The Art of the Click: Actionable Insight for Email-Marketing Success

by Kristin Naragon

posted on 10-25-2016

The average person spends close to 6.5 hours a day checking and responding to emails. Clearly, we’re addicted. It’s understandable why most marketers believe email is the most effective channel for driving ROI.

The key to creating more satisfying email campaigns is to understand how, when, where, and why people use email. After monitoring more than 40,000 email-marketing campaigns over the last two years, we have some compelling insights to share. Here are a few of the main takeaways from our latest report — actionable strategies for email marketers who are looking to create great email experiences.

Tip #1: Content Is (Still) King.
Consumers today are inundated with noise. Email on Acid reports a 52 percent increase year over year in email volume — a whopping 61 percent more emails delivered to inboxes compared to 2014. Your brand can stand out by striving to create personalized moments using customer insights to deliver unique content for each subscriber. The full impact of personalized email is yet to be seen, and eye-catching content will entice higher open rates.

Tip #2: Timing Is Everything.
Interestingly, the vast majority of marketing emails is sent before 9:00 am because brands assume they’ll be able to catch people before they become consumed with work. However, here’s the reality: email sent at this time competes with every other daily email sent at the same time, forcing consumers to skim or delete content quickly. It’s the well-known morning ritual of uncluttering the inbox. Data confirms that open rates are higher in the evening and delete rates are lower in the evening. Consider A/B testing to determine the ideal timing for your email-marketing campaigns. Of course, the value of your message should be clear and concise because average read time on email is only 12.3 seconds.

Tip #3: Great Email Is an Experience.
Customer expectations are higher than ever before, and marketers are scrambling to create unique experiences that strengthen the brand. To drive extraordinary email experiences, emails should be compelling, personal, useful, and available everywhere.

Compelling emails draw readers in with perfect imagery and content that appears seamlessly across devices. Personalized emails employ meaningful customer information in ways that connect with customers — not only with regard to who they are, but also what they like. Useful email serves a purpose: helping customers accomplish something quickly, making recommendations based on prior behaviors, or reminding them to do something that will benefit them. Finally, great emails reach customers at the moments when they are working, reading, watching, purchasing, or doing whatever it is that you as a business want to touch. Whether they are in stores, on their mobile devices, or using dashboards in their cars — your email needs to be there.

The Future of Email: It’s all About the Customer.
Understanding how customers engage with email can be tough, and most marketers today employ a reactive strategy, sending emails and waiting for users to engage. However, with customers sharing more and more about their habits and preferences, marketers have unique opportunities to transform email programs into foundations upon which incredible experiences can be built.

The future of email is here, and it’s all about the customer experience. Data-driven campaigns are the cornerstones of exceptional customer experiences — dynamic, relevant, cross-channel, and cross-device. Using the full power of customer data to drive meaningful experiences and deliver holistic, in-context email-marketing programs isn’t just smart — it’s expected.

You can learn more about best practices in email marketing in our latest email-excellency report, The Art of the Click.

Topics: Campaign Management