Back in 1978, the first marketing email was sent out by one Gary Thuerk, Marketing Manager at Digital Equipment Corporation. Gary sent an email to approximately 400 people promoting DEC machines and, while it did lead to a spike in sales it also led to the term “spam” – unsolicited, unwanted mass messaging. Despite its spammy reputation, email has made a name for itself as an effective channel for direct marketing.
Whoa, that mean email marketing is almost 40! Let’s see it celebrate another 40.
As brands adopted email as a major form of communicating, consumers became inundated with hundreds of brand emails per day. This actually prompted marketers to become savvier in how they use email. You want to stand out after all.
As consumers turn more and more to online channels to complete a variety of tasks, they turn to brands to provide more information. This behaviour contributes to the record-high numbers of new email subscribers reported. But! Click-to-open rates are on a steady decline. This means that marketers are enticing people to subscribe and open their emails but not driving engagement beyond that initial step.
Improve your email communication and increase deeper engagement with these tips.
- Optimize your subject line and preview text so they match the email’s content.
- Use responsive email design. If your email is not mobile-friendly, consumer’s will delete it.
- Use headings, subheaders, bullet points, and other quick communication tactics to keep the email readable.
- Avoid rendering issues by testing your emails across a range of email clients. Rendering problems are distracting for the user so avoid like the plague.
- Don’t force too much information “above the fold.” It’s totally acceptable to build towards a “below the fold” CTA.
- Use interesting images that captivate the audience.
- Watch out for long load times. Too many large image files and your email won’t load fast. Use ample HTML text.
- Long emails are ok! As long as your content is relevant, people will take the time to scroll through and read your emails.
- Check your links! A broken link will often end an interaction. On that notes, make sure the landing pages you direct to aren’t confusing to the user.
As email has grown up, it’s gone through many iterations – to make it mobile-friendly and less spammy, for example. What main things should you, as a marketer, focus on? Creating a mobile-friendly experience that is chock full of better (more meaningful and unique) content! Combine that with the above best practices and you’ll be a pro at making email communications effective and relevant.
Take a look at Hubspot’s 2017 State of Inbound report for more insight into how marketers are using email marketing to maximize ROI.