There are many who believe that email marketing has taken a back seat to other forms of exposure such as social media and the Smartphone app. However, times are soon to change.
In fact, you may have noted that the levels of responsiveness have dropped over the past two years. This has less to do with a shift towards other forms of media and more to do with how the email is presented. As search engines continually revamp their algorithmic requirements in terms of SERP exposure, it is likely that 2016 and beyond will see a renewed focus into email campaigns. How can you leverage the best practices to make the most out of this approach?
Clearly Incorporate Social Media Connections
The keyword here is CLEARLY. All too often, the only link to a social media page on an email is an obscure reference to a Facebook or Twitter page. Make this link exceedingly clear and place it at both the top and bottom of the article itself. This widget should be far more than a hyperlink. It should ideally be the familiar Facebook or Twitter icon followed by a “follow us here” statement or similar text. It has been shown that email combined with social media can offer a CTR that is up to 115% higher than email alone. There is simply no reason not to take advantage of such figures.
Addressing the Negative
Some marketers will only tend to focus on those clients which make a purchase and remain loyal. This is a grave mistake. You will also need to give attention to those who may have abandoned their shopping cart or who failed to complete their user registration. By no means are these failed sales. The fact that they were nearly ready to sign up or make a purchase clearly signifies that they may still be on the proverbial fence. Timely action here is key. Once the trigger event has taken place, it should be logged and the appropriate email should be sent out within two hours. This email will be based upon the action that the customer should take. Assuming that the client abandoned the shopping cart, an email with a headline such as this may be appropriate:
“We noticed that you did not purchase our item. Don’t worry… it’s still available. Click here to buy it now.”
This is a passive call to action; not too overwhelming while still dictating the shopper that you care about their business.
While infographics are great ways to capture the attention of your email recipient, they are mere pictures. Without the ability to take immediate action, a potential sale could be lost. All infographics should contain clickable images that can redirect the reader to a specific page on your website. This is much more appealing than a simple “home” icon at the bottom of the mail. Clients want convenience and the ability to navigate directly to a page (such as a checkout portal or a product description). This will encourage them to take more action. Although this may be common sense to some, the truth of the matter is that many infographics represent nothing more than flashy pictures.
Addressing Email Filters
Email filters can be the death of a marketing campaign. As many users now have these gateways set to “strict”, there is a very real chance that a logo-laden message will be blocked and sent into the junk folder. Although logos and graphics are important, flat text with hyperlinks to your site are much more likely to be accepted. This concept is particularly important during an initial email (such as one sent to a new subscriber or a first-time buyer). In fact, many successful companies will give their customers the choice to receive emails that are either flat text or HTML-rich. This will virtually guarantee that any future updates are sent through. Not only will an email considered spam rarely be read, but such an association can damage the image of your company.
Develop an Exit Strategy
There are many marketers who will continually bombard a recipient with emails long after they have ceased engagement with the company. This is a big mistake. First, it is a needless expenditure of in-house resources that could better devoted to active clients. Secondly, it will give your firm a negative image over time. The last thing you want is to perform an online search of your company and find a review which reads “Good business but they kept inundating me with emails; I had to unsubscribe”. Most automated email systems can be set so that after a specified number of messages, a client will be taken off of the active list. Thereafter, quarterly updates may be the best way forward.
Most businesses employ automated email marketing software to address their clients. Still, what may have worked in 2014 or 2015 could very well be outdated now. It is critical to keep on top of the latest trends. A handful of the top picks in 2015 (so far) are GetResponse, MailChimp, and Infusionsoft. These are all highly flexible solutions which can be implemented within your office in no time at all. As they are also highly intuitive and user friendly, very little orientation will need to take place. This can save you time and money. As this list is constantly changing, it is a good idea to check back for the latest updates. Some up-and-coming templates to watch for as 2016 approaches are Marketo and Zettasphere.
These turnkey solutions are quite useful as an increased focus is now placed upon a return to email marketing. As part of a robust marketing campaign, the power of these practices will have a massive difference on your overall success in this competitive environment.