Just about everyone these days has at least one email address. In fact, most young and/or tech-savvy people have multiple functional email addresses: one for personal communication, another for business communication, and often a third for mailing lists and brand promotions.
Why is a pernicious rumor circulating that email marketing is dead? That’s like saying there’s no point casting your line into the sea because it’s no longer possible to catch any fish. Millions of fish are still teeming in the ocean, and they’re still looking for something tasty.
But you need to cast a strong line, in the right waters, with good bait, and at the right time. Email campaigns, when they’re managed correctly, are one of the best ways to reach the most people, entice them with what you have to offer, and improve customer loyalty.
So, manage your email marketing strategy correctly. Unless you’re already an expert, you’ll need to research and hire an adept, experienced email marketing agency. They’ll make your job much easier.
Here are some of the most important tactics an agency will implement to keep you on the cutting edge of email marketing strategies for 2020 and beyond.
Optimizing Email for Mobile
You may craft your email campaign on a computer, but your subscribers will be opening email on their smart phones too. Smart phones are by far the most popular device for browsing and email activity now, having surpassed desktop computers in terms of those activities long ago. With that in mind, any email marketing agency worth its salt will make sure that you’re not only optimized for mobile subscribers, but that you prioritize them.
According to Harris Kreichman of eTarget media, “Email marketers will need to make improvements to optimize for mobile emails, including making copy easier to read on mobile devices, optimizing images for mobile, and making the overall design and layout more friendly for mobile rendering.”
To be specific, you’ll need to do the following:
Test run your message through reliable email software to make sure it’s mobile optimized.
Avoid long blocks of text, which may look fine on a computer but can look like War and Peace on a mobile device.
Don’t rely too heavily on images, which some email apps won’t display. Go for quality, not quantity.
Email Audience Segmentation
Segmentation refers to casting your line into the right waters at the right time, using the right bait. After all, a 50-year-old male tuna isn’t always looking for the same tidbit as a 22-year-old female sailfish. So why would you work off one long master email list and send every subscriber the same content?
A good email marketing agency will organize your subscribers according to their interests, behaviors, and where they are in their “customer journey.” They’ll then tailor each email campaign accordingly and send the right message to the right customer at the right time. A customer journey might look something like this:
1st Campaign – Welcome email with a preference survey (more on that later).
2nd Campaign – Promotional email offering discounts and highlighting sales on targeted products/services.
3rd Campaign – Link to blog post or informational article about an area of interest based on previous clicks and purchases.
Preferred Email Content at the Right Frequency
Did we mention that many have multiple email addresses? Imagine how many emails those people are receiving every week, whether personal or business-related. Here’s a hint: the average office worker gets 121 new business emails daily. Every. Day. And that’s just in the office.
Don’t spam your subscribers’ inbox. Your audience took the initiative to visit your website and provide you with their email address, so have the courtesy to learn what level of correspondence they want (and can tolerate) and respect that, or you risk them unsubscribing faster than you can say “Hello again!”
One way to learn this valuable information is to send new subscribers a preference survey right off the bat, or at least a link to a preference center where they can indicate what information they want to receive and how often they want it.
You can also survey your subscribers to learn their preferences for the purpose of generating user-generated content. Jordie van Rijn, of emailmonday.com, states that, “User-Generated Content (UGC) is any piece of content (text, images, audio, visual, etc.) that is created by… gathering customer feedback.”
It’s a simple concept: give the people what they want, and your email marketing strategy will come that much easier.
Interactivity and Animation
Everything today is bells and whistles. Human attention spans are getting shorter and people easily become bored or distracted. Your subscribers will seldom bother to read through a long email, so you’d better give them something fun or interesting to do.
For this reason, email marketing has seen a steady rise in animation and interactive features – major brands now use animated GIFs to add movement and interest to their campaigns. To stand out from the competition, smart email marketing agencies will incorporate life, movement, and interactivity into your email campaigns.
Create Value-Driven Connections
For the best results, you don’t want your emails (especially those of nurture campaigns) to trigger any feelings of manipulation or spam. Instead, your email marketing strategy should provide value to the customer experience by addressing the customer in a helpful tone that feels authentic for your brand.
Examples of helpful nurture emails might be:
Send an email that outlines the value propositions of your company and how you compare to your competitors. You can even include a price comparison graphic.
If the customer has an abandoned cart, provide monetary value to the customer by offering a discount on one or all the items in their cart. By doing so, you communicate to the customer that they’re important to your business regardless of the money they spend.
If you don't want to offer discounts, you can offer any sort of value-add that your business model allows.
Start Nurturing Your Customers Today
Don’t let leads and customers fall away from your brand’s products and services due to a lack of nurturing. With email campaigns, you can provide a valuable, personalized experience to your demographic that supports your existing marketing efforts and drives future business growth. Your campaigns should always involve collected data to maximize the customer experience and connect more meaningfully with your audience.