8-reasons

8 Reasons Nobody Reads Your Emails

Open your email inbox any day of the working week, and you will likely be faced with a plethora of emails that you do not recall subscribing to. Depending on your mood, these emails might be instantly deleted, marked as ‘junk’, or replied to with a sarcastic remark.

To save your inbound email marketing messages from suffering the same fate, make sure you do not commit these 10 common mistakes.

Sending Emails to the Wrong Recipients

Blasting a single email message to your entire list can be ineffective.  You will have far superior results if you segment and target your list properly. Email marketing is not about sending out huge quantities of emails, and hoping some recipients will bite. It is more about sending quality, targeted messages to the relevant people.

Failing to Personalize

Your marketing emails are much more likely to be read if they appear to be coming from a human being, rather than a robot. Personalize your communications by referring to the recipient by their name, so that you are speaking to them directly. If you know the name of their business, you could also include that to customize the message further.

Unattractive Designs

Poorly designed layouts, unattractive color combinations and broken images can lead an email straight to the trash can. It is worth taking the time to choose an aesthetically pleasing email template, as well as a plain-text version, that accommodates various browsers, devices and operating systems.

Failing to Grab Attention

If writing your marketing email makes you feel bored, it is likely that the recipient will feel the same. Keep your audience interested with a relevant, attention-grabbing image, and write engaging copy that speaks directly to them.

Having No Goal

Every email marketing campaign should have a goal; something that you can define success by. Before you start designing your email, decide on what you are trying to achieve, and take a note of the expected outcome. That way, you can compare the results of the campaign to your expectations, and identify what works and what doesn’t.

Including Errors

Grammatical faux pas, misspellings and broken links have no place in marketing communications. When you are next preparing an email campaign, have at least two people look over it to identify any such errors. It can be hard to spot these mistakes when you have built the email content from the ground up.

Being Too Long-Winded

People have busy schedules and limited attention spans. Keep your audience’s attention long enough to get your message across by keeping it under 200 words. Be concise. Get to the point quickly. Use an image to support the message, and close with a prominent CTA.

Having a Poor Subject Line

Your email subject line is the first thing your recipients will see, so it is of utmost importance that you get this right. Your subject line should grab the reader’s attention, create a sense of urgency, and give them a clear reason to open the email. Avoid using all caps and excessive exclamation marks; both can instantly kill your credibility.

Avoiding these common mistakes can work wonders in keeping your emails out of the trash can. The easier you make it to read, open, and respond to your emails, the more your audience will engage with your business.

email-marketing-is-essential-for-ecommerce-businesses-in-2017

Email Marketing Is Essential for eCommerce Businesses in 2017

A study in 2014 found that email marketing was responsible for more than a quarter of all ecommerce sales on Black Friday across all industries. That makes email marketing the most effective marketing channel used.

That statistic was taken a couple of years ago, and email marketing has not showed any signs of slowing since. 90 percent of all consumers access email once per day, and most people use it far more than that.

Take all this along with the fact that email marketing provides the highest return on investment of all marketing channels, and you begin to wonder why more ecommerce businesses don’t bother with it.

If you’re not already investing at least some of your time into email marketing, here’s why you should.

Email drives sales

If you are not actively building your email list, your sales will suffer. By not emailing your target market, you rely on them randomly visiting your website to check for new products. And for many businesses, the chances of your audience visiting your site on their own accord are minimal, and those who do don’t return frequently enough.

Emailing your audience allows you to put whatever message you want in front of your audience, whenever you want.

Email helps reduce cart abandonment

Cart Abandonment

You’ll be perfectly familiar with cart abandonment if you run an online shop.

‘Cart abandonment’ refers to when a browsing shopper places items in their cart, and then leaves the site without completing the purchase.

Lots of sales have been lost to cart abandonment in the past, but advanced email marketing has made it possible for us to do something about it.

Abandoned Cart

If you have your customers’ emails, you can chase up on missed opportunities when carts get abandoned. A quick message reminding them that their items are still in the cart might just be enough to create a conversion.

By taking customers’ email addresses when they sign up for an account, you can both build your email list and reduce cart abandonment at the same time.

Emails helps provide insightful research

When done properly, email marketing allows you to learn important information about your customers, allowing you to target them more effectively in the future.

