2016 is poised to be the year of an email marketing renaissance. New approaches to email design and engagement are pushing the boundaries, creating unique and 2016 email marketing trendsinteractive experiences that aim to amaze and delight recipients. By implementing these techniques early you can position your business for higher engagement and returns in the new year.

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The Rise of Interactive and Animated Emails

This big trend started small when businesses began including GIFs in emails. It was an easy way to spice up traditional emails that were beginning to border on the mundane. However, the limits continue to be pushed as new approaches to email design, including CSS3 animations, advance and pave the way for kinetic emails. These interactive emails have the ability to take personalization and segmentation to the next level.

In this popular example, Pret launched their series of smoothies with a kinetic email that allowed recipients to customize the flavor (or flavors) that they were interested in. The fun animation mimics the real-life experience and adds to the delight their audience feels. Such approaches can also lead to extended periods of engagement between customers and the email, and increase the likelihood of a conversion. You could use these options to segment your lists, so that you can better target different groups of customers. Although initially many email clients did not support these animations, many are expected to add support, making them more powerful than ever. These relevant and exciting emails will undoubtedly allow your business to rise above the noise of traditional correspondence.

Emergence of In-Email Shopping

More mediums are experimenting with streamlining the checkout process for e-commerce than ever before. “Buy Now” buttons are now mainstays in many major social platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. Last year, Google launched “Purchases on Google” in order to allow consumers to make purchases directly from ads.

However, until recently the idea of creating a shopping experience directly in-email was merely a pipe dream. Companies like rebelmail are blazing a path in this unknown territory, and changing the face of email capabilities. Users can now browse styles, colors, sizes and even add to cart, directly from emails; all without having to open a browser. Customers receiving emails from brands have likely shopped with them previously, and often choose to store their payment information on these sites. This serves to streamline as much of the checkout process as possible, keeping the process confined until much further down the funnel, perhaps only for a final confirmation. Containing the shopping experience in this way, reduces the likelihood of cart abandonment by removing unnecessary pages, navigation and friction in general.

Optimizing for an even smaller screen

It’s no surprise that most people check email at least once a day from a smartphone or device. It’s long been imperative to optimize your email marketing efforts for mobile. However, as the wearables market begins to mature, we can expect more and more of these mobile opens to happen on an even smaller screen. Still, more than half of consumer brands have not made the leap to emails and sites that are both mobile-friendly. This is especially alarming with 71.2% of consumers reporting that if an email does not display correctly, they will delete it immediately.

A slew of new wearables are expected to be released this year, as well as software updates to current offerings, all of which will result in a higher adoption rate. An estimated 21 million American adults will own a smartwatch by the end of 2016, illustrating how important it is to get in front of this trend. Ensure that your customers will have a positive experience each time they open one of your emails, no matter what device they’re using, and it will translate into success for your local business.