Let’s face it. We all have email accounts, and we aren’t getting rid of them any time soon. It’s an old technology that’s been around for decades and hasn’t had much innovation. In fact, emails are still built the same way websites were built 20 years ago. While there has been some functionality added, it’s not widely used and requires workarounds to fall back for many other clients and devices.
So why do we keep using it? According to an email statistics report conducted by The Radicati Group in 2015, email accounts are predicted to grow more than 26% by 2019. Email is a preferred method of contact for commercial marketing and B2B communications. In a highly digital world, workers spend 28% of their workweek managing email. This is a prime audience to market to, since we already have (part of) their attention.
Email isn’t a perfect platform. It has many limitations, can be difficult to get right, and can get expensive. But for mid-sized businesses, the benefits outweigh the negatives. While we might think it’s dead, it sounds like it hasn’t been buried, yet.
With an ROI of 3800% using email marketing, it’s a little hard to ignore. Here’s how you can maximize your email ROI.
Focus on Mobile
Campaign Monitor found that about 53% of emails are opened on mobile devices. Living in a fast-paced environment, If something doesn’t catch our attention quickly, the email will likely be deleted before it’s ever opened.
A great tool for previewing an email is TESTSUBJECT by Zurb. You can get a glimpse of what your email looks like when it comes into an inbox. Is it something you would open? If not, what would you change? Would you add personalization to it? Maybe one way looks good to you, but wouldn’t to someone else. If only there were a way to find out…
Test Test Test
Email marketing automation services allow for the ability to test email campaigns by A/B or Multivariate testing. Depending on the metric you’d like to focus on (Opens vs. Clicks), you may want to test two different subject lines, different body copy, or different graphics. Campaigns are set up with a testing percentage and will yield a winner based on a set condition. You could have two subject lines and base the winner on the amount of opens between the two. Maybe you have one call-to-action that’s more enticing than another—the remaining leads will likely produce a higher click-through rate.
Testing gives us insight into what our audience prefers. Future campaigns can be tailored based on the results of previous campaigns which would hopefully increase metrics.
A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
Emails should be light on content and visually appealing. This makes it easy to scroll through an email quickly and easily understand. Visuals can break things up nicely so reading the email isn’t a chore. Light copy with enough to get someone interested and click on a button or link is the goal. When an email is chock-full of copy, it can turn people off from completing it.
This can be a double-edged sword because while images are more engaging to a viewer, many email clients do not download these images automatically. In fact, email opens are tracked based on recipients that download images inside an email, so they’re important to the sender as well for the most accurate reporting. The best way to provide a great experience for your recipient and get the most information you can is by enticing your recipients to download the images with Alt tags in your images. An Alt tag is alternative copy used in place of images that have not been downloaded, usually a description of what is seen in the image. Call-to-action buttons with an offer are prime examples of how this could be critical to engagement.
While email might seem like an archaic form of communication, it’s still alive and kicking with no end in near sight. So why not embrace it and use it to your advantage?