From the cringe-worthy to the entertaining, email marketing remains one of the most popular ways to communicate with clients and future clients. Let’s look at what worked in 2016 and what we predict for 2017.
Email marketing or electronic direct mail (EDM) is as popular as ever, and so many people are getting it wrong. I have hit the spam button on more than I have read – not because I'm against the concept, but if there is a typo, a poorly written confusing intro or something plain ugly, I am not interested.
With so many emails hitting inboxes every day, you had better get your EDM right. With sophisticated programs such as Campaign Monitor and MailChimp, marketers have endless opportunity for great design, instant tracking and compelling storytelling.
Campaign Monitor has compiled a list of the top 100 most inspiring and compelling campaigns of 2016. It is well worth a look.
Design wise, big, full-page bleed images were popular across virtually every medium, and it was certainly the same for email marketing. This is a trend that will continue for 2017. A picture does tell a thousand words, but be sure that the image you choose is reflective of your message and your brand. Plus, it needs to link back to your website.
Video in email slowed down in 2016, mostly due to devices not being able to download and play quickly. Most devices now support video, so we would predict that it once again will be popular, and it will need to be to keep up with SnapChat and other social broadcast mediums.
Interactivity will also be important. It is hard without a large budget to feed in interactive components to an email campaign, but a simple measure like a share to Facebook button will increase engagement and responsiveness.
Mobile responsiveness is critical. A Litmus Study has shown that 42% of email marketing is deleted if it isn’t displayed correctly on a mobile device. That is a lot of wasted effort. If using a product like MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, you should be able to test responsiveness before you send.
Which leads me the most important trend of all – purpose.
There was a school of thought that you need to be constantly in front of your audience, and the easiest way to do this was to fill the inbox. This is just not true. While the frequency of EDM will vary from business-to-business and product-to-product, a quality piece of communication will always be more successful than constant, ill-conceived white noise.
While planning your next six months of email marketing, consider what the purpose is. Is it to drive traffic to your website? Is it to inform or remind clients of important dates? Is to comply with requirements of a tender? Can some of these events be combined? Answering these questions will help you design a great campaign.
Lastly, consider asking your clients how often and what information they want to hear from you. I can instantly think of my favourite brands that use email marketing as they send new, compelling information that is of interest to me.
If you need any help organising, compiling and writing your next email campaign get in contact. We are happy to help.
By Amanda Lacey