2017 is considered as the year of the email. Or, in the least sense, it should be: according to a leading research firm, it is predicted that the number of mails sent this year will be almost 225.3 billion! – This accounts for a five percent increase from the total number of mails sent on the previous years. And the reason behind this expected increase is quiet simple: We love emails.
In fact; emails are the number one choice in brand communication, according to 72 percent of the consumers. The huge financial returns for businesses using email marketing justify the fact. Even though this could be great regarding the growth of your business, it could also tend to become the biggest challenge for you, this year.
In order to grab your subscribers’ attention, your email marketing strategy needs to rise above the competition with the increase in number of emails reaching the inbox.
You don’t need to blend in, to ensure your emails. Here are the five best email marketing practices you can use to make your emails glitter in 2017.
- Engaging subscribers with Interactive emails:
A website is more visually interesting when comparing the appearance of a website to an email. The moving elements and clickable content make websites more visually interesting. With major ISPs like Gmail supporting interactive emails, the scenario is changing.
Interactive emails increases the engagement and interaction with subscribers by contain elements that changes as a result of clicking or typing something.
There are a couple of reasons why interactive emails will play a bigger role in 2017.
More email companies started supporting the coding standards that enables interactive elements in email (The groundbreaking addition of this year is been the one made by Gmail).
When used well, Interactive emails can increase engagement and click-through rates of emails.
Have a look at the mail below. Here we have allowed the subscribers to click through the three images in the email by building an interactive carousel:
Rather than stacking the three images from top to bottom or using a GIF, the carousel allowed us in placing three images on a single space.
Even though, on a visual level; a GIF would have served the same purpose by showing all three images in the same space. But the carousel here encourages clicking and thus increasing the user engagement that a GIF would not.
Even if I love interactive emails, I would caution against building them just to create something cool. It takes time and some coding knowledge to building an interactive element and it’s really disappointing to see that they are not supported by all email clients.
Before you build an interactive element you have to be confident that it will be having a positive impact on your engagement and click through rates
Take action: Use these instructions to create a similar carousel for one of your own emails, if you are familiar with coding in CSS and HTML
- Creating easily scannable and readable emails:
You will be facing more competition in 2017 as businesses will be sending more emails to subscribers. This makes it more difficult for your emails to get opened and clicked. Your emails need to be easily readable and scannable so that it can cut through the clutter and catches reader's attention immediately and maintain it.
So instead of getting overwhelmed to see a large block of text on opening your email and sending your email to the trash folder eventually; Scannable emails help busy subscribers in getting the important information they need in a faster way. Therefore it helps them read and click on your mail.
There are a few tactics you can use to make your emails more scannable, like quickly summarizing your point using descriptive and/or interesting headlines. Or, like grabbing your subscriber’s attention using short paragraphs and sentences.
Using images and whitespace to separate paragraphs appropriately increases readability.
Have a look at the email by Hotel Tonight. They use three different sized headlines and each varies from descriptive to interesting:
While the main header “Pics, Please” is intriguing and fun, the sub-headlines below are descriptive. This combination grabs the attention of the reader and then quickly gives them context. Additionally, by writing short sentences and separating paragraphs with images, they’re able to create an easy-to-read email. Take action: In your next email, use descriptive or interesting headlines to break up sections of content, write short paragraphs and sentences. Make sure to include whitespace to break up large sections of text.
- Using dynamic contents to personalize your emails:
“29 percent more unique open rates and 41 percent higher click-through rates can be achieved through personalization of emails!”
Segmentation is considered as one among the best ways of customizing your emails to the subscriber. But in 2017 there will be many other methods, which you can try.
Dynamic email content can be considered as the most exciting method. In a dynamic email, the content is personalized to each subscriber based off data you have about that subscriber.
For example, Grammarly created a dynamic email (look below), it shows the subscribers how they used their service in 2017:
Each subscriber received emails with unique numbers. Subscribers can get a personalized snapshot of their account information by using dynamic content like this.
Take action: AWeber can be used to create basic dynamic content in with custom fields. To do so, you have to build a sign up form which asks your subscribers for their personal information rather than their first and last name. Then, you have to include custom fields in your email to pull in personalized information for each subscriber.
- Remember to place CTAs always at the top:
At the beginning, we have discussed how scannable and readable emails will increase your email engagement. The placement of your call-to-action button will be as impactful as the point 2 we have mentioned above.
We have done a test based on call-to-action (CTA) button placement. After creating two similar mails, we made only one slight difference; the position of the CTA button. For one mail, it was positioned at the top of the mail while in the other; the button was placed at the bottom.
We have found an increase of more than 50% in clicks for the mails, where we placed the CTA button at the top. We continued the test by placing CTA button at the top for other mails and it consistently received more clicks.
Take action: You can easily apply this insight to your own emails in 2017 to boost your click-through rates. All you have to do is move your CTA to the top of your email. You’ll just want to verify that your own email audience responds the same way ours did.
- Using an automated welcome email:
There was a 53% higher conversion rate accounting for companies using automation than those not using automation. It’s not a new tactic. Even though they are very effective, many businesses aren’t using them. In a recent survey, it was found that over 1,500 small businesses, 65 percent of people do not use email automation at all. Welcome emails are a great place to start with. Your subscriber will be excited about the content they’ll receive from you, when they signs up for your email list. Your welcome email gives them content right away and capitalizes on this excitement.
You are having a great welcome email, if it prompts your subscribers to engage more and unsubscribe less. And it can be considered as one of the best performing emails in your automation arsenal.
Have a look at the automated welcome email for AWeber’s 2017 Email Marketing Master Class that subscribers will be receiving immediately after enrolling:
Just because of the fact that, people received the email right away when they were, we received an amazing 90 percent open rate and 45 percent click-through rate.
Take action: If you don’t have an automated welcome email for your subscribers, create one today itself. You will be amazed by the open and click-through rates you’ll be having!