3 ways to seize the benefit of email’s versatility

Be nimble. Make sure your marketing plans can adapt to change. Sound familiar? That’s the life we live as marketers in the era of digital transformation. Although we spend months in planning sessions to ensure i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed with each marketing campaign, it’s important that flexibility is built into the planning process.

Preparing to send an email involves a lot of planning from creative, to list creation, to having the right offer or call to action, to ensuring a successful deployment and ultimately inbox delivery.  However, given the nature of email, it provides us with the opportunity to be flexible. Email is a versatile means for engaging consumers.

Standardize your template

When developing your email template, think about how the template can be applied to multiple campaigns. Create a standard template that follows best practices such as responsive modular architecture, bullet proof calls-to-action, optimized pre-header text, perfected preview pane, etc. Then plan to adapt the standard template for your individual campaign needs.

For example, during the Thanksgiving holiday season, Whole Foods leveraged their standard email template but changed the assets and color palette to give it a custom Thanksgiving look and feel with content curated to signify the meaning of the Thanksgiving holiday. Whole Foods does an excellent job of making sure their template is modular and adaptable for incorporating changes to promote different holidays and occasions. Check out a recent award Whole Foods won in which their expandable and adaptable template, designed by Epsilon,  was showcased in a recent welcome email series.

Be ready to seize occasional opportunities

Not only is it important to create the email fundamentals to be versatile (like the template), marketers should consider seizing ‘occasional’ opportunities to promote their messaging, an offer, etc. Bloomingdales had great success with this when they developed their ‘Indian Summer’ campaign in reaction to the warm weather like conditions that swept the US in mid-October. This campaign engaged consumers with Bloomingdales’ ‘what to wear guide’ and yielded a 14% read rate.

Think visuals

Email provides many opportunities for marketers to engage consumers whether it’s enhancing engagement via the versatile nature of email, adding new creative elements or incorporating video. Creative drives action, real results. Did you know that 7 in 10 people have made purchases influenced by the creative of email marketing?  Color, shape, layout, imagery, sounds, music, words — all of these things combine to connect us more deeply to the brand. Creative designers use their understanding of things like color theory to evoke feelings and emotions. Additionally, video helps to strengthen the engagement when the visuals are ‘brought to life.’ The application of video in email can drive a lift in open activity up to 18%.

So as you’re tasked with managing your brand’s evolving email planning and strategy, remember to be nimble. Have a plan, but leave some ‘open days’ in your calendar to create campaigns that reflect what’s happening in that moment. It will evoke innovative ideas.