I attended the Direct Marketing Association Email Evolution Conference earlier this month in Miami, FL. Hundreds of fellow email practitioners gathered behind closed doors to discuss the latest eMarketing trends and best practices.
Listening and learning from the brightest minds in email innovation, I took away a few nuggets of knowledge that will help businesses strenthen their email marketing:
Don’t forget the welcome mat. Growing your email list can be difficult and sometimes expensive. So when a prospect/customer signs up for your email distribution, start nurturing the customer relationship right away by sending an immediate welcome email. Why is this so imperative? First impressions are everything. A few reasons why welcome emails are important:
1) Immediately reminds the subscriber they signed up for your emails and reinforces their decision to begin a relationship with you.
2) Allows the subscriber to put you on their safe sender list. This way your email will always reach their inbox and images will automatically be displayed in their email browser. If you aren’t asking your subscribers to put you on the white list, start asking now.
3) Provides you the opportunity to set expectations with your customer. Give them a taste of the content and start training your subscriber on what to expect or how to engage with your emails.
Four seconds to save the world. That’s it, four seconds is all you get. That is how long the average email reader scans (I didn’t say reads, scans) an email to see if it is worth their time. Email design and call-to-action are vital and must engage the subscriber before they scroll. Remember, your readers are busy just like you – don’t make them regret signing up for your emails. Give all your emails the four-second-glance test.
Email isn’t near extinction. Nowadays everyone seems to be enamored social media (and rightfully so). However, email and social media need each other. Email remains the foundation for social network verification and notification and email ROI continues to be the strongest of any direct marketing medium. Email isn’t going anywhere, in fact it’s getting sexier. Technology advancements now allow email content to be dynamic based on behavior and soon these advancements will allow email to be interactive with content that changes and moves, much like a website or rich media banner ad.
Your best game plan is to embrace and integrate the three digital mediums of email, social media, and mobile. All three channels of marketing become stronger when used together and provide the greatest value to you and your customers.
Eric is a digital and direct marketing specialist for AadlandFlint and the Flint Group.