Marketing is an evolving industry so your company must evolve to market effectively. Now in 2014 we can base our marketing strategy on a lot of data , not just gut feelings. Audiences are changing as well. Over the past ten years we’ve seen the rise of social media, smartphones and tablets, and many other innovations that have changed the way we market. In this article we’ll be focusing on email marketing. We’ll give you several tips and techniques to help you improve your sales with email marketing.
Image Driven Marketing
Because of social media, images have taken on new importance. Most people are used to seeing images everywhere and you’d think this would be the case with email marketing. However, studies show that while most people say they would prefer image-based emails over text-based ones, click rates are actually lower when there are more images in the emails. Images definitely shouldn’t be excluded based on these statistics; it’s still a visual world, as we can see from social media,. Do some experimenting with your own email marketing campaigns: try different numbers of images and different image locations to see what gets the most clicks.
HTML Versus Plain Text
Younger people prefer HTML formatted emails while older audiences prefer plain text. A possible reason for this is that younger demographics use email clients such as iPhone and Gmail that automatically load and display images while older audiences make more use of programs like Outlook that could have trouble loading images. So, what email types should your company send? Well, a plain text email does not allow any formatting at all: no bold headers, no differing font sizes, and no images. HTML emails, also called Rich Text Format, allow all of these. It’s obvious which one is preferable. However, if your audience consists mainly of clients using programs that have trouble with HTML emails, you’ll have to use Plain Text.
Do Mobile Devices Affect Email Marketing?
We can’t discuss effective email marketing in 2014 without mentioning mobile devices. Studies show that younger people read more emails on a phone, most of them smart phones, and older audiences read emails quite a bit on tablets. Because of this, your emails need to be mobile friendly. Wait! Aren’t all emails mobile friendly? Don’t they all get scaled down to match the screen size? Not necessarily. If you’re custom-designing your email template using a program like Mailchimp, then you need to test it for mobile devices to make sure everything formats properly.
When Should I Send My Email?
One of the most popular questions asked about email marketing is, “What time should I send out my email newsletter?” There’s really no best time to send an email; however, there are some tips to follow. First, keep in mind that people get a lot of emails from other companies marketing to them. Maybe these companies aren’t your direct competition, but if your emails arrive at the same time as theirs then they are competing with you. Try to send your emails at a unique time or day when most other companies aren’t. We have had great success sending our marketing emails out around 3-4pm. Your milage may vary so experiment.
It’s What’s Inside That Counts
Now we get to the good stuff: what’s inside the email. First let’s talk about length. Emails that are short and sweet perform better than longer ones. Your email and subject line should be clear, concise, and get to the point quickly. Don’t clutter the email with too much text or images. Always include a call to action button and links to your social media pages and website. Now let’s talk a little bit about the design of the email. There is a tremendous amount of freedom when it comes to design. However, you need to make sure that your design matches your brand. The user should instantly recognize your brand, be able to scan your content, and find the call to action button without too much hassle.
Keep in mind that email marketing is all about the audience. What does your audience want? Ultimately, nobody can tell you what to put in your email. We don’t know your audience as well as you do. Experiment with different types and placements of images and call to action buttons and see which arrangements get the best results. Email marketing is a powerful tool and like anything, approaches vary depending on the year and the audience. We hope you now have a good idea about how to email market in 2014.