Currently, more than 280 billion emails are sent each day. That number is expected to rise to 333 billion by the end of 2021. The question is, with all that noise in your customer’s inbox, how do you make sure that you’re standing out?
Despite the growth of other solutions like SEO and social media, email marketing continues to be the best, most valuable way of reaching your audience. It’s rated the number one channel for ROI by 73% of marketers. In fact, email delivers approximately $41.77 for every $1 spent, according to the DMA.
To take advantage of this phenomenal advertising channel, you need an email marketing strategy that’s focused, reliable and up-to-date.
Fortunately, we’re here to share the top email marketing improvements you can make in 2019 for significant growth.
1. Prioritize Personalization
According to a study by Hatchbuck, customers who purchase items through emails spend up to 138% more than their counterparts. This means that the inbox is a great place to cultivate conversions.
However, not just any old email will do when you’re trying to drive results.
Your audience has learned to ignore the irrelevant content that swarms the internet today. They’re sick and tired after years of being hit by popups and annoying ads. If your emails aren’t customized, then people will overlook them- or worse, send it straight to their spam box. On the other hand, 78% of customers say that “personally relevant” emails significantly increase their purchasing intent.
So some of the best email marketing strategies you can adopt are to personalize your campaigns by:
- Segmenting your email list based on customer intent, product preferences, and even geographical location. The more subgroups you have, the better.
- Paying attention to special moments in your customer’s life. Discount codes sent on their birthday are a great way to increase loyalty.
- Incorporate a first name into every email to give your messages a personal touch. Look at how the Airbnb example below makes their content feel more friendly and informal.
2. Respect Your Customer’s Need for Control
According to Adobe, 58% of millennials still prefer to be contacted by brands via email. However, today’s customers don’t want just anyone to have access to their inbox. The concepts of privacy, control and data protection hit the mainstream in 2018. They’re likely to continue having an impact in 2019 too.
Not only do companies operating with the EU have GDPR to think about, but there’s also the impending cookie law of “ePrivacy” to change how you target customers as well.
Let your customers know that you respect their rights online. Give them the option to unsubscribe from emails that aren’t right for them. This doesn’t necessarily mean giving everyone the same blanket “unsubscribe” button. Instead, provide an option where clients can select all the types of emails that don’t appeal to them. This way, you’re less likely to lose valuable leads.
For the customers that stay on your list, take a leaf out of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Jab Jab Jab, Right Hook,” and intersperse your marketing emails with small, friendly and non-intrusive messages. Make your email marketing strategy about nurturing and engagement, not just sales. For instance, look at how Adobe shares how-to guides and useful information with their audience via email:
3. Be More Interactive
The average email inbox is cluttered.
Everyone seems to be battling for the same attention online. If you want to stand out, then you need to offer your customers something they can’t get elsewhere. Interactive emails are a growing trend in the marketing space that gives your leads a way of genuinely connecting with you.
The goal here isn’t just to make your emails look more exciting; it’s to immerse your customers in the memorable experiences that they’re searching for online.
You can even use your interactivity elements to help customers begin their purchase without ever leaving the inbox.
Just remember, whatever new features you add to your email marketing strategy template, you’ll need to make sure that they work just as well on a smartphone as they do on email. More than 50% of emails are accessed via mobile. This means that your buttons need to be big, clickable, and easy to access on smaller screens. For an example of how interactivity can work for brands, check out this email from Chewy, designed to send customers straight to the product page:
4. Humanize Your Brand
As email marketing becomes increasingly crowded in 2019, customers are paying less attention to faceless corporations. We’re all focusing more on the organizations with a human touch. After all, people are loyal to other people – not companies.
Prices and deals might have been enough to keep customers coming back in the past. However, in 2019, it will be crucial to build emotional connections between your brand and your customer. This is particularly true as millennials consume more of the market, becoming CEOs of businesses and changing the way deals are made.
There are plenty of ways to humanize your brand, such as:
- Using humor in your messages: Get more playful with your emails, throw a couple of gifs and emojis into the mix (if they suit your brand image), and make your language more informal.
- Tell your story: Share what makes your company unique. This will help your customers to form a deeper connection with your organization.
- Have some fun: Examine your user personas and think about how you can speak directly to them. Check out this email from Barkbox for a great example:
5. Get Some Help from Bots
You might have noticed a rise in machine learning and artificial intelligence in recent years. Today, we’re all talking to the internet through our smartphones and ordering pizzas through home hubs. It only makes sense that this tech would be making its way into the marketing world too.
Tools like predictive analytics make it easier to micro-segment your audience based on where they are in the buying cycle. You can determine precisely what each customer is doing and set up “trigger-based” emails that send automatically without human input.
For instance, say a customer signs up to your email list for the first time, this would trigger an automatic welcome email, complete with useful information that’s great for your audience. 1Password uses this strategy to introduce customers to the personality of their brand:
There are also plenty of other trigger emails that you can set up beside the “welcome” option. For instance, why not send an email when someone abandons their cart, reminding them they have items sitting in their basket? Or how about an email when someone doesn’t buy something for a while, tempting them to come back with a discount code. These simple improvements to your email marketing strategy make a big difference in 2019.
6. Experiment with Different Media
Words aren’t the only way to connect with your target audience.
Look at it this way; the DMR suggests that office workers receive about 121 emails per day. The last thing they want is for all of them to be packed with paragraphs of text.
Try getting a little more creative with your emails, by adding Gifs, images, and videos instead. Visual content is much easier to consume. It’s perfect in those moments when your customers just want to clear their inbox as quickly as possible. What’s more, video is excellent at capturing attention. People frequently claim that they prefer watching video to reading text too!
When creating your media-rich emails, make sure you keep videos short and sweet. The imagery needs to be capable of having an emotional impact on your audience. You can even mention the word “video” in your subject line. This helps to reassure your audience that they’re not going to get a text-heavy experience.
Don’t forget our advice about making your content mobile-friendly, above! Here’s an example of how Jobs for Editors use video in their campaigns:
7. Stay Up to Date
Finally, when it comes to email marketing improvements, it’s worth remembering that there’s no set-it and forget-it email marketing strategy. Ultimately, you’re going to have to keep testing, reworking and updating your emails as you learn more about the market and your target audience. The more time you spend exploring how to improve email marketing in 2019, the more you’ll learn from your past mistakes.
Every time you create a new email campaign, be prepared to look back over your previous attempts. Take time to assess what did and didn’t work. To do this, you’ll need to continually track crucial metrics like click-through-rates, engagement, and more.
It’s also worth A/B testing the campaigns that you do send out. This will determine whether something as simple as a change in a call-to-action button, or an updated subject line could turbocharge your ROI. The smallest thing can make the most significant impact in the email world.
Kick Start Your Email Marketing Strategy in 2019
Email marketing isn’t going anywhere in 2019.
Email is a diverse, valuable and reliable way to connect with your customers. You can even improve the impact of your other advertising efforts through email. According to QuickSprout studies, people who subscribe to an email list are 3 times more likely to share your branded content on their social media feeds.
However, if you want to create the most effective email marketing strategy, you need to be prepared to change with the times. Try a handful of the suggestions above. Remember to track your results too, to determine which strategies deliver the best ROI. A few small changes can make 2019 your best year yet for email marketing.