Caitlin Burgess

7 Ways to Step Up Your Email Marketing Game in 2016

Caitlin Burgess     Email Marketing


Email marketing is a great, cost-effective way to engage prospective customers and nurture relationships with current customers. And email is actually welcomed by consumers. In fact, recent research has found that a whopping 91% of Americans say they want to receive promo emails.

But let’s face it. With email being one of the most common forms of communication these days, your customers inboxes are most likely a little full. And it’s time for you to step up your game if you want to continue connecting with subscribers and encouraging them to do business with you.

While we’re almost halfway through 2016, there’s still time to make the most of the latest email marketing tricks and trends. Below are seven considerations for creating an emails that will resonate with your audience and help you up your game.

#1 – Remember: It’s All About Mobile

This one may seem like a bit of a no-brainer, but nonetheless it needs to be mentioned. Mobile has become an increasingly important consideration for website designers and digital marketers. People rely on their mobile devices for a lot of things–and email is certainly one of them. In fact, studies show that 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device.

Typically, the content should be focused and not too text heavy. But the most important thing to remember is that people want fast loading times. So, if you’re using large video or image files, make sure they’ll open quickly and easily.

#2 – Personalize Your Message

A one-size-fits-all approach to email marketing is simply not reasonable these days. Your email recipients are interested in messages that are focused on their personal tastes and preferences–addressing them by their first name in the opening is not good enough. Use data insights to create different messaging for individual target groups.

For example, Pinterest does an excellent job at personalization. Every week, I can count on receiving an email with suggested pins or boards to follow that are based on my interests and behaviors on the platform.

Pinterest Email

Can you tell I’m attempting a diet?

#3 – Understand the “Why”

Spend some time actually thinking about why your subscribers actually open an email. An enticing discount or a new product launch may not be the only reason they click. Think about who your customer is, what they’re usually looking for, what’s important to them and what season it is. In addition, think about what device they are looking on. Is it a tablet? Smartphone? Basically, dig into the psychology of your customers. This will directly correlate with your ability to personalize your messaging.

#4 – Explore Automation

Automated email campaigns allow you to use a triggering event such as an asset download, contact form fill out or a webinar signup to kick-off a tailored series of emails. Your monthly newsletters or specialty campaigns are definitely important components of your overall email marketing strategy. But email automation can be a very powerful tool that can help you nurture relationships and drive customers to a desired outcome.

For example, if you’re hosting an in-person event or webinar, email automation can be used as a way to communicate with attendees before, during and after the event. Content delivered before or during the event would include information on accommodations or the event schedule. Content delivered after the event ends would include special access to event assets and presentations, or perhaps direct them or information on another upcoming event they’re interested in.

Determine your triggering events and then create an automation workflow that details what you’ll send to them throughout the automation campaign. Here’s an example:

Email Nurture Campaign

#5 – Add Dynamic & Interactive Content

Dynamic and interactive content is something that is pretty new to the email marketing world. Dynamic options could include changing the content of an email based on location or weather, and interactive content could be features like animations or carousel elements. Software tools that can help you do this type of content are HubSpot and MovableInk.

#6 – Use a Lightbox to Grow Your Email List

Lightboxes–or pop-ups–can be an effective way to quickly grow your email list. While some may think they’re a bit annoying, lightbox pop-ups bring a connection option to your audience–rather than relying on them to search it out.

If you go this route, make something that’s unique rather than using a generic template. Also, use active language that will compel people to do what you’re asking. Here’s an example from HouseLogic, a home improvement tips and tricks website operated by the National Association of Realtors. They know why their audience is there and uses visuals to entice a sign up.

Email Subscription Popup

#7 – Implement Tracking

Having the proper tracking in place so you can gather data and pull insights from your email campaign is crucial. (And really tracking should be an important part of your entire digital marketing campaign.) If you’re using Google Analytics, add campaign parameters to the source URL to get a better idea of how many people are coming to your website from email. Check out Google’s Email Tracking – Measurement Protocol for step-by-step instructions.

What are some of your email marketing best practices? Tell us in the comments section below.

Header image via Shutterstock

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