Welcome to another workweek, marketers! How about a new batch of email-marketing related news to help get the week off to an informed start? Here you go:
Fine tune your email marketing to meet the need for speed
“The email channel you’ve spent years fine-tuning is still a viable marketing tool. However, you have to make some changes in the way that you do it,” writes Bill Conn, in Business 2 Community. The reason? The need for speed.
“It’s all about the speed of email for users,” Conn writes. “People, and especially millennials, want to be able to consume and share information fast, both on social networks and at work. Despite rumors of its untimely death email is still a preferred communication channel because it supports this trend – it’s a no-frills, quick way to get information you need.”
Citing the results of a recent Adobe study, he reports that “almost half of the people surveyed expect email responses at work in less than an hour (even faster among millennials, who expect an answer within a few minutes). Everyone agrees that emails should be light and streamlined: they’re intolerant of waiting for images to load on their smartphone.”
Conn encourages email marketers to fine tune their messages with those findings in mind. “It’s time to ditch the fancy HTML-formatted marketing emails in favor of straight-up text versions,” he writes. “Keep it as simple as possible and make sure it’s mobile responsive. Save the intricate design for your website, whitepapers and infographics.” He also suggests that marketing messages be less formal and more conversational: “Loosen up a bit and write your next email like you’re speaking with your customer at a face-to-face meeting.”
“As Heidi Klum says on the popular TV show, Project Runway, ‘with fashion, one day you’re in, and the next day you’re out. Although fashion and email don’t really have too much in common, they do share this,” writes Alexandra Braunstein on the Return Path blog. “Email marketing, which has been around now for a couple of decades, is constantly evolving and best practices are always changing.”
Braunstein cite several examples of email marketing best practices that have evolved, including “social sharing” replacing “forward to a friend;” the shift from including instructions for “whitelisting” (asking subscribers to add your email to their address book) in the email header to including them in the acquisition stage; using subscriber behavior (along with preference centers) to ensure content relevancy; and the shift from using “one creative for the entire audience” to employing dynamic content.
“Ensuring that your own email program is implementing these current best practices will not only help ensure your brand remains relevant for your subscribers but also help you stay ahead of the competition,” Braunstein concludes.
Common email-marketing automated workflow mistakes to avoid
“Email marketing is no longer about “batch and blast” techniques; it’s about listening to your consumers, analyzing how they interact with your emails and tailoring your message to best suit their interests,” writes Kris Ostrowka, in a piece at MarTech Advisor that examines three common automated-workflow mistakes Ostrowka says email marketers are making.
Ostrowka calls automated workflows “a necessary tool in any email marketer’s arsenal” but says some email marketers are guilty of not segmenting audiences, which he calls “the backbone of successful email marketing workflows;” not analyzing data “that can be used to better refine and target current and future campaigns;” and not testing, which includes using “A/B split testing to determine the effectiveness of various aspects of your workflow from subject lines to sending times to the content of follow-up emails.”
By addressing these mistakes “your automated workflows can boost the performance of your email marketing efforts and drive business results,” he concludes.
New report shows millennials favor email over other channels
“Millennial U.S. consumers are becoming more accepting of email marketing content in their inbox, and even prefer email over other marketing channels,” writes Jess Nelson for Media Post’s Email Marketing Daily, reporting on a recent study by Mapp Digital. The study, which was conducted in partnership with Flagship Digital, surveyed 1,765 U.S. consumers, ages 18-64.
“While email was the most preferred marketing platform for millennials, 8.5 percent preferred social media and 4.5 percent preferred text messages over alternative marketing channels,” Nelson writes. The findings also reinforce the importance of mobile in email marketing. Overall, 72 percent of respondents reported checking their email on a mobile device; however, the study found that 90 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 24 and 83 percent of respondents between the ages of 25 and 34 reported using mobile devices for that purpose.
The study also found that millennials subscribe to fewer email campaigns than older respondents, with just 38 percent of millennials reporting that they subscribed to seven or more brands’ emails, compared to 44 percent of the general population. Love for a specific brand was a major influence when deciding to join an email list, according to the study.
“Email marketing is still very relevant to brands, specifically for the hard-to-reach 18-34-year-old audience,” says Mapp Digital CEO Mike Biwer, adding that “the survey results suggest that this group of consumers are engaging with fewer brands on a more intimate level.”