I am laying in bed with my eyes half open and my cheek pressed against my pillow, diligently swiping away almost every email from my inbox.
I don’t remember exactly when I stopped being enamored with receiving email. I used to log into AOL 8.0 and Elwood Edwards would greet me with, “Hello, you’ve got mail” (yes, that’s his name). My toes would pat on the floor in excitement as I triple or even quadruple-click on the open mailbox. Flash forward to 2013, and I am laying in bed with my eyes half open and my cheek pressed against my pillow, diligently swiping away almost every email from my inbox. I thought that maybe this medium was becoming antiquated. That was, of course, until I began my tenure as an intern here at AWP.
We run our direct email marketing through a proprietor called MailDart. What’s not to love? It produces responsive, template-based emails. I can even watch a map that populates with real-time opens and clicks which, quite honestly makes me feel sort of like a benevolent version of Ed Harris from The Truman Show. MailDart allows us to see statistics that can directly tell us what is and isn’t working for our audiences.
For the time-being, emails do not need to be fodder for the waste bin; rather, they can be targeted to our subscribers through learned behavioral patterns to become generally more effective. Illuminating this concept involves certain limitations that I’ve learned to impose upon myself. They help clean the email up so that our emails reflect that subscribers are real people. These limitations can be summarized in three bullets:
- Keep the email short. In that moment when a reader first begins to move down the page and the scroll bar jumps to life, the reader will see how long the email is based on the size of the bar. If that bar is small and the information is clear and digestible, the email is on its way to actually being read.
- Plan the informational hierarchy. Elements should be organized in a fashion that makes sense for the product. And they’re all different; it may take a bit to figure out exactly how you should organize your content. This step will cast a more solid image of the brand in your mind and ultimately create a more effective email.
- Give subscribers something to do. A video, anything really that is immediate and will drive them to your main hub: your webpage.
There’s still soft soil left in the world for email marketing. The problem has become that little planning and consideration for the way people really behave and interact with this medium have been done. Using our MailDart system, I see the interaction between our subscribers and these ideas. Marketers should learn how we behave with our email because, quite honestly, my iPhone’s mail app has batch email deleting.
For a little more insight on the pathos of email marketing, read Trent Walton’s article here.