We just got back from Litmus Live London and loved it as always! For those of you who didn't come, here are the big trends being discussed at the after drinks.

Email is always always evolving and 2019 was no exception. This has been a big year for us #emailgeeks with GDPR shaking up the whole industry and lots of new tech helping in lots of new ways.

This year Litmus Live focussed on the bigger picture of email and our responsibility to act with good intentions and to avoid the dark arts of marketing. Many talks discussed the need to not trick our way into the inbox or con someone for a click. We were encouraged to think about how we interact with others and how we can do this better.

Being that we are all about helping you achieve #emailzen, we can't think of anything more important than acting with good intent in all we do. In the Taxi studio the next morning we all agreed there were also some other great topics to explore in more detail...

Make your own rules

Don't be scared to try something new. Changing a process can be exciting, but also a lot of hard work. Changing ESP for example. It's easy to fall at the first hurdle of being told "we have always done it this way" and "this works for us now". These are the sentences that can kill a new idea and stifle a company's growth. They must be challenged at all times. Best practices from conferences like Litmus are often a great place to start to make changes. We should also open up the conversation to other teams or departments to allow others to invest in your success. Also, manage your expectations. Small changes have a bigger impact than overambitious projects (and are more manageable). If you're working on a product, it should evolve and remould over time instead of changing shape overnight.

Evolve your processes

Don't be scared of getting things wrong. Like a garden, email needs to be maintained. Mark Robbins at Litmus spoke a lot about innovation and opportunities to grow. But also putting time aside to fail, dust yourself off and get back on your email wagon. Sometimes not having an end goal isn't the worst thing; it can mean we aren't blinkered. Starting new projects can be great and exciting until you hit a wall, then start another and run into the same problem and so on. "It can sometimes be when you get to your 20th project that you end up solving the obstacle in the first". If we make time to try and fail, it means we are in a constant moving circle of adding and improving. What matters is that you keep moving and let those creative juice flow. Innovation doesn't happen overnight (shock!) but embracing your childish curiosity leads to opportunity for growth.

Scrap what doesn't work

It's easy to forget our audience are human not just "segments" ! Getting the tone right is hard, especially when you're sending to thousands of subscribers. Even in an office of 30 people, the range of personalities you have is insane, and what we engage with will differ drastically. Kait Creamer from Scaled Agile mentioned in her talk that reading the room is hard in email, "how can we communicate with people who do not speak your language?". A common theme across a few of the talks from Litmus was to be more forgiving of ourselves. No one gets things right first time, every time. No one. I think we can all relate to this. 

Don't just do something because its always been that way

Our phones are essentially our inbox (Elliot Ross, Taxi for Email). And as customers, we are bombarded with notifications containing information which can be overwhelming. As much as we love the flashy gifs, a trend we are likely to see is customers searching for simplicity (Lily Worth, Litmus). In turn with this, a shift towards custom graphics, which currently drive the highest engagement (at 40%) in comparison to other graphics. If custom graphics can help simplify a complicated message and be engaging with the reader, it's a win win. 

Don't trick the customer. Seriously. Stop it. 

As we said the big takeaway from this years Litmus Live was to stop manipulating your customers! Our own Dylan Smith said "send email as though your mother is opening". We love this.  The idea behind this being, would you trick your mother? Stop with the tricks people. You know you can do better.  We have so much information available to us now that goes beyond a data list or set of demographics. Let's play with it! You can be personal without being creepy. Kenda Macdonald from Automation Ninjas told us that personalised CTAs convert 202% more than a non-personalised one, why not test this out? Amazing, easy and effective. 

We chatted to Jay Oram, Designer at Action Rocket on what he took away from his first Litmus Live conference. 

"My first Litmus did not disappoint - Not only did I get to speak (which was amazing!) - Meeting all the email geeks I chat to online, the people behind cool emails and just to have a beer and talk about email with people as passionate as I am about email was so cool. I was really inspired by all the talks on creating a cohesive team, to create awesome emails, but in particular, Mark Robbins talk "fostering innovation" has inspired me and my colleagues to take some time to innovate more, and Paul Airy's talk on accessibility had me scribbling notes like a mad man to implement going forward"

#emailgeeks really are a special bunch and we cant wait to see you all at the next one. 

Join us at #LitmusLive Boston

We're getting ready to do it all again in Boston — Our ticket competition launches soon.

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