This post was written by Ellen Hart, who works as a Content Executive for our partner, dotmailer.

Enough of the “new year, new me” assertions – we want to show you how to turn your New Year’s resolution into a real response. 2017 demands a faster, smarter, better approach to email marketing as we move further into an ever-saturating era of digital industry history. For the retailer, 2017 will see savvier shopping, an increased use of tech in marketing strategy, and consumer prioritization of the extraordinary experience. Your business needs to be ready to meet expectations. This smart, speedy, and actionable blog will help you give your email marketing strategy a boost for 2017; let’s take a look!

Relevancy

68% of customers say “most of the emails I receive include NO content or offers that are of interest to me”1.

That’s an alarming statistic, but it could explain why more than two thirds of consumers now read fewer than half of their emails from brands2.

As digital marketers, we need to get better at tailoring content to our customers, and we can begin by asking them what they care about. Build a preference center (or, alternatively, send out a preference email) so that your recipient has the opportunity to decide the volume, frequency, and category of emails they receive from you. Not only does this show your customer that you’re a responsible email marketer, it also improves the quality of your conversation.

Once you’ve established the kind of emails customers are hoping to receive, it’s time to turn your attention to the relevancy of your content. 2017’s consumer expects the Russian doll experience, with personalization oper+ating effectively at all levels, from the subject line to the email content. Prioritizing relevancy doesn’t have to be taxing on your time and resources; use what you already have and know.

A dotmailer client, world-leading wearable tech company Slendertone, uses data captured from its mobile app to deliver a tailor-made program of content to its contacts. Relevant posts on health and lifestyle from the company’s blog are pulled into emails and delivered to individuals based on their self-recorded fitness motivations and aspirations. The result: intelligently hand-picked personalization that doesn’t put pressure on resources.

Your data is often seen as a by-product of your business’ dealings, but it’s actually one of the most powerful tools you have to drive relevancy. Think about how you can put your metrics to work for you: use past purchase data and previous search information to recommend relevant products to contacts within your emails; get points for contextual congruity by using location data to optimize send times; trigger dynamic content based on gender, age, and location. Your data is the key to realizing relevancy resolutions in 2017.

Master mobile

2017 is the year that ecommerce closes the gap and catches up with mobile-first consumers, so don’t let your business get left behind. Google has announced plans to penalize websites that aren’t optimized for mobile viewing and, with mobile now the most common device for email access, anything less than fully-responsive is going to stick out like a sore thumb3. As far as your email marketing is concerned, all images and content need to be designed with mobile first users in mind. This means championing simple yet effective design, with stackable images and tappable CTA buttons. And don’t leave yourself in the dark; test send your campaigns to different mobile devices to check that the finished product looks as good as you intended. Some ESPs will (handily) guarantee mobile optimization; at dotmailer, the EasyEditor is designed to ensure that every email users send looks great on any device.

1DMA Insight: Consumer email tracking report, 2016 – DMA Insight

2DMA Insight: Consumer email tracking report, 2016 – DMA Insight

3Four email predictions for 2017 - Adestra

Smarter automation

If you want 2017 to be your year for email marketing, you need to get automated. Email marketing automation provides your business with reliable and responsive targeting, in record time, at mass scale. It’s a bit of a no-brainer. And you won’t be alone either; an average of 49% of companies are currently using marketing automation tactics, with 63% of those finding success planning to increase their budget for the software in 20174.

At dotmailer, we talk about starting small and scaling quickly, setting realistic goals to avoid becoming overwhelmed. If you’re not quite ready to go fully automated with every bell and whistle chiming in chorus, that’s great – get started with a simple event trigger such as a birthday or anniversary email using the date they were added to your list. Most retailers have a few automation programs set up already; a great starting point for 2017 would be to regain the lost revenue from your company’s abandoned carts by starting to re-marketing to abandoners (or reviewing the success of your existing emails to abandoners). A simple email campaign triggered from a customer cart abandonment can result in a 50% conversion rate – wouldn’t that be a great way to start the new year!?5

Take a look at this best practice guide to gauge where you are at on the automation journey and learn more about the triggers that are right for your business.

About dotmailer:

dotmailer is a marketing automation platform and a partner of Klevu. The dotmailer platform enables you to use transactional and behavioural data to design, test and send automated email and multi-channel programs –to improve your engagement rates, increase your ROI and really connect with your customers.

dotmailer is a global business, headquartered in the UK and boasting over 70,000 users across 120 countries. dotmailer is the only Magento Premier Technology Partner for marketing automation.

www.dotmailer.com

4The ultimate mobile email statistics overview 2016 – email Monday
5Email Marketing Benchmarks - eMarketer