Are you looking to improve the effectiveness of your email marketing program?
If so, there are always different things that we can look at — this might include content, deliverability rates, Subject Line testing, and more. Along with those items, I wanted to share three trends that may help companies to experience more success in their email efforts.
P.S. These trends are not necessarily new. But even though people may have been aware of them for a little while, many of us have still not taken any action.
Mobile Devices and Reading
As the number of smartphone owners continues to rise, more and more people will become quite acquainted (and addicted) to having the ability to check their email at any time, wherever they may go.
This will mean that marketers will need to invest time and effort in doing the following:
- Testing how their current emails appear on various mobile devices
- Finding ways to tinker with their content, layout, and underlying HTML/CSS to ensure their email looks good across as many devices as possible
Of course, many will acknowledge that designing emails for typical desktop and laptop viewing was already a challenge, due to the fact that various email clients render the code differently!
However, there are various resources popping up that do provide some help on how you can design your emails for mobile devices. Here’s a great one from Smashing Magazine.
Social Networks and Sharing
We all know the power of word-of-mouth marketing. We want our content to go viral. But do we make it easy for people to start sharing and spreading our messages?
When it comes to creating and designing emails, we often spend most of our time worrying about the content and layout. And while that is important, we certainly do not want to overlook adding features that might encourage people to share our content. This may include:
- Adding a “Tell-a-Friend” link or button
- Displaying icons and links for sharing specific articles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.
- Dropping subtle hints that might remind someone to pass along an article to someone else
Technology has made it easier than ever before for marketers to build & manage databases. It has also made it easier for people to create emails that will have variable content based on the data that you may have.
However, this is an option that is often ignored. Many marketers feel the pressure to simply “get the email out the door”. Thus, taking the time to plan and create multiple versions that will offer up unique content might seem like a tactic that could stall a project.
But it may be worth investing the time to try and test out some form of personalization in your next email. Whether it’s simply serving up an article that might appear to specific industry that is represented in your list, or customizing your wording based on the types of products & services that your subscribers may offer, you may be able to increase the effectiveness of your emails.
With one statistic showing that 94% of online adults use email, it certainly may be wise for your company to continue using that channel in your marketing mix.
However, one of the biggest challenges that marketers face is how to get their target audience to pay attention to their emails.
One of the best ways to improve the success of your efforts (whether you’re measuring by open rates, click-throughs, or a further conversion) is to test and try variations of your content and design.
Here are 4 things that you could try testing in your email program today:
- Subject Line: If you are sending out a newsletter, then you have a prime candidate to try a test with. Measure the effectiveness of an email that simply says “[Company Name Here]‘s Newsletter” versus a Subject Line that describes what is in the article (i.e. “News For You: Direct Marketing Case Study, SEO Tips, and More”).
- FROM Name: The Display Name that people see in the FROM can play an important role in their decision-making process as to whether to open and take action on an email. Are they familiar with the name? Do they associate that name with an unsolicited sales pitch or with someone that’s helped them in the past? Try running a test where you send the email out from the name of someone on your staff (perhaps the CEO, VP of Sales, a Product Manager, etc) and then measure that against what happens when the FROM displays the name of your company.
- Image Buttons vs. Text Links: Getting someone to open the email might be the first step. But from there, you need them to take action. Try testing an email that primarily includes text links versus one that incorporates graphical buttons in the call-to-action.
- The Wording of Your Offer: What would better on your audience: “Try our brand-new product today!” or “Improve Your Business: Get Started with [Product Name Here]“? Run a variation of the key words in your offer and then measure to see what drives the highest number of clicks and conversions.