Email clients have changed over the years, adding support for various features and design elements, allowing marketers to craft some pretty impressive and visually stunning responsive emails. But then sometimes, that support is reversed or removed.

While looking at a few of the new interactive email features being explored and tested, we found many of the articles were “updated,” indicating their recommendations or code changed because some email client no longer supported the feature.

For example, an article from Email on Acid excitedly wrote about using CSS to create Javascript-like functionality to produce a tabbed content switcher in email. The article was written in September 2017. By the end of November, a disclaimer was added indicating that Gmail on Android no longer supported the technique they outlined.

There were also a number of articles on interactive emails which discussed using selectors to allow images or layers in an email to change based on user actions  or to create drop-down navigation in an email or to include carousels and galleries.

Unfortunately, many of these emails, as described in each article,  are based on using a CSS selector. While Gmail added class and ID support allowing responsive emails, it dropped attribute selector and :checked support in a recent update, rendering these interactive elements non-functioning.

Bottom Line: If you want to include interaction in your emails, make sure you test using tools in your email marketing system or email testing software such as Litmus or Email on Acid. Supported email features change fast and what once worked may now need a fallback solution in order to display elegantly for all recipients. Or, consider using list segmentation based on the email client your users most use and send more robust emails to those users whose email will support the features.

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