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3 things your business needs to do in email marketing in 2014

It’s true — email marketing is not dead, and it’s here to stay. According to research from Radicati, the number of people with email addresses is expected to hit 4.1 billion by the end of 2015, from 3.1 billion in 2011. That’s a lot of people.

While it is easier to reach more people than ever via email, it’s also easier to get lost in the mix of it all. Trying to fight for attention is not something new when it comes to available marketing channels, but following these three things can get your brand the priority delivery it wants.

-Segmenting your email list
If you already have multiple lists for varied interests, congratulations! You’ve completed this step. But most small business owners do not have more than one email list. There are many benefits to placing your list in different buckets, because then you can tailor your email message to the list you’re sending to. Your brand may already have a defined target audience, but you can always go deeper. Here are some ideas on how and when you can create different lists:

  • People who prefer higher frequency of emails, to lower frequency (believe it or not, there are some people out there who prefer daily interaction!)
  • Male vs. female (if your product or service tends to be used differently)
  • Burger-only or the combo meal? Many small businesses use their email list to deliver value content (blog posts, news, etc.) in addition to promotional content (upcoming events, discounts, etc.) But many people probably prefer one over the other. Give your customers the opportunity to order the way they want off your menu.

-Testing different email subject lines
If your email list contains over 500 entries, then you can benefit from doing frequent A/B split testing. What is that? You have two versions of an element (A and B) and a metric that will define the success of the test (open rates, click-through, low unsubscribe, etc.)

Without boring you too much on the details of market research, let’s say that 100 participants is what a small business would need to conduct the test. So, you test one version of an email to that 100, and another version to a separate 100. Give the email probably a few hours (most open rates occur within the first three hours of sent time), and whatever email produced the more desired result, then send the rest of your database that email.

-Become mobile-friendly
The past two years, you’ve heard many marketing experts tell you that your website needs to be mobile-friendly. The same could be said for your emails. Did you know that in Q1 of 2013, Litmus reported that 43% of email was open on a mobile device, up from 10% in Q1 of 2011?

So, what does this mean for email design?

  • Be straight to the point, or “content-first”
  • Bigger, bolder design
  • Think long, not wide
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