Dear readers, I wanted to share with you a fictional conversation to end this tense year. If I say it's tense, it's because it is tense. Discussion between me, Thomas Defossez, Designer and Email Integrator, and a fictitious prospect. To share with you our daily priesthood. This article is freely inspired by thearticle by Stoil Stoychev. In honor of Jonathan Loriaux's potential future (non) return to Brussels, our fictitious prospect may be familiar to you...
Prospect: "Hello ladies and gentlemen! Here I am in two words, I am Director and Sales Marketing-Manager of Abattoirs d'Anderlecht. I will need you to prepare an email. Thanking you... "
Me Yes, but I need to know a little more about it. ....
Prospect: "Listen, if you're interested, you've got my number here, if you're not interested, goodbye and have a good weekend. What do you want me to say?"
Me: "Okay! No worries! Do you have a mock-up yet?"
Prospect: "I have a PDF that I made myself because I'm actually a photographer of... I do charm photos basically... But it's a little out of context... I can even send you the source file in .ai!"
Me: "Not really no... Ideally, we would like to have a model of the email on Figma for example... But I can redesign your email campaign if you want!"
Prospect: "Isn't there a price plan with prices?"
Me: "Of course! Do you already have a graphic charter? Indications as to the use of the logo, the visuals, the tones of your texts, the colors of your brand... "
Prospect: "Don't know, unknown to the pack, never heard of it."
Me: "Okay, no worries. It's possible to get these elements from your site and translate your identity into Design System Email. We'll talk about it soon in a live show by the way. It's going to take longer and therefore it's going to cost a little more..."
Prospect: "We are Place Poelaert here. We're not on the Croisette! But I trust you. I had seven thousand bullets in my leather jacket but I've just been carjacked... Do you think you can give me the email in five days? Then I'm going to ask you for a small beer, I'm dying of thirst here, I'm soaking wet ... And a cold one if you have! "
Me: " You're on first-name terms with everyone ? Then, it could be complicated... Because it already takes time to collect the elements, to establish the Design System Emailand then create the email template... "
Prospect: "That was more of a quip than anything else. Okay, I get it. Once that's done, the email will be ready to go, right?"
Me: "So, no. There's still one more development step after that: the email mockup, once validated, is coded in HTML and CSS."
Prospect: "Oh yes, I heard about that in quotes. Say, I'd like to use the same typography on my email as on my website. It's Anderlecht Abattoir Sans, ok?"
Me: "So be it. But I'm afraid it's complicated. Typographies that are not installed by default on your recipients' machines will not necessarily be displayed on all opening environments... However, we can put a substitute typography just in case... "
Prospect: "It depends on you, my dear. And you can't just make pictures otherwise?"
Prospect: "Blow it out my man. As my subscribers are mainly professional customers with a majority of opening on Outlook 2016, it will be a blast! And can you also put buttons with rounded corners like on my site? Because you see, what I appreciate is the luxury side, Pretty Woman, you know the side a little ... "
Me: " ... "
Prospect: " ... "
Me: " ... "
Prospect: "Say, God, eh! oh!? I'm talking to you!"
Me: "Bah actually, if you have the majority of your recipients checking their emails on Outlook 2016 email software on Windows, the typography you want will precisely not be interpreted correctly. And the rounded corners won't show up either if they are designed in CSS code.... Outlook is a rather capricious opening environment... "
Prospect: "Ohlaaaa! We're not awake! Did we sleep badly? Well then, let's just say that my buttons will be big flashing pictures, okay? See, I'm not so bad!"
Me: "What do you mean by that?"
Prospect: "It means exactly what it says..."
Me: "Yes, then personally I recommend you to design your buttons in HTML and CSSThis will allow them to be displayed immediately upon receipt of the email, without having to download images... "
Prospect: "Well, okay... But can we still get a blinking effect?"
Me: "So, you know, Outlook is very particular huh... CSS animations are not..."
Prospect: "Accepted! Ah ah ah ah!!! I've taken you for a ride there, eh! Hin hin hin hin hin ! You see it's not so bad... You have to let yourself come to me... And I'll come and get you, don't worry... "
Me: " ... "
Prospect: "I don't have the time to manage that, I don't have the time... So I'm going to ask you to remove that too."
Prospect: "What is "no"? WHAT'S "NO"??? What the hell are you doing here, kid? I'm sorry, but I don't think I forced you to do this job! You did it of your own free will! So you come here and you're a little naughty... That's fine, but let's leave it at that! It's over, it goes very fast!"
