Wednesday, 08 February 2017 00:00

Seven ways to improve your email marketing campaigns in 2017

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Email marketing is constantly changing, so marketers plans must evolve with it to make sure they are still hitting those in-boxes and getting those clicks.  There are many issues which can occur to make a campaign fail, such as low open rate, low click rate, poor email design, bad planning etc.

Here are 7 ideas that really should be part of your marketing strategy in 2017.


1. Use images that are retina-optimized

Apple were the first brand to include a retina screen, back in the 2010, with the iPhone 4, however high-DPI screens are now used in most products.  However most marketers have been slow on the uptake with retina-optimized images in their campaigns.

If images are not optimised they will appear blurry, which is obviously not a good look in your email marketing missives.  This is easily solved by enlarging the image to at least twice the size that is intended to be displayed as.  Unfortunately this can make your message image heavy, so we may consider compressing the images before adding them to the campaigns.

2. Don't overlook the importance of ALT text.

Although Gmail are now displaying images in messages by default, many other email providers are not.  If the images are blocked, it can be difficult to get the message across.  ALT text is the solution to this.  When an image is blocked by the email client, the ALT text will be displayed instead, which will mean your email still makes sense.

According to research by the Litmus' State of Email Design Report, more than half of today's email marketers are not using ALT text.

3. Think about adding animated GIFs.

The most common way to add movement to an email marketing campaign is the use of GIFs, as they will catch the eye and add intrigue without hugely increasing the size of an email, as embedding a movie clip would.

They can also be used to highlight the CTA, product options, or to show how something works.

Many people are not using GIFs, perhaps because of the incorrect idea that it is only suitable for B2C, however, many B2B brands have successfully used animated images in order to demonstrate features.

4. A/B testing is more important than you think.

We all know how important the subject line is, combined with the friendly from name, these are the main factors in whether are not a reader will acually open your message, or leave it lingering in the unread pile.

However, there is an overlooked part of the inbox preview, and that is the preview text displayed at the top.  This is the first few lines of your email, or perhaps just the first.  Too many brands are starting their campaigns using their logo, without considering the inbox preview text.  

This small piece of text is a big opportunity to convince your subscribers to open this email, make sure it briefly describes your email, includes a CTA or something else attention grabbing.  Also, test your preview text, as often as possible.

5. Make sure you are optimised for all devices

Whilst Google have rolled out the support for responsive design, many email clients have not.  However many marketers are still focusing on desktop-centric or mobile-aware design, which is really a basic approach to mobile-friendliness.

6. Create a checklist to use before sending.

There are so many parts to email marketing, and so many things to try and "get right", a checklist can be vital in ensuring you have covered every angle.

When building your own brand-unique checklist, do make sure you consider the following points;

  • Do you have the correct send date set up?
  • Do you have the right address book or segment selected?
  • Is the friendly from name and subject line correct?
  • Does it render correctly on all devices?
  • Is the correct personalisation included?
  • Are all links added and tracking to the correct places?

7. Advanced planning for future campaigns

Making your email marketing campaigns the best they can be is a time consuming process, and many marketers are working on short time table.  Unfortunately a lack of planning may limit your abilities to do the following;

Increasing email production for the high seasons

Plan more complex unique campaigns

Make seasonal updates to your emails

Adding triggers and dynamic content which are unique to each campaign.


Try adding some of these steps to your plan in the coming months, and see the benefits your marketing campaigns will enjoy.