The limitations of email might be frustrating for most designers, but for Austin Woodall they’re a source of inspiration — so much so that it changed his career.
“I went to school for traditional print marketing,” Woodall says. “Development was something I just did for fun. But through some contract work I was introduced to email, and I fell in love with the medium because it was such a challenge.”
When we last spoke to Woodall, he talked about his interest in exploring the limits of email as a medium and an art form. To that end, Woodall has experimented extensively with interactive email. In the conversation below, he talks about the pros and cons of going interactive — and why getting your messaging just right is still what matters most.
Why isn’t interactive email more common?
There are so many email platforms out there that render email in so many different ways. You have to be able to account for 20 different scenarios. So email — and especially interactive email — is not something most developers want to work on.
But it seems like something consumers would respond well to, since so much of the web is interactive.
One of the biggest hurdles of interactivity in email is that subscribers don’t know that elements are interactive. People are so used to receiving an email that doesn’t do anything that they don’t look for those types of interactions. In order to see meaningful engagement, it takes time to train users that these elements work in their inboxes.