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16 learnings from Email Marketing Summit Australia 2016

Posted date:
Kurt Sanders, Director of Strategy

Email Marketing

Digital Brisbane recently attended the 10th Email Marketing Summit Australia. Over the course of the day, we heard from email marketing experts about best practice, new features and trends in email marketing. Everyone agreed that no one wants more emails, but we do want better emails – so we’ve summarised the best tips of the day to help you to up your game in email marketing.

1. Positive authenticity and meaningful personalisation

Be human! If your audience are teenagers, social chat and hashtags are going to work well, but if they’re corporate B2B customers, technical language may be required. Whatever it is, keep the copy conversational and the content relevant to the customer.

2. Serve your customers and they will serve you

By providing customers with relevant and useful information you can create brand trust and credibility. Not only does this mean your customer will continue to read your emails, but they will be more inclined to buy from you more, benefit from the purchase and ideally advocate for your brand externally.

3. Cut through the noise

Sending email blasts of unpersonalised content is just adding to the noise. One way to avoid this is by joining the conversation happening in your customer’s head – ie. “Hey Johnny, it’s EOFY – need help with your tax return?” Brands that are doing this well are leveraging trends and customising content (like birthday offers).

4. Know your UVP

Why is a customer going to choose you over the next lawn mowing service? Know your unique value proposition and your customer value proposition, and communicate it subtly through your email content.

5. Stand out but stay relevant

There are lots of great ways to make your emails visually appealing, but it’s important the design is still relevant to your customers. Get creative with your emails and include engaging visuals. For B2B this could be infographics, charts and videos. For B2C gifs, photos and videos are great.

6. Know your audience

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If you send an email at 2am – are your customers going to read it? Know the purpose of your email and when it’s going to make the most sense to your customer. If you’re selling coffee, it’s going to be first thing in the morning.

7. Don’t overcommit

Sending a weekly email might seem like a great idea at the time, but do you really have the time and content to support it? Choose a frequency that’s sustainable to your business.

8. Understand responsive design

Make sure your email is compatible across multiple platforms. Most email providers have testing built into the send process. But if not, send it to multiple platforms and test, test, test! It’s vital that your email looks good on mobile.

9. Use data to tailor your content

Something email marketers are doing well at the moment is personalising emails using data. McDonald’s does this using the weather by automatically generating an email with imagery, the temperature, copy and products that would be relevant to the temperature.

If you’re really tech savvy and have the data at your fingertips, you can even tell your customers something about their behaviour, like how Spotify updates you with a list of your favourite songs based on what you’ve listened to.

10. Acquire customers with potential

Your email marketing database should be a list of existing and potential customers who have opted to receive communications from you. Ways to build this is through point of sale, competitions, events and subscriber forms. There’s no point emailing a list that was collected at a partner event 5+ years earlier using a group with no interest in your product – you’ll have no impact and no engagement.

11. Get crafty with your acquisition

Make it easy for your customers to subscribe by putting your sign-up form in a prominent spot on your website and Facebook page. Only ask for what you need – first name and email is a great start. And tell your customers what they’re in for – “Sign up for weekly sales, how-to videos and blogs”.

12. Consider the types of emails you’re sending

Do you really need a newsletter? Having a monthly news update is outdated in most industries and being replaced with personalised content, triggered emails and other relevant content like event invites and surveys. See what kind of engaging and unique content would be useful to your audience and send according to their needs.

13. Have a clear call to action

Keep the text to a minimum and have one really clear call to action. Tell your customer what to do – eg. “read more”, “shop the sale” or “register now”.

14. Write great subject lines

Are you going to read an email with a subject line of “Brisbane Pool Shop Newsletter” if the next one in your inbox is “We’ve just added some songs we think you’ll love”? Your customer is going to choose whether they read your email or not based on the subject line, so make sure it’s a good one.

15. Check your spam rating

Make sure your emails are being read. Most email providers will include spam results in the analytics from the send. Check if your emails are going to spam and work out why. It could be the words you’re using in the subject line or content, or repetitive content, so it’s important to mix up the content in your emails. Another good way to decrease your spam rating is to remove unengaged contacts – they’re the contacts that haven’t opened your email in the past six or more months.

16. Cross-promote your newsletter with social

Social media and email marketing complement each other really well – add your sign-up button to your Facebook page, use UGC (user generated content) images in your newsletter (with permission of course) and promote your social channels in your newsletter.

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