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5 Email Trends We’re Tracking

Gone are the days of a generic blast marketing campaign with bland layouts and little to offer an individual user. Email marketers continue to push the boundaries of their campaigns in all facets—design, messaging, content, and audience. Working with a diverse set of clients from a variety of industries, we’ve seen a few trends grow over the course of the last year. Here are some things we’re watching in 2017:

Emojis in subject lines

Our clients are increasingly using emojis in subject lines for promotional messaging and when used in the right context, they can have a powerful impact on open rates. Support is limited in older email clients, so understanding your audience is important when looking to use emojis effectively. For more info on what email clients support emojis, read an in-depth blog post by Litmus here.

Hamburger drop down menus

While the use of navigation menus in email campaigns should be limited in order to focus on conversions, a popular option for mobile is the use of ‘hamburger’ drop down menus. Using hamburger menus can prevent cluttered campaigns on mobile devices and allow for clear calls to action. Email client support for hamburger menus is surprisingly strong, with most mobile apps supporting their use. Use with caution when targeting desktop and older email clients as support varies, and be sure to test your campaigns thoroughly to ensure the best user experience.

Animated GIFs

While not necessarily a new trend, GIFs are being used more effectively in campaigns, becoming less of a novelty or distraction from the intended message. Like the items above, the use of GIFs is largely dependent upon the share of email clients used by your audience. Older clients may only show the first frame of the GIF, so treat this image as a fallback. Like any component in a campaign, it’s best to design accordingly and use GIFs only when there’s a clear message that can be enhanced. For more info on the use of GIFs, read this article from Campaign Monitor.     

Behavioral marketing campaigns on the rise

Here are two campaigns that we’ve seen our clients have great success with, across all types of retail. Both are relatively low effort to set up within the SmarterHQ platform and have returned excellent results.

1. Targeted mop up campaigns

Typically sent as an ad hoc ‘last chance’ message for shoppers who’ve browsed or abandoned purchase without converting, these campaigns are generally sent at the end of a sale or promotion. These campaigns target shoppers within a certain time frame and along with compelling messaging and segmentation, we’re seeing the average revenue per email delivered is $1.20, with a 49% open rate and 12% click rate.  

2. Product and Brand browse

These campaigns are similar to our browse abandonment campaigns, but focus on visitor interactions with a particular brand or product line. The creative elements and messaging speak to this and the audience is segmented by interaction level. Revenue per email delivered is $0.46, with an 18% open rate and 12% click.

To see more examples of SmarterHQ behavioral marketing email campaigns, check out our Email Marketing Playbook for eCommerce.