Marketing technology is transforming itself as it adapts to the changing demands of the Internet consumer. Email marketing is arguably the most exciting channel of all and below, we take a look at what its future might be as it embraces and benefits from technological innovations.
Email Service Providers (ESPs) To Become Real Time Connected
Most ESPs don’t look beyond the next 12 months but this will have to change as they will become interconnected with various digital media channels such as social media, Web Analytics and real time marketing tools which provide online interactions. As ESPs hold a huge amount of behavioral data, they should be able to do the following:
- Push targeted ads on social networks according to the behavior or status of visitors to websites.
- Interface with web analytics to create a behavioral retargeting trigger in less than 60 seconds.
- Personalize and target web interactions such as pop ups with the data it holds.
Consumer privacy and data protection are now deemed to be extremely important and there will be new ways to protect customers from unwanted email communications. At present, Gmail already makes it easy for users to ignore emails they don’t want to know about and there will be even less clutter in the future.
As a result, email marketers will need to create higher quality emails. They must leverage data through the segmentation of clients by every possible data point. This information will include source of lead, email history and tracking of website clicks. The result will be personalized emails a world away from the inclusion of a first name in messages.
The best way to determine the success of an email campaign is to analyze reports from your ESP. At present, you can use these reports to find out click-through and open rates for example but the real trick in future is deciding what to do with this information. Internet Service Providers are using interaction rates to determine the emails that should get delivered and those that should end up in the spam bin.
In future, you need to use the data provided by improved technology to take action based on what you find. Email campaigns of the future will consist of multiple steps so if recipients don’t interact, you will need to find out why and change things up.
Ultimately, the future of email marketing is very bright but only if you learn how to use the newly available technologies to your advantage.
How often have you delayed something you were going to do? It is far too easy to say ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ but then something else comes up. In the world of email marketing, you should never delay what can be done right now. As such, you should be making a ‘bucket list’ of things you should do in your email marketing campaign while you still have the opportunity. Here are a few of the most common thing successful email marketers will put on their bucket lists.
- Shopping Cart Abandonment Emails: An estimated 68% of shopping carts get abandoned online and while you can’t win ‘em all, converting even a few of these ‘lost’ sales into actual revenue could transform your business. There are a number of tactics you can use on one of these campaigns including offering discounts and designing the right templates. Research suggests the best time to send the first cart retrieval email is 1-3 hours after the abandonment.
- Birthday Emails: Most people like to receive a birthday email and they certainly like to treat themselves so use this to your advantage by crafting a clever birthday email campaign. One great campaign used by a company involved sending emails to people promising a treat if the recipient told the sender their birthday. The click-through rate of this particular campaign was over 140% higher than average.
- Use Video: One of the best ways to share your video content is through emails. If you are sending emails to relatively new subscribers, keep the videos below 90 seconds. You can use much longer videos for people further down the sales funnel. Be sure to place that all important Call To Action outlining the next step at the end of the video.
- Know Thy Reports: It is imperative that you know what is happening ‘beyond the click’. You can use the free Google Analytics dashboard to find out how your email marketing campaigns are doing compared to your other marketing channels. This dashboard allows you to determine the articles in your newsletter which were deemed most relevant by subscribers and see how email subscribers are engaged compared to other visitors to your site.
It is important to note that your ‘bucket list’ is not the same as your ‘strategy’. However, your bucket list can serve as a place where you find improvement and passion points. Finally, it feels truly fantastic to make one of these lists and cross an item off it!
While a large percentage of companies have used email marketing over the years, the quality of their campaigns varied markedly. Too many businesses have been happy to utilize a fairly sub-standard generic email strategy but consumers won’t accept this anymore and are only interested in companies that provide information tailored to their specific needs. As a result, improved data and personalization are the way forward and we explain more below.
Marketing in Real Time
Email marketers are starting to understand the importance of triggered campaigns and are analyzing the behavior of customers to ensure they are sent more personalized emails. As mobile Internet use has risen exponentially in recent times, marketers know that their target audience regularly checks their emails while on the move. Therefore, a real time marketing email based on a recent event or news story is probably going to be read since it is still in the consumer’s mind.
Context & Behavior
The rise of Big Data has helped with the evolution of email marketing since marketers now know when and where someone will open a message as well as having an understanding of the type of content recipients are likely to consume. If you know when a recipient will open your email, it can make a world of difference to your click-through rate. You can find out this information by tracking previous opens, segmenting them and applying geographical location data.