Now, you can not only find out what your customers want to order from you, but also more specific details such as color and size.

In the past, obtaining this information would be a costly process, likely consisting of surveys and focus groups. Now, you can get your customers’ opinions by email.

If you want to learn more about your customers’ tastes, try sending an email asking them to ‘vote’ on the item and size they prefer, allowing you to provide them with relevant notifications later.

3-factors-that-make-or-break-email-campaigns

3 Factors That Make or Break Email Campaigns

Is your business always looking for better ways to reach out to customers old and new? Does your team strive to keep up to date with all the latest methods available to us? The answer to each of these questions should be yes.

An important question, though, is whether your team is abandoning seemingly outdated technologies on the assumption that they’re obsolete.

Adults in the U.S. spend an average of 11 hours looking at a screen daily. Over one-fifth of those people are self-admittedly online “almost constantly”, according to data from Pew Research, and it is no surprise that this group tends to correlate with the younger demographics. 36% of 18-29 year olds spend more than double the amount of time online as those over 65.

Email Marketing

But what are these people doing online, and how can your business reach out to them?

Email is the answer. An overall 58% of web users check their email as the first online task of the day, followed by using a search engine (20%) and checking Facebook (11%). There are over 215 billion emails sent around the globe daily; there’s a reason why email marketing provides an ROI of 3800%, essentially generating $38 for every $1 spent.

How should you go about optimizing your brand’s email marketing campaigns? Here are three key trends to consider when developing your next email marketing plan.

Be Prepared for Q4

The final quarter of the year is always the most email-intensive. It always dwarfs the number of emails sent in the other three quarters of the year, often nearing double the number of emails sent in Q3.

It’s obvious that this surge late in the year is due to all the holiday shopping emails. What’s particularly interesting to note, however, is that open rates in Q4 average at 6%, the second highest rate of the year. That’s right, your consumers are actually reading your promotional holiday emails.

Days of the Week

If you analyze your own behaviour, it is obvious that particular days of the week influence your activities, and holidays can be completely disrupive to habits.

For example, in October the number of emails sent peaks on Thursday and Fridays. In November, however, the day of highest email traffic is always Monday, largely influenced by Cyber Monday.

Email Marketing Holiday Season

The number of emails sent peaks in Q4.

In December, most emails are sent on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with, unsurprisingly, the highest traffic numbers in the final two weeks before Christmas as retailers push for last-minute sales.

Throughout the entire final quarter of the year, Saturday and Sunday were the least popular days for sending emails. Email marketers are out shopping and enjoying themselves, and they know their audience is too.

Time of Day

We already established that the most popular days of the week for sending emails vary based on holidays and seasons, but it turns out that time of day is a much more consistent indicator of email traffic levels.

It was found that between 11am and 3pm EST is the most popular time to send emails, followed by between 7am and 11am EST. These findings would lead to the reasonable conclusion that email marketing is most popular in the morning. However, you should not write off between 1pm and 5pm EST, the third most popular time for sending emails during the holiday months.

For obvious reasons, sending out emails during the night is not a very popular marketing practice. The number of emails sent drops to its lowest point between 11pm and 7am EST. However, don’t completely disregard this segment of the day. Studies have shown that night owls are actually more likely to open your emails, with open rates of 21.7% between 8pm and midnight, and 17.6% between midnight and 4am. In today’s working environment, the old advice not to send emails at night is no longer relevant.

Whether you’re attempting to optimize an annual marketing plan for 2017, or just looking for a way to make a few extra sales this holiday period, do not overlook email marketing. It might be the oldest form of online marketing communications, but it’s still the best.

3-stats-that-will-make-you-re-think-your-email-marketing-strategy

3 Stats that Will Make You Re-Think Your Email Marketing Strategy

I’ve got some interesting statistics here that could lead you to reshape your marketing priorities. Econsultancy recently published their 10th Annual Email Marketing Industry Census, and things are looking positive. The report is probably longer than you want to read (over 80 pages of insights), so we’ve listed three key points for you take away with you.

1. Email Brings the Highest ROI

Platforms such as Facebook may have huge, growing user bases, but email marketing topped this list with 27 percent of marketers reporting excellent ROI and 46 reporting good ROI from their campaigns. Together, that makes up a sizeable majority of happy marketers.

