The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Going responsive with our email design — July 18, 2013

Going responsive with our email design

responsive

Just make stuff easy for people to consume.

A couple of weeks again we shifted over to a responsive email design for The Fetch. For those new to responsive design, it’s an approach aimed at creating products and websites that adjust and optimise readability for whatever view format they’re in – be in desktop, tablet or mobile. (And maybe even wearable devices like Google Glass!)

We’d be meaning to make the shift for a long time but when you’re a resource-strapped startup, going responsive is one thing and for email design, another. After more nudging from our audience to make the change, we were lucky in that we had the amazing Ros Hodgekiss from Campaign Monitor (our email partners) to lead the process. (As an aside, CM has some great resources available on responsive design in their Guides section.) Our two-column link-loving format at The Fetch wasn’t something I wanted to lose and with this new design, we didn’t have to. When you now view the digest on your mobile you see one easy-to-read column and when back in the browser, the two-column. Check out the hybrid layout below:

email-responsive

More emails are now read via mobile than on a desktop email client or via webmail. Check out this post for the statistics. Pretty huge thing to take in but I feel this is really representative of my own behaviour. Every time I’m on the go, such as walking to a meeting or checking my mail when I wake up and go to bed (a bad habit I don’t like to admit!), it’s all via my iPhone. Our community currently opens The Fetch anywhere from 20-25% (across city) on a mobile device and these are people who are often at their desks working…

It’s also been interesting to see how our metrics have altered in a short period of time. Our unsubscribe numbers (which are already < 0.5%) appear to be going down and trackable forwarding of the emails has gone up. My conclusion is that readers are more likely to switch off, disengage and remove themselves when they can’t absorb what’s in front of them. Before, The Fetch involved a bit of pinch and zooming to be legible on a mobile and due to the amount of links included, could look overwhelming. The forward to a friend/coworker link was also hard to locate pre-responsive days and now it’s nice and clear. What hasn’t been noticeable yet is any difference to our click-through and open rates. Hoping to see if these go up over the coming months.

Since this update, I’ve been going on a bit of a general responsive craze – changing my personal blog as well as this one over too. I’ve also turned off the stock mobile themes that often come with WordPress in favour of keeping the original styling.

There are many others things to consider with creating beautiful email products, which I’m not got to touch on here. If you’re recently gone responsive, feel free to do a show and tell in the comments below.

For more ‘inbox love’ articles, check out this piece on ‘Email-led startups‘.

If you’re new to this blog, don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly event, news and job packed Fetches in your city via http://thefetch.com.

News: The Fetch featured as a curator on Flipboard 2.0 — April 1, 2013

News: The Fetch featured as a curator on Flipboard 2.0

Flipboard has just relaunched its ever-popular app and we’re happy to announce we’re a featured curator!

Known as a leader for its curated content approach, in version 2.0 of Flipboard, users can now create and share their own magazines. You can collected and save articles, photos, audio and video into the ‘flipable’ magazine format via the app or through the new web browser bookmarklet. For more on the announcement, check out the Inside Flipboard blog.

Fetcher Kate was hand-picked as a curator to highlight at launch and released a slew of magazines for the community to peruse…

First up, The Fetch Global is a must-subscribe magazine featuring the best articles, happenings, tips and general career geekiness from some recent Fetch email digests. We’ll be continually updating it with new pieces as well as a complete bimonthly refresh. Click here to check it out.

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We’ll also be releasing some city-specific magazines so stay tuned for local link love. Here’s an example double page spread from The Fetch San Francisco

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Other magazines include ‘First Time Founder‘ – our reading guide for new entrepreneurs:

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And ‘Email Mafia‘ – a collection on newsletters, digests and general inbox love. Celebrating the strength of the medium we love so much.

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Get amongst more updates and announcements by subscribing to our weekly email updates at http://thefetch.com.

Event Review: 2013 Marketing Trends — December 4, 2012

Event Review: 2013 Marketing Trends

What: Networx Marketers Meeting
Topic: 2013 Marketing Trends
Where: Fringe Bar, Sydney
When: 27 November 2012

With the year almost over, now is a good time to review what’s happened in 2012 and make plans for the next year. What trends will be leading the charge in 2013? What platforms should we be using? What can we really expect? Solange Francois went along to Networx to find out.

