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5 email resolutions you should actually keep in 2016

It all starts with the best of intentions. New year, new you, right? So you vow to start using that gym membership you pay for every month. And in the name of smart finance, you swear off the dollar section once and for all.

In January, you’re going strong. You’re sweating away on the rowing machine and avoiding all those killer deals on New Years party favors. Then life happens. You get busy, and (if you’re anything like the rest of us) those resolutions fall by the wayside. February hits, and before you know it, you’re on your couch eating pack after pack of those awful candy hearts you just had to buy because, hey, they were only $1.

But not all resolutions are built to fail. Here are 5 simple (and easy to maintain) ways to send your best emails ever in 2016. And once you see the results, you should have no problem sticking to your guns.


1. Optimize for mobile (like, right now).

Let’s get real for a second: At this point, there’s absolutely no excuse for you to not be optimizing your emails for mobile. Last year, Litmus found that 53% of all email is opened on a mobile device. And 71.2% of people will delete an email immediately if it doesn’t display correctly (BlueHornet). So if your email looks terrible on your recipients’ phones and tablets, game over. That’s a huge portion of your audience you’re already failing to reach from the get go.

Even if you don’t have access to mobile-optimized templates (shameless plug – all of Emma’s are responsive), there are several quick things you can do to make your emails more attractive on mobile devices. For instance, you should stick to a single-column layout for easy scanning and scrolling and use big CTA buttons for easy tapping. For more advice on creating mobile emails that are easy on the eyes, check out our mobile guide!


2. Prioritize visuals over copy.

We’re all about the power of the pen, but when it comes to email, images speak much louder than words. Most people are only scanning your emails – especially when they’re reading them on their phones – so tell them a compelling story with gorgeous photos instead.

And make sure you’re using images that will inspire action from your subscribers. Our brains light up when we see pictures of other people (especially faces) and images of open landscapes. Also consider your color choices carefully – the right color sets the tone and evokes a particular emotional response. For instance, yellow promotes a slight level of anxiety, which helps immediately capture attention. And blue helps promote feelings of safety and trust.

Check out our guide, "Why We Click: The Psychology Behind A Great CTA," for more!


3. Use a personal touch.

If you want your emails to be as effective as possible, it’s time to get personal. Personalized emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates, yet 70% of brands still fail to create them (Experian). So stay ahead of the curve with smart personalization tactics. It can be as simple as using a recipient's first name in your subject line, or you can use powerful tools like dynamic content, which allows you to automatically show different email content based on who the recipient is.

And always remember to segment! 78% of top-performing marketers say list segmentation is the one marketing automation feature they can’t live without (Gleanster), and that’s because it allows you to send ultra-relevant and targeted emails. It’s a simple method that gets big results.


4. Start taking advantage of automation

2016 is the year you should stop talking about automation and start actually using it. After all, it’s saves you tons of time and gets better results. The average open rate for welcome emails is a whopping 50%, making them 86% more effective than email newsletters (MarketingSherpa). So why not step up your game and automate an entire welcome series? It’s a great way to nurture your new subscribers and give them the best possible introduction to your brand, and it does all the heavy lifting for you!

And if you’re still not sold on automation, consider this: Choosing to automate your emails can seriously boost your ROI in 2016. Companies using marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates than non-users and an annualized revenue growth rate 3.1% higher than non-users (Aberdeen Group).


5. Create multiple touch points

You know we’re all about email in these parts, but that doesn’t mean we think you should ignore everything else! Your emails should compel subscribers to interact with you via all sorts of different channels, whether that’s social media, back on your website, or even in person at a brick-and-mortar location.

So include things like sharing buttons, links to your social pages, live social feeds, and event invitations featuring a map of your physical store. Email should be an interactive experience for your subscribers, so create the best experience possible this year and start reaping the rewards.