Twenty-two percent reported average results and just 5 percent were unhappy with their campaigns. All in all, that’s 95 percent satisfied in their campaign performance.

This figure gains weight in comparison to paid search campaigns; only 59 percent of marketers were happy with the outcome of their marketing efforts. Online display performed even worse, with only 34 percent satisfied with results.

2.  Marketers still invest the least of their budget on email

For years, email marketing has proved to be among the most useful weapons in an online marketer’s arsenal. However, most marketers still do not make effective use of it. This year, average marketing budget allocated for email is just 15 percent, even though email makes up 23 percent of sales.

Email marketing budget

The average marketer spends just 15 percent of their marketing budget on email.

The could be several reasons for this underuse of email marketing. One reason could be an increased focus on social media marketing to target the millennial market.  Another reason might be the relative time is takes to compose a marketing email when compared to a post on a social network. It can easily take 6-8 hours to set up an email campaign.

The time taken to put together a marketing email is becoming a less-important factor, thanks to the intuitive email marketing platforms that are available today.

3.  Marketers focussing on automation and personalization

When surveyed marketers were asked where they would be focussing their efforts within email marketing, the top five answers were what you might expect: automation, analytics, planning, personalization and segmentation. Of these areas, personalization and segmentation saw the largest year-on-year jump; both up five percent. Up from 22 percent last year, 34 percent of marketers said automation will take most of their focus, while 22 percent named personalization as their key area of focus, an increase from 17 percent in 2015.

Email Personalization

Personalization emails leads to increased open rates.

There’s no denying email campaigns have had huge success implementing automation, personalization and testing. Automation improves productivity and keeps the process free of errors, personalization helps to increase open rates, and A/B testing improves your campaign’s overall performance. Take care of these core ingredients and you can expect a successful campaign.

How does your email marketing campaign compare?

Over 1000 marketers contributed to the trends identified in the census report. How does your email campaign compare to these figures? Are you focussing on the same key areas? If you think you’re not doing enough in this area, you might want to consider increasing your email budget to allow for more time spent on personalization, automation and testing. Focus on each of them and you’ll achieve better results.

5 COMMON EMAIL MARKETING CHALLENGES

5 Common Email Marketing Challenges – And How to Overcome Them

Email continues to provide the most effective method of marketing. Not only that, research has shown that it’s one of the least difficult to execute. However, as with any channel of communication, email marketing does not come without its share of obstacles.

It is a relief to know that there is always a solution to the problems posed by email marketing. We take a look at some of the most restrictive challenges facing email marketers, and provide solutions for each of them.

Email Marketing Channels

1.  Building Your List

A recent study from Campaigner revealed that earning new subscribers is the biggest challenge experienced by email marketers in 2015. The report was based on a survey completed by 506 email marketers, many of whom claimed finding new subscribers to be their main challenge.

SOLUTION

The best way of overcoming the problem of earning new subscribers is to ensure the benefits of subscription are clearly obvious to potential subscribers. Having a clear value proposition will serve to answer those key concerns people have before opting in. You might be providing exclusive offers and discounts that cannot be found elsewhere, or providing links to premium web content: Either way, make sure the benefit to the recipient is immediately obvious.

Main Challenges of Email Marketing

2.  Increasing Open Rates

Another common problem experienced by email marketers is increasing open rates. In the Campaigner report, 26.3 percent of respondents thought of increasing open rates as the single biggest challenge, with 20.3 percent citing it as their second biggest issue.

SOLUTION

It all comes down to writing catchy, engaging subject lines. The subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see, and their decision to open the email is based on this alone. When crafting a subject line, you should keep it short and concise, immediately grabbing the recipient’s attention.

A well-crafted subject line should make subscribers intrigued enough to click through to the rest of the email.

Research from Sidekick found that emails with personalized subject lines had a 20 percent higher open rate than those with non-personalized subject lines. The same study found subject lines with fewer than 30 characters performed better than longer ones. The key is to write short, catchy subject lines that speak directly to the recipient.

 

3.  Improving Deliverability

Your email’s content and subject line will not make the slightest bit of difference if your emails are headed straight for the junk folder. Sidestepping the spam box is another major challenge facing email marketers, and increasingly intuitive junk mail filters only exacerbate this issue.

