This is a guest post from Chintan at InboxArmy.
Email marketing has evolved at a tremendous pace and emerged as one of the most promising marketing channels. Once solely used as a medium for personal communication, email marketing is now used by almost every brand to promote their products and services and build their brand visibility.
According to internet live stats, more than 2.7 million emails are sent every second. This astronomical figure is expected to get even bigger with time.
Considering this scenario, your email must stand out in the inbox if you want to capture the subscriber’s attention and get ahead of the competition.
So how will you stand out and offer that “something new” to your email recipient who might be bored of seeing the same kind of marketing emails every day?
Read on for some tips to help you ramp up your email marketing strategy in 2019:
There was a time when subscriber lists were segmented based on age and demographics. With increasing competition, it has become important to go beyond these variables and segment the subscribers on the basis of the customer’s past purchases, total purchase value, products or services searched for, and resources downloaded. This will help in sending tailor-made emails that are more relevant for the subscriber. Furthermore, as your emails are being accessed on different email clients and devices, you need to consider that information too. It is especially important if you are planning to try something new in your emails. For example:
- It would be a great idea to try fixed CTAs in your email only if you do not have any iOS (Apple) users in your list, as fixed CTAs do not work on those devices.
- Nintendo sends out different emails according to the interests of the subscribers.
Hyper-personalization tactics have given a leg up to email marketing by making the emails more relevant for the target audience. Here’s how you can hyper-personalize your emails:
a) Use dynamic content
Dynamic email content is a unique tactic by which you can update the content when the email is opened. You can consider a number of factors:
- Basic demographic information like name, age, sex, etc.
- Firmographics like organization name, work address, and industry type
- Behavioral aspects such as purchase patterns, browser and cart abandonment, response to different offers, etc.
- Psychographic factors like lifestyle, hobbies, interests, etc.
If you personalize by list segmentation, you need to customize the email copy based on the different lists. But, if you are using dynamic content blocks, you don’t have to customize your email copy. You can create different email templates for the various configurations. With a dynamic content block in the email copy, you can send the same email to all your subscribers with different images, product offers, or calls to action, which are modified according to the buyers’ personas.
Consider how Adidas promoted their Originals series through dynamic content.
b) Employ artificial intelligence
Smarter email automation is made possible by using artificial intelligence (AI) in emails. For example, imagine you have bought a mobile phone from an e-commerce site. After an hour, you receive an email that promotes a trendy mobile case and other accessories. It is quite likely that you would end up purchasing those items. That is the magic of AI-powered automated emails that are triggered after a specific action is taken by the subscriber.
E-commerce marketers can reap huge benefits by using AI in their email marketing strategy as Amazon does.
3. Social media integration in email marketing
You can amp up the power of email marketing by integrating it with social media marketing. And, as a marketer, you must be aware of including links to the social media handles of your business account in the email. You can now add live social media feed in your emails too.
InboxArmy tried this strategy in their email campaigns and the results were fantastic. You can utilize tools like Zapier to add a live Instagram or Twitter feed in your emails. This is a great way to increase organic followers on your social media and also leads to interaction with the subscribers on a platform other than email.
4. Visually appealing email designs
Emails are no longer limited to the column layout with a header at the top, followed by a succinct copy, a couple of images, and email footer. Try a broken grid layout, which has been used in website designing, and gives your emails a complete makeover. Your subscribers may be bored of seeing similar promotional emails all the time. Try defamiliarizing them by designing an innovative email and see how it works for your brand.
Tiffany & Co. presents a beautiful example of how to do this right.
Alternatively, you can also include custom illustrations to create a visually impactful email like this one by Hipmunk.
Whenever you employ visual email marketing, you should be sure to add suitable alt-text so that your subscribers are able to get the context of the email. You can give a creative twist to your alt-text by using pixel art, just like Pizza Express has done.
5. Gamification in emails
Your subscribers love playing games and getting rewards. This is even possible in emails. Just send out a game in the email and reward the subscriber with exciting discounts and incentives if he or she wins. This is a great way to increase subscriber engagement and will prompt them to buy from you, especially during the holiday season or any special occasions like birthdays.
Channel 4 sends out an awesome gamification email with a fun questionnaire to woo their customers during Valentine’s day.
Timeless tactics for an effective email marketing strategy
While the tactics discussed above will add an element of freshness to your email marketing strategy, there are some strategies almost every email marketer is well accustomed to. These are the tips that you should follow as a marketer, irrespective of the year we are in.
1. Follow the anti-spam laws and guidelines
Be it CAN-SPAM or GDPR, follow the anti-spam laws so that your emails do not land in the spam folder and there are no deliverability issues. Do not use a single image as the entire email content and abide by the 80/20 text-to-image ratio. Make sure your emails are not too flashy, lest they trigger the spam filters. Also, adhere to the coding best practices and keep the email size under 30kb.
2. Carry out A/B testing
The trends in email marketing are constantly changing. Carry out A/B testing to determine what kind of emails are working for your brand. Keep an eye on the email marketing metrics and make necessary iterations based on the data. Ultimately, trial and error is all it takes to shape an effective email marketing strategy.
3. Test before hitting the “Send” button
In order to make your email strategy work, it is important that there are no errors in your emails. Check for grammatical mistakes, personalization blunders, and coding inaccuracies. Also, test the email on different email clients and devices for any rendering issues. Send the email only after you are doubly sure, and have a checklist to ensure that you do not miss out on anything.
Email lets you send customized messages on an individual recipient basis, so it’s time to try out these tactics to make the most of this data-driven technology in 2019.
Do you have any other ideas? We would love to hear from you.
Author Bio: Chintan is Head of Operations at InboxArmy LLC. He has been in the email marketing domain for the last 7 years. Chintan is connected to InboxArmy, a professional email marketing agency that specializes in providing advanced email marketing services, from email production to deployment. Chintan’s track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.