With more data in the email channel, you can send more specific emails which of course improves the personalization experience for recipients. The better tailored your emails, the more engagement you can expect.
Email Is Going Up The Funnel
Traditionally, email marketing was deemed to be best suited for use at the bottom of the sales funnel since the focus was on conversion but this will change in the future. Companies should be using emails at the top of the funnel as a branding tool. Once you learn how to optimize email at both ends of the funnel, you will end up with improved results on your campaigns. Since much of email marketing is automated now, you can concentrate on creating great content since the technical aspect almost takes care of itself.
Although mobile digital channels may take some of email’s traction, email marketing is set to remain as the #1 method of successfully reaching your target audience to provide them with information they want to hear.
Although it would be far better if you were already up on these trends at the start of the year, it is not too late to catch up on the following marketing tactics as long as you start right now!
1 – Mobile Marketing
If you don’t already understand the impact of mobile on marketing, perhaps you are in the wrong business! By the beginning of 2014, more people were accessing the Internet from mobile devices than desktops and this gap is growing as there are now more than 1 billion Smartphones in use. You need to embrace responsive web design because mobile Internet users expect ease of use when accessing any website.
2 – Marketing Automation
This timesaving measure will soon dominate the marketing realm. It already helps increase existing conversion rates by 50% so start looking for ways to integrate your existing marketing tools. Marketing automation systems are looking to combine CRM, content management and email marketing into holistic tools which work to deliver the right content to consumers at the right time.
3 – Paid Placements
Get ready to open your wallet because paid placements will be needed to convince difficult to reach business consumers that your brand is the one they should spend their cash on. There are sponsored content placements available on the major social networks now and they outperform brands looking to continue taking advantage of free reach. You will need to tighten up your content to make it more educational and more to the point. This means more explainer videos and infographics.
4 – Microtargeting
This means getting to grips with personalization which will allow you to find the perfect subniche to market to. Microtargeting is all about finding small yet profitable segments of your target audience and the goal is to earn a very high conversion rate. To get involved in microtargeting, you need to learn more about your audience and really delve into their lifestyles and motivations.
5 – Hire A Professional Writer
With a growing emphasis on brand identity, marketing companies will need to bring in professional writers as brands will become associated with the quality of content they produce. You should have an editorial team which creates style guides and maintains the highest standards. In most cases, you will need to find high quality freelance writers; in this case, make sure he/she receives the necessary internal documentation to create the required content.
If you’re not already following the above marketing trends, start moving now and get back on track in 2015.
As other forms of digital marketing get touted as the ‘next big thing’, the demise of email marketing is said to be imminent. Yet on every occasion so far, the latest fad has been confined to the dustbin of history while email marketing continues to be a way of reaching huge audiences and it provides companies with a staggering ROI.
It has become obvious that email marketing will continue to be important and innovations will shape its future rather than destroy it. Today, we look at developments that could change the way we use email marketing.
The majority of marketers believe email marketing will be fully integrated with other channels by 2019. The value of email will become almost entirely linked to its performance when used with other channels but to say it will become 100% integrated in such a short time frame is a tad ambitious. There are many challenges facing integration which should take longer than 4 years to solve.
Relatively few companies properly use the power of automation; while it has led to an increase in the volume of emails sent, not many businesses go the extra mile and create automated triggers. However, as email marketing will become more integrated with other forms of marketing; automated campaigns will be a certainty because of the time they save. As well as sending out emails based on a recipient’s behavior, marketers will be able to focus on other things.
The ‘spray and pray’ tactics of yesteryear are now known to be outdated as customers become more particular about the type of content they read. Almost 80% of marketers believe all email communication with customers will be personalized within the next 4-5 years. This isn’t as far-fetched as the integration ambition because over 30% of companies already use personalization as a tactic in their email marketing strategies.
There are expected to be 100 million wearables worn by people in 2016. Google is planning to create wearable ready Gmail clients which are to be included in Android devices in the next few years. These wearables will make it easier than ever for people to access the Internet and check their emails on the move. This technology will make it possible for email marketers to reach people during all their waking hours which mean more chances to make a sale!
These are just some of the innovations set to change the way we market using emails. Get on board or risk being left behind.
