How to Make HTML5 Work for Your Email Marketing

With the proliferation of mobile devices, more and more people are turning to email marketing as a way of connecting with customers. After all, a smartphone in the hands of a marketing pro is almost always within reach.

Email marketing in its most basic form is a form of digital marketing typically used to promote a brand, product, or service. It involves the sending of marketing emails to past, present, or potential customers in order to encourage them to take a specific action, such as making a purchase, visiting a website, or signing up for a newsletter.

As the name would suggest, HTML5 is the latest update to HTML, the code that enables online documents to be viewed and interacted with on a web browser. It was designed with responsiveness in mind, so that content can be easily displayed on any device, be it a desktop computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. These days, anything from smartphones to fridge magnets, can be used to disseminate marketing material.

HTML5 was officially completed in 2014, but the syntax has been around since the mid-1990s. Despite its incredibly versatile nature, HTML5 has largely been used to describe web documents written using the HyperText Markup Language (HTML) along with additional formatting tools, such as CSS.

While you might wonder what on earth HTML5 is and how it could possibly be applied to your email marketing, the truth is not far-reaching. Thanks to the magic of CSS and JavaScript, an incredible amount of customization is now possible when it comes to the technical details of how a web page is displayed. With CSS, you can completely reorganize a web page’s structure.

For instance, you could use HTML5 to make an email look like a piece of desktop wallpaper. Or, you could change the color or shape of the fonts for the copy in a marketing email. In doing so, all you need is a device and an internet connection to start creating your unique email marketing experience.

Step 1: Create a Website Mock-up

Before you begin your HTML5-powered email marketing adventure, it is essential that you create a website mock-up. In doing so, you will be able to see how a finished product – such as an email campaign – will look like. You can use any tool that you like to create your mock-up, whether it’s a digital mock-up tool like Visio or Balsamiq Mockups, or a blueprint/wireframe tool like Invision or Adobe Framer.

While you’re at it, you might as well use a tool that allows you to iterate quickly and easily – like Balsamiq Mockups. Alternatively, you could just use regular Microsoft PowerPoint and make some slideshows.

Step 2: Set Up A Twitter Account

Even though most people consider Twitter to be a microblogging platform where users post short snippets of text and images, you can use it to spread news and engaging content in the form of short, snappy tweets.

To set up a Twitter account, you will need a phone number and a valid email address. You can then follow the company’s instructions to log in and begin creating your account. When you’ve done so, you can navigate to your profile and begin configuring your settings. From there, you can select which platforms you would like to follow – whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, or maybe even YouTube – and begin curating content to promote across the different platforms.

Step 3: Set Up An Instagram Account

Instagram is one of the biggest and most popular social media platforms around. Similar to Twitter, you can use Instagram to spread news, engaging content, and even host events where users can share their love for a particular brand, product, or service.

To set up an Instagram account, you will need a phone number and a valid email address. Once you’ve done so, you can begin creating your account and following Instagram’s instructions to log in. Once you’ve done so, you can begin configuring your account’s details. You can then select which platforms you would like to follow – whether it’s Instagram, YouTube, or even Facebook – and begin sharing short snippets of content to promote across the different platforms.

Step 4: Set Up A Facebook Page

If you’ve never heard of Facebook Pages, you’re probably wondering what they are and why you should care. Essentially, Facebook Pages are a form of content curation where users can post engaging content, such as snippets of text, images, or even video content. They allow businesses to have an official presence on the world’s biggest social network.

To set up a Facebook account, you will need a phone number and a valid email address. Once you’ve done so, you can navigate to your account’s dashboard and begin creating your Facebook Page. When you’ve done so, you can begin configuring your settings and sharing content to grow your audience.

Step 5: Choose A Theme

After you’ve set up the technical details of how your website should look (see Step 1), it’s time to choose a theme. For the purposes of this tutorial, we will be using the Genesis Framework, which is a free, open-source, content-focused theme for WordPress. One of the things that make this theme so special is that it was built with SEO in mind.

Other than the fact that it is built with SEO in mind, Genesis also provides you with special features that make your content look incredible – like breadcrumbs and clear text on all hyperlinks.

As a sidenote, if you’re looking for a ready-made, fully functional blog website that is completely free, then you could use Bitbucket’s Free Blog. With this theme, you won’t need to worry about a thing, except for adding content and making sure that everything looks the way that you want it to. Bitbucket’s Free Blog also has an incredible support team that is available to help you with any question or issue that you might have.

Now that you have a basic understanding of how to make HTML5 work for your email marketing, let’s get started by creating a simple brochure-style email that we can use as a starting point for our upcoming campaigns.

How to Create an HTML5 Brochure

Before you begin coding, it is advisable to take a step back and think about what you’re trying to accomplish. In other words, you should ask yourself the following questions:

What do I want my email to look like?

Depending on the answer to this question, you can determine which tools you need to use to create your email campaign. As mentioned by the experts at HubSpot, a tool that allows you to iterate quickly and easily is key when it comes to creating engaging content – like brochures. This is because frequently shifting goals and doing lots of trial-and-error testing can leave you with an imperfect product that is difficult to upgrade. In contrast, a tool that allows you to easily visualize how a project will look, such as Balsamiq Mockups, makes it much easier to create an initial idea and then refine it. Later on, you can also bring the design mock-up into Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator to make some last-minute adjustments and then print it out – like a tangible piece of paper – to give it that extra-professional look.

Who will be reading my email?

The identity of your target audience is one of the most crucial aspects of your email’s design. To put it lightly, you will not get very far in life if you try to market yourself to people who do not have a basic understanding of your product or service.

Even if you think that your products or services are fascinating, if you can’t communicate this to your readers in a simple and elegant manner, then it’s time to find a new job. Luckily for you, we have a solution: identify your target audience, and then use a tool like Google’s Analytics to track the demographics, psychographics, and digital behaviors of your ideal buyers. With this data, you will then be able to create an email that is custom-fit for your target audience.

What will I write in my email?

Unless you’re writing to your friend’s list or family, you will always need to have a short piece of text in your email. Let’s assume that your email’s theme is ‘New York vs. Chicago Pizza’, a comparison between two different types of pizza that you and your friend Sarah are debating over. You could write the following in your email:

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