If you’re not using email marketing campaigns to promote what you sell, you’re leaving money on the table.
Want some proof?
So, you can see that email marketing’s ROI is $44 per $1 spent-pretty good if I say so myself, isn’t that correct?
This is precisely the reason why you need to use it.
Email marketing is a medium that changes forms constantly, forever adapting and marketers can come up with a billion new uses for it.
What do I mean by that? Well, I’ve had my fair share of acquaintances and family members tell me that they don’t and will never use social media platforms for “personal reasons.”
However, all of them have an email address that they use and all of them have signed up for more than a couple of email newsletters.
But what does that mean to marketers in 2020? What can you do, to elevate-or create from scratch-your email marketing game?
How are you going to make sure that your emails are going to get opened? Clicked through? Do you know what the email size limits are in 2020?
Not to worry, I’m here to answer all those questions.
The Staples First
I know you know all about data, all about personalization and that you’ve heard about the importance of segmentation about a billion times.
But what marketer hasn’t?
The problem is that sometimes, marketers forget the importance of components like data, personas and personalization.
First of all, you definitely have some data that you can use. So, use them and use them wisely. Your data analyst will sit down and determine the patterns they’ll be able to distinguish between the various groups.
Those patterns could be related to age, education, gender, income… It doesn’t really matter, so long as they’re distinguishable and useful for you to create an email marketing campaign out of them.
That data will help you create buyer personas, aka the ideal customer personas that will help you set everything up. How would those personas respond to your emails? How would they perceive information? Would they, eventually, allow you to check out your sales metrics and be happy about what you’ve achieved
You’ll also need to segment that email list of yours, according to said metrics-otherwise, sending optimized emails will be just a shot in the dark, in the end.
And if you’re one of those lucky fellows that can implement AI to study their data, even better. Plenty of email marketing and marketing automation platforms can give you this opportunity and essentially help you distinguish data with the use of AI.
The important part in this, is the fact that AI can see patterns so small, the segmentation will be almost 1-1 (one pattern per subscriber pretty much), giving you the opportunity to create segments so small, you’ll manage to hyper-personalize your emails and save your data analysts the time and effort, helping them focus on something else.
But let’s move on to the actual trends now.
The Trends You'll Absolutely Need to Know Everything About
You know, trends come and go in every case. However, there are some that will be tried out, tested vigorously, and sometimes, they’ll be re-invented over and over again. This is what will help them become staples. These are the ones I’d like to tell you about in this article.
Once, becoming an Amazon affiliate was something that would make eCommercers think they made it and personalization was a mere trend. Now, some claim that an Amazon partnership’s not a great idea and an email campaign without a personal feel seems to be something inconceivable.
So, let’s see what’s what!
Do You Know Dark Mode?
Of course you do, I’m sure of it. Dark mode is a handy little trinket that has come to change our lives, especially on mobile devices. Most apps have it, it’s better for our eyes and I personally use every single thing I can, in dark mode.
But for this to happen, first you need to have a mobile optimization strategy for your email into place. Or, better yet, you’ll need to think mobile first-if you don’t do that already, that is.
The graph above shows the email opens by device in the US alone. So, as you can see, desktop is not-so-slowly but surely losing ground.
And since email opens increase on mobile devices, purchases on mobile devices follow, especially since a prospect’s impulsive behavior is deeply rooted in email marketing strategies.
So, mobile optimization is no longer a choice, it’s more so, a necessity that should’ve been a staple years ago. And creating emails that will look great on dark mode really is thinking one step ahead.
Apart from being better for the eyes, dark mode is also a life-saver when it comes to your device’s battery life. Meaning that your emails will be something a prospect can open, without thinking that this could result in their phone dying on them.
So, let’s see an example of a “dark mode” email:
Just reverse the colors and create a black background that will look minimal, sophisticated and, more importantly, easier on the eyes.
If you’re unsure on what your darker text looks like on a dark background, just use a white stroke on the darker-colored text and try to use as little white elements as possible.
Make Good Use of a Short Attention Span
Most users don’t really pay attention to what they’re reading nowadays and images are now proven to be more engaging and enticing than text-not to mention that they get viral much faster.
But what does that have to do with your email marketing strategy?
Let me remind you that email is a call to your prospects’ attention, and there should be an interactive visual element to it, in order to keep that attention and leave an impression.
