Practical Ecommerce

4 Ways to Jumpstart Email Marketing for 2017

The new year brings much-needed breathing time to address email marketing strategies. In this post, I’ll explore email marketing trends and offer four suggestions for email strategy for 2017.

1. Nurture New Subscribers

During the holiday rush, your site likely acquired new subscribers and first-time buyers. These new email recipients are extremely valuable to your business. It’s imperative to nurture them. Consider the following ideas.

  • Use appropriate frequency. New subscribers from the holidays are likely gift purchasers. They may require a lower volume of emails.
  • Send relevant offers. Analyze what new customers purchased, and the amounts, to send relevant offers.
  • Express gratitude. Let them know they are a valuable customer. Treat them to a special offer or a simple “thank you.”
The White Company, a clothing and home furnishing retailer, sends a special thank you email to new customers, with a coupon for a subsequent purchase.

The White Company, a clothing and home furnishing retailer, sends a special thank you email to new customers, with a coupon for a subsequent purchase.

2. Emphasize Mobile

For 2017 your email strategy should emphasize mobile, making it as easy as possible for recipients to complete a purchase from an email opened on a smartphone. Roughly one-third of all online purchases are now done on a phone or tablet. If you are not designing emails for smartphones — to be read and to enable a purchase  — you are leaving money on the table.

But getting clicks from an email on a smartphone can be difficult. Here are tips to increase opens and clicks from mobile users.

  • Use responsive design so email renders correctly across all web browsers and email clients.  In a study from MailChimp and Litmus, responsive design increased clicks from mobile users by nearly 15 percent.
  • Preview email creatives (especially when not using responsive design) on tools such as Litmus, and design creatives to be optimized for the browsers or clients that make up most of your subscriber file. For most brands, this will likely be iPhone users on Gmail.

3. Develop an Email Road Map

Write a draft calendar for 2017 that includes the types of emails or promotions you want to run throughout the year. These can be repeats of successful campaigns from 2016, new ideas, or even replicating what competitors have done. The point of the exercise is to physically write a plan on a calendar, as a high-level schedule.

This plan will provide a basic roadmap that can be refined monthly. As each month approaches, you can finalize offers, themes, frequencies, and other details.

4. Commit to 1 Email Improvement for 2017

The return on investment from email marketing is typically positive because the cost to send is so low. Despite this, allocate money to make at least one overall improvement in your email for 2017. This could be an overdue project or another idea that will generate good results, such as the following:

  • Invest in an email preview service such as Litmus or Email on Acid;
  • Develop responsive design templates;
  • Clean-up your database, including email verification and data appends (matching customer info with an email address);
  • Attend an email-specific conference or webinar.
Carolyn Nye

Carolyn Nye

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  1. Jenna December 27, 2016 Reply

    Thanks Carolyn, your article is quite useful!
    Even though email is the oldest marketing channel, it is still important and we need to use its full potential.
    ‘Express gratitude’ – I couldn’t agree more! I wish more companies focused on nurturing relationships with their customers. Responsive design is another good point (and a pet peeve of mine).
    And what about email campaigns? Do you have any tips on how to create good campaigns?
    I am trying to find out more about email marketing in general, so any advice is more than welcome.:)
    I find this web marketing guide helpful, as it explains email marketing in a more detailed way.

  2. Carstens Wanjala December 29, 2016 Reply

    Hi, thanks for your article. It is so educative. Please help out. I have so much data i have collected in the various workshops i have attended. Thing is i would love to convert them into clientele that can use our events services. Could you please help me come up with a professional email body that can lure them to join our team. Thanks, Carstens for Eclipse Events.

  3. Christian Gatlin January 6, 2017 Reply

    Great post Carolyn,

    Email marketing is a huge part of businesses these days. With all of the new technological advancements and creativity, many companies are finding it hard to engage new and old customers. Thanks for including an easy-to-follow blueprint that gives marketers leverage in their email campaigns.