Keeping your email marketing on trend in 2016

shutterstock_216261145Email marketing is a great way to target customers, but most of us still aren’t using it to its full potential. Claims that email marketing is dead are premature. In fact email marketing is growing. Users now spend more time each morning on the internet, checking emails and using social media rather than they spend eating breakfast. In fact, the number of email users is expected to increase from 2.6 billion to 2.9 billion by 2019. And email has one of the highest engagement rates of any marketing strategy. This makes it an ideal platform to create brand awareness, build customer loyalty, nurture potential business leads and ultimately generate sales.

Here is all you need to know about the latest trends in email marketing:

Keep it personalised to your business

For businesses using email marketing, 42% fail to personalise their emails, instead sending the same, obviously, recycled message to customers. Understandably and to the detriment of these companies, it reduces user behaviour and interaction. A personalised subject line has 29% higher open rate, whilst personalised content leads to a 41% higher click rate, resulting in a higher transaction rate. Why send an email if it doesn’t get read?

There are numerous key factors to creating a mailing list, including knowing who you are targeting, where they are located and their profession – aka being targeted and personal.

Timing is also very important and knowing the peak usage times of your audience is vital for increased click rates with this kind of marketing. Recent analysis of email click rates have found consumer emails are best sent between 7 and 10pm, yet emails related to property and finance are opened more between 3-5pm. Based on your audience peak times, you can send up-to-date information to customers based around relevant offers and news. If you’ve got more time and want to carry out your own research, try scheduling a few different types of promotional emails and using a small test group to gain some data on their best response days and times. While there are overall popular times, your client base and industry may differ from the norm.

Single customer view

Popular in retail businesses, single customer view gives companies the opportunity to see individual interaction with their email campaign. For businesses, collecting and consolidating user data is a must for better email marketing.

Through an email database, businesses can see who received and opened emails and SMS messages, the interaction a customer had with the email and whether a purchase was made. It allows companies to see the ROI of email marketing and offer targeted emails to specific customers, such as customised ‘thank you for visiting’ messages. Further benefits of this include the chance for your business to note the success of your email marketing and areas which need improving, ultimately leading to better customer retention and higher conversion rates.

Go mobile

There is a huge opportunity to cater emails to target mobile and tablet users, as they make up a vast amount of company interaction. 45% of email opens occur on mobile, with desktop trailing at 36%. Placing mobile optimisation as a priority will place you ahead of other businesses. Note that if a mobile user has trouble accessing a site, they are 61% less likely to return and 40% will go to competitor instead.

While optimising your emails, along with your company website to a mobile friendly versions, make small adjustments to the content of your emails too. Consider the size of mobile screens and what appears above the “mobile fold” – the first screen. Keeping copy concise with bulleted lists and short paragraphs will be more memorable, while catchy pre-header text provides context to entice users.

Email marketing comes to the forefront

Email marketing has been generating the highest ROI for companies for ten years and is proving to be a more successful platform than social media promotion for many. In fact, customers are three times more likely to make a purchase from email promotion than Facebook and Twitter, with the average order value being 17% higher.

Customer behaviour is shifting and the emergence of high quality content is essential. When using email marketing, think of it as a journey to your company. An email is the customer’s first interaction with the brand, so include a follow-through link to specific landing pages of the offer or item featured as this can increase purchase rates by 25%. Even if they don’t convert from the email, they may later by directly searching for your brand/site.

Changes to data protection

Marketers need to be aware of the changes to data protection, especially when it comes to mailing lists and email marketing. The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), an act to protect transferring data of EU citizens and to reduce third party access, is being adopted this year, and will be fully enforced by 2018. This means businesses must assess their current data collection and have explicit consent from consumers to collect and use their personal data. Moreover, customers have the right to be forgotten, which if implemented, means companies can no longer store their personal data.

Businesses should look at their current consumer database to ensure the regulations are abided by to avoid penalties. When collecting consumer data, such as from your website or app, implementing a browsewrap privacy policy and clickwrap service consent box offer the customer a choice to proceed and share their data. Although this allows users to opt out, reducing the scope of email marketing, the users who remain are likely more interested in actually converting. From this database of users, you may also be able to get a better idea of who your target market is and how to change your strategy to find new customers.

 

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