Q&A: Have Your Best Year of Email Ever

Jamie Bradley

I had a great time presenting our brand new webinar, “Have Your Best Year of Email Ever,” to you all the other day! During the webinar, I discussed some of the steps you can take to strengthen your marketing strategy and start sending your best emails ever in 2016. You all had such amazing questions, but since our time was limited, I couldn't get to them all during the webinar. So I pulled together a few of the ones we missed so I could answer my favorites (mostly related to email, since that’s kind of our thing) here on the Emma blog. Enjoy! 


For e-commerce sites, is it generally more effective to offer your subscribers valuable content or talk straight about products? - Sarah

In most cases, it’s ideal to send a combination of both! As long as you aren’t constantly hitting your subscribers with sales pitch after sales pitch – and you are making an effort to send them targeted, relevant, valuable emails – you’ve earned the right to send them a sales promo every once in a while. 
Just watch your analytics: If you’ve been sending out a lot of sales-focused messages and you notice your open and click rates start to drop, give it a rest for a little while and change up the content of your emails. Your subscribers will tell you what they want based on the things they engage with – you just have to listen!


My company doesn’t do discounts or coupons; do you have any tips on how to make our welcome email “valuable” to subscribers? – Janelle

Your subscribers can get value from much more than monetary offers and discounts. Instead, send them interesting, compelling content. That could mean a video, a blog post, a white paper… anything, really! You know your brand and your audience better than anyone, so think about what it is they would find most helpful, and send them that. 
For example, a B2B brand that offers technology solutions could send new subscribers a guide that explains which of their products are best suited to different sorts of businesses. Or a nonprofit that focuses on animal welfare could send new subscribers a video that showcases some of the animals they work to protect. The sky’s the limit – just always keep your brand voice and your audience’s needs and interests in mind! 


What’s the best way to include a video in body of your email? – Dan

Because of rendering issues across different email clients, we don’t recommend actually embedding a video in the email itself. Instead, simply drop in a screenshot of the video, add the little "play" arrow icon we're familiar with, and link it out to the landing page where the video is hosted. Here’s how you can do it automatically using our drag & drop content editor.
A.S. Roma sent out this email featuring a video of soccer star Fernando Totti with the aim of raising money for Syrian refugees.
For specific ideas on ways you can incorporate video into your email content strategy, check out this blog post!


What’s the easiest way to boost our success rates? – Meg

That’s a very big question, and unfortunately, there isn’t one silver bullet that will make your emails instantly perform. But there are a couple of methods that have been proven to help boost your success rates: personalization and automation. 
Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates, yet 70% of brands still fail to create them (Experian). So stay ahead of the curve with smart personalization tactics. It can be as simple as using a recipient's first name in your subject line, or you can use powerful tools like dynamic content, which allows you to automatically show different email content based on who the recipient is.
And 2016 is the year you should stop talking about automation and start actually using it. After all, it’s saves you tons of time and gets better results. The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50%, making them 86% more effective than email newsletters (MarketingSherpa). So why not step up your game and automate an entire welcome series? It’s a great way to nurture your new subscribers and give them the best possible introduction to your brand. And automation does all the heavy lifting for you!


How can I get my email subscribers to engage with my brand outside the inbox (like on social and our website)? – Brenda

You know we’re all about email in these parts, but that doesn’t mean we think you should ignore everything else! Your emails should compel subscribers to interact with you via all sorts of different channels, whether that’s social media, back on your website, or even in person at a brick-and-mortar location.
So include things like sharing buttons, links to your social pages, live social feeds, and event invitations featuring a map of your physical store. Email should be an interactive experience for your subscribers, so create the best experience possible this year and start reaping the rewards.

Did any more questions come up for you during the webinar? Ask away in the comments, and I’ll get to them ASAP!
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