Top Takeaways from the 2011 MarketingSherpa Email Summit
Last week I had the pleasure of attending three days of seminars led by the industry's best and brightest at the 2011 MarketingSherpa Email Summit. I was thrilled to accept an email marketing award for honorable mention in the "Best List Growth Category" for our Railey Lake Mountain Vacations campaign. This year's award marks the fourth consecutive year that Blue Tent has won an email award from MarketingSherpa!
Here's a sampling of the top takeaways that I plan to incorporate into our clients' 2011 email marketing programs.
Crafting Effective Emails Can Make Your Head Spin
Dr. Flint McGlaughlin led a great presentation on the psychology that goes behind creating the ideal email. He listed many factors that can lead to eventual conversion. Some memorable facts include:
- You have 7 seconds to make an impression with your email.
- Ideal and effective headlines start a conversation, rather than sell.
- Using CAPS in headlines is proven to cut conversions.
- If you're putting the call-to-action "above the fold," you're asking for the final outcome too early. Asking the email recipient to buy before you've had a conversation with them is like walking into a bar and kissing a random woman on the lips. You need to build the relationship before you complete the sales process.
- Include a P. S. When initially scanning an email, most people will be instinctively drawn to a postscript and read it first.
- Emails should sell clicks, not close the deal. Don't get too pushy in your emails. Get them to the landing page on your site where the deal will be finalized.
Creating effective emails is a mind game. In the end, its all about testing and thinking like a consumer that will lead to optimal conversion.
Optimize for Mobile
The number of mobile web users in the U.S. alone is 88.9 million and growing. Of all these users around 13.5% will open up your email on their phone. As the number of mobile web users increases in 2011 this percentage will go up. So… how are your emails looking on a mobile device? A couple of key points for optimizing for a mobile device:
- Avoid large images.
- Keep it short and simple.
- On the code side of things: avoid tables/columns and format your text for optimal display.
Combine Email and Social
We've all seen the "share" buttons on emails that allow you to post an eNewsletter to Facebook, Twitter, etc. While this does expand the reach of your emails, no one has seen any mind blowing results to brag about. However, instead of posting your emails to social platforms, what if you brought the social platforms to you emails? Some engaging ideas include placing social strings into your emails. Or even post a question on Twitter with a #hashtag, then supply the content on your next eNewsletter. Your fans give you content daily of your social sites, utilize it in your emails.
Beware of Typos & Terrible Spellers
Up to 20% of those who are opting into your email list enter their email address wrong. This is bad for both parties. You're missing out on possible ROI while the recipient, who thinks they've joined your list, is angry you're ignoring them. Routinely check-in on your latest subscribers to see if there are any errors. Most of these will be easy to spot (yahooo, missing &.com", etc). If needed, verify the emails domain presences (ex. mxtoolbox.com).
Vegas Always Wins
The penny slots and I had quite a tussle. In the end I walked away $3 in the red. You win this round Vegas.
If you're looking to optimize your current email marketing program, I would love to chat and review. Lets make 2011 one for the record books!
– Eric Taylor
Email Project Manager