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Make 2017 the Year of the Click-worthy Email

October 8, 2016 Bradford Group Administrator

email-graphicIt may be 45 years since the first email message was sent, but this form of communication is still a hot commodity. Especially in the business world.

Even in the age of Facebook ads and Twitter campaigns, email is still 40 times more effective at bringing in new customers. It is predicted that the total number of email addresses around the world will increase to 4.3 billion by the end of this year. That’s a giant pool of potential customers.

The thing is – while your business may be trying to reach a portion of that vast audience, so are countless others. What can you do to make your emails stand out in the crowd?

Email marketing is an integral part to every public relations plan. Here are some tips to incorporate into your 2017 strategy:

Get personal.

Because consumers receive a high volume of emails on a daily basis, they don’t like when businesses make them feel like one of a million. They want to feel like one in a million. Emails with a personalized subject line are 26% more likely to be opened than a generic email blast.

Readers’ time and attention spans are dwindling too, if you want to break through you’ve got to give them what they want. Rather than trying to make your whole database interested in everything you have to say, segment different pieces of content for different readers. That may also include defining buyer personas and creating tailored content that is relevant to them.

Then, go one step further and make your emails more interactive. Allow your readers to choose their own path through your emails or – if you’re really brave – tell you how they feel about your messages. Here are some intriguing examples from AWeber.

Tell an engaging story.

The well-known saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” was coined in 1921. In 2017, it’s still true. After your personalized subject line gets your readers to open the email, keep them engaged with your awe-inspiring brand photography and memorable videos, and let those do the talking for you. Mix in some user-generated content, and you’re golden.

Pull images of your company’s products or services from platforms like Instagram, or ask satisfied clients to send you images of your work at work, and include them as a photo gallery in your email messages. Talk to your email marketing provider to learn about the tools they have to creatively feature user-generated images. Customers give more credibility to content produced by everyday folks just like them. They know they’re not getting marketing spin but a real opinion about your brand, and they like that.

In a survey conducted by content marketing agency Headstream, 80% of adults want brands to tell stories. Make sure yours is compelling.

Make it easy to read on the go.

Think about your email activity today – how many messages did you read on a laptop or PC? How many did you read on your smartphone or tablet? Stats from email marketing blog emailmonday.com show that in the U.S. alone, 49% of emails are read on mobile devices. Nothing will make users stop reading faster than messages that don’t adapt to mobile screens. Responsive email design increases conversion rates, so make sure the email you worked so hard on looks equally as good on the small screen.

Email marketing buzzword: automation.

Give readers what they want and they’ll give you what you want – clicks!

You’re already more familiar with email automation than you think. You know those happy birthday emails and coupons you get from your favorite coffee shops? Or the welcome emails you get when you sign up with your favorite clothing stores? Those businesses are taking advantage of email automation. So are 49% of the companies out there, according to emailmonday.com.

Epsilon Email Institute says automated emails average 152% higher clickthrough rates than typical messages. With automated email you are bringing your readers the messages they care about, when they care to hear them. Give them what they want and they’ll give you what you want – clicks! This trend is showing no signs of slowing down, which means now is a great time to make it work for your business. Here is a great guide by Campaign Monitor to help you master the art of the automated email.

You have a great story to tell, and there is a captive audience out there who wants to hear it. Make 2017 the year you up email your email marketing game so they hear you loud and clear.

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