Is Your Email Marketing Behind in 2015?

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In spite of all the great information available today about how to create a successful email marketing campaign, there are still many companies that launch a website and then simply sit back and wait for customers to “discover” their products online. This tactic has never worked well, but today’s best practices and email marketing tips predict disaster for such a passive approach. Conversely, adding these four cutting-edge email marketing tools to any email campaign can measurably boost deliverability and customer interaction in a single email! Each tip builds on the one before it, so that all together they can create a solid foundation for a successful email marketing campaign.

Tip #1: Make Sure Email Campaigns are Mobile-Friendly
Perhaps the number one essential for email marketing in 2015 is simply this: make email campaigns mobile-friendly. More than 50 percent of all recipients are now opening and reading emails on mobile devices (tablets, phones, Apple watches and other portable devices), which for some companies may mean reformatting existing marketing email templates or even moving to a new platform that offers automatic adjustment for viewing on different devices. Some wearable technology now even carries the ability to automatically filter out content that is not formatted to display properly on these micro-screens. It is not possible to overstate the importance of this first tip!

Tip #2: Focus on Images Over Text
Another one of the most critical email marketing tips in 2015 is this – for optimal customer engagement, focus on images over text. As many as three-quarters of recipients state they prefer to interact with email images over text-based information. The key to success here is to make images very clear and to hyperlink them to specific pages that can continue the interaction and (hopefully) collect the customer’s information for more personalized interaction in future email campaign blasts. By studying how customers interact with email images over time, companies can also learn a great deal about what types of images gain the best response rates. It’s also important to understand different email platforms. Most emails with background images aren’t going to look that great in Outlook, a top mail client for business email recipients.

Tip #3: Personalized, Automated Email Campaigns are a Must
Best practices in email marketing today point towards automation tools as the ticket to personalizing customer emails. Here, the company uses automation tools called programs or tracks to gather specific information about customer clicks, interests, needs and basic demographics (including age, gender, marital status, and geographic location). There are several email marketing clients that do this. For example, IBM’s Silverpop, SalesForce and MailChimp. From here, it becomes possible to “automate” email blasts to specifically target different segments of the customer database, sending emails that will specifically be of interest to different target groups and even following up with customers who start to shop but then abandon their shopping carts online (this is a proven tactic to boost online sales). For companies that operate regionally or nationally, this also means having the ability to promote different products, sales, coupons, and offers to customers living in different areas.

Tip #4: Don’t Forget to Make it Social!
Social media is still going strong in email marketing campaigns, and by and large, most social media platforms are now formatted to work and play well with email marketing campaign platforms (which was not so often the case in the early days of social media!). It is easy to add in as many social media feeds as necessary to discover where customers are congregating, conversing, and purchasing (yes, social media can be used very effectively to offer coupons, specials, freebies, and to sell products and services!) The key then is to ensure that there is a dedicated company representative who monitors those social media accounts and engages with customers quickly – especially to resolve any concerns or complaints.

For best results, target these top social media customer engagement platforms:
-Twitter
-Facebook
-Instagram
-Pinterest
-LinkedIn
-Google+
-YouTube
-Blog RSS (WordPress, Tumblr, et al)

Email marketing in 2015 can feel daunting and complicated at first glance, but the truth is that there are many simple tools to help automate email marketing campaigns, connect social media accounts, collect very specific and personalized customer data, and bring all of this together into an effective email campaign to boost sales and increase customer loyalty. By choosing effective tools and spending time after each campaign to measure, analyze and adjust as needed, 2015 can be a great year to experience rapid growth in customer base, sales and overall success online.

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