The Email Evolution: Can your campaigns keep up?

Blog | 23 Feb, 2016
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Email is changing. It's evolving. It's becoming more flexible, powerful and relevant to marketers by supporting omnichannel efforts in an automated and dynamic way.

Email experts, Monica DiBartolo, Email Marketing Director at Jellyfish and Skip Fidura, Client Services Director at dotmailer, share their tips to ensure your email campaigns are staying ahead of the curve.

Email is becoming popular again!

Studies indicate that people are becoming more accepting of email and more comfortable with opt-in management. With the use of marketing automation strategies, email communications are becoming more relevant and timely, aiding in the wider acceptance.

A few quick tips to make the most of your current strategies are:

  • Use your own data as benchmarks
  • Find your cadence sweet spot
  • Make sure you are using a clean list

Marketing automation is here to stay

Marketing automation is the art of planning ahead and setting up campaigns to run automatically based on predetermined triggers. It goes beyond just email. You can drive an individualized experience on your site, in email, and through your retargeting efforts using dynamic content and a consistent message.

Analyze the behaviors and engagement of your customers to determine where to start or focus your efforts. Putting your customer experience at the core of your marketing efforts allows you to build strategies that talk directly to your customers and meet their needs.

When including marketing automation in your strategy, consider:

Downstream Automation

  • Date Triggers‰-Birthday, Renewals, Contract End
  • Event Triggers‰-Purchases, Downloads
  • Behavioral Triggers-Opens, Clicks, Dwell Time

Upstream Automation

  • Personalization
  • Dynamic Content
  • Scheduled Campaigns
  • Remail

The mobile experience

It has been reported that the most popular activity on a smartphone is checking email. Unfortunately, 75% of smartphone users delete emails they can‰'t read. Additionally, 53%, and growing, of email readership is taking place on mobile. Therefore, responsive design is strongly recommended. Here at Jellyfish, we build emails responsively as the standard.

When designing for mobile, keep these strategies in mind:

  • Focus on the inbox‰-From Name, Subject Line, Pre-header text
  • Design for the finger
  • Remember context‰-Clickable phone numbers, degrade gracefully, and leverage the functionality

To the inbox and beyond

Deliverability

Just because you hit ‰send‰ on an email campaign doesn‰'t mean the message has been delivered or that it arrived in the inbox. There are hundreds of factors that can affect deliverability but start with your list. Make sure your list is clean and that the email addresses have been verified at least once in the last six to nine months. Sending a list for verification will ping the address to determine if you have invalid emails, spam traps, and/or disposable domains within your list. Cleansing your list can improve the percentage of emails that make it to the inbox, and reduce your risk of being blocked by the ISPs.

Digital handshake

You also want to ensure you have your digital handshake set up. This is the SPF and DKIM records. These pieces of information are implemented at the server side of your domain and essentially say this ESP has permission to send email on my behalf. It digitally lets the ISPs know that the emails you send are legit.

Sender Score

You also will want to keep an eye on your sender score. Your sender score is like a credit score for your IP address. It tells the ISPs how strong or poor of a reputation you have for sending emails.

Quick action email markup

Once you make it to the inbox, there are now new options to consider thanks to Google's quick action email markups. By adding schema.org‰ markup to your email coding, you can accelerate user actions in Gmail by highlighting the most important information from the email right in the inbox. These actions include RSVP, Review, One-Click Actions, Go-To, and Flight actions. Inbox by Google has a few additional features that Gmail doesn‰'t.

As of now these quick action features are only offered by Google, but we can guess other ISPs aren‰'t far behind, though nothing has been confirmed yet.

List growth do's and don‰'ts

One way we suggest growing your list is to incorporate light boxes on your site. You can choose to have a light box appear as soon as someone enters your site or after they have browsed around. It is also important to set expectations of why someone would submit their email address. Let them know what‰'s in it for them. You can provide exclusivity of news and offers or provide an offer with purchase.

Don‰'t use 3rd party lists, an old list, or a list you are not sure where it was generated. Don‰'t borrow lists or buy lists. Lists that are not current will not perform well, are more likely to flag you as spam or not engage. This will have a negative impact on your deliverability and sender score.

If you have any additional questions related to email marketing or the webinar, please contact us.

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