When your deliverability rate falls below a certain percentage, some internet service providers will send your email to the spam folder. This is a waste of time, money and effort.

SOLUTION

Avoid using spam words in your subject lines to prevent your emails from getting filtered as junk. The words classed as spam vary between industry, but some common examples include: cheap, free, buy, cash, subscribe, click, cost, and prize. Integrate any of these words into your subject line and you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot.

Email Spam Words

There are a number of measures you can take to improve the deliverability rate. You can monitor the contacts that have been inactive for a long time, and the ones that never open your emails, and delete them from your list. You can also avoid adding non-existent emails to your list by asking subscribers to confirm their opt-in via an email link.

 

4.  Retaining Subscribers

Growing your email list is wasted effort if you are losing subscribers at the same rate. Retaining email subscribers ranks within the top five challenges experienced by email marketers. If you have a large group of active subscribers, do whatever you can to keep them.

SOLUTION

The best method of retaining your subscribers is to send out the right emails to the right audience. This means segmenting your list into groups, and speaking directly to each type of buyer. A study from Lyris found that segmenting email lists results in a reduced unsubscribe rate for 28 percent and higher customer retention for 21 percent of marketers.

Email List Segmentation

5.  Low Click-Through Rates

Another challenge ranking highly among email marketers is improving click-through rates. Your subscribers might be opening your emails, but if they’re not reading the content and clicking links through to your website, you don’t have much chance of converting them into paying customers.

SOLUTION

Email list segmentation is the key here, too. However, low click-through rates may be a result of disinterested subscribers. You can fix this issue by running a re-engagement campaign every year. Send out an email to all your subscribers asking if they want to keep receiving your emails, and include a clear opt-out option.

Low click-through rates in emails can also be the result of sending out emails too frequently. A study conducted by The Relevancy Group and LiveClicker found that too high a frequency of emails was the primary reasons that consumers disliked receiving marketing emails on their smartphones. You should allow subscribers to customize the frequency of emails based on their preferences.

Low Click-Through Rates

is-email-marketing-dead-among-youth

Is Email Marketing Dead Among Younger Demographics?

If you read through various studies on the same marketing topic, you will almost certainly find some inconsistencies in the results, but those differences are often nuanced. As an example, look at the wealth of information researching the adoption of ad-blocking software. The estimated percentage the new tech has penetrated varies between surveys, but there is one clear underlying trend: use of such technologies is on the rise.

Another example of contradictory results came in late March, when two studies on email and youth demographics were released at around the same time, both reporting contradicting results.

TechCrunch reported that email is losing its value among 13- to 24-year-olds, who instead opt to communicate via messaging apps. The study pointed to time spent on such apps by younger demographics, in contrast to the 45+ age bracket, as evidence of email’s decline in popularity.

older-mobile-users-traditional-services

On the other side of the argument, Internet Retailer referred to research by email tech company Adestra which found that 68% of teens prefer to be contacted by email, as opposed to 7% for both text and push notifications.

It’s difficult to arrive at a conclusion based on the two aforementioned studies. In order to analyze how the younger generations actually feel about email, we hear from two industry experts: Marie Homne, senior marketing strategist at Yesmail, and Dan Buckstaff, VP of marketing at Jetlore.

email marketing mobile

Email is still alive and healthy among the young

“Email can almost be considered a person’s ‘passport’ to the virtual world,” Buckstaff explained, citing email addresses as an indispensable key within the digital environment.

Email marketing can be an effective tool for reaching Gen Z directly, Buckstaff said, given that email addresses are needed to create social accounts. However, he admits email marketing among Gen Z is a little hit or miss.

Millennials, meanwhile, use email “heavily” throughout many aspects of their lives, including work communication, financial management and alerts, travel information, social media notifications and promotional emails.

With smartphone use continuing to grow – almost two-thirds of Americans own a smartphone – the key to the future of email marketing to younger demographics lies with mobile.

“Yesmail’s Q4 2015 Email Marketing Compass found that half of consumers who receive marketing emails open these emails exclusively on a mobile device,” Homne said. “We’re approaching the tipping point in mobile commerce and Gen Z and Millennials are leading this shift. Due to its immediacy on smartphones, email is an effective technique in reaching millennials because we all know they have it with them constantly.”

