Inbound Marketing

Email marketing is NOT dead. You heard us right. If it were, there wouldn’t be 2.5 billion email users worldwide and counting. Not only that, but these same users wield over 4.4 billion inboxes.

With over 120 emails pouring into the average person’s inbox every day, you may wonder how you can possibly cut through the noise and grab their attention. When you send targeted and relevant emails that your customers love and look forward to reading, email becomes an undeniably powerful tool that your business can leverage throughout the entire buyer’s journey.

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So, how do you keep up with the latest marketing trends and get a leg up on the competition -all while peppering in creative, eye-catching emails that beg to be opened? We’re sharing our tips on how to take your email marketing to the next level and keep it there.

Get More Personal

Today, email personalization means so much more than throwing a first name into the subject line or salutation. Personalization in 2017 is more sophisticated and friendly, allowing you to win more customers by forging a deep, emotional connection between them and your business, service or product.

Ask the right questions of your customers- find out why they visited your site or subscribed to your email. These answers can trigger workflows that will lead customers further down the funnel. You’ll gain valuable insight into who your visitors are and the ability to send even more personalized and targeted emails.

Instead of sending your emails from a nameless and faceless company, send your emails from an actual employee within your company. Is there a industry expert or thought leader at your company that your audience follows and looks to for inspiration? Is there a salesperson who interacts with your customers on a routine basis? Take advantage of their reputation and send an email directly from them. You could even send an email from the CEO or Vice President. Whoever you send it from, putting a name and a face to your company humanizes your brand and can lead to big wins for lead generation and conversions.

Segment Your Email List

Use location and time to your advantage. Some people check their email frequently at night while others respond better to morning emails. A/B test your emails to see when your prospects and customers are opening their emails and pinpoint the best times to send future emails.

If your readers are spread out across the entire country, or even the entire world, take note of their locations. For example, BustedTees used location segmentation to group their customers into different time zones and began sending their emails out based on their time zone. As a result, they saw an 11% higher click-through rate and an 8% increase in email revenue overnight.

Integrate Video

Did you know that including just one, single video in your emails can boost your click-through rate 200-300%? With the highest engagement rate of any content in 2017, videos are the new king of content. Think testimonials, behind the scenes glimpses, tutorials and even simple yet powerful branding messages.

According to HubSpot, just by using the word, “video” in the subject line of an email, the open rate increased a staggering 19% and unsubscribes decreased by 26%. If that isn’t enough to get you onboard the video train, 52% of marketing professionals around the world cited videos as the type of content that increased and had the best ROI over all other content types. So, if you were thinking of concentrating your marketing focus in print or photo, think about how you can instead translate the experience to video and reap the benefits of the biggest marketing trend (that actually works!) of 2017.

Tap Into the Mobile Market

Now more than ever, buyers are accessing their email via mobile devices. This year alone, 1.779 million people will check, write or reply to an email with their cell phones, making it relevant now more than ever to consider the ever-changing state of email marketing.

According to Optinmonster, if your email isn’t optimized or responsive for mobile devices, you could potentially miss out on nearly three-quarters of potential clientele. Yet, Equinix found that less than 12% of marketers use a mobile-friendly design for their emails. That means that there are a lot of companies out there not making the most of the increase in mobile searches and general usage today.

When creating mobile-friendly emails, make sure to watch your subject line length. On a typical desktop computer, you can get away with slightly longer subject lines, but there’s less real estate on a mobile device. Try to keep subject lines to no longer than 30 characters (which means front-loading the attention-grabbing benefits of opening the email) and making use of preview text.

Keep the email itself short and sweet with scannable (and digestible) chunks of content and, if possible, use bullet points. Mobile users are checking their phone while grabbing coffee, waiting in a doctor’s office or on the go. With so little time to spare, they’re more likely to consume and act on content that is quick and easy to read.

Finally, make sure to keep any calls-to-action or pictures front and center and never include any text or pictures that aren’t absolutely relevant to the reader’s interests. Writing thoughtful, meaningful content that speaks to the recipient’s challenges and needs is much better than writing with the sole purpose of beefing up the email. As the old adage goes, “Less is more.”

Use Gated Content Offers

Gating content equals more emails equals more leads equals more customers. It’s a pretty simple concept, but it’s just now gaining more traction in the world of marketing. If you haven’t already, start gating access to your content offers like guides, white papers, checklists and so on.

The first step is to create landing pages where visitors fill out a form with their contact information (name, email, company, position, etc.) before downloading the offer. Then, design compelling calls-to-action linking to these landing pages and insert them in your emails. What better way to share your most relevant content with your subscribers and improve engagement rates?

This strategy only works if the content that you are offering is fresh, unique and relevant to your readers. If you offer up a story about your company’s history or biography of your CEO, you won’t see the downloads or engagement you’re looking and hoping for. As with any content, have a clear  purpose in mind before creating and sharing it with prospects and current customers.

Email marketing is very much alive. In our ever-changing world, email marketing has stood the test of time. Use these simple yet effective suggestions to update your email marketing strategy and achieve visibility amongst hundreds of emails in a user’s inbox each day. Think outside of the (in)box and stand out.


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Topics:   Inbound Marketing

Lindsey Boughter

Lindsey is a content writer at Stratus Interactive, where she writes compelling, engaging and original content not limited to blog posts, social media, content offers, press releases, website copy and ad copy. When Lindsey isn’t working, she’s either in combat boots and fatigues serving in the U.S. Army, rolling around in the mud or scaling walls doing obstacle course races, using her Nikon to capture stories in images or spending as much time as she can with her two dogs and husband. See all Lindsey Boughter's posts.

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