Some cool shiz has happened in Email Marketing over the past 12 months. First of all, businesses are finally starting to understand the importance of mobile optimisation as a core part of their strategy. Scratchy style emails for Mobiles & even interactive drop down menu’s. So fancy, I know! But I guess the most exciting thing is, I’ve been seeing a really deep need for marketers to acquire a better understanding of their buyer’s journey using data and an increased implementation of marketing automation.
According to a study by ExactTarget, 77% of users prefer to be communicated via email. This is because emails feel more personal and private. Given this data, it’s important for every marketer to stay up to date with the email trends. Here are four trends in email marketing that you have to be aware right now:
Fluid design just like responsive allows your template to adapt to whatever screen size your subscribers have in reading your email. 1 Email, multiple perfectly displayed devices. Unlike Responsive, fluid design goes one step deeper in giving the customers the information they need on the right device to influence purchase behaviour.
According to BlueHornet, 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render well on a mobile device. That’s 7 out of 10 who will throw the email you worked so hard to create in the trash folder because your template does not have a mobile friendly design.
So what do you have to do? At a minimum in 2016 change your email template to a responsive design as soon as possible. If you can have it done by a professional, that’s great. Otherwise, here are 223 free email responsive designs that you can use. Thank me later…
However, if you’re already using responsive template, take a look into fluid design. It’s also known as adaptive design. To make it work for you, you’ll need to dive deep into your data from Google Analytics and your Email Marketing System (EMS) to find out what your customers are looking for on their mobile devices. It generally takes a buyer 2 devices or more to make a purchase, so use fluid design to get them the right information on the right device.
Using GIFs (Graphics Interchange Format) or essentially a series of images to produce the illusion of motion adds an interactive feel to your email.
Ann Taylor LOFT women’s clothing retailer used a GIF to entice their readers to click through and “unwrap” a gift.
Animated GIF’s in email have proven to increase Clicks and Conversions by an impressive results. A/B tests by BlueFly, for example, found an animated email pulling in 12% more revenue than the non-animated equivalent.
Here are some of the ways you can use GIFs in your emails:
- You can show all available colours of your product in one image
- You can provide a short tutorial in gift form. (Like where to click or how to use your app)
- Add mystery / fun twist to your offer / promotion
How to use GIF’s in emails:
1. Keep it simple, don’t get too crazy with them. Keep in mind the importance of each element in email marketing. If you get too crazy it can directly impact your deliverablity due to the file size. Use them only for simple graphics (colors, arrows, lines rather than complicated photo-based video GIFs)
2. Use them for leverage. Not as an always tool. So you’ve got this great new way to use email marketing, don’t over do it. It’s like emoticons in your subject line. Too much and the surprise will can wear off. Keep ‘em on their toes! If you do use GIF’s in an email, I recommend using only 1 per email. More than that and you’ll dilute the message, distract the user for the goal of the email.
Live Count Down Timers in Email
This isn’t new. But it’s really starting to be taken seriously as an effective strategy. Live countdown timers is a great way to ask to your readers to take an action immediately, instead of letting them decide when they’d like to convert.
I have been using motionmail for years with various clients. They have a free version if you’re keen to try it out!
TigerDirect.com added a timer during their Black Friday campaign.
Other ways to use countdown timers in email:
Behaviour Triggered Emails
Relevant emails drive more revenue. Here is the 411 on why this is so impactful:
- Automated emails get 119% higher click rates than broadcast emails. Why? Because automated emails catch people at the right time; when they’re ready to take an action.
- B2C marketers who connect with customers through automation see conversion rates as high as 50%.
Only 20% of marketers are using this according to a recent econsultancy report. That’s a 43% increase Year on Year. For many businesses this end goal of behaviour based email communications is a long way off.
Andrew Campbell, Managing Director of SixC Limited, said “Marketers need to be more willing to explore the capabilities offered to them by email technology vendors” according to the econsultancy report. I don’t blame him. It’s true!
I’ll write another blog about how you can use behavioural triggers almost immediately in your strategy.
Even with all the hype in social media, instant messaging, and mobile apps, Email Marketing continues to prove itself as best marketing strategy to date. Whether it’s automated based on behaviour and buyer journey or just a spray and pray eDM to your whole database you’re going to make some sales, wet tastebud which may lead to a sale in the near future with a good follow-up. Either way it’s non negotiable tool to use for nurturing leads to become customers and keeping customers engaged and loyal to the brand.