Symbolizing dominance and ambition, the Dragon is considered the mightiest of the signs in the Chinese Zodiac. Dragons live by their own rules and are usually successful due to their drive, ability to face challenges and willingness to take risks. Passionate and enthusiastic, dragons prefer to lead and in their professional lives express creativity, inventiveness and ingenuity. We couldn’t think of a better mascot for 2012.
As this year comes to an end, it’s time to consider email marketing trends for 2012. What will be the leading trends in 2012 and what trends are over? One thing is clear, to be a Dragon you need to be multifaceted and multi-layered, active, bright and fast. Like all integrated marketing programs, the Dragon embodies the force of all signs of zodiac, especially Rabbit, Tiger, Rooster, Snake and Monkey, so we’ll need to borrow from them.
1. Mobile Marketing Rabbit
Mobile marketing is the trend of 2012. According to the latest study of ReturnPath, due to extreme growth of smartphones, email viewership on mobile devices in US has grown by 34% compared with the previous six month period, and now 23% of email is read in mobile version. IBM recently released the holiday online shopping stats and 7% of all sales the day after Christmas were made on an iPad. That may not seem like a big number, until you remember the iPad didn’t exist just a few years ago. Email marketing and mobile marketing have tremendous potential when tethered. As an email marketing rabbit, you will have to loop from computer to mobile, from mobile to tablet and vice versa. Don’t forget mobile commerce has started to compete seriously with electronic commerce. Financial self-service transactions and mobile banking are expected to grow rapidly in 2012.
The rise of mobile marketing means you need to be more effective and faster than ever. Smartphone market is estimated to be just under 30% today, but SMS can reach both smart and standard mobile phones. SMS integration in email marketing is the best solution to take out the most of them. With Mailigen SMS you can use one email list for both email and SMS campaigns, segment your SMS list according survey response, insert links in SMS messages, track clicks in SMS messages with Google Analytics and use many other features.
You focused on how email design looks in webmail or desktop.
Your primary concern – is your email good looking and readable on mobile devices?
Optimize content for mobile devices
Make your email mobile-friendly with these tips:
- Rethink one column design
- Keep your layouts simple
- Keep your message brief
- Don’t exaggerate with size and width of email, rise font size, use both HTML and plain text
- Remember to optimize mobile readable sign-up forms, landing pages and survey forms
- Use email marketing in mCommerce
- Integrate mobile marketing with mCommerce
- Integrate SMS in you email marketing activities
2. Email Deliverability with Tiger Force
With the growth of email activities, unfortunately spam is also going to increase dramatically in 2012. Being an email marketing tiger, you will have to be strong enough to jump through a blazing cycle, called spam filters.
You boasted about 96, 97, 98%, some managed to boast even about 99% of email deliverability, while ignoring how many emails landed in spam or junk folder or simply went missing.
Your understand that everything that does not land in inbox is a lost resource. So you should be more interest in inbox placement rates, meaning the number of emails that actually land, are seen and can be opened in inbox.
Improved spam filters
Beware of spam filters! To protect receivers from growing spam, ISPs have strengthened their spam filtering. And even though you are an ethical marketer your messages are at risk. Try these tips:
- Send your campaigns with professional ESPs with whitelisted IP addresses and domains
- Use only opted in email lists
- Relevancy matters, make sure your content is targeted to the list
Email inboxes are getting smarter than ever, so respect intelligent inboxes. The world’s leaders Hotmail, Yahoo and Gmail have their own „priority inbox” and „view email just from contacts and connections” systems analyzing receiver’s previous interaction with email. The most important criteria for marking email with priority are opening messages, marking them as important, moving them to folders, adding senders to contact list or deleting messages. To get your messages in smart inboxes be recognizable as a sender, send campaigns to opt-in contacts, use relevant subject lines, deliver relevant content that engages with your audience, survey them to specify their interests and ask your recipients to add you to their address books.
