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Our Top 10 Favorite Blog Posts of 2016


It’s that time of year, email geeks! As you’re reflecting on what a crazy year 2016 was for email (and beyond), we pulled together a list of our most-loved posts to inspire your 2017 planning.

This includes game-changing announcements like Gmail supporting responsive design, helpful guides like our overview of international law, and tips on harnessing the power of email marketing, like the story of how we used email gamification to promote The Email Design Conference.

We hope that these resources help you as you reflect on 2016 and set your 2017 goals. Enjoy!

Email Industry Updates

This year the email industry changed dramatically, between Microsoft making a public commitment to improve rendering, updates to iOS, and Gmail rolling out support for responsive design.

1. 9 Things to Know About iOS 10

The release of Apple’s newest operating system brought major changes to Mail on the iPhone and iPad. While the post is full of detailed examples and how-tos, here are the main points you need to know about iOS 10:

  • iOS Mail now supports list-unsubscribe
  • HTML5 video in email is back
  • You’ll find some auto-scaling issues
  • iOS 10 no longer supports <iframes>
  • Fixed positioning (position:fixed;) is no longer supported
  • iPhone screen sizes and resolution remain the same
  • You can target iOS with “-webkit-overflow-scrolling,” which is only supported on iOS
  • iOS 10 Mail has its own section in the settings menu
  • You can now delete default apps, including iOS Mail

2. Gmail Now Supports Responsive Design

In September, Gmail started rolling out changes to support for embedded styles and responsive design—something the email world had long been clamoring for. We’ve been tracking the ongoing rollout of support for features with our live ticker as well as summarizing the changes and what they mean for email marketers.

Email Design & Development Tips

When it comes to email design, there are plenty of techniques to consider. How will you experiment with your email production and program in 2017?

3. Understanding Responsive and Hybrid Design

With mobile accounting for over 50% of all opens for the last year, producing mobile-friendly emails is more important than ever. If you haven’t tried it yet, now’s the time, especially since Gmail finally supports responsive design.

There’s a lot of confusion around what designers mean when they talk about responsive and hybrid HTML emails. This post looks at the differences between the two techniques, and weighs the pros and cons of each.

4. 7 Myths of Email Development

In the email world, change is the norm. Over the years, email developers created all types of “best practices” to help others get started with email coding, or to act as reminders for those in the trenches of what email developers can and can’t do. But some of those best practices have changed, and keep changing. Here are seven email development myths that have been around for ages, and why it’s time to finally put them to rest.

5. The Ultimate Guide to International Email Law

Keeping up with international anti-spam laws is hard! Practices that are completely legit in one country could be absolutely off-limits somewhere else and might result in hefty fines. We teamed up with newsletter2go to help you navigate through international email requirements.

The Power of Email Marketing

It’s well known that email marketing has a high ROI. To capture the value that email marketing can provide, you need to encourage not just the open, but the final conversion. Whether that’s designing an email to engage your subscribers in a no-holds-barred ticket contest or writing persuasive and influential copy, harness the power of email in 2017.

6. How We Used Email Gamification to Promote Our Conference

To announce the dates for The Email Design Conference 2016 —and launch ticket sales—we opted to use email gamification. We created interactive email campaigns that not only met our marketing goals, but were also engaging for our audience while being fun, on-brand, and even educational. This post takes a look at the strategy and process behind the scenes.

7. How To Write Email Copy Like a Human

When we receive an email in our inboxes, we view it as a two-way method of communication. You email, I respond. Yet when it comes to many email marketing campaigns, it doesn’t feel that way to subscribers. Instead, they see marketing message after marketing message with little personal connection. If you want to take advantage of the personal, 1:1 nature of email, then you’ll have to start making your email copy more human.

8. How to Write Emails That Sell

Most people are turned off by a sales pitch. But does that mean they’re turned off by sales in general, or is there a better approach for email campaigns? People aren’t actually afraid of being sold to. Instead, they don’t like a sales pitch that takes a dominant approach for a product or service that doesn’t align with their needs and interests. Here’s what you need to know about putting together emails that sell, without being overbearing or too “sales-y.”

Empowering Email Geeks

Email marketing is challenging. Besides dealing with constantly changing support for email clients, we’re often putting together email campaigns on the fly—without budget or a huge team to support us. Email geeks have to stick together!

9. 11 Reasons To Test Every Email You Send

Test your email so that you’re empowered with data and can send your emails with confidence.

Every email deserves to be tested—even if you (or someone else) tested the template you’re using yesterday. Email programs and apps are not only capable of breaking your design, but also butchering links, subject lines, images, and more. Each and every time your finger hovers over the send button, check for these 11 critical mistakes that can affect opens, clicks, conversions, and, most importantly, your brand.

10. Email Geeks, Advocate For Yourself

Email geeks, it’s time to arm yourselves. We’ve been there before, and know the pain of being a lone email advocate in an organization. We’ve also learned from this, and offer this advice for promoting yourself and your ideas.


Whether it’s our app, our emails, or our blog posts, we’re always looking for feedback on how we can improve. If you have any ideas about what you’d like to see here on the Litmus blog in 2017, let us know over on Community. Your feedback is invaluable to helping us make email better!

Check out the other top 10 lists for 2016

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