Email is regularly credited with offering the best ROI of all marketing channels. Recent figures put its average ROI at 122% (four times higher than other channels, including social media, paid search, and direct mail).
Those are some impressive numbers, but you can’t expect to send just any old email and get results. To get an ROI worth shouting about, you need to be sending quality emails with content that’s relevant to the recipient.
You also need to keep up with the times and make sure you’re always on top of the latest trends.
Personalization has long played a part in email marketing, but new tools and technologies (and changing consumer attitudes) mean brands need to make big shifts in how they leverage email personalization.
Asking subscribers questions.
Noting their behavior on your site.
Paying close attention to demographics and past purchases.
This is all information that can be used to segment subscribers and create dynamic content that ramps up personalization.
Fewer and fewer consumers are being taken in by personalization that consists of nothing more than a First Name merge tag. Brands that want to get the most out of their email marketing in 2019 ought to be doing so much more.
We know we should be personalizing emails, and we know we’re likely to see more personalization, used more innovatively, in 2019.
But what happens when someone clicks a link in an email and arrives on your site? What page do they land on?
To date, marketers have typically matched the landing page to the link. That could mean an offers page, a specific product, a blog article and so on.
That all makes sense, and there’s nothing inherently wrong with doing it – but what if you could be doing more?
Landing pages that match the appearance and content of a personalized email, including custom CTAs, offers, and even copy, are something we’re likely to see more of in 2019. Start putting as much thought into where you’re sending recipients as the email itself, and you may well see a big uplift in the ROI of your efforts.
Analyzing when emails get opened and adjusting delivery times accordingly is – as with personalization – an old-hand tactic that brands have been using for years.
What far fewer brands have been doing is accounting for time zones.
So you get your highest open rate when you send emails at 6pm your time. Does that mean your emails should go out at 6pm in your time zone, whether a subscriber lives in New York, Houston, or Los Angeles?
Of course not.
Stop focusing on the time that you see your highest email open rates overall, and instead, segment data according to location and schedule emails in line with your findings. There are some good email scheduling tools out there that simplify this consideration.
Last but not least, we come to arguably the biggest change happening in email marketing right now – interactive email.
Features like in-email search, forms, countdowns, and carousels effectively turn emails into microsites. Recipients are given all essential information and assets without even having to leave their inbox.
Sounds great, right?
It really does, but marketers dipping their toes into these waters need to tread carefully.
While on the surface this technology appears to offer a foolproof method of boosting interaction and response rates, don’t forget that it’s still early days for email interactivity, and not all providers or devices will support interactive elements.
Marketing channels don’t get much more effective than email, but your efforts will be futile if you don’t keep up with recent trends and regularly change up your approach using the latest tools, methods and ideas.
Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures, makers of Mailshake, Pick, VoilaNorbert and Right Inbox. He has over 14 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.