Email Marketing: Our top 5 tips for 2013

Email marketing has been around for a long time (as far as the online world is concerned), and it’s still one of the lowest cost forms of marketing, with the highest return.  There was an ugly rumour a couple of years ago that people would stop using email altogether, and that Facebook private messaging would replace email. This of course never eventuated, and email marketing remains as strong as ever.

Of course, you can teach an old dog new tricks.  If you have been emailing the same people, with the same content, with the same design, it’s time to breathe new life into your campaigns.  Here are our top 5 tips for 2013:

  1. Be mobile responsive.  A recent study showed that people look at their smartphones on average 150 times per day. And with Australia having the 2nd highest penetration of smart phones in the world, it makes sense to ensure your email looks amazing in a mobile environment.   Your template needs to accommodate the specific width of mobile devices, and to ensure that your landing pages are optimised for mobile too.
  2. Get animated. Get clever with your email design with animated gifs.  Animated gifs rotating through a series of images showcasing products, offers or brand related imagery is highly effective. It allows more space to communicate your message, and also captures the eye in the preview pane.  It also works in mobile, which is handy.  Just remember not to make the file size too big, otherwise this will cause deliverability issues.
  3. Make sure you ask first. It’s all about permission marketing. This isn’t really new to most of you, but it’s so important that it’s worth a mention. You must must must gain permission before emailing individuals. This permission must be gained through a tick box on your enquiry forms and sales forms.  Not only is it important for spam compliancy, it’s also best customer practice.  Make sure the people you are emailing want to hear from you.
  4. Get up close and personal with your emails.  You can personalise everything from the subject line to specific products and services the individual has purchased before. It’s all about the database and how you set your fields when capturing data. It pays to scope out what and how you are going to communicate prior to collecting your data, to allow you the flexibility to personalise at some point.
  5. Test, measure, optimise, repeat. Again, this is not new, but not enough people utilise the report data to improve effectiveness over time.  One of the key benefits of online marketing is the ability to test, measure, optimise your campaign for the next send, and keep testing, measuring and optimising.  You don’t have this luxury with direct mail – make the most of it.

Don’t forget to think about your underlying strategy – outline what you want to achieve and make this solid performing online marketing activity work for you.