Email has been an integral part of the marketing mix for quite some time. As a tool, email makes it easy and fast to build customer relationships that help form long lasting ways of interaction with your most loyal customers.
Given the important role email has top play when building customer relationships, maximizing your results is of critical importance.
However, to enable yourself to utilize your full email potential there are some boxes you must tick. Even in 2018, even the basic stuff is not done by everyone. So, are you currently optimizing your email strategy? Are you reaching your targeted customer at the right time with the right content? Below we have some fast tips on how to improve your emails and your email strategy.
1. To finish first, first you have to finish.
In the end, we would all love more conversions, more interactions and more leads following the send of an email. The first step in doing so, is reaching the customer. The customer will never be able to convert if the email did not reach him in the first place. The fist step is to reach the inbox.
No matter how beautiful or engaging your email may be, if no-one on your send list will ever see it, all of that hard work will have been in vain. Which means: do not get trapped in the spam filter and make it to the inbox.
Making it past the spam filter is not always an easy feet. Each mail client has its own spamfilter to pick up “malicious” content and the exact triggers for each spam filter are not commonly known. The best you can do is making sure your email is on its best behavior. Check the contents of your email in a spam filter checking tool. There are multiple tools available online to help you with checking your email.
Even if your email ticks all the boxes up front, spamming your mail list with emails way too often can also trigger a spam filter. And once in a spam filter, you are not easily getting out one. Meaning that you should be wary of the number of messages send.
2. Mobile, mobile, mobile.
Are you optimized for the platform most of your customers are reading your email on?
Check your data to find out where and how your customers are interacting with your emails. Are your customers also making the shift to mobile? Multiple benchmarks indicate that mobile is growing bigger and bigger. 2016 was recognized as the year mobile truly took off, but in 2017 we have moved even further on. In 2017, mobile has become the true standard with a mobile-first approach, meaning that in 2018 you really cannot be lagging behind anymore.
According to a study from Deloitte in 2016, we check our mobile phones 46 times a day, with 22% saying that email is the first thing they check each day. This means there are many times a customer may check your message and a high chance he does it on mobile. Which means that you better optimize your emails for mobile. Not only a mobile template will suffice. Think about the sharpness of your images on mobile, the click-ability of buttons and the size of the text. Use a rendering tool to see how your email will end up on mobile to make sure everything is exactly where it should be.
3. Treat your subject line like a movie trailer
A subject line is like a little teaser for what is to come. It should be a short explanation what the customer may expect to find in the email. But do not go overboard with the superlatives. “Discount, free, last chance” etcetera are words spam filters don’t treat kindly. They are often picked up by the spam filters and may ensure your customers miss out. Also, not all customers react to the same words or call to actions. Testing is a surefire way to find out what works for your customers. Test different subject lines on identical emails to see what works and what doesn’t. A good example is smart A/B testing. Send 50% of your mailing list 2 versions of your subject-line. After say 24 hours, determine the winner and send the other 50% of your list the winning subject-line.
An alternative way to spice-up your subject line is via emoji. A report from Email on Acid tested various emoji and their effect on email opens and found that emoji can positively affect open rates. Do make sure these emoji are content and context aware. A poop emoji may score high compared to other emoji, but if they make no sense at all in your message, the positive effect is quickly undone.
4. Less is more
Think about your message. Saying that it should be relevant is an obvious thing to say.
But the simple things can often be overlooked. When your customer opts-in for your email you generally do not know that much about him or her. In order to be more relevant you should try to specify their preferences. Ask them their favorite products or services, gender or age. Do this in a polite way in a sign-up follow-up email for example. Keep things informal and always non-obligatory. The more you get to know about your customers, the more it enables you to create separate email lists based on these segments. If you then adapt your content to a specific list, it should give you a higher chance to be relevant.
For example, it would be a waste to create a beautiful email showing women’s clothing, only to have your mailing list also containing whole a lot of male customers. These obviously do not represent your most relevant target group.
So think about who it is that you send your content to and what could make a difference to make sure they receive even more relevant content.
5. I like to move it, move it.
Having a customer opening your email is just one step. You then want to make sure the customer clicks on your email to go to the page where you want to direct him.
It has been shown that emails that are lower on text and higher on images are often seeing better engaging results. But your content can move too! A study by marketingsherpa indicated that conversions rose 49% due to the inclusion of animated gifs. Gifs provide a playful and moving attention grabbing piece for your customers to engage with. It is also worth testing this aspect for your target group. Determine if gifs have added value by increasing your click-trough-rate, and making it worth spending the time and effort on creation.
6. A journey of a 1000 miles begins but with one step
Keeping in touch with you customers and sending content now and then is a good start. But implementing your content in a larger story adds whole new dimension of possibilities.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud offers the possibility of creating campaigns that trigger based on certain events that you predetermine. These triggered events determine on which journey you take your customer. Take them by the hand and offer them the content you think they should definitely see to get them to the goal you have determined.
In a journey you can determine your own follow-up actions to each step you take. Sending non-responding customers to different channels for example to engage with them there and focussing more time and content to customers that do respond, all done automatically.
So there we are. 6 quick tips to think about regarding your email design and email strategy. Consider if this are things that you are already doing or that opportunities lie in waiting. Happy mailing!