To optimize the performance of emails received on mobile devices, it’s necessary to implement responsive email design. Improving the appearance of emails in such a way leads to 24% more clicks, and a 55% higher click-to-open rate.

Email marketing

The plethora of mobile messaging apps are all welcome additions to the marketing communications arena, but each has its own strengths and weaknesses, and should be approached with caution. Email still provides one of the best solutions in terms of functionality, boasting numerous options for custom design and prominent calls-to-action.

“We can no longer think of one mode of messaging within a silo,” she said. “Instead consider, how can one build upon another? And for these younger generations for whom the mobile device is a complex ecosystem, the more we can blur the lines among the apps, the more seamless you’ll appear.”

Employ a mobile-first email strategy

What is clear is that email is very much an effective method for communicating with younger demographics. However, it is essential that marketers take a mobile-first approach if they are to get through to the younger generations.

Think about how your campaigns will come across on the small screen, making sure to consider clean, simple designs, clear calls-to-action, and easily tappable buttons.

“Email has adjusted and adapted to the mobile presence and remains a flexible channel.  It can stand on its own, or support other channels – digital and print – very well,” she said. “Email remains a strong and viable channel through which we interact with all generations. Wherever the consumer goes with their mobile device, email will be right there with them.”

6-reasons-to-hire-cannabis-marketing-agency

6 Reasons You Should Hire a Cannabis Marketing Agency for Your Business

The cannabis industry continues to grow as more states legalize the medical and recreational use of the drug. With numerous states likely to legalize in the upcoming November election, further industry growth is inevitable.

With increased demand within the market comes increased supply, and the marketplace is become more and more competitive by the day. If you’re looking to get a foot up on the competition, here are five reasons why you should hire a dedicated cannabis marketing agency in 2016.

 

Dedicated to the industry

Marijuana Marketing AgencyWorking with a marketing agency that is dedicated to the marijuana industry provides obvious benefits. The agency you work with knows the industry inside out, and more specifically knows how to speak to your customers.

A cannabis-focussed marketing agency knows exactly what is happening in the industry, in terms of events and new products, and knows how to take your brand to the next level.

Like your business, cannabis marketing agencies also operate within the marijuana industry, and they care about the overall image and well-being of the industry as a whole. It is therefore likely that your marketing partner will paint your business in the best possible light.

 

Experts in marijuana marketing laws and regulations

The cannabis industry may be intimidating as a result of its semi-legit nature throughout different parts of the country, but you can be sure that cannabis-dedicated marijuana agencies are fluent in the latest laws and regulations of advertising, marketing and packaging.

It is essential that you work with a marketing agency that remains fully informed of the ever-changing laws and regulations, particularly when it comes to edible product packaging.

 

Streamline your marketing operations

Cannabis Marketing AgencyInstead of hiring in-house marketing staff that you have to oversee and manage, you can employ a marketing agency to deal with one single member of your team. This helps to minimize wasted time, allowing you to perform your marketing activities in a swift and streamlined manner.

By working with a dedicated marketing agency, you can enjoy much faster turnaround times than you would experience with an in-house staff member.

 

Industry connections

You’ve heard it before: “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” This rings just as true in the cannabis industry.

A marketing agency dedicated to the marijuana market may have links to journalists who may wish to cover your cannabis brand. Getting your name out to the right people can make or break a brand, so this resource is invaluable in the growth of a cannabusiness.

 

Access to a full suite of talent and resources

By working with a dedicated cannabis marketing agency, you have access to a massive wealth of skills and experience, including email marketing, market research, strategy, outreach, design, SEO, social media, content marketing and more. Instead of shopping around for different services and managing numerous contacts, you can enjoy the convenience of a one-stop shop that will take care of all your marketing needs.

Green Scene Marketing is a full-service marketing agency dedicated to the cannabis space. For more information about Green Scene Marketing and its services, visit www.greenscenemarketing.com.

INCREASE SALES THROUGH ABANDONED CART MESSAGING

Increase Sales Through Abandoned Cart Messaging

We recently discussed how to avoid the most common blunders in email marketing. This week, we’ll discuss now to boost your revenues through the use of cart abandonment messages to your customers.

Why Send Cart Abandonment Messages?

