Email certainly isn’t the new, cool kid on the block, it’s been around for quite some time. Ray Tomlinson, a computer engineer, sent the first email in 1971 and introduced the also sign (@) as the locator in email addresses. 45 years later, email has advanced from a means of personal communication to one of the most effective marketing channels. It’s a channel that allows you to communicate your brand’s story, connect on a more personalized level with the customers you’re trying to reach and ultimately a mechanism that helps bond consumers to your brand.

More than ever, in the last 45 years, email marketers have more creative license to take their campaigns to the next level. As your thinking about advancing your email marketing programs, consider these five tips:

Tip 1: Evoke emotion and personalization in subject lines. Brand and business equity increases as the number of emotional connections between a consumer and a brand increases (Igniting Customer Connections, Frawley, 2014). Consider featuring emotional subject lines and headlines in your campaigns. Emotional content can generate a lift in click-through rates since people buy for emotional reasons and rationalize their purchase afterwards.

Tip 2: Optimize your pre-header text. According to Litmus, mobile opens represent 56% of all email opens; this makes pre-headers even more critical to improving response rates. Ensure your pre-header text supports your subject line and provides another reason to open the email. Lead with an offer when relevant and use personalization and urgency (i.e. ends soon or expires tonight)  to engage the subscriber and drive your open rate.

Tip 3: Optimize your design for the preview pane. Optimize the preview pane to ensure your primary message and call-to-action are visible on all opens regardless of device or email client. Do this by placing the most important information, including the bullet-proof call-to-action, in the first 300x300 pixels of the email.

Tip 4: Incorporate adaptive content (also known as time of open content). Drive engagement by delivering a personalized experience that provides instantly relevant content based on time, location, weather, device and behavior every time your email is opened. Our clients typically see anywhere from a 15-35% increase in response rates when using adaptive content.

Tip 5: Leverage animated GIFs.  Leveraging animation within an email can increase click through rates up to 40%, so consider featuring animated images in all types of emails – this tactic can truly capture your audience's attention.

Email will continue to advance as an effective marketing channel.  And, when combined with the other channels – print, social, mobile, web, etc. – the marketing power is unmatched. For more on how to improve your email marketing, read CIO.com’s recent article: 15 ways to improve your email marketing strategies or download Epsilon’s Q4 2015 Email Trends and Benchmarks Report:

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Topics: email, Topic, US, Email

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