Email is an essential communication tool of the digital age. For marketing professionals, an email list is a vital part of any digital marketing strategy. Indeed, one of the most important parts of modern advertising and marketing is to create meaningful interactions with customers. Email allows ample opportunity to do so, but only if marketers carefully analyze and optimize their approach to email marketing.
Most people have a spam folder overflowing with emails they’ll never read or will simply delete upon receipt. If you’re a marketer, hopefully customers are allowing your emails into their inboxes and you’ve made sure that they’re not automatically caught by a spam filter. However, what incentive do your customers have to do so if they don’t consider your messages valuable?
Rethink Your Email Strategy Based on 2016 Email Trends
Many companies fail to put a reasonable amount of effort into their email marketing, and most of the notes to their customers are simply automatically generated responses to customer actions (one ubiquitous example being shipping confirmation emails for online purchases). Some companies send automatic reminders about sales, promotions, and unused bonus offers available to customers, but there are many more opportunities to take email marketing further.
Considering some of the trends in email design that we’re seeing today, here are a few of the things you may consider to breathe new life into your email marketing strategy include:
- Provide built-in shareable content. Most people are browsing emails on mobile devices or have their desktops configured so they can sign into their social media accounts with a few simple clicks. Incentivize customers to share content in your emails through social media.
- Ask for feedback. Customers want to know that their opinions and insights are valued. Offer them a simple way to provide feedback in your email, or link to a short survey. Customers may be able to tell you exactly what isn’t working in your marketing strategy.
- Convey urgency. Limited-time offers and flash promotions are an excellent way to boost the returns you see from your investments in email marketing. If customers are saving money and finding tangible benefits from reading your emails, they’re more likely to continue doing so.
- Send reminders. If a customer logged in to your website fills a shopping cart but navigates away from your page before checking out, a gentle reminder can be a good way to get him or her to come back and finish the sale. Set up reminder emails to be sent after a set period of time once a customer fills a cart on your website. The user may have simply been distracted.
- Provide value. Give customers something valuable in your emails. They should look forward to your next message rather than simply dismissing it as soon as it arrives. When you provide real value, customers will be hungry for more—which helps drive engagement.
- Give updates. Include short sections with recent company updates, especially those that highlight your humanity. Recent tweets and Instagram posts can be a fun addition to any marketing communication (and can be made easily shareable, too). A “Year in Review” email can also show customers the strength and staying power of your brand, and including a message about what they’ve done to help is an awesome way to communicate customer appreciation.
- Show the power of mobile. Almost every brand now has a proprietary mobile app. Include screenshots of your newest app or updates to existing options in your email, showing customers what it looks like on a phone. This is a fantastic way to increase downloads and further drive engagement.
- Don’t skimp on visual appeal. Although minimalist visual design has been the golden standard in digital media for years, it’s important that you don’t conflate “minimalist” with “bare-bones.” Your emails should be vibrant, using color palettes that reflect your brand image. Make bold statements with color choices without going overboard and becoming too ostentatious. You don’t want a simple black and white wall of text, either.
- Use infographics. One of the most engaging ways to provide information in an easily digestible and interesting way is with infographics. A decent graphic designer should have little trouble turning your brand’s year in review or other statistics into a fun and dramatic infographic.
This list delineates a few of the ways you can revitalize your email marketing and turn it from an expected, humdrum communication tool into a powerful force for driving customer interactions. Remember that technology is constantly evolving, as are the ways in which we communicate with each other. For business owners, that means there are always new ways to reach customers, build brand awareness, and foster meaningful interactions.
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