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Every year Jordie van Rijn collects all of the trends and predictions on email and marketing automation into an EPIC post called “The Future of email marketing”.
Now the outlines of email marketing trends start to take form, here are a few of this year’s favorites.
Email production automation will become the norm
We know email content automation is the email trend that nobody is really talking about yet. A lot of time spent in email creation can be automated using email templates and dynamic code. More and more marketers are making use of dynamic content as a time-saving email strategy.
According to Litmus’s state of Email report, the most time that’s spent on email production is graphics & design (4.1 hours) followed by coding and development (3.8 hours).
That’s almost 45% of the time spent on email tasks (the others include: copywriting, data pulls/logic, testing and troubleshooting, and post-send analytics and analysis). There’s no reason as to why so much time should be spent in email content creative creation. More and more marketers are making use of dynamic content as a time saving email strategy.
‘Mailable ‘Microsites’ are set to continue its winning spree.
Jaymin Bhuptani of emailmonks talks about the mailable microsite, also known as Interactive email. These smart mails allow the user to interact with email within the inbox. Interactivity in email is all set to continue its winning spree in 2018.
An interactive email is an email where a click triggers an action within the same email. Interactive emails can keep the inbox interesting and unique. What type of interactions are there?
* Integrated forms and surveys,
* Social sharing,
* Gifs, videos, and animations,
* Search in email,
* Menu options / navigation bars,
* Rotational banners / carousels and Countdowns.
Now the fresh new part of this story is the news from google AMP for email, which allows to do a lot more in at least Gmail. However this is still a
The Interactive email essentially hands your audience what they need from inside the email, with much effort for them. They do not need to click through from the inbox to view content, interact with video or complete surveys – increasing the chance of engagement.
Even simple effects can make a (lasting) impression. See this example by TOMS, the live email uses interactivity, on interacting with the switch, the images updates and gets switched to the glow in the dark version.
Embrace the contextual email
Jamie Bradley from Emma gives the head up that Contextual Email is, well, quite cool.
More and more brands will use tools that integrate with their ESP to provide contextual email. Think things like a progress bar in a confirmation email that automatically updates the shipping status of something you ordered.
Or maybe a poll or survey where the results update in real time. The way to stand out in the inbox is to be more relevant and useful than your competitors, and contextual email is one (really cool) tactic to do just that.
An interesting development in that area is the announcement of Google AMP for Email, which could be opening more option to interact in the inbox (or at least Gmail). We will have to see just how that will turn out.
Emoji use will skyrocket 🚀
Mike Ragan, Designer at ActionRocket says: Emojis are a fascinating evolution of digital language and - crucially - becoming more and more integrated into our favourite “formal” tone of voice channel: email.
This emoji acceptance can be illustrated by companies such as Monzo, a bank keen to be seen as trustworthy and legitimate. But also real, human and reasonable. Kudos.
Emojis are great in email because they distil a lot of information, and convey it quickly. We predict being genuinely emoji literate will continue to be a coveted skill in 2018 and beyond.
A research published on econsultancy by Parry Malm, concluded that emojis don’t always work, but basically are a result amplifier. They either make a bad subject line worse (40% of cases) or a good subject line better. (60% of cases).
I have Data, Automation, AI and personalisation on my mind.
How do brand side marketeers think email marketing will evolve? Econsultancy asked it to their panel of marketers: Out came a word cloud with the topics of Data, Automation, AI and personalisation to be most mentioned / top of mind. Of course there is much more to say, read the complete article with the summary with 100+ email marketing trends for 2018
Whether you’re offering a demo of your product or services, or a free 30-minute consultation, or perhaps a free guide or eBook – whatever it is you’re offering, you need to make sure your landing pages are fully optimised to increase the chances of a conversion.
So, how can you go about optimising your landing pages for conversions? Check out the ten tips below!
1. Keep your copy clear and concise
The content on your landing page should highlight exactly what the offer is and what your audience will get out of downloading this offer. Using a bullet point format can help break up the text, making it easy for the user to digest the benefits of the offer and giving them the ability to make that snap decision – the decision is hopefully ‘yes, I want this!’
2. Keep your landing page distraction-free
Your job is to effortlessly guide the user around your site, giving them visual clues about what it is they should be doing next. Getting rid of any additional distractions on your offer landing pages can ensure you’re keeping them focused on converting with your offer. Common distractions you should remove include menu navigation, other calls-to-action to other offers and social sharing buttons – save this for later!
3. If you can, link your landing page to a thank you page
Not only is a thank you page fantastic real estate for another relevant call-to-action to be placed, but it’s also great for tracking conversions through Google Analytics. Setting your thank you pages as conversion goals in the analytics dashboard can help you confidently report on campaign progress!
4. Make sure your landing page has a form
If your content contains a value high enough to require a form, you need to capture their details, almost as a worthy exchange for your content offer. You’ve spent all this time and effort putting it all together, why are you giving it away without an exchange of useful information? Obtaining the user’s email address and first name allows you to not only email market to them, but it allows you to personalise their email subject line. In fact, a study conducted by HubSpot found that the subject lines containing the recipient’s first name had a higher click-through rate than those that didn’t!
5. A/B test one element at a time
A/B testing is something that should be a part of an on-going improvement process when it comes to your landing pages. Testing multiple elements at once, however, is a big no, no. If you do test multiple elements at once and your conversion rate increases – that’s great, but do you know which element change is responsible for this increase? Start by changing something small, such as the colour of your call-to-action button – the one that leads users to your landing page – and see if you’re receiving a higher click-through rate.
6. Create a ‘limited time’ offer
Making your offer appear as though it is scarce or there are a limited number of these offers you can give away creates panic and can help you increase your conversion rate. The user feels this is perhaps their last chance to grab hold of your offer; they don’t have time to think it through and come back later – because there won’t be a later! Try it and measure your results!
7. Make sure your offer is relevant
Seems basic, right? But SO many businesses fail to create offers that will engage their audience and tend to their wants and needs. Your aim is to help your audience solve a problem, if you’ve spent time creating an offer they just do not want, you can try all the tactics in the world – they still won’t convert!
Understanding your audience really is the key to successful marketing campaigns – regardless of channel, if you don’t know who makes up your audience, you’ll never get the results you want.
8. Include calls-to-action on your thank you page
This point has been mentioned in passing in point three. This is the perfect space to start promoting your other offers. Just because your user has already converted (congratulations), it doesn’t mean they’re still not interested in further engaging in your other content. If you don’t have another offer to promote at this time, don’t leave this great space empty, even sending them back to a blog post you think they’ll enjoy is better than nothing!
9. Use your customer reviews
Using your customer reviews, obviously only the positive ones, on your landing pages can help reinforce trust to your user. Feeling they can trust your business, there’s a higher chance they’ll go ahead and convert, downloading your demo, your eBook or guide or taking you up on your offer of a free consultant. Make sure the reviews are specific to the topic you’re discussing. Putting a review from a customer who had a product demo on your landing page for a free eBook, won’t do the trick. It’s irrelevant and your users may bounce straight off the page!
10. Include social share buttons
Including social share buttons on your thank you page and encouraging to share this offer with their friends can be a great way to boost the exposure of not only your brand but of your specific content offer. Be careful when you offer the opportunity to share the content offer/demo to link the share button to the landing page NOT the thank you page – you want them to share it but you still need to track how many downloads your content has had, and exactly who has downloaded it!
Hopefully these ten tips have helped spark some ideas for optimising your landing pages to increase conversions. Let us know in the comments if you use different optimising tips!
Piece written by Helen over at HelenJ Marketing.