Subject lines. Time of day. Mobile Calls-to-action. Colors, layout, headers, columns. If you’re an email marketer, this is a pretty standard optimization laundry list. There’s always something that can be improved and optimization is a perpetual process, not a goal.
That said, many email marketers seem to be forgetting one of the most important things to optimize in their email campaigns. In 2015, it might be the most important thing: content.
Despite the hype surrounding content marketing, few brands seem willing to venture into uncharted territory and create compelling content within their emails. But as inboxes keep overflowing and personalization becomes a prerequisite for an open, email marketers are in the perfect position to start optimizing content as well.
Here are three different content strategies you can try when optimizing your campaign:
- The Magazine
B2C brands like GoPro and Redbull are on the cutting-edge of content marketing as they create full-blown media experiences for customers.
You might not have the same marketing budget as these brands, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Interview an interesting customer, offer some tips that your audience might find useful, and focus on a pressing pain point or issue that’s on your average customer’s mind.
Then, mock up a magazine cover and make it an experience. By presenting the content as something premium, customers are more likely to get interested in reading it (especially if you target this content by personas).
- The Curation Engine
If you really know what interests your audience, try gathering three articles a week and emailing it to them. The more personalized the content, the better. Make these emails totally content-driven, rather than sales-driven, and include your own thoughts on the developments you’ve included.
When customers feel that you’re offering them something valuable every week, they’ll look for your email and, consequently, open and click in much higher numbers.
- The Multimedia Experience
Want to really make your email content pop? Try using multimedia content to spice things up. Including photos or GIFs within the email can create a much more compelling experience than just text.
When it comes to visual content, don’t only think about products. Include behind-the-scenes office photos, interesting pictures from your industry, and shots of your product in action.
Optimum Content = Click-Throughs
Marketers are always trying to increase their click-through rates. With creative and entertaining content, you can do just that – and keep customers coming back for more every time they find a new email from your brand in their inbox.
Mention “personalization” to most email marketers and you’ll see the fear in their eyes.
Personalization means tapping into customer data. Generally, that means trying to merge all the databases and systems that are under the purview of different teams to create a single view of the customer – cleansing it, creating a central data governance strategy, and convincing stakeholders all along the way.
In short, it seems impossible.
Last year, a report from the DMA Annual Conference and Exhibition found that, among the marketers surveyed, only 50% are “enthusiastic” about the role of big data in the marketing industry. Other reactions ranged from “cautiously optimistic” (31%) and “uncertain” (14%) to “tepid” (3%) and “disillusioned” (1%).
But what if email personalization didn’t require all the big data heavy-lifting that you think? What if you didn’t have to change anything about your current email service provider and contact database?
Here are five steps that you don’t actually have to take to achieve email personalization:
Movable Ink is thrilled to announce that our client, Best Western International, was nominated as a finalist in Email Marketing Innovation for the 2015 Marketing and Tech Innovation Awards hosted by Direct Marketing News.
Over the past year, Best Western International has been working hard to create more personalized experiences for every subscriber, sending out 20 million emails a month that are targeted based on geography, device, and time-of-open.
We’ve discussed how Best Western used device-targeting in email campaigns to increase mobile app downloads by more than 100% and it was exciting to see that Direct Marketing News officially recognized the hotel’s continued innovation in the email marketing space with the nomination.
If you want to get a marketer’s attention, just use the “L” word.
Every quarter, there seems like there are a dozen new systems begging for budget or attention in the marketing department, while the pressure to achieve results – measurable results – keeps going up.
Marketing teams are constantly trying to push the envelope while endlessly juggling all these new platforms.
So “lazy” is one of the last words they want to hear.
While most marketers use list segmentation to personalize email for different audiences, there are now a lot of other factors you need to consider.
For many major retailers, this week marks the cutoff for guaranteed holiday delivery with standard shipping. While this may dismay some of your consumers, the good news is that Movable Ink allows you to change the messages in your marketing emails in real time to reflect the latest information–no matter when the email is opened. This minimizes consumer confusion and disappointment while maximizing opportunities for conversions.
Once the online ordering deadline has passed, you can have the message swapped out to include a message about in-store purchases while including a local map showing the closest store locations and updated holiday hours. You can also include a CTA for consumers to send a digital eGift card to people on their list. This adds a layer of personalization and creates a greater user experience for each of your consumers.
The Winter 2014 edition of The Inkredible Five highlights our five favorite emails of the past season that incorporate time-sensitive offers, real-time social media feeds, live geo-targeting, video, and image personalization to create eye-catching and relevant campaigns.
Find out how leading brands cut through the clutter during major holiday shopping events including Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the final days before Christmas.
Ready to be inspired? Download the e-book.
When you check your inbox this Cyber Monday, get ready to discover a few surprises along the way. This holiday season, many of your favorite brands will be using Agile Email Marketing technology to deliver great deals in eye-catching, interactive, and innovative ways that you’ve never seen before.
Check out our infographic below to see the top 5 emails to look out for this coming Cyber Monday.
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Gone are the days of “one-size-fits-all” email marketing. Today’s email marketers are sending campaigns that are fully agile, updated in real-time, and highly personalized. Curious how email marketing has evolved over time? Take a look at our infographic below to find out: