Maybe you clicked on this article with skepticism, as many in the media and business worlds have proclaimed email marketing is dead (or would be dead) by 2020. This belief stemmed from the observation that when communicating in the office, Gen Z prefers messaging apps and tools like Slack more than using email.
We are here to assure you, however, the prediction of email’s demise was only that—a prediction.
In fact, there are nearly 3.7 billion email users in the world today, which is likely to grow to 4.3 billion by 2022. Demographically speaking it’s millennials who are overtaking the U.S. population as their numbers swell to 73 million. Millennials are far more likely to take action on a relevant email than any other age group.
You might hear someone say or even be thinking, “Social media is still king, everyone is on there now”. Believe it or not, email marketing is almost 40x more effective than Facebook and Twitter combined. Furthermore, email marketing has higher conversion rates than both social media and search combined.
To increase the total number of highly relevant audiences finding and signing up for your social media contests and giveaways, including email marketing within the promotion strategy is a must.
Email may not be dead, but it has definitely evolved.
This article will cover 5 major email marketing trends to use as a guide before you hit that “send all” button.
Find Harmony Between Text & Images
Okay, admit it. This email from popular printing company Moo is pretty cool and would definitely grab my attention — if it didn’t end up in my spam folder.
It’s true, image-heavy emails can have a negative effect on open rates. While this Moo email does provide high interactivity and visually grabs your attention, it could backfire with image overuse.
The 2 main reasons why:
- Spam filters are unable to read images and spammers have notoriously overused images, so there’s a possibility your email could get flagged if you have too many images or an image-only format.
- Some of your subscribers turn off images in their email filters, so they may only see an incomplete or totally blank message.
How you intended your email to appear in your subscriber’s inbox:
How it may appear instead if/when recipients have images blocked:
So what kind of image-to-text balance should you aim for?
Constant Contact analyzed 2.1 million email accounts and found that click-through rates were highest for emails with 3 or fewer images, and emails with approximately 20 lines of text.
Applying Image vs. Text Trends to Contests & Giveaways in Email Marketing
You can limit images and maintain your branding by building a branded contest landing page with Woobox, adding custom forms for the most relevant data your marketing team needs.
This allows you to minimize images in email without minimizing the experience. By simply including a link that will take them to a beautifully branded, visually engaging contest entry page like this built using Woobox example:
Complying with Privacy Regulations (GDPR in 2019)
With the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in effect since May 2018, it’s clear privacy is at the forefront of people’s concerns and requirements.
Make sure to comply with all email marketing regulations, and be transparent with your subscribers about any changes that may happen when it comes to security. Read more about GDPR in our previous article.
Applying privacy trend to contests and giveaways in email marketing
Make sure that everyone who receives your social media contest has opted in on their own accord (no pre-checked boxes please, these will no longer count).
Also important: indicate on your contest or giveaway page exactly what an entrant’s email will be used for, and that they are opting into your newsletter by submitting their email.
Email That Feels a Little Personalized
The best and most effective emails will make your customer feel like you know them. Marketers who share the sentiment that email marketing is ineffective, very often fail to realize their email content just isn’t aligned with the interests of the recipient.
It’s been found that personalized emails deliver 6x higher transactional rates and generates a median ROI of 122%. Your email strategy needs a targeting engine built-in to get the right messages to the right audience.
Applying personalization to contests and giveaways
Before we explain how to make sure you get the contest to the right audience, did you know you can actually use a contest or giveaway promotional email to better segment your email list?
Similar to the Woobox customer example above, you can create multiple options for your contest or giveaway using a poll to get relevant information about your entrants, sending them more relevant emails later.
In the example above, Southern Breeze could have asked their audience to vote on, let’s say, their favorite tea flavor. Based on their chosen preference, Southern Breeze could send a follow-up email containing content like:
We heard you love our peach tea, so we’re sending you a 20% off coupon for your next purchase!”
Now Dan probably feels a bit like you know him, and is more likely to use the coupon offer to buy some of his favorite tea.
When it comes to sending a contest or giveaway by way of email, check all your available information when determining if the recipient might have an interest in the prize. Use information like purchase history, location, and other data points to determine if the contest would be relevant to their interests. Statistics show personalized emails produce better open rates, so try using their first name in the subject line, or incorporate other potentially relevant information such as general location like their city or state.
