The above statement is a common one in certain circles of digital marketing.
In fact, Email Marketing’s demise has been declared about as frequently as Jason’s from the Friday the 13th movie franchise.
And like the hockey mask wearing protagonist from those films, Email Marketing has withstood the fickle nature of trends and movements to re-emerge for a new generation, ready to remind them of its superhuman regenerative powers. And outstanding return on investment.
Okay, before you (deservedly) call in the metaphor police, hear us out- Email is a form of digital marketing that has a reputation for being a solid, if uninspiring choice.
A steady Eddie, a 6 out of ten, a workmanlike option. It’ll do the job but it isn’t cool, it isn’t fun and it certainly isn’t sexy.
However, as more and more social media platforms make it increasingly difficult for businesses to achieve organic reach (more on this in a future blog post), people are beginning to re-evaluate the potential of email and its various benefits.
When we think about digital marketing, a number of factors hopefully come to mind, targeted, cost effective, measurable. Well email marketing has all those in droves. To quickly recap:
It’s great value for money
It gives a high return in investment.
It’s pull advertising.
The customer has signed up for the email. They’re the most responsive customer you could hope for.
Demographic, lead status etc. It’s simple to customise your message.
Brand Awareness. Every email exposes a consumer to your brand and the message you want to associate with it.
Measurable. Delivery, open rates etc , email is among the most measurable marketing tools at your disposal.
And these are just 5 of many more reasons as to why more and more people are re-engaging with email as a preferred form of digital marketing. So with that in mind, we’ve decided to focus on 3 key trends in Email Marketing which we believe will have a huge impact on 2018. Oh and remember- write an incredible (though concise, personal and maybe funny) subject line!
KEY TREND 1: INTERACTIVE CONTENT
Competition between brands is acute, so anything that can gain you a competitive edge is to be embraced. Interactive content in emails is increasingly being used to help companies stand out from the crowd.
In a survey carried out by litmus.com, 41% of email marketers had interactive content as their number priority for 2018. This was the 2nd year in a row interactive content had placed 1st in the survey. Interactive emails allow subscribers to take action without having to leave their inbox. While old styled emails can look tired and dull, interactive emails are fresh, more dynamic and invite engagement. Quite simply, it’s more attractive and effective at encouraging engagement.
Some examples of interactive content are:
- Rotational banners
- Hover buttons
- Add to order carts
Ticketmaster recently experimented with its Music Video Award, allowing its readers to vote via email. This resulted in an increased open rate of 180%!
KEY TREND 2: AUTOMATION
Simply put, email automation is the ability to send mails to customers based on a series of triggers which you define. These triggered and relevant mails help create a customer journey that is both timely and appropriate. Automation also enables you to segment and personalise your emails, both of which guarantee significantly improved open rates. Some examples of triggered ‘events’ are:
Welcome, new sign ups
Research on expertsender.com shows that trigger-based email campaigns provide 4 times the profit of non-triggered ones.
KEY TREND 3: CONVERSATIONAL COPY
To paraphrase the King:
‘A little less jargon, a little more conversation please’
I’m going to be honest- nearly every day I receive an email from company and one of the first thoughts that hits me is ‘this doesn’t read like it was written by a human.’ The reason- overloading on jargon. (Key tip- if you have to use jargon, try really hard to limit it to once per mail. Try it. Trust us, it’ll work!) Or the thesaurus option is being seriously over-utilised. We are regularly told that the key to writing successful emails is to imagine having a conversation with the recipient. But how do we do it?
- Don’t shy away from using “you.”
- Keep your sentences short and to the point.
- Don’t take yourself too seriously.
- Ask questions. Then follow it up quickly with the answer.
- Include a personal anecdote. As long as its genuine. And not too personal.
- Read it out loud before hitting send. Ask yourself honestly- does this sound like a conversation?
To sum up
As a marketer, you are in the enviable position of having a wealth of channels available to you to reach your audience. As we outline in the reasons above, we believe email marketing will continue to be one of the first ones you should utilize. It’s cost effective, targeted and measurable. It constantly changes to adapt and thrive. It keeps getting written off but then returns, seemingly more effective than before.
A bit like a certain horror icon……