This post originally appeared on Searchenginewatch.com
Even though marketing has changed quite a bit over the past decade as new channels and strategies have opened up, there is one method that remains just as effective as ever – email marketing.
Email marketing averages a 3800% ROI for both B2C and B2B companies, and 80% of businesses find that it directly correlates to higher business retention, too. However, email marketing has not stayed completely the same over the past few years and companies will need to adjust to stay relevant in 2020.
For example, in 2020, the vast majority of emails will be opened on mobile devices as opposed to desktops or webmail apps.
But, there are other changes and trends that marketers need to be aware of to keep their email marketing engaging and fresh as we enter a new decade.
Let’s break down the best practices that businesses should be using as they transition their marketing strategies for the new year.
1. Embrace the concept of smart permission-based advertising
Email marketing used to be sort of a wide net that was cast to a large audience with the intent of catching whatever it could. These days, technology allows companies to be far more strategic and hyper-target their receivers based on data, such as demographics or behavior.
However, customers do not always love this idea of intense targeting or generalized marketing. 77% of consumers prefer permission-based advertising, specifically through email – as opposed to direct mail, text, or social ads.
This means that to grow open rates, businesses must understand the importance of consent for targeting through opt-in email marketing. This means providing customers with the option to choose what types of marketing messages they receive from you – as well as the frequency of these emails.
For example, West Elm allows their email subscribers to choose when they want to receive emails, such as when the store is running a promotion or there are new arrivals in stock. Customers can also choose the frequency.
The majority of people will unsubscribe if they feel like businesses are constantly trying to sell them something. So it is important for companies to find the sweet spot by giving customers options that put them in control of the content they receive.
2. Remember: We live in a post-GDPR world
Modern businesses are extremely reliant on data for just about everything these days. But after all of the data leaks and breaches that occurred over the past years, as well as scandals coming to light of giant companies illegally gathering and selling customer data, consumers are warier than ever of sharing personal information.
Although the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is only in place in Europe currently, it has implications that affect businesses around the globe. For example, if your business services customers within the EU, your data collection processes must be GDPR compliant. Furthermore, these regulations have opened the eyes of many consumers to the importance of data protection.
Email marketing is heavily scrutinized when it comes to data collection so it’s important to incorporate elements into your email marketing that build trust with your audience.
One way to encourage data sharing is through transparency. Let your customers know how data sharing benefits them with personalized offers or better experiences. See how Teva does with their email opt-ins for data sharing.
3. Don’t overdo the email designs
Flashy designs, animated graphics, and multiple CTAs within an email no longer work the magic they used to. Many people find them simply annoying or even spammy, especially if they are checking the message on their mobile device.
Instead, keep the focus on what your brand has to offer and not solely on how “cool” the email looks. Get to the point quickly. If you are promoting a sale, display some good deals and incorporate CTAs that drive customers directly to those product pages.
Also, be sure to stick to the elements that influence customer behavior – like reviews. Not only do reviews help to improve your SEO, but they can also increase click-through rates.
For example, The Pearl Source used Trustpilot to automatically embed reviews into their marketing content – including email marketing, on their website, and on product pages. This helped consumers see overall ratings and comments before buying.
By displaying their total number of over 6,500 verified reviews, the brand also established social proof and cultivated trust with new consumers off the bat.
In the world of email marketing and marketing as a whole, authenticity trumps flashy designs. This is a reality that has solidified itself over the past decade and will almost certainly continue into the 20s.
4. Automate your hyper-personalized campaigns
Automation in email marketing offers a lot of great benefits. It can do wonders to impact sales by lowering cart abandonment and boosting customer retention rates. The more relevant your emails are, the more revenue you stand to generate and the best way to ensure this is through personalized automation.
This goes beyond just including the customer’s name in the subject heading. Instead, every element of the messaging needs to be catered to a customer based on key data points, such as:
- Their product viewing history
- Past purchases
- Recent behavior
One great example is this automated email from Tarte Cosmetics, which sends out personally curated product suggestions based on the customer’s purchases and product views.
In 2020, it will be crucial for companies to use trigger-based automation to perfect the timing of their messages. For instance, say that a customer views a product and adds it to their cart, but ends up abandoning it. If an email is sent 24 hours later alerting them that stock is running low or the price has dropped, it could result in a conversion.
In 2020, it is quite apparent that consumers want more control over their experiences and interactions with brands. So, it is important that marketers understand how to accommodate consumers’ preferences when it comes to email marketing – while still being able to increase sales.
By opting for permission-based marketing and including more elements that matter to consumers like personalization, reviews, and data sharing options, you can expect to see impressive returns from your email marketing in 2020.
Manish Dudharejia is the President and Founder of E2M Solutions Inc.
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