It’s September already, which means that it’s time for football season (go Seahawks!) and another top picks roundup of blogs that deliver the best tips, practices and resources for email and SMS marketers. There were more great posts to choose from than there are grilled meats at a tailgate, but we managed to narrow the list down to our top five draft picks.
Get ready for some helpful hand-offs — following the tips listed in these resources will ensure your spot in the email marketing hall of fame!
Majority of Email Opens are Mobile, But Most Conversions Happen on The Desktop
In Greg Sterling’s post about email marketing response he explains that while the iPhone is responsible for 42% of email opens, it only generates 18% of the subsequent conversions. What this tells us is that consumers are overwhelmingly reading their email on mobile devices (like smart phones), but then they’re visiting the websites and making purchases from other devices. Whatever the reason for this phenomenon, it reinforces the importance of creating quality landing pages that are cross-branded as a part of any email strategy to create a seamless user experience as visitors jump from device to device. Greg goes on to say:
“Looking at the data in the context of the bigger picture, the challenges are interesting and fairly obvious:
- The iPhone is the single dominant mobile email reading device, but its users spend the least amount of time looking at individual emails
- Mobile devices drive more opens but far fewer conversions
This calls for some device-specific (iOS) best practices, as well as tips on how to optimize mobile email more generally for conversions.”
Greg is a respected blogger who writes for Search Engine Land regularly in addition to maintaining his personal blog, Screenwerk, where he discusses consumer behavior on and off-line.
6 After-Order Emails to Boost Ecommerce Sales
Once an order comes in, retailers are presented with a fantastic opportunity to engage with their customers. This is a critical opportunity because the right customer engagement can create brand loyalty and spread positive word-of-mouth. As Armando Roggio explains in his post on how to use email marketing after the sale:
“When online retailers use email to market to loyal customers, those stores are applying one of their most effective marketing tools to some of their richest sales prospects. Repeat customers are significantly more valuable than new shoppers. Shoppers familiar with an online store not only spend more over the lifetime of their relationship with the store, but they also tend to spend more on each visit.”
So what are his top ideas for post-purchase emails? They include:
- A thank you email
- A request to review the product
- An invitation to share your experience on social media
- Reorder reminders (where applicable)
- Personalized product recommendations
- Special offers for your best customers
Armando has 17 years of ecommerce experience that he draws on as a contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce and has published over 4,000 articles! To stay up to date with his most recent publications, follow him on Twitter @EcommerceBoy.
Best Practices for Successful SMS Campaigns
With SendinBlue’s recent SMS integration, we’re particularly keen on SMS resources right now, which is why we love this three-part series on SMS best practices. Mickael Bentz provides a wealth of tips in this series about incentivizing opt-in, crafting great messages, when to send texts, and how to get the most out of your SMS strategy on an ongoing basis. The best piece of wisdom that he provides is:
“I only accept SMS opt-in invitations from brands when they promise to provide more value than email offers I get from the brand. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. If you think about it, opting in to receive text messages gives permission for the brand to put their marketing message on that very intimate space—the home screen of the consumer’s phone, likely sending out a chime to make him take notice. If you want to get that permission, you have to make a compelling case for the value proposition of receiving SMS from your brand. This could include:
- Daily special offers
- Exclusive deals not available through other channels
- Flash sales
- Real-time status updates on deliveries, stock, weather, etc.
- Local offers
- Surprise offers depending on amount of purchases and products recently bought
If your case is compelling enough, the consumer will opt in and stay opted in.”
Mickael Bentz is a product marketing manager who specializes in cloud integration. For more helpful information on all things digital marketing, visit this dedicated online marketing blog.
8 Deadly Sins of Email Marketing
Jennifer Snyder presents the biggest no-no’s of email marketing in her recent article. While this post is aimed at realtors in particular, the lessons are definitely applicable beyond the world of real estate. She advises against the following bad practices:
- Adding people to your subscriber list without getting their permission
- Scraping emails from websites
- Using outdated or ugly email templates
- Pushing uninteresting content in emails
- Not having an auto-responder in place to thank people when they sign up
- BCC-ing all of your email contacts
- Failing to stick to a regular email schedule
- Going for the hard sell
Jennifer is a real estate marketing consultant and coach. She blogs about her industry experience and seeks to provide digital marketing advice for all experience levels on MarketingIdeas for Agents.
The Science Behind Email Open Rates (and How to Get More People to Read Your Emails)
Steven MacDonald reminds us in his post on email open rates that click-through rate is a meaningless metric on its own because it is dependent on emails being opened in the first place. He then goes on to advise email marketers on how they can improve their click-through rate using proven strategies. His tips include:
- Using a double opt-in approach
- Asking recipients to add you to their trusted email senders list
- Regularly purging your email list of people that aren’t interested
- Having a device-specific strategy
- Considering the right time of day for sending emails
- Writing an engaging subject line
Steven is based in Estonia and has 10+ years in online marketing. He blogs for SuperOffice CRM and you can check out their marketing blog for more information.
Just remember, a great email strategy requires that all of the players work together to have a strong offense – your initial email signup offer, the thank you follow-up email, additional trigger emails, and ongoing email best practices. With all of these great new tips in your marketing playbook, you won’t have to worry about throwing a Hail Mary to win the game!