In spite of the leaps and bounds that email has taken in the past several decades--a technology that started as the most basic words on a screen, send electronically between computers to now include embedded videos and high quality images and animated content--too many brands and marketers remain in the past when it comes to their email marketing approach. We’ve been saying for a while that the trend in digital marketing in general is drifting more towards quality than quantity, and that consumers are interested in relevant information that helps them to make a decision as opposed to a broad, hard sell--but really the issue, as Site Impact’s experts see it, is that people’s concept of what email is and can be is stuck. This also reflects itself in some brands and marketers bemoaning their diminishing returns on email--while overall, the ROI for email is steadily going up, there are certainly some out there who are seeing nothing but downward trends, and that’s largely because they’re still thinking with a handbook from the late 90s and early 2000s. Today we’re going to look at reimagining what email is and can be, and how that gives you the best results.
An older view of email considers it like radio, or TV ads: certainly, demographics play a role, but overall you blast your message out there, and hopefully it connects with the people who get it. That simply doesn’t work anymore. Email is an incredibly personal, connected medium; for most of us, most of the time it functions as a way to discuss things either one on one or in limited groups. Reimagining email along these lines means not just seeing the forest of your audience, but recognizing the trees that make it up. Gear your efforts towards making each of your recipients feel like an individual, instead of blasting them with information.
More and more, people are reading emails on their phones or tablets, or other devices that don’t provide the same screen real estate as a laptop or desktop computer screen. This presents a big challenge to folks who are accustomed to having lots of “above the fold” space to play with, whether that’s in respect to copy or creative. However, there is no way to make copy formatted for a big screen work the same way on a smaller one--it’s always going to come across as too much. Reimagining email means putting the best foot forward for mobile as opposed to desktop/laptop: keeping copy short, relevant, and punchy, keeping designs light and uncluttered, leading with the most important information not just first but delivered concisely, and making it clear in the subject line why your recipient needs to open.
Email marketing isn’t going away, and it isn’t even suffering; it’s just that some brands and marketers are failing to see the transition the channel has made from being a broadcast medium to being a personal one. By imagining email as a one-on-one interaction between your brand and the prospect, you can create campaigns that will have a lasting impact and keep your ROI high. Contact Site Impact to learn how we can help you.