Are your email campaigns ready for 2014?

Are your email campaigns ready for 2014?

Now that we're a few weeks into the new year and the post-holiday haze has begun to wear off, it's an ideal time for marketers to reassess the strategies they use to drive sales and create conversions from their email marketing lists. But because consumer trends are constantly shifting and the modes by which people check and read email are more numerous now than ever, evaluating your email campaigns' readiness for 2014 may not be a simple, feel-good proposition but one that requires you to rethink your tactics and get them in line with your customers' habits and preferences.

Here are four strategies that can help you turn over a new leaf this year by revamping your emails and revitalizing brand image.

1. Keep it brief
For better or worse, consumers' attention spans aren't what they used to be, and marketers can't forget to bear this fact in mind when crafting their email copy. In a column for Business2Community, Dianne Dixon of email marketing solutions firm Elite Email pointed out that when it comes to subject lines, less really is more.

"As it turns out, subjects longer than 70 characters don't help with response or awareness. In fact, it's known as an email line 'dead zone' where nothing really happens," Dixon wrote.

2. Opt for clean layouts
The principle that minimal, meaningful email content is best has a visual component, too. Busy email designs that distract the viewer with an abundance of flashy, difficult-to-read images only contribute to the crowdedness of the inbox – and your customers are unlikely to want to linger with such messages long enough that they'll follow to your landing pages, let alone convert and make a purchase. Make your designs clean and simple, but still memorable.

3. Make emails adaptable to devices 
One of the key benefits to uncluttered email layouts is that they translate much better to mobile screens – and in the current consumer climate, ignoring device preferences simply isn't an option. Email software provider StreamSend noted that more than half of emails are now opened on a smartphone or tablet.  The firm recommended using mobile-responsive templates when laying out your marketing emails.

4. Integrate with social media
Consumers want to be able to find the brands they love on their Twitter, Facebook and other pages easily and without hassle. If you're not yet linking your emails to your social media channels, the time to consider this tactic is now.

Armed with these strategies, you may find your emails are creating broader customer engagement than ever this year.

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