Despite the different innovations in the field of inbound marketing, email remains one of the best ways to reach a large audience for a relatively low cost. A combination of the average American getting around 100 emails a day and an increase in the number of scam artists means people are very thorough when it comes to filtering their emails so you need to create a solid email marketing strategy to break through. Below, we look at the hot email marketing trends that help you capture leads and the tactics you need to bin.
- Great Content: The need for informative and compelling content will never die so concentrate on creating emails people want to open and read without resorting to ‘You could have won $1 million’ style catchy headlines. Consider experimenting with varied content forms such as infographics and hot news in your industry.
- Personalization: Generic emails WILL be deleted so look to use marketing automation to deliver tailored messages to your target audience. This process also assists with follow-up emails and triggered messages that help nudge leads closer to a sale.
- Embrace Analytics: Savvy email marketers already know the need for detailed analytics but if you are not yet up to speed, you better rectify the situation in 2015 because your rivals most certainly will. Use analytics to improve audience segmentation which in turn helps you find a higher standard of lead.
- Chasing Inactive Subscribers: Major Internet service providers are making decisions about filtering by looking at engagement rates. As a result, emails to interested subscribers could get sent to their spam folders because your inactive subscriber list is hurting your deliverability rate.
- Product-Centric Emails: Your subscribers are seeking a solution to their problem so if you keep sending them emails about how great your company and products are, they will soon unsubscribe en-masse. As I mentioned above, personalization is key; make email recipients feel as if you understand their issue and have the means to help.
- Advertorial Subject Lines: Don’t write your subject lines as if they are an advert for your business. Instead of copying a landing page or sales letter style headline, opt for a more informative approach. Tell recipients what they can expect inside. Of course, you need to make it sound compelling but an overtly salesy approach no longer works.
While you can’t expect your email marketing campaign to be an overnight success, you can use the above tactics to help guide you towards vastly superior results in 2015.
Start 2015 Strong: Quick Wins For Email Marketers
During 2014, it was obvious that email marketing’s momentum was growing and by the start of 2015, it was apparent that it is still the #1 form of marketing from an ROI standpoint. Over 90% of Internet users in the United States check their emails regularly so there are few faster ways to reach your target audience. The trouble is, competition is fierce so if you want to get off to a flyer in 2015, you need to follow these tips to ensure some quick wins for your email marketing strategy.
- Include Video: You could see an increase of up to 40% on your monthly revenue by including videos in your emails. Click-through rates increase by up to 200% on emails when you include a video. As well as breaking up the text, videos are engaging and are attracting more traffic than ever before.
- Go Mobile: Smartphones appear to be invading the Earth as consumers show a preference for shopping and browsing on their mobile devices. In fact, more people surf the net on a mobile device than from a desktop. As a result, you need to create emails specifically for email users taking into account the different screen sizes.
- Brand Consistency: Generally speaking, you only have a couple of seconds to grab a reader’s attention so use a consistent look and format to ensure your subscribers immediately recognize your emails.
Add RSS Feeds: RSS updates are syndicated live web feeds and businesses that utilize them can quickly and effectively connect
If you run a local business, it’s likely you don’t have a large budget when it comes to promoting your company. Fortunately, email marketing is relatively inexpensive and can produce amazing results. Keep reading to learn some important tips if you intend on utilizing the power of email for your business.
- Create A Detailed Plan: The slapdash ‘send as many emails as you can’ approach no longer works. You need a plan that outlines your goals, target audience and the kind of message you want to send in every email.
- Segment Your Target Audience: This means dividing your email list into groups such as age and location. As a result, you will be able to create messages that appeal to their specific needs and reduce the amount of irrelevant content you send to each member of your mailing list.
- Write In The Second Person: By saying ‘you’ throughout the email, you add an element of personalization which allows the reader to connect with the message.
- Be Mobile Friendly: Since more than 50% of people read emails on a mobile device, it makes sense to tailor your messages for this audience. Otherwise, your emails will appear messy and hard to read.
- Create A Killer Subject Line: The subject line of your email can dictate whether it even gets opened. It needs to be short but compel the reader to see what lies inside. However, you must always make sure the email content matches the subject line.
- Keep The Content Relevant: The best way to ensure your emails don’t ramble is to write about one topic and break it down into sub-sections. Your content should be focused if you want to keep the audience’s attention.
