According to research performed earlier in 2014 by Gigaom and reported by eMarketer, email marketing is still the most commonly used method of digital marketing, with a whopping 86% of respondents claiming to use it. If that’s not enough, though, over half (59%) of B2B marketers surveyed by HubSpot say that email marketing is the most effective channel for generating revenue.
With this in mind, I’ve taken an extensive look at Marketo’s Email Lookbook 2014 with the goals of pulling secrets, tips, and email marketing best practices from each section of the report and sharing them in an easily digestible way. (To read the whole report, click here!)
Consumers expect to be treated as individuals; they have become accustomed to brands knowing and leveraging information like first names, home cities, and buying behavior to tailor email marketing campaigns. Collect subscriber data and use it to connect with your readers. Some examples in the report include behavior based personalization, location based personalization, and user data based personalization.
2. Timely content
If you can relate your email campaign to a current event or holiday, your audience is more likely to relate/respond to top-of-mind themes. That said, don’t force it. There is a time and place for current-events-related content, and there are also some instances when it just doesn’t make sense or might not be in the best taste. In these instances, nix it.
3. Multi-media integration
Email marketing isn’t what it used to be back in the days of AOL.com. There are so many opportunities to engage your readers via email that don’t even require them leaving their inbox. With email tools, you can embed videos, gifs, and buttons directly into your newsletters encouraging simple yet meaningful actions.
4. Welcome messages
According to Marketo, welcome emails are the most-opened of any email newsletter series. While this seems logical, it’s easily overlooked. Think about someone walking into your business or calling you for the first time. You wouldn’t simply jump into promotional material; you would channel your inner human, put on your biggest smile, and greet that person, making them feel welcome and ready to purchase. This exact experience can be replicated in a warm, personable email welcoming this new potential customer to your world.
What better way to reinitiate contact with your audience than popping right into their inboxes? A common way to reengage your customers is by offering them something for free. The examples included in this report include companies like AirBnB, who will email users who haven’t opened their emails in a while with an offer for one free night, or Lyft, who will do the same with one free ride.
6. Abandoned purchase follow-ups
While this applies mainly to eCommerce sites or platforms with self-serve models, it’s one of the best ways to close a purchase. I can’t count the number of times I’ve filled up a card on some shopping site and forgotten about it – until I got an email from that site, that is. Reminding your customers that they were about to make that purchase and all that’s left to do is essentially to push a button is a way to leverage the site activity data that you’re probably already pulling for other purposes.
The rest of the report includes more specific email marketing tactics like leading your newsletter audience to your social media channels, using friendly, human copy, and making your emails stunningly beautiful.