I love knowing what other marketers are doing. Why reinvent the wheel, right? Email marketing, in particular, always seems a little murky to me, so I try to stay on top of what’s going on in the market. On its surface, the concept of email marketing is simple – create an email and send it out, cheaply and quickly, and watch the leads roll in. But in practice, it’s anything but easy.
The email marketing provider Lyris has some excellent white papers on the subject, and I’d like to share with you some of their top email marketing trends you need to know.
1. Catch and keep
Readers know how to use the “junk” button and they’re not afraid to use it. Lyris states that as many as 30% of email addresses churn each year. List hygiene is critical, but marketers are paying close attention to acquisition programs (catching addresses) and subscriber retention programs (keeping addresses) to keep their lists active and viable.
2. Focus on the subject line
Marketers are devoting 50% or more of their efforts to create killer subject lines. Limit your subject line to 50 characters (the default setting in most email clients). Test sample subject lines to see what performs best. And never forget to convey a clear value proposition that gives your reader a good reason to open your message.
3. Don’t overdesign
Remember that images are turned off on most default settings, so your beautiful image won’t mean a thing if readers never see it. In fact, Lyris says that simple is almost always more deliverable and pulls better results. At the very least, design the email header to deliver your core message independently of the image, using text or alt tags to “sell” your offer right in the preview pane.
4. Consider multi-part MIME format
Test your HTML emails for rendering in the most popular email clients, including Outlook, Gmail and Yahoo. Lyris warns that some ISPs are filtering mail into the spam folder if the HTML is not coded properly.
Consider formatting your emails in multi-part mime (MME), which sends the email in both text and HTML. Upon delivery, the email smoothly renders itself according to the settings of the email client.
5. Use triggers to automate
Send targeted messages at precisely the right times. When someone opts into your list, send them a series of welcome emails with specific, relevant information. When someone buys a product, send them an email with suggestions for other products they might like. The technology is there, so use it!
6. Integrate everything
ROI is the name of the game these days, and marketers are improving theirs by incorporating email into their full marketing mix. Emails must carry on a conversation with your audience in seamless conjunction with newsletters, direct mail, social media marketing and especially websites.
For example, don’t send email traffic to your generic home page. Instead, send them to a landing page that picks up where your email left off – whether it fulfills your offer or provides deeper information into your product or services. The seamless nature of the email-to-landing page conversation is the key.
Of course, this article just begins to touch a huge topic. I’m curious – what email marketing trends are you seeing in your business?