The panel at Networx: 2013 Marketing Trends

The panel at the final Networx event for the year was a energetic one: Carl Moggridge, Communications Director at Naked Communications; John Batistich, Director of Marketing at Westfield Group; Shani Langi, MD at Play Communications and Alex Hayes, Editor of B&T.

They discussed insights around marketing, experiential, digital and advertising in front of an audience who were scrambling to take notes during the session, and ask questions at the end.

How can we source information on new marketing trends?

  • Look to what’s happening in Tokyo, Europe, Silicon Valley and other parts of the US for insights and trends that can be developed in Australia.
  • Keep an eye on what’s going on but also remember to not just chase trends. Ensure that you really look at who your customer and how they can be reached.
  • Look at industries and markets outside of your own to gain new perspectives and the ability to innovate.

Where is digital and social media heading?

  • Mobile is crucial. Ensure that every customer experience is optimised for mobile.
  • Social will become more embedded in businesses rather than just in campaigns. It’s growing up!
  • The biggest populations of the world are: 1) China 2) India 3) Facebook 4) USA. Social isn’t going anywhere – it’s enormous.
  • MySpace has been doing a lot behind the scenes. It has the potential to become a big player in 2013.
  • Nike is a good example of a company that has created a digitally enabled community. It has essentially become a technology company that sells products.
  • Retail is going social, vibrant and engaging. A good example is www.thefancy.com

How is traditional marketing changing?

  • Influencers are now advertisers, too. Bloggers, mums, dads and regular people have influence on how your product and service is seen. Consumers trust their peers.
  • Marketing is not just about inspiring or conveying a message, but also about providing tools and ways to do things to make lives easier.
  • Consumer-generated content like Instagram is becoming more relevant.
  • We can look to successful campaigns of 2012, such as Virgin Mobile’s ‘Fair Go Bro’, Coke’s ‘Share a Coke’ and Metro Trains ‘Dumb Ways to Die’ to see that brands that entertain are memorable.
  • We need to personalise messages and add value – too many emails are sent to customers and they’re opening them less.

How do we build a long-term strategy and adapt?

  • Look beyond your target market and see who is actually making purchasing decisions. For example, women influence two-thirds of shopping for men’s’ apparel.
  • Understand that digital natives use technology differently, for example, while older users search with keyword terms, natives often search in whole sentences.
  • We need to create profiles about our customers and use big data to gain insights.
  • Know how to measure effectively. Views and likes don’t mean that the message reached the consumer.
  • Spend time with your customers outside of a focus group. Experience living like them in order to truly understand them.

Alex Hayes summed it up for me with one of his comments: “We can talk about knowing what will happen in 2013, but who really knows?” It’s true. With the environment changing as fast as it is, we can be sure of one trend: it’ll continue to evolve. We must be adaptable in order to achieve our marketing goals and stay ahead.

About our Ambassador // This article was contributed by Community Ambassador Solange Francois. She is a marketer and lover of travel with a passion for psychology and lifelong learning. You can connect with Solange through her blog or on Twitter @solangefrancois

Interview: Melbourne local, Scott Brewer, Art Processors — September 28, 2012

Interview: Melbourne local, Scott Brewer, Art Processors

This week, Jackie Antig interviews Scott Brewer, the CTO and Cofounder of Art Processors.

Name: Scott Brewer
Website: 
http://artprocessors.net
Twitter:
@ArtProcessors

Scott Brewer is the CTO and Cofounder of Art Processors, a company which designs and develops innovative mobile applications and content delivery systems for cultural institutions. The technology they’ve built has completely removed wall labels from the visitor experience. Imagine that!

Their first mobile museum guide app, The O, at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania, runs on an iPod that is provided to every visitor. The O lists which artworks are near you as you walk throughout the museum, allowing you to decide which object to see next, generating a more exploratory museum experience. Each artwork in the app comes with an extensive bundling of rich content varying between curator commentary, personal emails and interviews with the artists and food-for-thought starters. We ultimately tailor what we learn and discover with what we find engaging and relevant with each work of art.

