Email Marketing Best Practices 2017

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With the launch of Hotmail in 1996, wide scale email marketing became possible for the first time. Nearly 21 years later, and email marketing is still going from strength to strength, defying all naysayers who said it would fade away with the advent of social media. Twenty one years is a long time in digital marketing, and in this time, the grandfather of the online economy has transformed many times; from ‘spray and pray’ e-shots, to database marketing, segmentation, and finally personalised messaging.

The Road To Relevance

Each change has made email marketing more personalised, more relevant and more targeted. This has progressively increased the chances of email recipients finding something of value in an email, which is great news for the companies that send them! The more relevant an email is and the more personally valuable, the better your click through rate will be and the more conversions you will get.

The coming year has more changes on the horizon for email marketing, so take a look at the following emerging trends for new ways to keep your email campaigns relevant in 2017.

1) Radical Personalisation

The average office worker gets dozens of emails to their work account each day, and dozens more to their personal inbox. For yours to stand out, you need to use advanced personalisation. Just using the prospect’s first name is not going to cut it – in fact, this may just make you stand out as a marketer. You need to go beyond this to understand their purchasing habits and what makes them tick.

How you go about this will depend on the nature of your business. For instance, e-commerce businesses can base marketing emails on items that have been abandoned in shopping carts. For service companies it is not so straightforward, but it starts by building buyer personas – segmenting your target audience by job position, demographics and interests. Marketing automation platforms such as Hubspot are extremely helpful in this regard, and allow you to label multiple buyer personas with catchy names.

You can then use your marketing emails to answer specific questions relevant to each persona and break your email marketing campaign into different messages for each target customer. You will see a big increase in click through rate and conversions by approaching email in this way.

This trend has been ongoing for several years, but is set to continue in 2017. Expect to permanently wave goodbye to cardboard cut-out emails and surface level personalisation.

2) Automated Emails

An exciting trend in email marketing is to set up trigger messages based on a user’s behaviour. For example, if a prospect visits your website twice in five days and then you don’t see them for a week, an automated email could be sent telling them how much you miss them, and inviting them to come back, perhaps with an incentive. This is a behaviour-based trigger. Advancements in marketing analytics mean there are a vast number of potential trigger points that you can use to send your prospect emails. The purpose of these messages is to build a rapport with your prospect and start encouraging them to make a genuine connection with your brand.

3) Personalised Landing Pages

We strongly recommend that you always use bespoke landing pages for all your email campaigns. An expanding practice is to use a series of personalised, persona based landing pages that connect with each email. What you get with this is the development of a website that is increasingly tuned into the needs of your customers. A customer receives your email based on a behavioural trigger. They click through to a landing page or micro-site and find content there that directly addresses their needs.

You can almost guarantee conversions by this method.

Generate More Leads Through Email Marketing

Despite the growth in other digital marketing tactics, such as social media and blogging, email marketing still has a huge potential to showcase your company brand and get new customers. In terms of ROI, email marketing is still the best performing of all the inbound marketing channels.

At JDR, our team of inbound marketing specialists can help you revamp your email marketing program and get the leads flooding into your business next year. For a personalised approach to your marketing strategy, simply give us a call or send us a message through our online contact form to request a call back.

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