You don’t even need to urge them to give you the classic reply, even though there are still people who think that this would really work. Think about it though: To a busy person leading a busy life, replying to an email is just another chore.
Playing around with clicking through the email though…Oh this is a whole other story.
This is a fantastic email from Harry’s grooming and shave supplies. This is the opening line, followed by a little interactive quiz that falls under the “this-or-that” logic:
This is one of the three questions of the quiz
And it ends like this:
Taking those impatient ones that will not concentrate on the quiz, this email wins in terms of both engagement and service.
And this is what making use of that short attention span really means. Play ground with your prospects, give them a fun experience.
Better yet, give them a fun experience that can showcase your product’s use and how it can change their lives. People don’t really shop for products anymore. What they do is shop for something that can make them better, more efficient.
And showcasing how it works will do exactly that. After all, the most successful model now is H2H and an email is sent by and to humans.
Okay, so you scored a sale. That’s actually pretty great and we’re happy for you! But did you reach your goal?
If your answer is yes, then you’ve got a great deal of things to learn about marketing in general, let alone email marketing itself.
A sale is not the end of the conversation. On the contrary, it’s an invitation for more assistance. If you’re selling something that can be combined with another product or service, don’t miss the chance to send a post-sales email asking for some feedback and try to pitch your product.
An email like the one above can help your prospects love you even more. It shows that you care enough to ask if everything was alright.
And with the right coaxing and incentive, you can actually give them a reason to spread that love.
For example, you can create an email that will be asking for feedback. This email can have shareable content-perhaps some UGC even? Track competitors to see about that sort of content, as no business is the same-that will offer an incentive for each one of your referrals.
Loyal customers, after all, are more than just names on a customer loyalty program. They’re actually your biggest hype-men and, by giving them the chance to become brand ambassadors, you’re showing them how much value they are to your business.
At this stage, everything’s been said and done, style-wise at least. And while there may be prominent trends, each and every brand likes to take a trend and bend it so that it matches their tone.
However, the one thing that doesn’t change is the amount of elements an email has.
Minimalist design is in and won’t be going anywhere, for two main reasons:
First of all, it’s very easy on the eyes and won’t confuse with too many design elements or too many colors.
Secondly-and more importantly-a simple design is more accessible and it will load properly.
Casper’s email is just that. Simple, minimalistic, with a relevant image and little to no copy in the email.
Going minimal in your emails has the added benefit of enabling you to appeal to a wider audience. Not too many details means not too many things for the recipient to focus on, which is a win.
Just keep in mind that minimal doesn’t mean plain, in no means. You need clean, bold lines and design that makes sense without needing the reader to focus on it, to make something out of it.
Lots of clean space to help the eye rest, simple, bold typography and CTA buttons with colors that contrast and, eventually, draw attention to themselves is precisely what you need.
This won’t be a fad. In fact, in the following years, we’ll definitely see a great rise in brands becoming a “genuine self”, if that makes sense.
People cannot connect with brand names and brand logos. There has to be something true, something authentic behind those, to make them interested.
Invest in UGC, create presentations and infographics for humans and not just for numbers. Strive for an actual, serious connection with your audience and communicate with them.
The only way to do that is through very strong brand storytelling.
This email from Charity: Water does exactly that. It tells a story. The story of how the charity began, what it’s done so far and how the donors have helped and can continue helping out with their mission.
It may not be a brand per se, but there’s a lot to learn from this email, as far as crafting an effective story is concerned.
It’s not just a nameless charity. Your brand should not just be a brand.
You’ll need a mission statement and you’ll need to incorporate important parts of your history into your emails.
And being genuine with brand storytelling is, in fact, one of the best marketing strategies, seeing as it helps people remember details. It’s not straight up numbers and facts, it’s more like an origin story like the ones we all know and love.
Since your audience can link details, numbers and everything your brand is objectively composed of, to a great story and values that are genuine, speak to their heart and can be replicated through User Generated Content, then you’re good to go.
Email marketing has gone a long way since its beginning, with spam emails and plain text or images that wouldn’t load for the life of them.
At this point in time, people long for something that will be speaking to them and only them, be it a fantastic story or an aesthetic that matches their own.
So, go ahead, A/B test your options (always!) and put your new knowledge to the test.
Téa Liarokapi is a content writer working for email marketing software company Moosend and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas-and cats-to play with.