Email marketing is a form of direct marketing that has been around for more than a century. Since its inception, email marketing has always been a useful tool for businesses—especially product-based companies who want to promote their products via email.
However, in order to effectively use email marketing, you need to keep up with the times and adopt new methods and strategies. What follows are 10 simple, yet effective, email marketing trends for 2018.
1. Custom Email Content Is the Key
In the past, businesses would simply blast out generic emails with marketing content—something to the effect of “Dear customer, below is information on our product.” While this may have been adequate back in the day, modern consumers expect a little more from an email marketing campaign.
Why? Because consumers have grown accustomed to seeing personalized content in their inboxes. According to HubSpot Blogs research, 80% of internet users say they expect to see personalized content in their emails. And what are personalized emails but constant, individualized communications from brands?
This is why companies must customise their content for email campaigns. By creating unique, personalised messages, businesses can engage with consumers on a more individual level and can significantly increase the rate of opens and clicks.
Takeaway: Consider using a lead magnet to attract and retain customers. The more you can do to make the process of opting in minimal, the better. This way, you eliminate as many distractions as possible and ensure that customers are only receiving useful content.
2. Make Use of Video Content
In today’s world, consumers are more engaged with content in the form of videos. This trend particularly applies to millennials, who grew up in the era of YouTube.
In fact, according to HubSpot Blogs research, 59% of internet users say video content is the most effective way to communicate with customers. Additionally, 50% of users say video content is essential to capturing their interest.
Why? Video content is extremely engaging and can hold the attention of viewers for a considerably longer time than standard text-based content.
So, if you want to effectively use video content in your marketing strategy, the best course of action would be to include videos in every aspect of your campaign. From your emails to your website, social media, and even your phone calls.
Video content is a fantastic form of marketing because it is so versatile. You can use it for entertainment, education, or communication. And best of all, you can use it to communicate with customers, prospects, and other stakeholders.
The key takeaway from all of this is that if you want to succeed in marketing, you need to make video content a part of your strategy. Consider using video content to promote your products, raise awareness about your services, or communicate with customers. Make sure to include the proper keywords in the description of your video to ensure that your content is discoverable.
3. Host a Virtual Event
Now is a good time to consider hosting a virtual event. The internet allows you to virtually place yourself in another location, which allows you to connect with customers and prospects who couldn’t otherwise attend the in-person event.
What is a virtual event? It’s an in-person event that you’ve either virtually hosted or participated in. For example, you could have a sales meeting via Zoom, a webinar with presentations, or an in-person work party where customers and employees get together to work on a project.
Hosting a virtual event reduces the cost of travel and allows you to have access to a larger audience. Additionally, you can tailor the event to fit the needs of your audience.
Think of the last virtual event you participated in. Chances are, you didn’t pay for the tickets, did you? That’s because virtually every aspect of the event was free—including the food. This is because the event was either held online or participants were in close proximity to one another.
However, while virtually all aspects of a virtual event are entirely free, you still need to consider the cost of the credit card you’ll use to register for the event. This is because the hosting provider may charge you a flat fee for each participant.
4. Personalized Follow Up
After you’ve registered the interest of a customer in your product or service, the onus is on you to follow up and continue the conversation. But when you’re following up with a batch of contacts, it’s easy to lose track of who you’ve already contacted and who you still need to follow up with.
To avoid this problem, you can assign a follow up task to each individual you’ve contacted. For example, if you’re emailing buyers to arrange a sale, you can create a list of action items (i.e., the steps the buyer should take to make the purchase) and send a separate email to each person on the list.
Personalised follow up encourages the recipient to engage with your messages because they know you’ll be individually addressing their needs. Additionally, you can use automated tools like email marketing software to follow up with customers and prospects without having to memorize individual email addresses.
5. Measure the Immediate Effect of Your Email Marketing Campaigns
Since email marketing is a form of direct marketing, you can use various tools to measure the effectiveness of your campaigns. Once you’ve established a baseline of customers who’ve already engaged with your product or service, you can measure the results of your email marketing efforts.
This is critical because it means you can determine whether or not the efforts you put into the campaign were worth it. You can use a tool like Google Analytics to track the growth of your website or social media accounts and determine the effectiveness of your email marketing campaign.
6. The More The Merrier
According to HubSpot Blogs Research, the key takeaway from this trend is to “multiply email efforts”. Instead of relying on one email newsletter to keep your customers up to date on all your news, create multiple platforms for consumers to opt into (e.g., newsletter, social media, and phone calls) to keep in touch with the latest trends and news.
Why? Because the more channels you have, the more opportunities you have at engaging with consumers. And since only about 7% of internet users say they actively avoid emails from organizations they don’t know or trust, expanding your reach via multiple platforms gives you a fighting chance at reaching your audience.
Additionally, using multiple platforms means you can track the effectiveness of each platform, which makes it easier to determine the ROI of your overall marketing campaign. When you use multiple platforms, you can tell which ones contributed the highest value to your campaign and continue to use these platforms to reach your audience.
7. Authentic Long-Form Content
Since consumers have become conditioned to expect shorter and shorter attention spans, you need to adopt longer-form content in your strategy. Why? Because in today’s world, nobody has the time to sit down and read an entire blog post or web page. Instead, they want quick, easy-to-consume content.
What is long-form content? Think long-form articles that are several thousand words or more. Think “Wallace and Gromit” memes or “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. The point is that if you want to succeed in marketing (and you really, really want to), you need to make longer-form content a part of your strategy.
Why? Because consumers want to get to the point quickly and don’t have the time to wade through a lot of unnecessary verbiage. So, if you want to be the next big thing, make sure to include longer-form content in your strategy. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner, which can help you find the right keywords for your articles, to find the right topics for your content.
Additionally, longer-form content is a great choice for B2C companies who want to establish credibility. If you’re a brand-new business, how can you expect customers to trust you if you don’t even believe in what you’re selling? For example, let’s say you’re selling designer handbags and you write an article about bag trends for women. Your article might include the following:
“After much trial and error, I’ve found that the best bags for women are:”