- Be Concise: Few email marketing messages ever go above 400 words and many are 200-300 words. These word counts are a guide though; write until you have made your point, edit to remove unnecessary words and break up the text with paragraphs.
- Mix It Up: Not every email has to be promotional. For a nice change of pace, send informative emails where you aren’t overtly trying to sell something.
- Keep Testing: You should always look to improve the performance of your campaigns so test regularly. The information you receive should help you going forward.
- Make The Unsubscribe Button Easy To Find: The last thing you want is people on your list who don’t want to be there. Adding an easy to see ‘unsubscribe’ link at the end of your emails lends an element of trust to your company as well.
Recent research has shown that approximately 65% of all emails are opened on a mobile device which highlights the importance of making your marketing campaign ‘mobile friendly’. By 2018, 1.8 billion Smartphones will be in use around the world so you can either join the mobile revolution or continue wasting your time on old-fashioned approaches. Below, we highlight a few tips that should ensure your next email marketing campaign is suitable for mobile users and enjoys more opens and click-thrus.
Make Sure Mobile Comes First
Don’t be like the other marketers who think it’s okay to create a regular email and offer a clickable link to a mobile friendly version. Since the majority of emails are opened on mobile devices, why prioritize anything else? The Response Wise template builder can help you control your email’s layout to make sure the text and images in the message fit within the space of a mobile device’s screen.
Even though there is responsive web design available, browsers such as Android don’t instantly adjust an email to fit screen width as they do for apps and websites.
Pay Special Attention To The Subject Line
When mobile users are scrolling through their emails, the see an inordinate amount of messages and subject lines and this information determines whether or not they open the email. The best subject lines are ones customized to the particular interests of a customer.
If a visitor to your website shows an interest in a certain item, the emails you send to that individual should deliver similar products/services or let them know that such items are on sale. You canutilize list segmentation to help create customized email marketing campaigns.
Focus On Readability & Maneuverability
The emails you send to mobile devices should be easily read even when the reader is distracted, clickable and scrollable with one thumb and visible even with the mobile device is held at arm’s length.
The call to action within the email should be especially easy to read and it is important to make sure the text isn’t too cluttered. Above all, you need to keep the ‘unsubscribe’ button far away from other buttons; on a mobile device, it is all too easy to accidentally click unsubscribe when reading an email.
Although creating an email marketing campaign for mobiles may seem daunting, the amount of affordable and easy to use tools at your disposal ensures you have no excuse for not keeping up to date.
Like chess grandmasters, successful email marketers are always looking to the future and planning several moves ahead. You will read a lot of contradictory information on this matter in the coming months but in this article, we will provide you with a definitive guide to what we think smart email marketers will be doing in 2015.
1 – Automation
According to a study by the Lenskold Group, almost 80% of successful marketers believe marketing automation is responsible for their increase in profits. Automate the right kind of campaign and you’ll see positive results with low volume. The key is picking the correct campaigns to work on and that’s something you need to figure out yourself!
2 – Segmentation
The process of splitting a database into groups with similar traits was hot in 2014 and will continue to be an email marketer’s friend in 2015. Segmentation is the understanding that not everyone is the same. For improved performance, send out the same email to your subscribers but look at the groups that respond best and also analyze how they respond to different themes in your messaging. Forget about averages and find out what really excites each segment.
3 – Emphasis on the Quality of Lists/Data
While marketers still want to see their list of subscribers grow, recruiting a more active list of subscribers will be the real goal in 2015. There is no point growing your list by 40% only to see a revenue increase by just 5%. If your list grows by 20%, you want to see revenues increase by roughly the same amount. For best results, ask subscribers to update their profiles; preferences from three years ago may no longer be relevant today.
4 – Strategy & Planning
Marketers will no longer reel off a host of goals that sound more like a wish list than a strategy. Email marketing strategies will be more specific than ever before as companies look to describe the desired outcome while outlining the ways to achieve it. Marketers will look for improvement in a couple of key areas.
5 – Regular Reporting On Analytics
Too many marketers have access to great analytics with no clue how to use them all. In 2015, they will not just monitor stats, they will report regularly. This will include writing down what worked, what failed and what questions have yet to be answered. The result will be a desire to learn the answers to unsolved queries and increased attention will be paid to metrics that really matter.
As you can see, the future of email marketing is detail! Marketers will no longer engage in haphazard campaigns; every step will be intricately planned and the result will be better customer engagement and improved sales.