Email Marketing like it’s 2015

In this blog post I am going to give hints, tips and talk about the latest email marketing trends that you should be looking at, and some that you shouldn’t. Over the years working in Email Marketing I have seen quite a few changes in the behaviour of campaigns being created, however there are some companies that still insist on not changing their ways…

The main focus is to take your email marketing forward, not everyone will get this right first time and it is all a learning curve, trying new things and learning from your previous campaigns. It is also a good idea to subscribe to similar companies email newsletters to see how they conduct their email marketing and treat you as a subscriber.

If you have any tips I have missed please comment at the bottom to share with everyone! Enjoy ūüôā

Stop sending image heavy campaigns

The main problem with emails designed comprising of a lot of images is that if the email client blocks images by default (and most of them nowadays do) then your subscribers will be looking at a blank page with empty¬†images. Even if they do download/display images then how will this view across email clients, from desktop PC’s to multiple mobile platforms like tablets, mobiles or even gaming consoles? Use email testing platform like Litmus or Email on Acid to test your campaigns prior to sending.

One good example of an image only campaign I have found is Macaroni Grill Рthe artwork they create is simply amazing Рmaybe their subscribers have just been always used to these and it works well for the company?

Image-Campaigns

Responsive template

By having a responsive email template this will allow subscribers to view your email correctly across multiple email clients as well as mobile devices too. These are designed in such a way so that the width of the template will always fit the screen and the elements will shift and stack these in proportion to your devices screen.

Having a responsive template can allow your subscribers to view your email on any of their devices, pc. laptop, table, mobile phone – even gaming consoles now you can browse the internet and check your email. Gone are the days where you would have to design a separate website for mobile users, responsive design is a much safer option. Saying that; Orange still actually have their mobile website live –¬†see m.orange.co.uk¬†

High quality images

By using high quality images in your email campaigns you are making your products and or services more appealing to your subscribers, so they can (excuse the pun) picture themselves using your product or service.

No one wants badly cropped images or images of poor quality showing distortion. As mentioned in the last point your emails and images need to display across multiple devices and platforms, having professional images in your emails can make them more appealing if they are automatically resized.

Chili’s are a good example if you want great¬†images, in a responsive design – they even enclose a voucher in most email campaigns for you to print and use in their restaurants!

Quality-Image-Example

Html buttons

Ok ok… When I designed my¬†original¬†template I used buttons as images, as I liked the look of these and it allowed me to use a different font as the button text. However after creating my Welcome email design and my first email newsletter, I found it taking a lot of time to add new text to buttons, save and upload the images to check in my new campaign.

I decided to switch to using Bulletproof email buttons which are an image-less button which even works in Microsoft Outlook and has been tested in most email clients. I can easily edit the buttons myself now I have the code too.

Bulletproof Button

Animated gifs/video link?

Try something new for your next email campaign, maybe include an animated gif image or add a link to one of your YouTube videos, by placing a screenshot of the video in your campaign to entice subscribers to click through to view your video in full. One of my most recent blog posts was based on the use of animated images and can be found here – Gif it up for Animated Email Campaigns.

Also here is the animated gif we included in last years August newsletter for our Arnold Schwarzenegger blog post, just in-case you missed it ūüôā

giphy

View online link (at the top!!!)

Quite a few campaigns I see now are totally missing the view online link. Maybe they forgot to add it?

I have noticed in email campaigns from Nectar in which they explain at the top that the email is personal for you, and not to share this with anyone, for that reason they do not include any view online or share features in their email campaigns. Or just maybe they have had complaints of subscribers sharing the email with colleagues and someone else unsubscribing them? Most email marketing providers include the share link function with the unsubscribe link has been removed from the shared copy.

Social share links in your email

As above Рif you want your subscriber base to grow, including share links can allow non subscribers to see your campaigns before they subscribe! They could be interested once they see a copy and then sign up to your email newsletter, friend recommendations can go a long way in increasing your reach.

If your campaign is sensitive then you might not want to share it, but by having the functionality to be used it is always worth leaving in. These will also track how many times it was shared and viewed!

Segment your data

One email campaign doesn’t always fit in everyone’s inbox. I feel fashion retailers should be sending campaigns by gender for example, George will often send me ladies clothes special sale email – of which I have no interest it. I don’t expect companies to know everything about their subscribers, but a little segmenting can be done in the simplest of ways just see Email Design Reviews blog post about Size

If you send a campaign without planning and segmenting, a part of your subscriber base may unsubscribe as they feel your emails are not relevant to them anymore, rather than find out what they do like and sending campaigns to smaller segmented groups instead.


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