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19 April 2018

Use These 4 Email Trends to Up Your Marketing Game

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Email marketing is the cornerstone of most marketing strategies. It’s easy-to-use, inexpensive, and can reach your target audience exactly when you need it to.

It’s also great for your business’s bottom line, as consumers who make a purchase through email spend 138% more than people who don’t receive emails. Plus, the ROI for email marketing is unbeatable – for every $1 spent, email offers a return of $44.

It’s easy to see why email marketing has remained so popular over the years, but you may be thinking its days are numbered, especially as new social media platforms burst onto the scene. However, email marketing remains an essential cornerstone of digital marketing, and it’s not going anywhere.

With new technology and ideas coming out all the time, people continue to spend significant time engaging with their email inboxes.

Based on recent history and trends, the most obvious trend for email marketing is that...email marketing will be more powerful than ever to increase your bottom line. 

Looking for more insights? Read on...

Interactive Emails

Although email marketing remains the most valuable form of digital marketing--more than 3.7 billion people use email throughout the world, according to the Radicati Group, and 59% of B2B marketers cite email as their most effective channel for generating revenue, according to BtoB Magazine--it can learn from upstart digital marketing platforms like social media.

And what can email marketers learn from social media? The importance of interaction.

A poll by Litmus shows that 27% of marketers believe interactive emails make an impact with email marketing. Using the target audience as inspiration, expect email marketers to become more engaging by creating interactive emails.

Those looking for higher engagement and greater interactivity can try any of the following strategies:

  • Polls. This lets you know your subscribers' true interests and helps shape future content. Sending a poll in an email gives readers a sense they're being listened to.
  • Gamification. Interactive emails that exemplify this strategy includes "I Spy" types of pictures, quizzes about a trending topic with a reward at the end, or a platform of challenges to accumulate points. Nerd Fitness has created an entire online community based on this concept.
  • Challenges. Exercise and fitness marketers have taken over social media with challenge groups. Expect to see these same types of challenges in email marketing as well.
  • Image galleries. People love looking at slide shows and image galleries. Ideas include people enjoying your product or beautiful places one can take advantage of while using your product.

List Segmentation

MailChimp conducted several studies on the effects of segmentation on email open rates. Their research concluded that segmented campaigns produce over 14% more opens and nearly 11% more unique opens. Even more eye-opening (or should we say email opening) are click-through rates. Segmented campaigns enjoy more than twice the number of clicks.

Targeting segments of your audience helps with email personalization. As a result, segmentation reduces the negative behavior associated with email marketing. Segmented campaigns experience nearly 5% fewer bounces and nearly 4% fewer abuse reports.

There are several ways you can take advantage of list segmentation.

  • Segmentation Based on Demographics. Using demographic information to segment lists is the most popular and most effective way to increase opens and click-throughs. Segmenting based on age, gender, zip code, job title, or any relevant data helps email marketers focus on a specific audience. And when it comes to writing, knowing your audience is one of the first things you learned about in your middle school English class.
  • Segmentation Based on Interests. Not everyone signs up for your email series for the same reason and not everyone on that list shares the same interests. Segmenting emails based on user interest is another way segmentation helps personalize your audience.
  • Segmentation Based on Subscriber Activity. Leads move at different rates through the sales funnel. Emails, therefore, need to reflect behavior more than time on the list. Those who click on emails might benefit from an email that those who rarely open emails would not. Or those who engage in a video series you put on your blog are obviously more engaged than those who do not.

How you segment depends on your industry, your audience, and your email marketing platform. What you need to be aware of is that in 2018, more email marketers will be segmenting. Will you keep up with the competition?

Mobile Responsive Emails

Traditionally, email marketers created emails and used templates with desktop in mind and then made adjustments to make sure those reading email on a mobile device were taken care of. Now that more than half of all emails are read on a mobile device (according to a Litmus study), the trend will be to design emails for mobile first and then adapt it to satisfy those still reading their emails on a computer.

Mobile design elements will go beyond just creating the email. Mobile friendly email subscription forms will accompany more lead magnets designed for mobile device consumption. Take advantage of the trend toward mobile with the following strategies:

  • Make sure your website is mobile friendly. Internet users want their information fast. They will move on to another website if you can't give them a responsive site and a fast experience.
  • Make your subscription sign-up form mobile friendly. Test the subscriber sign-up on a mobile device. If it's too difficult or doesn't work, fix it or find someone who can.

Mobile friendly email and opt-ins are no longer a luxury. They're a necessity in 2018--and they have been for the last few years, too.

More Personalization

Personalizing emails is a great way to get your subscribers’ attention. Emails with subject lines that are personalized are 26% more likely to be opened, and all you need is to know your subscriber’s first name.

But personalization can go beyond just a first name. You can include any information you have about your customers in the content of your email. Adding images that are specific to each person who gets your email, or each segment of your list can help keep that person opening your emails, and sticking around as a customer.

When it comes to digital marketing, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. When you address someone with a general greeting that applies to just about anyone, the recipient no longer feels like the email was sent to exclusively to their inbox.

There's more to personalization, however, than just adding your name after a 'Dear.' In 2018, emails are likely to take on a more conversational tone. After all, if your friend sent you an email it would be more likely to sound like this:

"Hey, I heard you're having a little trouble finding a way to get people to your website. Let me help you out with that."

than it would this:

"Dear Customer, It's not all that uncommon for new websites to fail to attract visitors and it subsequently becomes more difficult to attract customers. Our brand new Automation 2400XSC email defibrillation system provides everything you need to increase website traffic."

Taking on a conversational tone provides a more personal and genuine interaction. Content marketing relies on the assumption that you care about your leads. You care about those who visit your site. That's why, after all, you create such valuable content and give so much of it away for free.

It’s important to make sure your tone is appropriate to the audience. It’s important to remember not to overdo it, as you don’t want to seem like a stalker.

Suggestions for making your email tone more conversational include the following:

  • Stop writing to everyone. Write to the specific person your marketing is trying to attract.
  • Stop trying to impress. Nobody cares about how great you are. Everybody wants to know what's in it for them.
  • It's OK to use first person. Hey I'm not telling you how to write your emails, but I will give you some tips.
  • Show them you're a human. Humans have personalities. Robots do not. Don't write like a robot.
  • Ask questions. Questions engage the mind, don't you think?

Why Trends Matter

Utilize these strategies for your email campaigns to boost your ROI. 

With these tips, you can create effective, personalized emails that your customers will love and respond to. Collect some data, or use what you already have, and create emails with personalized content that you know your customers will respond to. The more you incorporate information that your readers want, the more impact your email will have, for your customers and your business.

The future is bright for email marketing and even more exciting things will be coming soon!