Did you see this coming? Email marketing sits at the top of the list of marketing trends to watch for in 2017.
Even though email marketing engagement rates continue to drop year over year, content marketing and Hubspot contributor, Sophia Bernazzani suggests that this is not because of email marketing losing its efficacy, but rather that it has become more competitive.
To ensure your email newsletter gets VIP status within your audience’s inbox, consider these points before you hit send:
Personalization is king
With the odd exception of giving in to an irresistible subject line, most people tend to click only on the brand emails that promise (or have delivered in past) something of true value and interest.
The experts at Marketo point out that customizing content for each recipient is a great way to enhance value, and can generate higher transaction rates, open rates and click-through rates.
For example, the e-reader brand, Kobo, sends me daily deals including special offers when the price drops for a book I have been visiting in their online store. Based on my previous purchases, I will also receive recommendations for new books that I may enjoy. The result? I open 9 out of 10 Kobo emails because I know they will offer me something I want.
Individually personalizing each and every marketing email to this degree is impossible unless you have a very small prospect list! However marketing automation systems allow for such personalization on a large scale; they can track a customer’s behaviour and actions to trigger relevant and pre-set communications.
Segment, segment, segment!
Successful email campaigns are built upon superior segmentation. Segmentation consists of dividing your list into various groups, based on similar criteria. This allows you to narrow your focus and create different offers to suit the different needs of groups within your overall database.
To help get you started, MailChimp offer some examples of how to segment a large list.
Try segmenting by:
- Customer type
- Geographical locations
- Job title
- Signup date (the date that subscribers joined your list)
- Interest groups
- Subscriber activity
- Purchase behaviour
Most companies have a mountain of customer and subscriber data ready and waiting to be integrated into email marketing campaigns.
For example, Kobo knows better than to offer me titles within the teen fiction or science fiction genres. My past shopping behaviour has been captured and is used to determine which marketing offers I will receive in future. Use all the insights at your disposal to create email campaigns rich with usefulness.
Stand out with interactivity
Interactive email marketing has proved successful in its ability to enhance user experience.
A Litmus study examining email marketing trends, explains that interactive emails are becoming a powerful tool due to their ability to reduce barriers to engagement. Readers engage with the brand within the email, without being redirected to a landing page, a common cause of increased drop off rates.
For example, fashion brand ModCloth shows readers how to layer their favourite clothing items, within their interactive newsletter, here:
RadioShack added interactivity to their Cyber Monday newsletter with a real-time countdown to the next deal embedded within the email.
Newsletters shouldn’t be all about you
A client newsletter is a great tactic for staying engaged with your audience. Just remember, it’s not all about you! In a Hubspot article, marketing manager Lindsay Kolowich lists her favourite email newsletters, describing why she looks forward to receiving each one to her inbox. “The most effective newsletters aim to educate, not sell,” explains Kolowich.
A newsletter should offer a good mix of content, focusing on more than promotions and discounts. Rather than push a product by listing its benefits, try highlighting a case study detailing how a client benefited from that product, or talk about the latest upgrades or call out key features in a Did You Know section.
A quick Google search of, “What days are best to send email marketing campaigns?” renders more than eight million results – and not much consensus. The best time to send your newsletter will depend upon the nature of your specific audience. Experiment and test to find the right cadence for your campaign by sending emails on different days of the week, at alternate times throughout the day and at different frequencies throughout the year. Learn what works for your campaigns by watching when your audience is opening their emails.
Think mobile first
It goes without saying that your newsletter and email campaigns should be mobile-friendly. A study from Litmus found that 56% of email users prefer opening their email on mobile devices. This means employing a responsive web design so that you’re in complete control of the user experience, regardless of their access point.
Kevin George, the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest growing email design and coding companies, breathes email marketing. He explains, “The content of the email, too, should be written with mobile users in mind. The subject line, the main copy, and the CTA- all will need to be short, crisp and to the point. CTAs must be prominent and easy to click on the mobile device.”
This is the legislation that haunts the dreams of email marketers across Canada. 2017 sees full CASL enforcement come into effect so ensure that you are compliant with the Canadian Anti-Spam Law before pressing send on your next email campaign. We spoke with Derek Lackey, President of Direct Marketing Association of Canada, bringing you expert tips and advice to help your business take the necessary steps to become compliant in the coming months. Read the article in full here.
Is email marketing a part of your 2017 marketing strategy? What newsletters and emails do you look forward to receiving into your inbox and why? Comment below or tweet us at @CNWGroup.