No, email marketing is not dead, however it is evolving. According to a StrongMan survey, 68% of marketers plan to integrate their email marketing and social media platforms in 2012. Here are three key changes to email marketing in 2012.
Template Design: The email templates have been getting smaller and smaller to accommodate smaller aspect ratio devices such as tablets and smartphones. According to Knotice’s Email Marketing Open Report of 2011, there was a 51% increase in mobile usage in email from 2010.
The new 2012 email standard width is 610px wide which accommodates a wide variety of devices. This will also mean you may need to re-design how you plan on structuring content to avoid cramped and squashed emails that are too busy. It’s important to keep emails user friendly, clean and easy to read.
Best Time to Send Out: This can be a loaded question. The best time to send out will really vary from list to list depending and depends what your marketing goals are for each email. In general, here are the 2012 best times to send out an email blast based on research and 3rd party data:
- B2C (information or sales) Email: Tuesday or Wednesday at 8AM-9AM
- B2B Informational Email: Tuesday or Wednesday at 10:30 - 11AM
- B2B Sales Email: Thursday 9AM-10AM
One strategy I have herd of is to pick a time to send the email out when no other websites are sending their emails out which in theory makes sense. If other companies are all sending out emails at the same time, the consumer is likely that they will ignore your email along with the others. If they receive the message during an “off email sending time” then it may make give your email a higher chance it will be noticed. I’m not saying this is the best way of timing your emails, it’s just something to keep in mind.
I would suggest using the above times as general starting points and then test and measure sending emails out at different times to see how it effects open rate. Again, remember that each list is different and thus you must find a good time that will work best for you.
Additionally, another question you must ask is, “where do my subscribers live?” As your list grows nationally or internationally, you will need to adjust the send out times accordingly to ensure the amil will be received at the appropriate open time. To help with this, email services have created useful tools for their paid subscribers. Mailchimp offers a “TimeWarp” feature that will send out the email at a specific time depending on what time zone the email subscriber is located in. This will make it possible to send to an entire list and have the time zones adjusted per email subscriber so they receive the email all at the same numerical time.
Social Media: The “rage” in the marketing world for 2012 was the integration of Social Media and email together. For quite some time these two marketing outlets were seen as rivals. The email people hated the social media marketers and vice versa, however, as both outlets become more interlocked, there is a “blurr” in the lines between the two. In 2012 there has been a large push for integration between social media and email marketing. This can come in the form of newsletter sign up page on your Facebook fan page or twitter sign up contests or in the reverse direction with integrating the “like” and “tweet” buttons into the actual emails themselves. Additionally, G+ put a new spin on social media and quickly melted into certain sections of gmail, further interlocking social networking and email marketing.
For more information on how to integrate your email marketing and social media strategies, check out this informative blog post from Social Media Examiner.
SPAM Triggers: Avoid using spam triggering keywords such as “Buy”, “100% Free” or “Extra Cash”. Hubspot has compiled an amazing list of SPAM keyword triggers, view the list here. These are just a few of the email marketing standards to keep in mind when creating an email marketing campaign. There are many tried and true email standards such as call-to-actions, background colors, font and heading styling, etc.