The O relies on data to feed content about the artworks and to identify where the visitor is within the building. It also generates a lot of information about individual visitor and collective audience behaviour. Scott Brewer talks to us about museum data, technology and of course, a little bit about art.

Museum data usually refers to a museum’s collection. How has Art Processors re-invented data in the museum context?

I believe we’ve made the data a museum has on offer available to the visitor in a way that hasn’t been previously achievable and that’s been our biggest re-invention.  When you go down to MONA (as an example), as a visitor you’re now able to access so much more content about works than is usually on offer in a more traditional setting.

It is strange, but by removing the wall label we’ve actually been able to increase the information available to visitors and make the aesthetic of the museum more focused on the works and less on the content. Win!

What excites you about the potential for this data? Are there things you’re cautious about too?

I think the most exciting thing about freeing this data is that it offers the visitor a more engaging and personal experience. The visitor is free to take in the works and then only seek out the information on those that they want to engage with; instead of being forced to read large wall texts that don’t hold interest, a museum can put that information onto a device for visitors and provide them with more works to view.

Are there plans to translate the personal data visitors kick up from their visit into shareable online content?

Funny you should mention it, we’re currently in the middle of working on improving user feedback within our platform!

The amount of research that takes place in ways to provide this functionality is staggering. Giving the visitor the chance to respond without bias and in a simple and intuitive way isn’t the easiest problem in the world to solve! Then there is the question of what to do with the content the visitor is creating and who owns it all.

So many questions to answer. We’re planning on putting new aspects of our software into beta later this year that will have some of these features, then we can start testing them on a small scale before rolling them out en masse. We are really excited about some of the possibilities that come with great user generated content though so hopefully we’ll get it done right.

Name an art movement or artist whose ideas about creation inspire your own take on building new products.

As anyone who knows me well knows I’m slightly obsessed with Dick Bruna. His use of colour and line just amazes me. His minimalist style is definitely an inspiration to me in most everything I do.

Although a lot of people probably write him off as simply being an author of childrens books, for me his ability to get it so right in such a succinct manner is something that more people should consider (especially in software development!).

Miffy: Dick Bruna’s infamous children’s book character

Learn More: Take a quick glance at the Art Processor’s video about The O for an overview. For a more leisurely stroll through the experience, jump over to Seb Chan’s account of using it first hand.

About our Ambassador // Jackie Antig is a product innovator who doubles as a wordsmith and visual designer. Insatiably curious, data junkie. Works in the trenches. Connect with her on Twitter @jantig.

Featured Melbourne job: Application Developer at Wave Digital — June 13, 2012

Featured Melbourne job: Application Developer at Wave Digital

Application Developer – Web and Mobile

Wave Digital builds innovative applications using best practice techniques for large organisations. They’re looking for an experienced back-end developer who knows their stuff to join our expanding team in Melbourne.

The successful candidate will be an enthusiastic individual:

  • with an excellent grounding in OO programming,
  • who is a stickler for best practice and takes responsibility for quality control,
  • who prides themselves on staying abreast of the latest developments in their field.

Ideally you’ll have experience:

  • with PHP and/or Ruby
  • writing quality front end code (HTML, CSS, JS)
  • building complex database applications
  • with test driven development and agile methodologies
  • working in a team

Some experience or knowledge in the following areas is a big plus, but not mandatory:

  • DevOps (Linux, Cloud)
  • Business Analysis
  • iOS and Android development

Wave Digital is part of the SitePoint Group which is the company behind four of Australia’s most successful web start-ups – SitePoint.com99designs.comFlippa.com and Learnable.com.  You’ll be sharing an office with some of the best in the business!

Wave Digital employees enjoy many benefits, including a nice office, an active social club, proper espresso, free beer, foosball, free gym membership and flexible work arrangements. We set high standards when it comes to our staff but you’ll certainly feel rewarded.

Interested?  Please send your CV to jobs@wavedigital.com.au.

Do it!

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