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Ignore the naysayers; email marketing is here to stay.

73% of marketers agree that email marketing remains core to their business (Marketing Cloud) while 69.7% of internet users in the US say email is their preferred method of communicating with businesses (eMarketer).

What has changed, however, is how winning businesses market via email. While the core aim is the same, to reach the right people at the right time, the old approach of throwing mud at a wall and seeing what sticks is completely ineffective at a time when tools exist to make correspondence highly contextual.

With this in mind, we’re offering our five top tips for businesses seeking to improve email performance. If this is something you’d like to hear about in more depth, then check out our guide, Generating More Lead at Lower Cost

Mobile performance is not an afterthought

Rendering well across mobile platforms is now as important as getting the content right in your email. The latest Litmus compilation of email market share showed opens on Apple iPhones to be 27%, the highest of any platform and nearly 10% higher than Gmail in second. Not only are mobile-unfriendly emails difficult for recipients to read, they can also be viewed as unprofessional and dent your business’ reputation.

Put more thought into your subject line

A/B testing has become a common feature of most marketing automation platforms over the past few years (only a few offered this in the early days). That’s because the inbox is growing increasingly crowded and being heard above the noise requires creativity and experimentation in what you’re saying. Our advice is to keep things short and always include preview text capable of piquing the curiousity of your recipient. Most importantly, always remember to ‘tell’ rather than ‘sell’. The modern buyer is savvy and the instinct to ignore or repel salesy emails is now engrained.

If you’re selling onions to an onion seller, show them onions

Consider how you operate your own email inbox. Do you open each email individually on the off chance there may be something of interest? Or do you scan and only give the most relevant emails the precious seconds the sender is striving to grab? These days, only relevant content stands a chance in the inbox, especially as more businesses increase their sophistication with marketing automation. While creativity is good, make sure your message is concise and presents clear value. 37% of respondents identified lack of relevancy as the main reason they did not engage with company emails. (Liveclicker/The Relevancy Group)

Where next?

Where appropriate, include a clear CTA that stands out from the rest of the email. Less is often more when it comes to email marketing. While too many options can be off-putting, using one CTA clarifies the mail’s objective and gives the user a clear path to follow. If you are a small business with limited resources, there are many websites with free downloadable buttons. In a recent inforgraphic by Email Monks, it was advised that a CTA should have a minimum size of 44px to ensure it remain easily tappable on mobile device.

Know your audience

By enhancing visibility, marketing automation allows businesses to learn more about their target markets’ behaviour and draw up personas based on feedback and data. This should influence sending times, formats and content.

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