What iPhone 6s 3D Touch technology means for email marketers

September 11, 2015
3 min read

The new iPhone 6s and 6s Plus took center stage at Apple’s launch event in San Francisco this past Wednesday. Set for a worldwide launch on September 25th, the latest generation of the iPhone takes another step forward with upgrades including new A9 chipsets and 12-megapixel cameras.

Perhaps the biggest change though was the introduction of 3D Touch technology to the new iPhone. Similar to the Force Touch introduced on the Apple Watch, pressure sensitive technology will now allow users accessing their email to “Peek” or load a preview of the email. Essentially a user will get a quick glance at email content without actually having to open the email.

This 3D Touch enhancement will have ramifications for marketers across multiple disciplines. The first and biggest change will be the way in which marketing teams view their email marketing metrics. How read rates and other metrics change will hinge on whether a Peek or loaded preview will register as an opened email within ESP (Email Service Provider) and marketing automation platforms. If these actions are considered an open, read rates will get a considerable lift. Consequently, click-to-open rates might see a drop as more email recipients will preview emails and not dive deep enough into the email to click through on any call-to-action.

The key is to recognize these metrics may experience a shift and any changes will have to be taken in context. Marketers will need to resist any false confidence from a sudden spike in open rates. Conversely, if click-to-open rates see a drop, a deeper understanding of cause and effect needs to be assessed before completely changing tactics.

US smartphone users access their devices to check email more than any other smartphone activity

Smartphone users access their devices to check email more than any other smartphone activity, according to Mintel’s Digital Trends, Fall US 2014 report. Mobile optimization should already be at or near the top of every email marketers list for 2016 and this latest development of 3D Touch underscores the importance of mobile optimization even more. If email recipients don’t have to fully commit to opening an email, marketers have even less time to capture their attention. Consumers expect immediacy, simplicity and context on their mobile devices. This means all content “above the fold” needs to contain one simplified message, be easy to scan, and contain an obvious call-to-action – AND be optimized for mobile.

Subject lines should play a larger role as well going forward. They will not only need to convince a recipient to Peek or open, but they will need to have obvious relevance to the messaging shown in what a user can preview. If an email recipient can’t connect the dots very quickly – they will move on immediately. Marketers need to focus on a single offer or element that is clear from the subject line through the preview and opened email stage.

The 3D Touch technology should also have a ripple effect that impacts content marketing and video marketing. These components of a marketing team’s omnichannel experience will continue to be key drivers of email marketing tactics. Marketers will need to up their game to engage and incentivize email recipients to fully open an email and providing valuable content is the best way to do that.

Brian Voss is the Director of Insights, Digital for Mintel Comperemedia. Brian specializes in the digital industry, researching and presenting on the latest industry trends, competitive intelligence insights and newsworthy developments.

Brian Voss
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