While brands tend to get the most notice for their social media offerings (looking at you, Arby’s), consumers still prefer most of their communications with companies to be via email. In an era with constant noise making it difficult to pay attention or focus, a conscious and tailored email often still gets a better response than even the most culturally aware Twitter account.
People Prefer Email…
61% of respondents to a recent survey said they prefer email to any other type of communication from brands. With pop up ad blockers and social media muting, other types of outreach are more easily batted away and aren’t as focused on the individual consumer and their habits. The right words at the right time can gain more engagement than any other method.
…But Be Intentional
Just because people say they prefer email communications to any other doesn’t mean you should send out emails constantly! Sending repetitive emails pushes a sense of franticness that makes you look desperate. Play it cool, and be selective about what you email and when.
With email, too, you can tailor to specific behaviors, by setting triggers for emails when a customer does a specific thing (like put something in their cart, for example). It’s easier to customize, which increases the likelihood someone will click through to learn more.
Modifying Mailchimp to Save the Planet!
Recently, A Great Idea worked with one of the nation’s largest resources for climate activists to create a customizable, scalable solution for their ongoing membership communications. Climate Advocacy Lab delivers top notch insights culled from the latest research and trends, and every month communicates tips, tools and ideas in various formats.
By creating a template builder within Mailchimp that is customized, not only did it streamline the look and feel of the organization’s identity, it increased open rates and engagement.
Genuine Outreach Beats Sales Pitches
Customers know when you’re selling too hard. Chill out! They get your emails because they’re interested in your brand, you don’t have to persuade them. Think about ways to be informative instead of promotional when you’re putting your emails together.
Penzey’s Spices, for example, sends out an email newsletter once a week, which often has a code to use for a discount. But it’s not just that – the company president uses the newsletter as a space to talk about current events, and why food and community is so important, a big brand value of Penzey’s. Signing his emails simply “Bill” offers consumers that feeling of intimacy. That personal touch will attract some and, sure, turn away others, but those who like it will be very loyal customers, especially during a time where most folks are looking for brands to stand for something.
Mobile Mastery is Key
Many folks check their emails on their mobile phone (in 2016, email open rates on mobile were 68%), so you don’t want to leave them waiting for images to load or scrolling through a long missive. If you’re going to write a newsletter, make sure it’s meaningful for your clientele, and try to keep it punchy.
Also, make sure your links are easy to click! Only 12% of users who engage in e-commerce find navigating mobile sites easy and intuitive, with links and texts often too small to click effectively.
Email is still a key channel for communications, and that won’t be changing anytime soon. With its ever-evolving technologies and protocols, keeping on top of the trends, expectations, and opportunities will make sure your messages get signed, sealed, and delivered to your audience.
By Shane Lukas, Creative Strategist for A Great Idea