1: Mobile rendering – simplify
With the past year having been pegged by many analysts as the “year of mobile,” it’s likely more than a few of us spent much time fretting about how to properly serve that channel. Indeed according to Litmus, readership of emails on mobiles has now overtaken desktop readership. So, just how do we bring all the wonder and glory of our email marketing masterworks to mobile?
Well, you don’t. Or at least you don’t try to make a small mobile screen do everything a big screen can, mainly because it can’t.
Optimising design for mobile isn’t just about the size of the screen. It’s also about the size of the attention span and the context of the contact. Google has just release a report titled “The New Multi-screen World: Understanding Cross-platform Consumer Behavior” which found that The device we choose to use is often driven by our context: where we are, what we want to accomplish and the amount of time needed.
People have a lot going on when they’re mobile. Keep your designs simple and easy to read. For example, a one column layout is going to work much better than trying to shoehorn your standard three columns into your smartphone version or better still, aim for a responsively designed email which will render perfectly regardless of the device it’s being read on, as can be seen below with Newsweaver’s newsletter: The Business of Email
2: Use social to grow list
Using social to grow your email marketing list is really just a natural part of a healthy multi-channel marketing strategy. It’s really not that complicated either. You want to make it easy for people to not only share your content via social, but to sign up for your newsletter via social sites. And you want to cross promote those channels as much as possible. Socially, choice is a very powerful message.
You also want to harness the power of the different social networks to incentivise the recruitment of new subscribers. Just be sure you know exactly what a new subscriber is worth to you and don’t make promises you can’t keep. Canadian coffee shop chain, Timothy’s recently learned a harsh lesson where social media incentives are concerned. Ensure that you add value to each channel by offering exclusive content and offers per channel.
In fact, by just doing the basics and making it easier for people to share your content can help increase click-through-rates and subscribers. One recent study from ESP GetResponse showed that using social sharing buttons can enhance CTRs by 115%.
3: Marketing Automation – Lead Generation & Nurturing
Companies such as Citrix, Hubspot and Comscore are amongst some of the companies realising the power of triggered email marketing for lead generation and nurturing. When done right, triggered emails turn your push marketing into pull marketing and put the control of the interactions into the hands of the consumer, while removing the worry of manually nurturing that relationship from your shoulders.
Marketing Automation means, people get the information they want when it’s most relevant to them. This gets you more leads in your funnel if you do it right and combined with lead scoring will help you to prioritise qualified leads over less qualified leads and as increase ROI by sending the sales team ready-to-convert leads.
4: Multi-channel strategy
Multi-channel is a term that is easy to extrapolate, but not always so easy to understand completely. All it really means is that your marketing strategy takes into account that today’s consumers intuitively move between multiple digital channels.
As the traditional media channels matured, we developed a pretty good idea of when people would listen to the radio, read a paper and watch TV. Things are much more dynamic and fluid today. People move between offline and online channels often with no concern or conscious thought – they simply use the channel and device which suits their needs at the right time.
You can’t predict, let alone dictate what channel your target audience will use and so you must listen for them on multiple channels and respond, rather than yelling as loud as you can on one or two.
Before opening mouth, activate ears and engage brain. Retail brand Very conducted a DMA Award winning acquisition based multi-channel campaign as can be seen in the below video.
5: Welcome Series/Onboarding Programme
If you think about it, the point of subscription/registration is a key moment in the relationship between your brand and subscriber. This is where they have, for whatever reason, deemed it worthwhile to spend time filling in a form and focusing on your brand – they are as such, keen to hear from you. It makes sense then to reward them for doing so.
Many studies have demonstrated that the honeymoon period of a subscriber and brand lasts between 3-6 months. If this is so, then don’t be afraid to implement a welcome program to kick-start the relationship and then put them into a less frequent mailing schedule later down the track.
The thank you page experience is also too often a missed opportunity, with most marketers simply using a basic ‘thank you’ message. Again, remembering that they are focused on your brand, maximize this fabulous opportunity and provide them with some places of interest to go, or some worthwhile information about your products and services….remember at this point in time, they’re wanting to engage with you, so don’t disappoint them.
We all know the discouraging statistics which indicate that far, far too few email marketing professionals do the kind of robust testing they should be doing. It’s understandable, email managers have always been the marketing equivalent of that plate spinning act from the circus – most are just trying to keep it all spinning to avoid loud crashing sounds.
Smart ESPs have been busy enhancing and optimising their functionality to provide email marketers with smarter and more intuitive analytics and testing tools. As marketers move from a push to a pull model, using such tactics as triggered email, they will find they can focus more time on testing and that testing will lead to a better experience for subscribers and better returns for marketers. From my experience it is well worth it! Econsultancy’s Email Marketing Census 2012 found there to be a significant reward according to the marketers they surveyed.
Originally published at SmartInsights