Though email is one of the oldest tools in the digital marketing toolbox, it remains one of the most popular and productive. As reported here previously:
- • There are nine times as many marketing emails sent each year as direct mail pieces delivered by the U.S. Postal Service.
- • Email marketing delivers the highest ROI (about $44 per dollar spent, on average) of any digital marketing tactic.
- • Nearly two-thirds of consumers have made a purchase online as a result of an e-mail marketing message.
With familiarity however comes the danger of fatigue. So, marketers must continually to teach the old email dog new digital marketing tricks.
What are the best tactics today for cutting through inbox clutter? Persuading prospective buyers to opt-in to yet another email list? Designing attention-grabbing emails with compelling content? Optimizing content across devices? Avoiding common mistakes?
Find the answers to those questions and others here in more than a dozen of the best email marketing tips and guides of the past year.
General Email Marketing Tips and Guides
How Much Do You Know About Gmail? [Infographic] by The Wonder of Tech
Carolyn Nicander Mohr presents an infographic full of interesting stats and facts about Gmail, the world’s largest email provider with 425 million users. Among the trivia: Gmail includes an “undo send” feature many people are unaware of; you can do video hangouts with up to nine people from your inbox; and messages are always encrypted.
Quick Winds for Email Marketers in 2015 by MediaPost
Chad White serves up nine (mostly) low-effort tips to drive short-term improvements in email marketing results, such as providing an “opt down” option to receive fewer emails rather than unsubscribing completely, using HTML text rather than text inside images, and testing use of special characters in subject lines (“Special characters are the images of subject lines. If you haven’t A/B tested them yet, give it a try”).
The 10 most innovative emails of 2014 by iMedia Connection
Christopher Marriott presents the 10 most innovative marketing emails of last year as judged by The Relevancy Group. Check out the winners (and why each was picked as the best) across categories including best abandoned cart email (FTD), best coupon email (Macy’s), best “welcome” email (AllRecipes.com), Best newsletter (Olympus Cameras) and more.
William Steward details four key steps to creating compelling email newsletter content, from focusing on education (“Try to inform your readers. What’s happening in the industry that they might be interested in? What blog posts have you written in the last month that they might find helpful? Have you released a new whitepaper, or research report?”) to avoiding too much imagery.
The Ultimate List of E-mail Marketing Tips by Digital Growth
Luke Chapman shares thoughts and content from a panel discussion on email marketing, covering topics such as why email remains a powerful marketing tool (“If your e-mails are well thought out and you can get the customer to open them, you have just opened a 1-on-1 conversation with them and don’t have to compete with other noise. The ROI of e-mail marketing is phenomenal if you do it right”), how to track the ROI, mistakes to avoid, and list building tactics.
Email Marketing Toolbox: 60+ Resources for Email Marketers by ProfitBlitz
Marc Andre showcases a huge collection of helpful tools and resources for email marketers, from email marketing services to plugins to CRM tools, pop-up creators, alternatives to pop-ups (for those who acknowledge how obnoxious those can be), landing page design tools, contest tools, web conferencing services and more.
Email List-Building Tips and Guides
50 Proven Ways To Grow Your Email List by NewsCred
Observing that “You may have already noticed that your website visitors aren’t automatically going to sign up for your list just because you have an opt-in box in your sidebar…Opt-in incentives need to be more enticing and more valuable, and this value needs to be clear. Your opt-in links and sign-up boxes need to be obvious, without being pushy or distracting,” Jayson DeMers lists 50 proven tactics for increasing opt-in signups, from adding a lightbox form or valuable incentive to being relatable (“Let potential subscribers know you’re a real person”) and giving potential subsciners a sneak-peak of what they’ll be receiving.
60 Experts Reveal Top 3 Tools To Grow Your Email List by Robbie Richards
Robbie Richards compiles expert tips on list-building tools from an impressive spectrum of digital marketing pros, including Adam Connell, Joe Pulizzi, Ann Smarty, Jeff Bullas, Kristi Hines, and Gini Dietrich (whose favorite tools are “1) Blog; 2) Twitter; and 3) Landing pages with rich content behind them”), among others.
OptinMonster Review: Growing Your Email Subscribers by Razor Social
Ian Cleary provides an in-depth review of OptinMonster, a WordPress plugin for building email subscriber lists. He explains how OptinMonster gets a reader’s attention while on your blog or website, how to set up the tool, create a design, and output settings (“You now specify some settings related to where the opt-in box will appear. Does it show up for the whole site, or for specific categories and/or specific pages on your site?”).
Common Email Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
6 sins that email marketers commit every day by iMedia Connection
Mark Brown entertainingly outlines half a dozen bad practices in email marketing to avoid, for example: “Always use alternative functions. That kid who always makes the team but never gets to play is kind of like the alt text function. It’s a brilliant function and absolutely necessary, but is never really used — until it’s too late. Alt text is displayed when an image in your email fails to display for whatever reason. It is the only thing that stops your readers being presented with a screen full of the grey you associate with terribly mixed drinks and cheap cocktail bars.”
Greg Digneo warns email marketers away from common mistakes, such as not having clear goals (“Ideally, your goal should be specific and measurable. So saying “get more sales” is probably not a great goal to have. However “Generate 100 leads and close 10 sales a month” is one that you can measure”), giving readers too many choices, and not optimizing for mobile devices.
Mobile Email Marketing Tips and Guides
How Mobile Readers Interact With Marketing Emails by MarketingProfs
Ayaz Nanji shares some interesting findings on how mobile users interact with emails. For example, mobile users are notably less likely to click on links within emails–but that’s necessarily bad, as many mobile users open emails on their phones and then return to the message later from their desktops. And “mobile readers who opened emails a second time from their computers were 65% more likely to click through, indicating that optimizing for both mobile email opens and later desktop interactions can have a significant payoff.”
Echoing some of the findings reported above, this article highlights takeaways from research across nearly six million email marketing campaigns. Among the findings: “Improve the content: First open results in fewer clicks on mobile. Readers are less likely to click through on the initial open from mobile devices than they are from their desktops. The standard for compelling content is higher than ever.”
Reporting that 49% of emails are now opened on mobile devices, Selena Blue provides four value tips for mobile experience optimization, starting with making use of pre-header text: “Many inboxes are formatted so that users can see not only the subject line, but also a line of additional text in the email. This text is pulled from the first bit of text at the top of your email. However…the default text for most templates is not very valuable messaging.” Instead, make your pre-header text “tie into the subject line, bringing [readers] in and encouraging the click.”