this is a waste of time. Email clients strip down any extras for optimization. Most of the time email clients block images, so that pretty ad you designed is not even seen until a user enables HTML graphics.
Recently, Google announced a plan to use AMP to create more interactive experiences using email. As a UX advocate, I strongly disagree with this. The customer experience should follow:
Email Blast > Email Open > Call to Action > Website Visit (tracks user behavior) > ‘Add Items to Cart’ Phase > Conversion
It should not be:
Email Blast > Email Open > Can’t Access/Poor Optimization > User Frustration > Conversion?
(^^^ Yeah. Totally makes sense.)
This can lead to poor user experience and lack of content exploration for the user to make a decision. From a marketing standpoint, users don’t decide; they convert immediately. From a UX standpoint, users should be able to access information freely, explore, find product info easily, use the site with ease which influences decision-making, and convert with no issues.
I’m not saying that email marketing is bad or ineffective. It isn’t at all when constructed properly and within the limits of email. There are many different, simple, and effective email marketing templates to use and create that lead to a website and therefore a possible conversion. In sum, let users explore freely on a website that allows interaction and engagement from following an email call to action, not just from an email.