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4 Things to Know: Gmail Launches Update to Support Responsive Design

At a glance, email marketing may seem old school, but it’s still one of the best tools to grow your business. According to Ascend2, email marketing technology is used by 82% of B2B and B2C companies, while those who send automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages that sync up with a customer’s purchase cycle.To keep up with the steady popularity of email marketing, Google recently announced some changes to better tailor emails to devices of every kind.In a September 14th announcement, the search engine giant said that its email service would start supporting responsive design. Email designers are now able to specify different display styles beyond width, screen resolution, and rotation. This may seem standard, but for digital marketing professionals, it's is a huge deal.

  1. Gmail’s update now supports media queriesHave you ever opened up an email on your phone or tablet and the formatting looked funky? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Until the recent update, Gmail didn’t support media queries which allow for responsive design. Guess what - it does now!
  2. CSS is now a thing of the pastThe new Gmail update stripped <style> code from the <head> of emails, and for good reason. Currently, low-usage email clients who require inlined styles represent less than 1% of all email opens. Now, emails will be much easier (and faster) to code, while subscribers will see faster load rates.
  3. Interactive email elements are still limitedDespite the update, Gmail’s rendering engine still doesn’t support any CSS that uses classes of IDs, which are necessary for interactive features like check boxes, radio buttons, and labels. Interactive elements were previously limited by security concerns.
  4. What prompted all these changes?There are many factors that led to these updates and some of them are particularly important to digital marketing professionals. To start, C-suite Gmail leadership changed in recent years and now view email marketers are friends not foes. Second, consumer behavior is changing, with many people accessing business and personal emails on the same platform.
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