For example, if you’re giving away a vacation you could say, “Do You Want To Escape Chicago’s Snowstorm?” to make the subject line more relevant.
And using Woobox, which easily integrates with email services like Constant Contact and Mailchimp, you can more easily segment, identify and engage with new and current audiences in future campaigns.
Email Marketing & Interactive Content Needs
Being interactive simply means anything requiring active engagement and participation with content to access the full experience. Part of this is simply making sure that your email is fully responsive.
Did you know that emails that do not display correctly on mobile are often deleted within 3 seconds? And you probably have seen that more than 50 % of emails are read on mobile devices, so a responsive template is mandatory to ensure interactivity.
Note: MJML is an open source language you can use to code interactive emails, as it’s responsive by default.
The second part of interactivity is simply using copy and design that leaves your audience wanting more, and encourages them to click, tap, or whatever action to take to see the rest of the content. For example, the above email example requires the user to click “Vote Now” to enter the contest.
Applying interactivity to contests and giveaways
Creating a poll or quiz is a great way to make marketing emails more interactive and encourage recipients to enter your contest.
Woobox makes creating fully custom polls and quizzes seamless, and even easier to share in your email marketing promotions. Using a question in your email that requires the audience to do the desired action is also a very simple way to add a boost of interactivity to your email. You can also enhance your marketing message further by offering a deal or discount after signing up for the giveaway that will add a boost of interactivity and further engagement.
Always Consider a Customer’s Experience
This last point is certainly far from least. Always have your customer in mind, and think about their experience when eventually engaging with your finished email.
What are some of the most important considerations?
Well, the first thing is to make sure you are incorporating everything we have mentioned up to this point. One very simple consideration to keep in mind is to not bombard or overwhelm your audience with too many emails. HubSpot shared that 78% of its recipients claim to have canceled email subscriptions because they are receiving too many.
Another way to consider your customer’s experience is to remember that connection and authenticity are important to consumers today. In fact, by writing your brand story well, you have the power to increase the value of a product or service by over 20 times.
Using stories, sharing your values, and sparking an emotional connection in your email marketing are great ways to enhance your audience experience.
Enhancing customer experience for contests and giveaways
Again, use everything we’ve mentioned up until this point to ensure the best customer experience by way of email marketing trends: finding harmony between text and imagery, complying with privacy policies like GDPR, personalizing just a little bit for each customer’s email, weigh adding an interactive element, and consider your customer experience.
With the above sections checked off your list of marketing to-do’s, write an email headline and message that gives your brand’s voice and values an authentic spotlight.
You can even tailor your contest to include a giving component to further contribute to the message:
Another way to add authentic brand storytelling is to share some of your current contest entrant’s photos, videos, and stories. Get new entrant’s excited by showcasing how much you value their stories, and build loyalty with current entrant’s who will see their story being shared and appreciated.
Finally, you can use the context that surrounds your recipients as they open your email. Think about the time of day they are receiving it, weather, or location. For example, if you are a retail company you could share a contest for a dress giveaway during the daytime, versus if you are giving away free pajamas, you could send the email later in the day.
Email is far from obsolete. In fact, it’s often a necessary part of your social media contest or giveaway marketing strategy.
The trends you should remember when creating emails for marketing promotions:
- Do not overuse images in your email, to provide a great experience for as many of your audience members as possible, and to avoid getting flagged as spam.
- Make sure you comply with all current privacy laws and be transparent with your audience about any changes.
- Make an email feel personal, and not automated.
- Create an interactive experience so your audience feels pulled to complete the action you want them to.
- Always keep your customer experience top of mind, and make sure that you’d have an enjoyable experience before hitting send to your list.
The Woobox platform and its various marketing applications can help you create and manage all kinds of contests, polls, quizzes, giveaways, discount coupons and more — making things like contest and giveaway management a breeze.
Woobox support is available to help you with any questions about using any of the ideas above in your email marketing to promote your next contest or giveaway. Our team will also help you create and host your giveaway, making the entire experience seamless.
Woobox Support is open from 8 am – 5 pm PST, Mon. through Fri at 1-360-450-5200 or email@example.com.