2011 was a wild year when it came to email marketing. Article after article claimed that email marketing is dead, pointing out the many challenges that face email marketers in the coming years. Despite the predictions, many marketing strategists still believe that email is very much alive and continues to evolve. Business leaders tend to agree.
According to the 2012 Marketing Trends survey conducted by StrongMail, email marketing, along with social media, remain the top target programs for which business leaders are planning to increase spending for the third year in a row.
Emailing is booming due to various technological improvements, including the HTML 5 breakthrough that allows embedded video in emails. (Read more about these changes in Wikus Engelbrecht’s article on the subject.)
How to stay ahead of the pack
Add a more human approach to your email marketing. Just as social media boomed because of its engaging nature, you have to add a conversational tone to your email content. Deliver content that educates, intrigues or entertains your readers. Sticking your subscribers with “buy now” tactics doesn’t cut it anymore.
Make your email cross-platform friendly. More and more people are using smartphones and other mobile devices. You want them to have the same experience that they would have reading your email from their desktop computers. Using scalable or “responsive” email layouts and adding a mobile version of your landing page can make a big difference.
Make segmentation part of your emailing strategy. Email blasts to your entire mailing list isn’t the best way to communicate your marketing messages. Segmenting your subscribers based on their interests and sending targeted emails will increase ROI and reduce opt-outs. Create personalized email campaigns for each segment to increase the relevancy of your content for each subscriber. How do you know what they want to read about? Run a survey and ask them! Do they want to be alerted when a new product or service is available? If someone from your organization is speaking at an event? Once you know what your readers want from you, it will be easier to deliver them the specific information that they find valuable.