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Joydeep Bhattacharya

Are You Ready For Next Gen E-Mail Marketing?

Joydeep Bhattacharya
Are You Ready For Next Gen E-Mail Marketing?

E-mail marketing is changing and businesses need to understand the importance of shedding previously accepted e=mail tactics  in favor of new ones. Some of the content marketers might say "e-mail marketing is dead" but this is just not true! E-mail marketing has been one of the highest ROI generating channels and does the best job when it comes to generating conversions.

So, what is included in the next generation e-mail marketing strategy? I will cover this up in 5 major points given below:

1. Start Email Marketing Segmentation: The More You Personalize, the Higher Your ROI

As per the Lyris annual email optimizer report, 39% of businesses witnessed an increase in e-mail open rates when they segmented their overall email marketing strategy. The best way to target subscribers is to send them emails based on their behavior. Moreover, in a recent study, MailChimp presented some global stats that proved that segmented campaigns performed markedly better as compared to the non-segmented campaigns:

E-mail marketing

Readers favor personalized e-mails and these tend to generate a higher ROI. Building a relationship with the customer is the first rule of successful e-mail marketing. Businesses can have a set of templates and it can determine which template is best suited for which audience depending on the customer data and customer behavior. Cohort Analysis can be a great help in this regard. The below considerations are helpful when sending out personalized emails:

  • Customer satisfaction survey data
  • Demographic and geographic data
  • Frequency of purchase
  • Source of acquisition
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer spending
  • Clickthrough rate on offers

Implementing the above recommendations can improve email open rates and conversions. People love to be treated independently rather than as a group and email personalization is the first step to cater to this need of your customer.

2. Use Data Markup and Create Clear CTA Buttons: The Age of Semantics

Did you know that there are several different types of email data markup formats that are supported by Gmail? You must have seen your favorite online e-commerce store sending you emails that contains a direct link to track package source right in the subject of the e-mail. These are direct call to actions that are been increasingly used by e-commerce brands to increase user engagement. An example can be seen below where Amazon, BaseCamp, BillGuard etc are sending direct call to actions within emails in order to initiate faster user interactions:

Faster user interactions

So, next time you send out emails to your subscribers, include actions that will enable the users to interact with your product or service right inside Gmail and other inboxes. The following 4 types of actions are available in Gmail:

  • One Click Action: Any expected action by the user that can be completed by just one click. For example, accepting a friendship request or adding music recommendations to the queue.
  • RSVP Action: This can be used for responding to an event invitation from inside the inbox.
  • Review Action: As the name suggests itself, this action is used for movie, restaurants, products or other reviews.
  • Go-to Action: If the user needs to perform a series of actions to complete a conversion (whether primary or secondary) then this type of action is used. For example, checking in to an airline website to reserve a seat.

For more help related to e-mail schemas, please visit this tutorial by Google.

Once you have added all the actions and markups, you can simply check it before sending it out to the users using the E-mail Markup Tester from Google.

3. Simplify Your Email Design and Make It Mobile-Friendly

Responsive design is complex but when it comes to e-mail, it's a bit easier. Many users check e-mails on their smartphones so when it comes to conversions, responsive design rocks!

Remember mobile users

Here are some recommended specifications that can do wonders:

  • Set e-mail width at a maximum of 600 to 650 pixels.
  • A single-column layout is preferred with large fonts for easier visibility.
  • Use small size images, preferably jpegs.
  • If you are using videos, use HTML 5 and autoplay feature.
  • Use only optimized images with proper alt text.
  • Highlight the CTA element and make sure customers can easily click them on a mobile device.

4. Don't Forget to Test Your E-mails and Improve Consistently

In order to maximize the results of your daily e-mail blast, you should seriously consider testing your e-mails. Here are some easy ways to get started:

  • Test the subject line of your e-mail. Subject lines can be simple, controversial, mysterious, personalized, question based, promising, teaser, seasonal and more.
  • Test the content of the main body. Just try to focus on one element at a time and proceed with the next one only when you have accurate results of the first test.
  • Take the litmus test for emails that lets you preview your campaigns across 40+ real email clients and devices in minutes.
  • Track the traffic to lead conversion rates when you run specific e-mail campaigns.
  • Make sure to test the wording of the CTA, the placement and the style.
  • Control the time of day and day of the week. You are sure to get some exciting numbers here.
  • Test the font formatting, colors and images.

5. Make Use of Tools That Just Make Your Email Marketing Campaign Easy!

There are some awesome tools available in the market that makes your e-mail marketing look so easy. Here are some of the popular ones that you must seriously consider:

  • New E-mail Test From PutsMail - It lets you send your raw email HTML design to any email address for design testing and debugging.
  • E-mail Spam Checker - Contactology offers a great tool that allows you to check the "Message Quality Score" or MQS that helps to determine message quality and test email deliverability on a scale from 0 (bad) to 100 (excellent).
  • HTML to Text E-mail Converter from MailChimp - This is a handy tool that lets you automatically create a text version of your HTML email.
  • Untorch Viral Marketing Tool for E-mail Sign Ups - It helps you create an email capture form and prompts people to share your product with their friends. Apart from keeping a track of referrals, it also allows you to send email follow ups for greater audience capture.

Establishing trust and rapport with your targeted audience is really important in order to have a long term success. The above five strategies can go a long way in adding that "human component" in emails that most of the marketers fail to add in their campaigns. Do you know about any other strategies that you are currently using to diversify and segment your current email marketing strategy? Please let me know in the comments below.

Joydeep Bhattacharya has over a decade of experience in digital marketing. He maintains a personal SEO blog, Seosandwitch.com where he shares stuff related to SEO, PPC, Social Media and Conversion Optimization.

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