Nobody reads marketing emails right? Wrong.
Digital Marketing budgets are expected to rise more than 46% this year, and more than 52% for Email Marketing campaigns (SensorPro).
The growing awareness of the value in Email Marketing as a principle avenue to reach customers means there is growing competition in the inbox.
It's going to become harder for your messages to stand out from the crowd, and begs the question; how will your emails cut through the clutter and come out on top?
Email campaigns take a lot of time and effort to pull together, and with the resources you put into those campaigns you need them to deliver value back to you. Great content and relevancy for your audience are your foundation for a successful email, but standing out in the inbox requires more than just meeting the status quo.
Below we've outlined some key trends and tactics for Email Marketing in 2014. At the end of the day you want more leads and more conversions, Email Marketing has been proven time and time again to deliver on both accounts. The challenge for you is to cut through the noise in order to rise to the top. So how do you do this and make your investments worth the send?
Integrate all Your Online Efforts
There is a great rivalry between Social Media and Email Marketing. Social is the shiny new toy, email is yesterday’s news. Rather than making email obsolete, social media has actually given us a way of adding more value to our campaigns.
A study by Merkle found that those who use social media are actually more engaged with their inbox; 42% of social media users check their email more than four times per day, compared to 24% of non-social media users. These kinds of active users can extend the reach of your emails by an average of 24.3%, according to a study by Silverpop.
If you actively use Social Media as part of your marketing strategy, why not try incorporating that content into your email campaigns. Giving users the chance to share and re-post your content across multiple platforms will help form a positive brand perception and give your campaigns new legs.
Email opens on mobile devices have hit 51%, meaning there are more emails being opened on smartphones and tablets than there are on desktops. This means your customers are always listening; so wherever they are - you can be there, too.
To cater to this demand your campaigns need to be pervasive - users should to be able to read your emails wherever they are, on any device. The information needs to be relevant and also actionable from their smartphone – this means there needs to be a fluid transition from your email to your website. So if your website doesn't look good on mobile (e.g. it is not mobile responsive) then your Email Marketing efforts are being let down.
Not surprisingly email is the number one activity for people on their phones (Forbes). They are checking their inbox constantly, but they do it quickly on-the-go. The challenge for marketers is to create powerful communications that grab attention and engage during this window of opportunity. Using techniques such as hiding secondary information that would be unnecessary for mobile users, means you're displaying only the most relevant information. For example, in the first screenshot below you can see there are three paragraphs for the desktop version of our newsletter. In the second screenshot, you can see the first paragraph automatically disappeared to adapt to the smaller screen, as well as the image jumped under the heading to create a slimmer, easier to navigate design.
Quality and relevance
The reason why email is so effective is because the person you're communicating with has given you permission to do so. They're already interested in what you have to offer and the worst thing you can do at this stage is annoy them.
Consumers prefer Email Marketing over other communications because they're in control, they've given marketers permission to send them news and offers that they're actually interested in. They have control to manage their preferences and unsubscribe if they wish. There is no other channel in which the consumer has this much control – which makes Email Marketing a truly unique media.
For your messages to stand out in the inbox, you need to be the brand that respects this privilege and delivers a relevant and targeted message that gives value to the reader in exchange for their permission and attention - not just selling.
As more companies realise the value of Email Marketing, it will become harder to compete for attention in the inbox. Those who move away from standardised industry tactics and stay up to date with the latest practices and trends will be those who stand out from the rest.
Online Asset Partners is a full service Digital Marketing Agency experienced in delivering quality Email Marketing Campaigns. Contact us today to see how we can help you achieve your Email Marketing goals for 2014.