Email marketing is one of the best strategies for connecting with your customers. While reaching your audience via email is just as effective as ever, the rules have changed over the last few years. The field is more competitive than ever before – you need to be well informed about the latest trends and practices that are working now. Here are 5 essential tips to help you succeed with email marketing in 2018.
1. SEGMENT YOUR LISTS
When you start out with email marketing, you usually begin with a single list. As your list expands, however, and you take a close look at your customers, you should start the process of segmentation. Sending everyone the same messages isn't the best way to personalise your marketing. There are many ways to segment your lists, depending on your business and customers.
For example, if you have products in different niches or price ranges, it's best to target customers based on their interests, budgets, and past buying behaviour. In some cases, it's appropriate to divide your audience by gender, age, or geography. Many marketing tools and services make it easy to segment your lists. HubSpot, for example, has a Smart List function. Autoresponders such as MailChimp provide convenient segmentation tools. If you work with a marketing agency, they can help you create lists that are well targeted.
2. TIME YOUR MESSAGES APPROPRIATELY
When you send your emails is almost as important as the content of the messages themselves. If your readers are not online when you send your messages it can have a negative impact on your campaigns. For example, suppose you send your messages first thing in the morning but your typical recipient doesn't open it until noon. By then, their inboxes will be stuffed with messages and the chances that yours will be opened are slim.
You also have to consider timing in relation to your own offers. Receiving notice of an offer or event that's expired is frustrating and doesn't help you build engagement. Finding the ideal timing takes consistent testing. You may also have to factor in different time zones. While it takes a little extra work, it's worthwhile to segment your lists according to time zone, especially if your audience is sharply divided in this manner.
3. CREATE ENGAGING AND INFORMATIVE CONTENT
As email marketing gets increasingly competitive, you have to work harder than ever to hold your audience's attention. Never forget that it's just as easy for people to hit the "unsubscribe" button as it was for them to subscribe in the first place. If you send out nothing but promotions, there's a good chance you'll alienate many of your readers. Creating an informative newsletter is a way to motivate people to open and read your emails.
Think of your messages as valuable content rather than simply ads or sales letters. If you don't want to create a whole newsletter you can still supply useful tips and links within the body of the email. Naturally, you can also promote your own offers. Don't think, however, that every email has to be profitable. If you look at it as a long-term strategy to build your relationship with readers, your results will improve over time.
4. INCREASE ENGAGEMENT WITH INTERACTIVE EMAIL
Another emerging trend is the ability to incorporate interactive features in email messages. This is known as kinetic or interactive email. These features give emails a more compelling appearance and provides an experience that's more like visiting a website.
Another possibility is to send people games, puzzles, quizzes, and other fun items that grab their attention and invite them to participate. These capabilities are fairly new but some brands such as Burberry are already using them in campaigns. Interactive features in your emails can make your messages more interesting and increase engagement, click-throughs, and conversions.
5. FOCUS ON MOBILE
As more and more people access email from their smartphones and other mobile devices, it's essential to plan your email campaigns accordingly. Make sure your emails are optimised for mobile. Your email marketing service has mobile and responsive templates that ensure that your mobile customers can easily read your messages. Keeping your subject lines and actual messages short is helpful for mobile as well. People reading emails on smaller screens don't want to scroll down to read long messages.
These are some of the most important trends to keep in mind for your email campaigns in 2018 and beyond. Whatever strategies you try, remember that it's crucial to constantly test your results. This includes all aspects of your campaigns, including subject lines, timing, images, topics, and calls-to-action. This gives you insights into which elements to change so your results improve over time.