By: Ben Bauks | 4/10/2017
While some people believe that email marketing is no longer effective, the evidence points to the contrary. The fact is, email is still one of the most powerful and economical ways to engage with your audience. Because of so much competition, however, you have to make sure you're following the best strategies so that people open and read your emails. Before we delve into some current email marketing trends, it's worth exploding the old and ever-recurring "email marketing is dead" myth. A recent report from Mckinsey & Company, email is 40 times more effective than Facebook and Twitter for generating customers! Social media, of course, is also valuable for many reasons. Furthermore, you should really integrate your social media, email and other marketing tactics rather than seeing them as separate. The point, though, is that email is still alive and well --if you do it the right way. Let's look at some of the top email marketing trends for 2017 and beyond.
1. Including Visual Content in Emails
Just as the entire web is getting more visually oriented, so is email. Compelling images in an email is a way to catch your subscribers' attention. Aside from still images, more marketers are now using videos in their emails. This is a trend that's likely to explode in the near future. Video marketing is getting bigger all the time and including videos in your emails is a way to improve open rates and improve engagement.
2. Mobile Optimization
At the middle of 2015, about two-thirds of all emails were opened on mobile devices. That number is more than likely even higher now. As smartphones and tablets overtake computers on the internet, it's essential to make your content mobile-friendly. Test your emails regular mobile devices to make sure that they're easy to read.
3. Offering Subscribers High Value Incentives
The practice of offering people a free gift or a newsletter subscription in exchange for their email address is getting a little outdated. The problem is that, with so much competition, most people aren't that anxious to see another newsletter in their inbox. That is, unless you offer them some specialized content they can't find anywhere else. Very often, the best way to offer this type of content is with white papers rather than newsletters. A white paper promises some kind of high-level, insider knowledge that isn't found everywhere. For example, if your niche is health and fitness, an offer to "sign up for my newsletter with the latest fitness tips" sounds fairly generic. On the other hand, "Get a free white paper covering the latest research on how to lose fat and build muscle" is more specific and suggests higher value.
4. Greater Personalization
Marketing is getting ever more personalized and segmented. You see this with retargeted ads that "follow" people around after visiting a website. Email marketing is also getting more personalized. It's no longer enough to use your subscribers' names. Now, if you want to engage them, you need to reach out with content that's specific to their interests, buying behavior and demographics. To take advantage of this trend, it's necessary to carefully track visitors' behavior on your website. You might, for example, offer several different opt-in pages, each catering to a different type of subscriber.
5. Integrating Email and Social Media
As mentioned earlier, it's best not to think of social media and email marketing as separate or mutually exclusive, but as complementary. There are now more possibilities for combining them. To give just one example, it's now possible to include a "pin it" Pinterest button inside your emails. This is great for someone selling physical products on Pinterest. It's also possible to place other social media icons, for Facebook, Twitter and other platforms into your emails.
Make sure to check back for even more email marketing tips and tricks.