Last week we covered 2015’s top email marketing trends. Today we take that knowledge and focus on next steps for email marketing success in 2016.
1. Focus on the customer.
Whether you’re improving user experience or building a lifecycle email campaign, put your customers at the center of your efforts. They’re driving the conversation with brands. Focus on their needs by listening, observing and joining the conversation, and you’ll see improved open rates, click-through rates and ROI.
2. Deliver quality over quantity.
Now is the time to focus on quality instead of quantity. Customers will only engage with content they really want to see. Your goal should be to create quality email content delivered on a consistent basis.
Integrate your email marketing with social media and other marketing channels to directly target and engage subscribers. For example, more and more marketers are using social media to grow their email list. You can read more about this in our post “Make Your Email & Social Media Marketing Work Smarter . . . Together.”
4. Use visual content to tell a story.
The demand for visual content continues to rise, and email is a great place to give users what they want. Adding images to emails can significantly increase click-through rates. Just be sure to stay on brand and customize your visual content to email. Check out our blog post on how to craft great visual content for more information about how to make the most of this trend.
5. Make friends with data.
Email analytics is critical to creating effective email campaigns. Start tracking meaningful metrics to find out what’s working and what’s not. Collect good data—meaningful and analyzable data that maps to strategic business objectives—in order to understand and optimize how customers interact with your emails.
6. Focus on relevance.
To connect with subscribers, the stories you tell in your emails need to reflect things that are immediate and real to them. With good data in hand, you’ll be able to do that—especially if you use segmentation and personalization. These tactics help you narrow your focus and, in turn, get more opens and more clicks.
7. Put mobile first.
Around half of all emails are opened on mobile devices, and that number is still climbing. Use email analytics to find out how many of your subscribers look at email on mobile devices and what devices and email clients they use. Use this information to create emails your customers can easily interact with on their mobile devices. Then, focus your testing and optimization on how your subscribers interact with those emails. Check out our blog posts on creating mobile-friendly emails for more mobile-first best practices. On the horizon, we’ll be looking at how to create emails for wearable tech.
8. Automate it.
Email automation plays a key role in converting leads into customers. It can help you stay fresh on buyers’ minds and plant the seeds of a relationship with your brand. Triggered emails also have the capacity to help you save time and money. According to the Lenskold Group, a marketing consulting firm that specializes in return on investment analysis and strategy, 78% of successful marketers report that marketing automation is responsible for improving revenue. Get some helpful tips and a look at a few key examples of email automation in our blog post “Triggered Emails & Lifecycle Marketing: Tips & Best Practices.”
9. Build relationships.
Create meaningful connections with personalized, data-driven email marketing. Focus on building stronger loyalty and long-term customer engagement. First, start with good data about your customers’ needs, wants, interests and preferences. (See #5 above.) Then, segment your email list in order to send out targeted and tailored messages. Finally, make your content engaging and relevant with personalization.
10. Optimize across the journey.
The customer journey now involves countless micro-moments as customers go through their day engaging with mobile devices. People move seamlessly across screens and channels. As a result, your brand must deliver content seamlessly in return. Don’t let competing objectives or department silos stand in the way. Provide a great user experience at every touchpoint.
How have your email marketing strategies changed this year? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Get in touch with Filament to keep your email marketing ahead of the trends.