At Oracle Marketing Consulting, we’re constantly involved in major redesigns of our clients’ digital marketing campaigns. From year to year, the themes and trends driving redesigns change. Here are the biggest factors propelling brands to undergo redesigns right now:
1. More Content Driven by Machine Learning & AI
While generative AI for text, images, and code is all the buzz, it’s years away from being used to automatically generate promotional email content without human review, which has been a huge element of many redesigns lately. As part of reimagining and updating the visual experience for customers, brands are eager to implement more predictive and intelligent content that’s aligned with subscriber behavior and preferences. The most popular implementation has been of machine learning engines to drive product and content recommendations.
The motivation here is two-fold. First, brands want to craft more personalized experiences in their digital marketing campaigns. They know that greater use of personalization not only increases engagement and bottom-of-the-funnel performance, but also lowers opt-outs, which in turn increases list growth.
And second, they want to save production time. If a brand can add a high-performing module that’s driven by machine learning or AI, then that’s one less module that has to be created by their copywriters and designers.
2. More Live Content
Despite the pre-fetching caused by Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection undermining the value of live content in email, brands can still see substantial benefits from content that’s populated at the time of open rather than the time of send. That’s in part because for most brands, content is locked in many days before a send.
So, even if MPP’s pre-fetching populates an email’s content a full day before a subscriber opens the email, that content is still days fresher than it would otherwise be. Moreover, research from Movable Ink shows that “for the vast majority of Apple Mail users, ‘recent-time’ is far closer to ‘real-time’ than expected.”
For our clients, we still see live content being a priority for many redesigns. In particular, brands are currently interested in including real-time customer ratings, price drops, and inventory levels in their messages.
3. Adapting to Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection
For email redesigns specifically, Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) is still having a major impact on experience and design considerations. Already, brands have adapted their email designs to the fact that…
Currently, brands are focused on mitigating the biggest impact that MPP has on their programs: the obscuring of email opens. While B2B marketers aren’t heavily impacted, most B2C brands are. In many cases, MPP is obscuring the majority of B2C brands’ opens. Since engagement is a key factor in email deliverability, many marketers have been scrambling to redefine how they select active mailable audiences and to gain additional signals, so they can maintain their list growth and avoid inbox placement problems.
For our most comprehensive advice, get our Definitive Guide to Adapting to Mail Privacy Protection via a free, no-form download.
4. Becoming More Inclusive
Many brands are waking up to the fact that their digital marketing campaigns and landing pages aren’t very accessible to people with disabilities. That’s a huge lost opportunity, because people with disabilities make up to 27% of the population, according to the CDC.
Brands are also realizing that many of the adjustments that they make for people with disabilities also support all their other campaign recipients—a phenomenon known as the curb cut effect. Everyone benefits when we make something more accessible. That realization makes accessibility and inclusive design even more of a priority.
When doing digital marketing redesigns, brands are:
More broadly, we’re seeing more brands adopt a more flexible design approach that isn't so focused on pixel perfection. For example, with email campaigns, this shift allows brands to focus on more accessible coding solutions that provide a better experience for a wider range of subscribers, with the trade-off of greater rendering variations across the wide range of email clients.
5. Optimizing for Dark Mode
After years of steady adoption by consumers, dark mode usage has become too big for any brand to ignore. For example, in email clients where it’s detectable, about 34% of emails are viewed in dark mode as of August 2022, according to Litmus research.
In redesigns, we see dark mode optimization as a focus for two different groups. The first is those brands that reacted to dark mode by implementing tactics to prevent it from changing the look of their emails. Now, these brands understand that consumers choose dark mode because it gives them a better experience, so they’re looking to create experiences that respect user preferences—while also preventing any surprises with their brand colors and image treatments.
And the second group is those brands that have been slow to embrace dark mode optimization at all. We see this especially at brands that have designers and developers that work across many channels, rather than having deep expertise in one, like email. If this is you, we encourage you to preview your campaigns in dark mode to see what the customers experience is like, and determine what optimization opportunities exist.
Plus, All the Small Things
Those are the big redesign trends that we’re seeing now. However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about an often overlooked element that we think should be a major part of every redesign. It’s all of the small, nuts-and-bolts elements of your design that usually don’t change from campaign to campaign.
These elements include your:
Keep in mind that you may have multiple versions of some of those elements, varying them according to the selling season or the message type.
Making It Happen
Of course, deciding the scope and priorities of a redesign is only half the work—if that. The rest is actually doing the redesign. You’ll want the right people involved, to dedicate a reasonable amount of time, and to have a rigorous process. Based on well over a decade of doing digital marketing redesign for our clients, here’s detailed advice on how to manage a successful redesign process.
Need help redesigning your digital marketing campaigns? Oracle Marketing Consulting has more than 500 of the leading marketing minds ready to help you to achieve more with the leading marketing cloud, including Creative Services teams that can help you refresh your designs and reimagine your customer experiences.
Talk to your Oracle account manager, visit us online, or reach out to us at CXMconsulting_ww@Oracle.com
Lauren Gannon is Vice President of Agency Services, Oracle Marketing Consulting.
Scott Multer is Executive Creative Director, Oracle Marketing Consulting.
Nick Cantu is the Creative Director for Creative Services at Oracle Marketing Consulting. He has over 14 years of creative consulting experience, with the past 9 years dedicated to data-driven email marketing. His approach focuses on the end-user, building relevant and engaging messages that drive results.
Kelly Moran is Senior Art Director for Copy at Oracle Marketing Consulting. She is a writer by day and by night with a background in linguistics. Her understanding of copywriting across channels has been shaped by her experience in customer success, content management, and supporting boutique brands in retail and e-commerce.
Sarah Gallardo is a Lead Email Developer for Creative Services at Oracle Marketing Consulting and an email accessibility specialist. With a career spanning over 12 years, she boasts extensive experience in a wide variety of email development solutions. Her advocacy for accessible emails spans more than six years, demonstrating her commitment to inclusivity in digital communication.