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Email Marketing is Here to Stay, and Getting Better

To paraphrase a famous quote, the reports of email marketing’s demise have been grossly exaggerated.

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Yes, there was a time, particularly during the rise of social media, when email marketing was largely ignored, under-resourced and considered passé because of the new kid in town. But today, it has evolved into an integral component of any industry’s marketing campaign, including healthcare IT.

Email marketing continues to be a driving force behind content, and has also become a central component of mobile strategies. In fact, reading emails on smartphones remains the number one activity, and responsive design will help significantly elevate conversion rates, predicts Chad White of Litmus.

In addition, email marketing has become a primary source of data for analytics. While it is not a powerful channel on its own says White, the data generated from email marketing helps power other marketing efforts by providing actionable data insights.

Despite email marketing’s ability to optimize and target content for individuals based on one’s browsing and purchasing behavior, it loses the ability to influence and drive action when emails are unopened. Consider that:

  • 33 percent of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line.
  • Timing is important – sending an email at the right time with the right subject line can significantly impact click-through rates.
  • Experimenting with two different versions of an email can help determine the most effective approach. 

According to inbound marketing company Hubspot, there are several ways to ensure marketing emails are opened by their intended recipients. It’s all about the subject line:

  • Keep it short and sweet – because marketers are appealing to mobile viewers first (40 percent of emails are opened on mobile first), it’s important that the subject line appears in full. Keep them to a maximum of 50 characters to best appeal to mobile readers.
  • Personalization is key – include the name of the recipient or tailor the subject line to a specific location.
  • Try an action-oriented approach to communicate excitement and urgency – phrases like “Limited time only” or “Today only” not only drive your audience to quicker action, it results in a 22 percent higher open rate.
  • Include numbers and/or data to clearly illustrate your key message.

Alternatively, using false promises or over-selling to the point of perceived incredulity can cause your audience to lose the trust you’ve spent time building and unsubscribe from future emails.

 Looking ahead, automation and hyper-personalization will become the norm. To achieve substantial ROI, ensure your message is relevant, timely and most importantly – engaging!