Abandoned CartOnline shoppers abandon their shopping cards for a number of reasons. Maybe they get distracted by another website, maybe the site times out, or maybe they just get distracted by a video on YouTube. Either way, there are a number of steps you can take to make sure they don’t forget about those products they were thinking about purchasing.

 

Send a follow-up email.

When a potential customer last abandoned her basket and navigated away from your site, a follow-up email makes sure they remember the products they were looking at. It’s important to make it easy for them to jump straight back into the buying process.

Timing is particularly important here. You don’t want to send a reminder too early and risk annoying the prospect. You also don’t want to leave it too long that they have forgotten all about your products. It’s all about finding the perfect medium. Industry experts have recommended sending a follow-up email within 24 hours of their visit to your site, but a/b testing on your own campaigns will help you to identify what works best for you.

Remind shoppers about the products they’ve abandoned.

It may seem obvious, but when you send the aforementioned follow-up email, be sure to make clear the intention of the message and refer to the actual products left in the cart. Including an image, price and description of each product helps to jog their memory.

Give customers a reason to come back.

Reminder emails can sometimes get ignored by customers. If you fail to provoke a response with your follow-up message, it is possible to reengage their interest by suggesting other similar products. Another effective strategy is to provide them with a coupon that can be used with the purchase.

HOW TO AVOID COMMON EMAIL BLUNDERS

How to Avoid Common Email Blunders

It’s something we’ve all fallen victim to. Regardless of your level of experience in email marketing, mistakes do happen.

After constructed a carefully crafted, persuasive message for your audience, one that you know will have a compelling effect, you hit send and wait for your good work to start paying off.

It is at that moment that you cast your eyes over your email for a final, post-sending scan, and you see a glaring error jump right out at you. A mistake you failed to see the first 100 times you proofed the article has finally become apparent… a little too late.

The inevitable panic ensues.

The only way to prevent such situations from occurring is to be aware of how things can go wrong, and to identify blunders before hitting the send button. So, here are some of the most common ways that emails can go very, very wrong.

Email personalization

Inaccurate Personalization

We are now in an age when email messages must be personalized to be read. Inboxes are filling up increasingly fast, meaning that recipients must filter them more rigorously than before. Prior to sending out your email, it is essential to ensure that the personalization is accurate. Check you have the recipients’ correct name, location and language ahead of time.

 

Irrelevant Information

As with any sales message, make sure your focus is on exactly what your audience want to read. Have you received an email before and wondered, “Does this company actually have any idea who I am?” Ensuring the relevance of your email content comes down to effective segmentation. Group your list into recipients sharing certain traits, and make sure your emails are only received by those who will actually be interested in reading them.

 

Ineffective Proofreading

This is the most obvious on the list, but it must be reiterated nonetheless. You would be surprised by the number of emails we receive with minor (and sometimes major) proofreading mistakes. Some of the most common examples of this include incorrect images, broken links, and both spelling and grammar mistakes. If you feel like you’re likely to miss these errors upon proofing, get a second or third pair of eyes to look over it before hitting send.

 

Sending Emails Too Regularly

Another mistake we still see all the time is businesses sending out too many emails. As we mentioned before, email inboxes are filling up faster than ever, and your excessive emails are only going to add to the clutter. Sending out messages too frequently can easily lead to unsubscribes, or being marked as ‘spam’, completely defeating the objective of grabbing your subscribers’ attention.

 

Avoiding Blunders

The best way of avoiding such devastating mistakes is to be proactive.

There are two key ways of being proactive when it comes to email marketing. The first is to compile a checklist of everything you need to verify prior to hitting send. Simply ticking off a list can help you to identify issues that you might have otherwise missed. Here’s an example of an email marketing checklist:

 

Email Marketing Checklist

 

The second way you can be proactive is to create an action plan for implementing if and when things do go wrong. This plan outlines predetermined actions to take in a given situation, allowing your team to respond quickly and effectively. Getting these things in place will free up valuable time when panic mode sets in. In creating your plan, you should:

  1. Identify those who can help to resolve blunders
  2. Develop a notification plan, ensuring the relevant people are quickly notified of an error
  3. Make plans for various different scenarios
6 EMAIL MARKETING PREDICTIONS FOR 2016

6 Email Marketing Predictions for 2016

Holiday promotions are now behind us, and many are now implementing their email marketing strategies for the year ahead. To be successful in this increasingly competitive space, you must identify the trends as they happen, and plan creative email campaigns to capture the attention of your audience.

