3 Ways to Improve Email Marketing

by | October 14th, 2015

Here at PINT, emails are an important way we communicate with our clients about trends and new project ideas they might find useful for their websites and online marketing. But we are updating the emails we send in a few key ways. Read on to see what we’re changing and how you can use these tactics as well.

Before we share the list of changes in our emails, let’s address a question some people might be asking.

Is email tired? tired cat image

“Is email played out?”

We, and many other online marketing folks say “Nope! Email still reaches people.” Open rates and click through rates may vary in your email campaigns and be different than industry averages. However, the fact still remains that we all check our email in the morning, we rely on emails to get information we need, and we check back on our inbox many times each day.

Emails are still one of the most effective ways to engage with your customers in a conversational way. It provides an opportunity to show your organization is trustworthy and relevant. And with segmentation and personalization options, email can help you be more strategic with digital marketing efforts.

lively cats say "email is still alive"

Email is still alive!

Now, how can we make our messages better?

3 Ways to Improve Email Marketing

1. Responsive email

cat_with_mobile_email

Responsive emails become especially important when subscribers view emails on their mobile devices. Responsive design allows you to highlight content and calls to action (CTAs). It can also make your messages easier to read on a smaller screen.

Recent surveys show mobile open rates are increasing every year. In fact, they are getting closer and closer to desktop open rates. Knowing that responsive emails make it easier for both types of subscribers, wouldn’t you want to make your message as readable as possible for both?

It is worth noting that making your emails responsive won’t affect your open rate. Getting subscribers to open your messages is still highly dependent on your subject line, sender name, and subscriber expectations. However, once subscribers have opened your message, you’ll want to focus on CTR (click through rate). And this is where appealing to subscribers on mobile devices can make a difference.

Example: at PINT, we increased our CTR by 33% in one campaign by making our message format responsive. Before making this change, our emails could be a bit hard to read on mobile. The layout that looked great on desktop didn’t work as well on a smaller screen.

desktop_email

The text size became very small when squeezed into a width that would fit the image and the text block in a narrow display. The same effect was seen on the button text, which would be the prime way our readers would click through. The thumbnails were passable, but could be more engaging.

responsive_email

With the new responsive layout, the images are much more engaging. And since we made the images links to the associated stories, they became giant buttons for our readers to click on. In addition the story title text displays larger, so when combined with the larger images, readers are more likely to get interested.

2. Simplify the message

simple cat for simplifying the message

Another way we are trying to appeal to users on the go, and users in a world where a million distractions lie just a click away, is by keeping our email campaign messaging pretty simple.

Recent studies have shown that simpler messaging can yield better results with email, particularly with layouts. Remember when email messages tried to look like the sender’s website? Turns out that’s a turn off.

The key here is paying close attention your:

  • Subject line
  • Content and messaging
  • Links, clickable images, and buttons

In the example below, which we worked on with our friends at Port80 Software, we spent time whittling down the content and question to be very digestible in a glance.

simple_message_email

Of course, we also made this responsive, so the text would wrap and be readable for users on mobile phones.

Editing your email’s elements to focus around a key message will help ensure a clear path for users to take. This can help from losing users to distractions or decision paralysis.

3. Embrace Automation

cat_in_a_dryer

We’ve also been testing out ways to include automation in our email efforts at PINT. We set up an automatic thank you email when people sign up for our newsletter.

We also made a subscription confirmation message for our friends at ZingChart:

automated_email

Additional examples of automation may include:

  • Follow up emails tailored to specific subject or product interests
  • Service renewal notifications
  • Onboarding messages

Reach Out and Email Someone

Are you pumped to start sending more email now? We hope so. Let us know which modern email marketing tactics are working for you. Or if you’d like some help with your messages, reach out and email us! We’re happy to talk.