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How to Create the Best Email Marketing Strategy in 2018

16th January 2018

An effective email marketing strategy doesn’t need to be complicated. In fact, the world we currently live and do business in wants transparency and honesty above all else from the brands they spend their money on. In fact, both millennials, and Gen Z in particular, are most looking for brand transparency and to do business with companies who share similar or same values with them.

Since you can’t physically talk to them to learn what makes them tick and how you can help them live a better life — an email is really the next best thing to build solid relationships. Emails aren’t about pretty packages wrapped in colorful ribbons and hoping people will buy what you’re selling.

Emails are about reaching out, learning, cultivating something lasting. Following the most recent email marketing trends, it’s time to rethink everything you’ve already read so far this year, and focus on what really matters (hint: it’s really not all that much!)

Optimize for mobile devices or it didn’t happen

And, by “it didn’t happen,” I mean your email didn’t get read. It’s hard to imagine in 2018, but plenty of people still haven’t figured out how to make this whole mobile optimization thing work. Check out the emailing dashboard offered by your mailer if you don’t have design skills and want access to a variety of mobile-friendly email templates.

In fact, all email providers offer this service. If your time is valuable, chances are you need to stop sending out mass emails to your list using your Gmail account anyway. Services like MailChimp are free to small businesses and give you all the tools needed to mobile-optimize your emails.

Mobile optimization tips:

  • Save the VR for external links. If they want to take a tour of your facilities, or see the houses or cars you’re selling, they’ll click on the button links provided and go to your website — maybe while reading your email or maybe when they get home to a more reliable and less expensive connection.
  • Offer small image sizes that load quickly and don’t get in the way of the text on the page. A large image can take up so much of the screen it blocks text — if they don’t like the image (a picture is worth a thousand words), you’ve already lost the battle.
  • Write short sentences that get straight to the point you’re making. Write like a copywriter rather than a blogger.
  • Use easy-to-click buttons to send subscribers to offers or to share your content on social media. Text links are so small on devices — think about women with long fingernails and men with large fingers.

Hipster entrepreneur doing email marketing and segmentation

Do what the majority of emailers aren’t doing effectively (or at all!)

Basic segmentation is something email experts have been talking about since the dawn of email marketing. However, according to Smart Insights, most brands are talking a big game about how segmentation is at the top of their list of priorities — yet nobody is doing anything about it!

Emailers like GetResponse and MailChimp give you all the segmentation tools you need, including a willingness to share data they have on file about how your subscribers interact with other marketers who use their services.

There’s very little advancement has been made in segmentation since 2016, meaning this could be the year you edge out your competitors if you decide to get your butt in gear!

Email personalization will make 2018 a profitable one for your brand

Since you’ve decided to make some strides and segment your subscribers this year, why would you send them all the same crap? Erm, I mean content and offers…

Ignorance, laziness — all those excuses go out the window this year. You’ve got a brand to grow, right? Unless you’re selling combine tractors to farmers in Illinois, very few of your users are going to opt-in for the exact same reason as one another.

Tips for personalizing emails:

  • Ask lots of questions: At the time they opt-in, and thereafter in subsequent emails. Get in their head and figure out their goals and wants. How much weight would you like to lose this year? What can I do to make your life better today?
  • Assign user personas: While nobody is exactly the same, we as humans have no problem putting people into a personality category. Introvert or extrovert? Measured or impulsive? Sane or crazy? Use surveys and feedback forms to figure out sets of personas that can help you personalize the content you send them.

Businesswoman emailing prospects

Scrub-a-dub your lists with email re-engagment campaigns in 2018

The earlier, the better! Once you’ve built that list, you need to take care of it. You don’t want some random subscriber you picked up 4 years ago, logging into their “junk” email account, to see hundreds of emails from you. That’s a sure-fire recipe for getting terminated from your emailer for spam complaints.

Open and click-rates are much lower with lapsed emails that aren’t regularly confirmed, meaning you’re just wasting resources by continuing to email them. There are a number of ways to get subscribers to re-engage with you and let you know they still value the relationship.

Honest Company likes to send periodic “We Miss You” emails with segmented customers that haven’t opened the emails they’ve sent out over a couple of months. Mini Cooper uses humor to get a response, such as “Are you in jail?” or straight to the point “Are you ignoring us?” to confirm subscribers.

Combine simple list-scrubbing techniques with an active and honest social presence and you not just save wasted time, you reduce unsubscribes and spam complaints, and may find you earn a few more loyal subscribers out of the deal.

2018 is the year!

This can be the year you turn your email game around. Combine the simple strategies list above and above all else, strive to be the most honest you can be with your subscribers. The world is changing, broke kids of yesteryear are now becoming the cash-cows that shape how business is done.

Adapt with the times, keep things simple this year, and you’ll do just fine!

Ivan Widjaya is the owner of, as well as the founder of several online businesses:, and He runs his business from anywhere, anytime he wants.

Cute business woman

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