Look towards the innovators for a sign of things to come. Email marketing is heading in a number of fairly predictable directions, and identifying these early helps you to stay ahead of the game.

The word cloud from a survey by Econsultancy identifies some of the trends we’re seeing. The information was pulled from Econsultancy’s marketing audience, answering “Looking ahead five years, what do you think the single biggest change to email marketing will be?”

Word Cloud

There’s a lot of stuff to discuss there. We’ll stick to the highlights, though, and focus on how you can take action on the upcoming changes.

 

  1. “Batch and blast” email marketing will become less effective

“Batch and blast” refers to sending an identical email to every subscriber on your list. The most intelligent email marketers ditched this technique years ago, but for many in-house marketing departments, it’s still how things are done. In the year ahead, more small-time email marketers will try their hand at segmentation. Email service providers make segmentation easier by the day, and there’s no doubt of its effectiveness.

Numerous studies have been carried out signalling that segmentation and/or personalization would be top marketing objectives for 2016. Econsultancy and Adestra’s Email Marketing Industry Census report shows that 78 percent of respondents expect all email communications to be personalized within five years.

Segmentation is great for subscribers, too. With volumes of emails received continually increasing, subscribers must be pickier about what they read. With inboxes filling up faster and faster, the culling process must step up.

 

  1. Email inboxes will fill up faster and faster

You’ll have noticed that the volume of emails you receive will have steadily increased ever since you first got an email address. And there’s little doubt that this trend will only continue. The Radicati Group’s Email Statistics Report, 2014 – 2018 states that you’re going to receive 7% more email in 2016 than in 2015.

Email inbox volume

This presents a serious issue for subscribers, which consequently means a serious issue for us, the email marketers. Subscribers now have to do more than ever to control their inboxes, including more ruthless culling.

Here’s how to make sure you content gets read.

  • Marketers must continue to be creative and original to maintain high open and click-through rates. Segmentation certainly helps, but it’s also essential to deliver quality content worthy of your subscribers’ time.
  • Simply avoiding unsubscribes is inadequate. Email clients are becoming more and more sophisticated by the day. You need to ensure your subscribers engage with your email; otherwise, it could easily end up being filtered to junk.

 

  1. Mobile will continue to grow

Already, over half of all emails are opened from a mobile device, and that proportion will only increase.

Email marketing devices

This trend has several implications for marketers:

  • Use a “responsive” or “mobile-friendly” design to ensure optimal display regardless of device.
  • Test your emails on numerous device prior to sending.
  • Shorter emails tend to perform better
  • Emails with small file sizes tend to perform better.
  • Simple, minimalistic designs have better success rates.

 

  1. Emails will have moving elements

Videos, gifs and other dynamic objects will be used more frequently in emails. When used effectively, these moving objects grab subscribers’ attention and encourage them to click through.

A good example of this is a countdown timer. The image below is an example provided by an email design company Email Monks. When the email is opened, the clock actively counts down in front of the reader.

Some marketers make frequent use of such techniques, and have shown that they can increase email click-through rates by well over 100%

One thing to remember; ensure the animated object is tied to your call to action, and consistent with the overall objective of the message.

Email Monks

 

  1. Social media and email will become more interlinked

Both email and social media have their place in today’s marketing landscape, and they work together well to maximize your reach. Social media is ideal for helping to build your email list, while your emails can be enriched with live social media content.

Embedding social feeds in emails is one of the more advanced techniques used, and we expect this to become more widespread as the year progresses. The emails below show live Facebook content being embedded within an email. The content of the email updates automatically with new posts from the Facebook page.

Social email

 

  1. A new app will claim it will kill email

Every year for the past decade, without exception, a new app has claim to be the end of email. Facebook’s messenger service is one example.

Emails simply won’t die, though. We all still use it daily, and will continue to do so. Slack co-founder Stewart Butterfield described email as “the cockroach of the internet.”

It’s highly doubtful that anything new in 2016 will ‘displace’ email. It’s not going anywhere. As long as ROI remains high, it will continue to be a popular method of marketing. The chart below really puts things in perspective.


Marketing ROI

 

What are your thoughts about the outlook of email marketing in 2016? Do you think marketing via email will become more difficult? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.