You MUST alter your email campaigns and strategies in 2013

You MUST alter how you design and develop your email campaigns and strategies, in 2013. You will need to take extra steps to make your email campaigns work. Triggered email programs will give sophisticated marketers a sustainable competitive edge.

So let us discuss necessary changes, significant statistics, and innovative trends.

More than 17 million new smartphones and tablets were activated on December 25, 2012. The transfer to mobile reading of emails is indisputable — so marketers MUST get serious about creating mobile-friendly emails.

Many marketers have not made the necessary changes to their email creative materials. Whether it is simple mobile optimization techniques, responsive designs, or live content — 2013 is the year to take action.

Click below and begin your campaigns today!

Closely review the subsequent 2012 statistics about mobile phone users and their email use:

  • 56 percent of all U.S. mobile phone owners access the Internet.
  • 85 percent of all U.S. adults now own a mobile phone.
  • More than 50 percent of mobile users read email on their phones.
  • 88 percent check email on their phones every day.
  • 36 percent of email messages across 12 key industries were opened on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) in the first half of 2012. That number is up from 20 percent at the same time in 2011.
  • Mobile’s share of email opens is projected to surpass 50 percent for most brands over the next six to 12 months.

In 2013, the majority of your subscribers will open your email on a mobile device. Therefore, you will need to rebuild your templates to account for responsive design; because “mobile-friendly” scalable templates will no longer be enough. Responsive email design is the only truly mobile-first strategy. A responsive email design allows you to auto-adjust the layout, content, and text size of an email to tailor it to a specific screen size.

Econsultancy reports that 63 percent of Americans would close or delete an email not optimized for mobile. Therefore, if you fail to address your customers’ mobile-reading habits, your emails will fail.

However, let us not forget that delivering relevant content remains the key — you consistently must offer highly relevant content to your subscribers if you want to stay in their inboxes and keep your email program effective. Start tracking behavioral traits, such as clicks in the email, browsing on the website, etc. Use this data to segment your list and send follow-up messages.

Consider these tactics:

  • Segmentation
  • Dynamic content
  • Preference data
  • Increasing frequency to your most active subscribers and decreasing frequency to your less-active recipients

While ESPs are making triggered programs progressively easier to set up, these programs do take time to establish and optimize, especially more advanced ones like browse-based emails. This means marketers who have invested significantly in triggered emails should experience an edge over their less sophisticated competitors.

Here are some trends to review:

We should see an increase in special characters, in subject lines, two to three times more often this year. One of the reasons marketers are turning to special characters is for the novelty factor. In the beginning, the novelty of these types of messages may cause higher response rates, but in the end it is likely to wear off, as marketers move on to the next new thing.

Pinterest — the first uses of Pinterest content and calls-to-action appeared in retail emails last year. By the end of October nearly 60% of retailers had used a “pin it” button in their emails or promoted their Pinterest boards.

Free e-gift cards will be the new free shipping — free shipping is losing effectiveness. It has become expected. In response, retailers are establishing year-round free shipping offers and eliminating promotion codes for free shipping. Retailers are clearly searching for the next “free shipping” offer, something consumers value significantly more than it costs retailers to supply. That magic offer may be a free e-gift card. Profit margins and less than 100% redemption rates mean they cost retailers less than the face value to provide, plus they drive repeat business.

2013 will be the year email marketers will continue to optimize and grow their programs by addressing their subscribers’ changing habits. Effective marketers will focus their plans on customer centricity, relevant content, and data-driven programs to keep their email campaigns successful.

*Did You Know? Responsive design is different today then from the past. We have more control over how things scale themselves up or down, as well as many more screen sizes and shapes. This design is accomplished through style sheets, (a CSS3 stylesheet that adapts based on what kind of screen it is being viewed on), that are designed to scale up or down, or even switch out based on what kind of device is being used.

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