Spark your email creativity

By Barry Eitel

Email has been heralded as the marketing workhouse, some 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than either Facebook or Twitter. Many marketers still struggle with making emails sexy, however, and aren’t fully taking advantage of the next generation of creative techniques.

Innovation and creativity are intersecting, sparking a new level of content and creative possibilities for email marketers. Could your email program benefit from live content, kinetic techniques and video? Or perhaps you’re only in need of a simple adjustment such as subtle animation to initiate a response.

Experimentation is a key to creativity here. Making email interesting is crucial to reaching one of the most coveted demographics – millennials.

“What kind of content works for millennials? Content that gives them an emotional payout works well – and comedy is the number one most watched genre online, which speaks to their values of fun and positivity,” according to marketing blogger Erika Wang. “Brands should follow the rules of the millennials’ environment and leverage on all the different formats – video, images, GIFs and text – that millennials view and use the most.”

The full breadth of the email field will be on display at the Email Evolution Conference from March 30 to April 1 in New Orleans. A significant subject will be how to leverage creativity to earn greater engagement.

This topic will be explored in detail at the “Sparking Your Email Creative to Ignite Response” session on the second day of the conference as part of the Social, Content & Data track. Moderated by Lauren Gentile, the vice president of creative at global marketing pioneer Epsilon, the discussion will include leaders from Hilton and Regis Corporation. These email creative experts and world-class brand side marketers will share with attendees their learnings from creative refreshes – big and small. Leave this session with actionable takeaways to spark their email creative and ignite a response.

Some email experts believe combining email with social feeds is a powerful way to engage consumers.

“Live social media feeds in emails help overcome the traditional barriers that hold brands back from fully integrating email and social content,” notes Blaise Lucey, the content marketing manager for Movable Ink, an email marketing pioneer. 

“When you can coordinate campaigns and get subscribers engaged with social content, you create a truly social email and guarantee a better reach of the material. Even if someone clicks one tweet or Instagram photo, that’s a hundred percent more engagement than if you just had social share buttons at the bottom of the email.”

The future of email will also be far more connected to how users interact with their inbox, a system already implemented by Alphabet’s email app Inbox. The winners of email will now how to utilize these systems to their advantage.

“In a few years, our email app will know what is actually ‘important’ to us by constantly analyzing our behavior,” according to a report from the analysts at Emarsys. “This knowledge will also have an impact on when we receive new email notifications and when the system decides that it will not disturb us (a mobile device will also know if we are in a meeting, watching TV or doing the laundry and adapt its notification policy accordingly).”

Shaping your email strategy to include more dynamic content that actually matters to readers can increase open rates by an order of magnitude.

“When we’re bombarded by so much content, it helps to have a compact and targeted messaging system that we can count on,” notes marketing blogger Scott Monty. “When someone else does the curation for us and pushes it directly to us, it becomes indispensable. Add to that regular intervals and a familiar format, and you’ve got yourself a winning formula for getting into the hearts and minds of your customers.”

It’s possible to cause your customers’ hearts to flutter when they see your email in their inbox – you can make opening your company’s email an event.

This article is brought to you by the DMA. Click here to register for Email Evolution Conference, March 30 – Apr. 1, 2016, in New Orleans.