We love this article by Veronica Maria Jarski, written for Marketing Profs. We want to share some excerpts from that post – here you will find 3 good marketing tips to help you fully utilize your email inbox outreach. To read the rest of the article and to learn more about email marketing, follow this link to the original post.
5 Email Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore
(And How to Take Advantage of Them)
by Veronica Maria Jarski
Email marketing is thriving—especially for businesses who can adapt it to the changing world. In a kick-off talk for the MarketingProfs University email marketing course, Loren McDonald (vice president of Industry Relations at Silverpop) discussed the hottest email marketing trends—and how to capitalize on them.
1. Social Media
As social media’s influence continues to grow, businesses will need to integrate email with social in order to survive. “The reality of ignoring Facebook because you think it’s a fad is truly a mistake,” McDonald says. “It’s the future.” So, what can you do about it? Consider adding social-media footers and icons to emails. Branch beyond the newsletter by letting people “like” the content on Facebook, forward it to a friend, post it to Facebook, or tweet it. And don’t forget to use social media to grow your email database. For example, on Facebook, provide email opt-ins for existing customers (and potential new ones). “Whenever and wherever possible, offer people the opportunity to opt-in,” McDonald says. “You want to touch as many people in your channel as possible.”
Takeaway #1: Promote following and sharing within all your email communication.
Think about the last time you were waiting in line for something. Chances are that you grabbed your mobile device and checked your email before you did anything else. “On mobile devices, email is far and away the No. 1 activity of how consumers spend their time,” McDonald says. “Email was made for mobile devices.” To capitalize on this trend, email marketers need to design their content for multiple devices and mobile/touch screens. This means being aware of: snippets of text, links that can be touched (rather than moused over), and scalable fonts and images. Don’t just picture people reading your email marketing pieces in front of their office desk. Imagine them waiting in traffic, grabbing a spare moment or two at their children’s swim meets, traveling on trains, says McDonald. In other words, picture them everywhere. Takeaway #2: Design your email marketing pieces for people on the go.
3. The Evolving Inbox
Your email communications used to primarily fight with spam for attention in your subscribers’ inbox. Now, however, your emails’ main battle is against all the other vibrant content found in the inbox. That’s because, thanks to smart filters, consumers now avoid spam altogether—and have their inbox prioritize their mail according to their reading habits. If a consumer reads your stuff, your emails will start gaining a higher priority in a person’s inbox. (And if they don’t, your emails will start being pushed to the bottom of the list.) Plus, now with the inbox now becoming more unified—folks just check one inbox for all their online messages—you’re also competing with the bits of flotsam and jetsam from other channels, such as social messaging, chats, SMS, video, RSS feeds, etc. Email marketers must now focus on producing relevant, engaging content. “Relevance will be a requirement for emails,” McDonald says.
Takeaway #3: Make sure all your emails are relevant to the reader.