Email marketing can be an extremely effective marketing tool, but it’s important to continually review and update your strategies.
Consumer preferences and behaviors constantly evolve.There’s always a new and exciting tool or technique to experiment with (click here to take a look at what we discussed last year). With so much change, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s important to focus on.To help you build a successful email marketing campaign throughout 2018 and beyond, we have put together four important email marketing trends that you need to know:
1. Emails as Microsites
Also known as interactive emails, microsites are emails that include built-in user engagement. These are being used more and more often, as they offer a brand-new approach to email content that is unique and allows the user to interact directly with your brand. Some examples of these microsite emails include:
- Countdowns – showing users how much time is left to claim a particular offer or until a specific product is released.
- Forms – including a form or survey directly in the email reduces the number of clicks a user needs to take action, which will improve results dramatically.
- Built-in navigation – allowing users to navigate through different content or select their destination gives users more choice and improves the chance of conversion.
- Embedded content – for example, you can embed video or animated graphics within an email. Don’t go overboard, or you risk making your emails too bulky to load quickly.
2. The Return of Plain-Text
On the other end of the scale, emails comprised of just plain text are also starting to make a comeback. While there are plenty of uses for high-quality, content-rich emails, it’s also useful to consider when and where to deploy plain-text mailings. There are several advantages. First, you’ll see improve deliverability as SPAM filters tend to catch emails that are too large or include too many graphics. Another benefit is that loading times will dramatically decrease, allowing more users to open your emails fully. Finally, they’ll be much quicker to read and navigate, allowing for improved engagement.
For best results, you should consider deploying both high-quality and plain-text emails. Perhaps you’ll want to deploy more plain-text to your mobile users, users getting emails filtered out, or users who tend to open but not engage (it is possible these users are having problems loading or navigating your content). You could also vary your style by the message – something simple and quick could be plain-text, while your big promotions and offers are a bit more graphically rich.
3. Focus on Graymail
Graymail is a term for messages received by users who at one point subscribed, but no longer bother to open or engage with your email, even though that don’t unsubscribe. You should suppress these users for the majority of your emails, sending them only periodic re-engagement messages. These users hurt your overall open and engagement scores, which could hurt your appeal to inbox providers. Additionally, if you’re paying per message, you’ll noticeably improve your ROI.
4. Mobile Domination
Mobile responsiveness can no longer be an afterthought or something that’s test at the end of an email build. More than half of all emails that are opened are now opened using a mobile application or client. The average U.S. consumer is spending an incredible five hours per day on mobile devices. If you aren’t reaching your mobile audience effectively, you’re going to have major problems with engagement and conversions.
You’ll want to take this beyond your email marketing, too. Any landing pages or subscription forms must be optimized as well. After all, if somebody is able to load your email but has problems following through to the landing page or filling out a form, you’re losing out on that opportunity. And if somebody can’t subscribe at all in the first place, they’ll never even have a chance to try.
Email marketing strategies and tools constantly evolve, so what’s working for you in 2017 might not keep driving the same results in the future. To build a sustainable email marketing strategy, you must keep your finger on the pulse of what your customers want and the new tools at your disposal.