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Email marketing is evolving. What’s new in 2017 and what can we do to make campaigns more effective?

7th July 2017 - Last modified 30th October 2017 - 0 comments

Written by Sam Cooper.

Last year I wrote about the ever-evolving email marketing landscape, particularly the impact of increasing mobile usage. In this blog I will provide an update on what’s new in the world of email marketing and identify some easy ways to make your campaigns more effective.

What’s new in email marketing?

Although websites have been using HTML5 since circa 2011, email platforms have yet to fully embrace it, limiting the options available to email developers and marketers. However, 2017 looks set to be the year this finally changes, with exciting new features and possibilities available as a result.

New interactive possibilities – At the start of 2017 Litmus surveyed e-marketing experts to predict the biggest sector trends of 2017 and found the number one response was the emergence of ‘interactive emails’. The adoption of HTML5 by major platforms makes this a real possibility. It allows developers to increase functionality in emails to include actions that would otherwise need to be done elsewhere, streamlining processes. For example, recipients can now complete a purchase or fill out a form directly within their email client.  In theory, removing the need to click through to a landing page should make the process quicker and easier for the recipient, increasing engagement and, crucially, increasing conversion.

Video content – Developers have been hoping to implement video content in email for a number of years, to both enhance the user experience and again, increase interaction. Thanks to HTML5, video content is now available in some of the world’s most popular email clients, such as Samsung Galaxy’s native client and Apple Mail. The release of iOS 10 also made HTML5 video support accessible on Apple mobile devices, helping developers to deliver video based emails to a much wider audience.

New Visual advancements – HTML5 also allows developers to include image slideshows and animated GIF’s in email, expanding design options to maximise engagement. Remember though, it’s a good idea to have some fall back imagery for clients that don’t support HTML5.

Sam Blog Image 1

What can you do to make your e-marketing more effective?

Unfortunately, despite the developments outlined above, there are still restrictions; Email platforms such as Google and Yahoo mail still don’t currently feature HTML5 capability and Outlook can render the same email differently in every single one of its many versions! In the current climate, it is more or less impossible for your email to look 100% correct on every single device. With that said, you always want your email to look good on as many devices as possible and there are a few easy solutions to get you on the right track.

First of all, using email marketing software such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor can do a lot of the work for you as they feature mobile friendly and responsive templates, taking a lot of the fiddly work out of your hands. An additional test with Litmus (an online service which lets you see what your email looks like on many different platforms and devices, particularly good for testing for Outlook) can show what you might need to change.

Another idea to make your e-marketing campaigns more effective is to increase personalisation. If you are already interacting with a customer, try to analyse all the information at your disposal. What have they looked at on your website? What have they previously purchased? From here you can start segmenting customers and targeting users with specific content. For example if someone has left your website with an item in their basket, why not target them with an email? (“Still interested in this item?”) According to a study by Experian1, personalisation increases open rates by 26% so don’t just leave it at “Dear Sam”, try and target exactly what they are interested in, otherwise you could end up in the trash.

Hopefully these tips have been useful and provide food for thought in developing your future email marketing campaigns. To learn more about what we can offer to help improve your email marketing, please contact us!

Written by Sam Cooper – Digital Marketing Communications 
Sam

1 – Experian Email Study 2013 – http://www.experian.com/assets/marketing-services/white-papers/ccm-email-study-2013.pdf

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