Innovations in Email Marketing

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As one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with customers and prospects, email marketing is a truly powerful way for marketers to ensure their brand sends out the right email to the right person at the right time.

And that’s why billions of digital comms are delivered every single day from across the globe – because organisations on a worldwide scale know how instrumental this type of interaction can be when encouraging the very first conversation to take place.

So, while email content continues to be a mainstay in a marketer’s toolkit, how will it evolve and keep playing a pivotal role in strengthening customer relationships? Here are four trends for marketers to be aware of…

Personalisation is key

Forget ‘Hello [First Name]’, recipients are getting bored of that style of email and either scrolling past it or deleting altogether. A savvy audience soon picks up when you’re sending out a ‘batch and blast’ style piece of content that is irrelevant to them, and ultimately loosely received by all.

However, the answer isn’t to simply add someone’s name and hope it sticks. What we mean when we say ‘personalisation’ is how you use your content to respond positively to each individual’s of-the-moment interests.

For example, if you’re travel brand, a reader might’ve engaged with your email about weekend city breaks before but that doesn’t mean they always want to consume this type of message. Plus, they could now have a family and so want to receive comms that reflects child-friendly getaways and trips that are outside of term-time.

Delivering personalised comms means that savvy marketers can get deep insights on consumers and inform their messages as a result – it’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach. This is where marketing automation truly comes into its own because it can provide the detail you need to segment, engage and send your next hyper-individualised campaign full of content your recipients want to read, not what you think they want to interact with.

Ensure you understand the metrics that matter

Yes, open and click rates are good but do they tell the full story? No. However, that doesn’t mean you should be completely ignoring them altogether either.

Of course, it’s great to have results that are above industry average, but how do you know that person hasn’t accidentally clicked on your email and deleted it seconds later?

For modern-day marketers to understand what matters to their recipients, you have to tap into the powers of lead scoring.

To put this into context, imagine numbers above each individual’s head. For the people who have downloaded your guide or spent time on your brand’s website, give them a score of ‘8’ or ‘9’ out of 10 because they seem to be bought into what you have to offer.

In comparison, the consumer who isn’t engaged at all in what you have to say (e.g. they’ve not opened emails or visited your website for example), they’d have either a number ‘1’ or ‘2’ above their heads

What you then do with this information is you focus on the people with the higher figures – prioritise them with hyper-individualised comms, plug in your sales team for that all-important human touchpoint – such as a telephone call – and push the disengaged audience to one side.

Don’t just stop at emails

Although it is clearly a powerful form of communication, your content shouldn’t stop at a one-off email or nurture sequence. If you’re only targeting one way for your audience to interact with you, you’re selling yourself short.

Think of how you can make your single, focused message go further via multiple direct and indirect channels.

For example, could you create a paid-for social campaign that’s complemented with organic uploads and/or design infographics? Maybe you could also set up SMS notifications, draft a guide, craft an SEO-specific blog, hold a commercial event, host a webinar – complete with a self-created landing page – and explore advertising?

These ideas are all great ways of both making your content work harder, and ensuring you’re speaking to your customers in a way they prefer. Again, marketing automation is your friend here because it can save you hours a week – by helping you to craft email journeys and landing pages in minutes, as well as manage the distribution – when it comes to pulling together a much more sophisticated integrated campaign.

We’d also advise that you sense-check your original idea with the wider team – make sure it’s a killer one and get creative!

However… when you do use email, draft and deliver a journey that works

Following nicely on from the previous point, savvy marketers should be up to speed on how best they can truly nurture their audience.

We know that it takes six touchpoints, on average, to engage a recipient – so build a framework that plays into that statistic too. If you’re not sure where to start, follow this tried-and-tested email sequence (that we use here at Force24!) and map out your next engaging email send:

  1. Introduction: Begin your email campaign here and keep it simple. Explain who you are and why you’re getting in touch. And always include relevant call to actions such as ‘Download’ or ‘Book’ etc.
  2. Social proof: Evidence exactly why your advice and insight should be trusted by using case studies and testimonials. HTML email templates are perfect for this stage of the sequence.
  3. Gain: What rewards will your recipient receive if they listen to you? Tell them succinctly and use your words carefully.
  4. Fear: Nobody likes to be left out, so use this stage of your email sequence to underline the consequences of what will happen if they fail to take action.
  5. Logic: This step delves into why it makes sense to buy into your product or service – and not leave it until the last minute.
  6. Urgency: And here’s the final piece of content which sums up exactly why your consumer must act now before it’s too late.

The good thing about all the above is that a savvy marketing automation platform can not only ensure you’re creating content that saves you around eight hours a week (we know this because we do this for thousands of B2B and B2C brands!), but that you’re analysing the data that matters. Now’s the time to better understand your recipients and deliver interactive digital comms that land perfectly.

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