Email old-fashioned? Not according to a new report. 

The increasingly old-school medium, turns out, is the preeminent way to draw traffic to your company’s website and increase sales revenues, according to an Experian survey released Monday. The marketing service provider surveyed email marketers across eight different business areas about their email marketing initiatives and strategies.

These days, email marketing is all about balancing individualized, thoughtful customer service with advancing technology. Here are a few tidbits you should know.

1. How you engage matters. As customers grow ever more powerful and vocal, your business can no longer afford to irritate them with spam and irrelevant messages. Tracking behavior and gathering subscriber preferences can be worth the time and attention to ensure that customers are only receiving the most effective information.

2. If you’re going to ask a customer for personal information, use it. A whopping 70 percent of marketers surveyed ask for personal data but continue to send generic, uniform messages. This is a missed opportunity that can backfire big time. If a customer makes the effort to give your business his personal details, he expects a more finely tailored communication experience.

3. Surveys are huge. More than 70 percent of the marketers surveyed collect customer data via feedback surveys, and the completion rates are strong even when there is no incentive to fill it in. The surveys most commonly supported in emails are post-purchase, customer service, and online experience.

4. All things "Pin" are hot. While only 32 percent of respondents promote Pinterest, including words such as “Pinterest,” “Pin us,” or “Pin it” in the subject line of an email generates open rates that are 11 percent higher than other mailings, and click rates that are almost 25 percent higher.

5. Don't be afraid to jazz it up. More than half of those surveyed said they have used animated gifs in marketing emails. Subject lines and creative elements are currently tested more than any other aspect of email marketing.  

6. Think mobile. The highest number of marketing email opens—44 percent—now occurs on mobile devices. Only 29 percent of marketing emails are viewed on a desktop. Take the time to consider email width, the point size of subcopy, and the space between links so that the customer experience is as smooth on the phone as on the desktop.  


Published on: Jan 15, 2013