2021 Email Marketing Resolutions
Here are four resolutions for marketers looking to increase the effectiveness of their email programs in 2021:
Amp Up the Interactive Fun to Drive Engagement
The holidays are a great time to try out creative personalization ideas. Engage your audience by adding someone’s name to an image of a gift tag, or sharing a map with a pin on the nearest store. These attention grabbers are just the beginning of the many ways email can be used to put some fun back into your relationship with your audience — and increase key metrics like open rates and clickthrough rates.
The added reliance on email during a socially distanced time makes it more important than ever to personalize and create new ways to engage. People are visiting shops, restaurants, schools and businesses less, and so email needs to play a bigger role. The good news is that even if our wish for the new year comes true, and life goes back to normal, email doesn’t have to. Take these innovative ideas and weave them into your strategy to stand out and get higher response rates, socially distanced or not, any time of year.
Create Richer Experiences
The hours people used to spend browsing in stores, walking to class, commuting, and meeting friends and colleagues are mostly spent at home now, and so it’s a good idea to infuse a bit of fun into those long hours with interactive elements that increase engagement and deliver a healthy dose of positive brand equity. Take the opportunity now to see what works, so that even when people are back to business, you’ll have the formula down to grab their attention.
For Halloween, Acme Coffee Roasters sent an email with a personality quiz, asking questions like “What kind of Halloween candy are you?” and encouraged people to share and post their responses. Take this concept to create a quiz for people to ring in the new year, like this one from BCBG. For example, ask what activities they missed most in 2020 and what they look forward to most in 2021.
Bring the Fun Home
There are so many big and little things people miss when they’re stuck inside. Picking stocking stuffers at the store, having a holiday party at work, and everything in between. Recreate these memories virtually and bring some of the sparkle back to everyday life. Greetabl created an interactive holiday gift wrap selector to match paper with gifts, a small but fun element to the holiday shopping season.
Make things a bit more ambitious with a contest that brings back some funny traditions. Tastyburger hosted a contest called “12 days of ugly sweaters.” It asked customers to take a picture of themselves in their ugliest sweater and post it to Instagram, with a requirement to add a few hashtags. When there aren’t any more parties, people still want a chance to wear their most fun stuff.
The idea of a photo contest works year-round. The Humane Society of Boston sent an email to encourage people to post pictures of themselves with their pet and upload to social media with hashtags, a great way to share some fun pet pictures that could be a happy pick-me-up when the holidays are over and everyone’s back on their computers.
From virtual wine pairing classes for your holiday meals, to holiday cookie bake-alongs, online events and classes are another way to create a more personal and fun experience. Apps are popping up to help create these events easily, such as Let’s Rome Virtual Game Night and Sourced mixology classes. The holidays can be celebrated just for fun like a family trivia night on Jan. 4 (National Trivia Day) or a shared movie night on Jan. 19 (National Popcorn Day.)
Add Flair to Old Messages
Globally inspired burrito company Boloco brings the act of giving into its savings emails with the option to be “naughty or nice” — take a $5 reward or choose to give it to a friend. Rather than simply send a coupon, the recipient is suddenly engaged personally, determining if they want the reward or they want to share it (which has the benefit of adding a new customer to Boloco’s database).
Speaking of events and contests, use email to share countdown timer emails that tally votes or poll results. And don’t forget to reveal the winner with an interactive creative element, as well as a personalized thank-you offer for everyone that participated.
We all worked so hard to keep things going in 2020, but that doesn’t mean we’re not allowed to smile as we work to hit our goals. Holidays or no, using email to personalize and amp up the interactivity can spark some magic that might otherwise be missed.
Danielle Gustafson is senior director, global customer success at Liveclicker, a global provider of real-time email personalization solutions for B-to-C marketers.
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