Wow, what a day we had at the Adestra Spring Email Summit last week! We were thrilled to see how many people turned up and participated in what we consider to be one of our best events yet.
The breakout sessions have had some great feedback, so I thought I’d take a moment to share the main take-aways from the sessions I headed up:
Automation and Personalisation
As marketers, we are all faced with huge time constraints, so why not look at ways to make things that little bit easier and free up your time for other things? Automating your campaign processes is key here. But what can we automate?
Sign up forms, trigger emails and the customer journey – Why not add some code behind your website sign-up forms that will automatically trigger an email to welcome new customers? Sending the welcome email at the point of engagement is vital in promoting your brand and striking whilst the iron is hot. You could add a preference centre as well, to ask your contact what they really want to hear about. This first email is also a great opportunity to tell people how often they can expect to hear from you.
Engaging your contacts on a customer journey is a great way to remove the manual processes that often underpin our campaigns. It also means your contacts can rely on regular mails that are relevant to them, and they are more likely to be engaged with.
XML feeds – Do you find yourself replicating copy from your website for your email? If so, why not take a load off and include some crafty XML feeds in your email that will pull in real time, up to date information from your site? Including a Twitter feed in your email is also a great way of creating a buzz around your brand and encourages people to engage with you.
Personalised content – Telling people what they want to hear is intrinsic to having them read your email and therefore engage with your content. Take a look at this shining example of using conditional content to personalise your email per contact.
Effective Newsletter Design
More and more emails are being delivered into the inbox. So how can you make yours stand out for all the right reasons?
Keep it above the fold – You have approximately 200px at the top of your email to impress the recipient, so make it count. Think about your key information and call to action and make sure it’s the first thing people see. If you’re a MessageFocus client, this is a great place to use the heat-map functionality, to see where people are clicking in your email and test link placement.
Image Vs Text – Think about which email clients your mail is being opened in, and use client detection reporting to test and optimise for your most relevant email clients. It’s also important to consider “˜images off’ in clients such as Outlook; how can you ensure your message comes across before images are downloaded? Text! Make sure your content can be read easily and is not hidden within images by using text for the most important bits. Make sure you’re using Alt tags behind images to encourage people to download them. Also, make sure you’re not just using stock images – make them relevant!
Make sure your email is legal – Including your company information and a working unsubscribe is a legal requirement so make sure that these are included somewhere in your content. Why not set up a boilerplate within your workspace so that this information is pulled into your email automatically?
Designing with Mobile in Mind
The swift rise of mobile usage has Marketers chomping at the bit to take advantage of this new “˜email on the go’ phase, but how’s best to go about it? Design is key to the success of your mobile email. Here are a few hints and tips to get you started.
Media queries – The ultimate way to make your email responsive for mobile. Using some clever coding, your email template can ‘rearrange itself’ dependent on the device that it is being opened on. So, your email will render for desktops when opened in that way but will shrink and re-jig when opened on a mobile. Genius! This is important technology that definitely warrants an update to your template.
Mobile responsive website – The best mobile emails are those that are backed up by a mobile responsive website. After all, what’s the point in maximising your email to encourage click through if the contact is lost after they reach your site?
Enhancing links – When viewing an email on your mobile, you don’t get the opportunity to scan over links as you do on a desktop, nor do you have the pinpoint accuracy of using a mouse. So what can we do? We can make our links more obvious and think about fat fingers! Ensuring links look like links is important here, and ensuring that they are not hidden within heaps of text is also a good place to start.
Scrolling – Research suggests that people are more inclined to view your email content if they don’t have to scroll from left to right but can view all the info using an up and down motion. Think about enhancing your email to facilitate this with a single column design.
I think that’s about it for now. Thanks again to all our clients who joined me at my breakout sessions. And if you’re an Adestra client, please do let myself or your Account Manager know should you have any queries at all.