A few months ago, our friends at Windows IT Pro asked me to share my thoughts on today’s most popular email marketing trends and strategies. As summer approaches and we start prepping new email campaigns, I thought it would be a good time to re-visit these tips.

1.) What email strategy should people be talking about right now?

I believe that marketers can take better advantage of their transactional email messages and incorporate a relevant marketing message and call to action when sending those purchase receipts, shipping notifications, or reminders. While making the primary focus on the transactional message, use the data you have on the buyer and offer an upsell item to go with what they already purchased or ask them to sign up for your blog.

Encouraging further interaction with your customers is always valuable and sending transactional messages out without taking advantage of the heightened attention they receive, is a missed opportunity. Just make sure that you’re monitoring your deliverability when testing your messaging. If you see any negative affects, cut back on your marketing inclusion. We’ve offered a few examples on how to accomplish this in our free Transactional and Marketing Email guide.

2.) What is your best piece of advice for someone looking to improve their email effectiveness?

You must send targeted messages! The days of blasting one email to your entire list of subscribers is over. Sending targeted emails is proven to increase engagement and conversion rates. Craft your emails looking at the behavioral and demographic information that matters to your business. Then, use the information you have collected on gender, location, previous buying history, etc., to target your users in a unique and meaningful way. Subscribers expect that you respect their time and you will dramatically improve the return on your email program when you show them you do.

3.) What is the most overrated and the most underrated email strategy or tactic?

Overrated: Decision making based on instinct: I recently heard that “Marketing results are really just determined by the way the wind blows, you put your flag in the air and just see which way it goes.” I could not disagree with this statement more. In today’s marketing, we have a wealth of data from a large array of testing and tracking programs. There is absolutely no reason not to be constantly monitoring, testing, and tweaking the elements of your email program to make informed decisions. When you find a winner, continue testing it against a new version. I have had opinions that were proven wrong based on tests we have run and I welcome the opportunity to be shown a better solution based on data.

Underrated: Reactivation campaigns: Now is a great time to clean your lists and prepare for summer. While it may seem counterintuitive to remove subscribers from a list you have worked hard to build, sending to uninterested subscribers can cause your spam complaints to rise and can be detrimental to your sending reputation.

To run a reactivation campaign, you should identify subscribers who have not opened, clicked, shared, or interacted with your emails. Send an email to those inactive users encouraging them to remain on your list or to opt out. In the end, remove all who didn’t choose to remain on your list. Also, segment your “extra-engaged” users to mail to during holidays (like Father’s Day and July 4th) —your most dedicated customers will tolerate more email coming from you and will appreciate special offers created just for them.

For more tips around segmentation, alignment, and testing, read my suggestions on How to Make Your Marketing Meaningful in 2015.

Carly Brantz
With more than 15 years of experience, Carly Brantz is an email deliverability and inbound marketing veteran. As the VP of Revenue Marketing at SendGrid, Carly empowers her team to transform marketing from a cost center to a revenue generator. With a key focus on funnel optimization, Carly leads the team responsible for content creation, lead nurturing, SEO/SEM, and website optimization. An accomplished speaker, Carly shares her email delivery and revenue marketing tactics as a headline speaker on SendGrid’s international roadshow as well as other Marketing conferences.