Me: "The law requires that an unsubscribe link always be visible and functional. In fact, we advocate making this link accessible at the top and bottom of the email: unsubscribing is not necessarily synonymous with a bad campaign. It is important to make it easy for your recipients to unsubscribe. It will clean up your list of recipients at the same time... "
Prospect: "... You know I'm starting to like you... Okay. Okay... Will you be able to handle the Mobile version of the email too?"
Me: "Of course, it's imperative!"
Prospect: "Great! So good! Because I set up my application Gmail on my android mobile with a default POP/IMAP account. I can't wait to see how it looks on my cell phone!"
Me: "So my bad! It might be a little more complicated, but we will find a solution... "
Prospect: "I hope so! Well, you'll see, the visuals of my products are very beautiful... It would be nice to have them in high definition. Because I work in black and white here... I'm obliged to support the colors otherwise it will make them look dull... You don't know because you don't know that. It's not your job..."
Me: "We will try to keep a very good quality, but reducing the weight of the visuals to improve the loading time and participate in reducing the carbon footprint of email marketing, okay?"
Prospect: "If you say so Jimmy! You'll also be careful to pass some visuals as background images, with texts over them... Small illustration that will speak more than an explanation: I would like to have a picture of the slaughterhouse in the background, with a promotion about the slaughter of the animal..."
Me: "So background images on Outlook, it's a bit risky, because it requires VMLThis is a language specific to Microsoft Office, and therefore we will be obliged to enter fixed widths and heights... "
Prospect: "I don't want to know anything! I also set my mobile phone to Dark Mode, which I also activated on my Gmail app. You'll make sure it's clean when the Dark Mode is activated too, right? Because I've seen some pretty nasty stuff... "
Me: "I will apply the best practices for Dark Mode that I always apply when designing emails Okay?"
Me: "Do you have your scripts yet?"
Prospect: "I was getting to that. Everything happens in its own time. You're not going to tell me what to say. I'm warning you, I'd like to have quite a bit of content in this campaign, because I have a lot of products to showcase, and I'd like to do an introduction with some text that you're going to help me write..."
Me: "If you need help with content writing, that's a separate service, because that takes time too... But why not! As for the size of the content, you'll still need to make sure that the final size of the HTML file is not too large because opening environments, like Gmail for example, truncates any email larger than 102kb... "
Prospect: "The universal law of series as they say! Well, that's your job, I don't have time to do that, I don't have time to do that... Well, while you're talking about Gmail, I'm not likely to get into the category Promotions huh?"
Me: "It's possible that you'll be classified as such, since you plan to send a commercial email. But that's not a big deal in itself you know, because..."
Prospect: "Hey ho, that's enough now! Sorry, I got nervous, I know it's not all your fault... Can you make sure that the email is accessible? It's for my mom and Mrs. Michiels..."
Me: "It goes without saying! We always bring some optimizations for email accessibility of our customers..."
Prospect: "Will you add a form in the email too so I can get my customers' orders..."
Me: "Technically, I don't recommend you do that: forms can't be designed in emails. There is theAMP4email that would allow this, but it is currently only in beta and specific to Gmail... "
Prospect: "It's not jealousy, but it looks like it... You'll make sure you use the right code, right, like for a website?
Me: "That is to say that the development of emails relies on a rather particular technique, of nested tables, and that we can't really use HTML5 tags or CSS3 properties... There is a comprehensive white paper about HTML and CSS integration for email by the way..."
Prospect: "My connections are being made! Well, you'll put a video on me too... I was interviewed by two clowns from I.A.D."
Me: "So you'll say that I'm doing it on purpose... But video is not supported everywhere either! It is better to start with an animated gif for example, rather light, which will simulate a video for example... There are very good tools to make animated gifs optimized for an email If you want to take care of it!"
Prospect: "You'll take care of it. Because they're not threats but they look like threats... But you'll make sure it's pixel perfect everywhere, right, on all the opening environments!"
Me: "I'm not sure that's the most important thing..."
Prospect: "What is it? What did you just say now?! You repeat what you just said! You know it's serious what you're doing... You're busy making me look like a pervert..."
Me: "... Okay, we'll make sure that the rendering is as close as possible to what was originally mocked up, right? That's what we call acceptable degradation...or gracious degradation..."
Prospect: "You see, I wasn't asking you for the moon... I can't take it anymore, I'm at the end of my rope. I want to go home, shove my shoes in my mouth and call it a day! We are big professionals, that's all. Come on. Come on... Don't do that, we don't look like it! It doesn't look good! There's no choo-choo, that's how it is! Here, a little shot... Tchin-tchin, prosit, cheers... "
If you too, like this gentleman, need help to design, develop or code emails, then know that the whole team of Badsender is here to serve you. And we're not just a bunch of thick as handbrake cables... In advance, happy, safe and happy holidays to all of you!