3. Gorgeous Rooster for Email Exclusiveness
Inboxes are chock-full and people tend to skip emails they judge uninteresting after scanning their incoming messages. As a rooster in email marketing, you will have to show your feathers in all glory, splendor and amazingness.
You thought about how to make people respond to your call to action and how to attract more subscribers to your list.
You think need to think about how to make people like your email and keep them loyal subscribers.
Be creative in design and unique in content. Offer not only „special promotions” but also useful and unique information that can be provided only by you. Respect today’s need to be brief and clear. Boring, irrelevant email is the main reason people unsubscribe from receiving messages. Further reading only happens when content is relevant, timely and shareable. Don’t be afraid of running content and timing experiments and testing email elements to optimize campaign results.
Relevance of content
Think of what your subscribers really want to receive, even if you think it’s interesting that doesn’t mean everyone else will. The more targeted and personalized the email, the more likely it will be read and clicked. Use online surveys to specify subscriber interests and needs and then segment your contacts according survey responses. This will ensure you deliver them as highly relevant content. A once in a lifetime survey won’t be enough as interests change with time. Stay on top of your subscriber preferences.
Make your message visual, people tend to capture more information by watching, not reading. Add video or insert links to video in your email, as well as use moving gif elements in email to make it more attractive and eye-catching.
4. Analytical Snake
As marketes devote more resources to email marketing in 2012, they want to track every penny they spend. Being an email marketing snake, you will have to crawl in zig-zag patterns to track all the interactions your subscribers have with email.
After sending a campaign, you looked at open rates, click through rates and how many emails ware not delivered.
You are interested in who opened your email more than once, which links are clicked the most, how much time is spent on landing page, who opens your emails regularly and who deletes them regularly.
Deep analysis and calculating ROI
Devote as much time to analyzing your campaign results as you do for planning. As it’s getting harder to penetrate mailboxes and pay receivers’ attention in crowded inboxes, marketers are in need of qualitative and deep campaign reports and statistics. Use the data to discern elements that can help to improve campaign results. To get an objective overview, explore and compare at least three to six previous reports. Define which of your contacts are active and which are inactive to treat them differently.
Testing email elements
Add testing to your obligatory 2012 to do list. Today only a small part of marketers regularly test different email elements to optimize email marketing campaigns. Only a few marketers actually calculate ROI. There are plenty of elements to be tested, like subject line, message, call to action, layout, images, links, day of week sent, time of day sent, landing page, personalization, from name etc. Just don’t rush changing each element every time you send your campaigns. If you make changes, give yourself some time to observe the impact of changes and draw conclusions. Only regular testing and optimizing can lead you to high ROI.
5. Interactivity of Monkey
Today every client is a treasure. Instead of sales, marketers now have to think more about the social customer. As an email marketing monkey, you will have to go public and search for connections and long-term relationships. You will need to be aggressive about monitoring your online relationships and using email to connect and engage with your customers.
Launch triggered email programs as soon as possible by following your subscribers’ interactions. If people have left filled shopping carts, click regularly on links but no further action is taken, buy specific products and services, „respond” to them by sending special deal offers related to their interests. Cross-sell and upsell products, send them additional information they are looking for, reminders about expiration dates, anniversary, holiday greetings etc.
Social media integration
Take advantage of social media. With the growth of smartphones and tablets, the world is still continuing to socialize online. Integrate social media in your email marketing campaigns to gather new subscribers and expand email content to the friends of your subscribers. Put your social mind in motion with lightbox sign-up forms, bonus systems, creative viral campaigns tying up email, social, SMS and other marketing means.
We hope introducing upcoming email marketing trends for 2012 will help guide your decisions about your dragon-esque email marketing strategy for 2012. Be everywhere your customers look, follow up everything they do, nurture them and be available when they need you. Open your creative mind to new and unexpected ideas and put them into motion. Hope you’re excited to get started, tailor your communication network and strive for better results in 2012. May the celestial Dragon bring great luck to you!