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March 24, 2016
Marketing  |  5 min read

The Lost Art of the Email Follow Up

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Ashley Taylor Anderson

Email marketing may not be the newest or most glamorous marketing channel, but it’s proven to be a solid long-term investment. These stats are pretty hard to argue with:

Both retail and B2B businesses are bringing back the lost art of the email, using it as a follow-up tactic in their multichannel marketing campaigns. Let’s explore four examples of email follow up, a highly effective email tactic.

Visage: Engaging GIF action

I’m a big fan of GIFs in pretty much any context, including email. I’m not alone in my preference for animated content: 1 in 2 marketers are using GIFs in their email campaigns.

For B2B brands, who often struggle with engagement, GIFs can be a great way to capture and retain your audience’s attention. Here’s a really nice example from visual content platform Visage:

Visage Email

The header image in this email is a simple animated GIF that says “Here we go!” and ends with a graphic of their platform. It’s cute, interesting, and conveys excitement without being overly flashy. It also contains all the information I’ll need for my account going forward, so I don’t have to dig for it in separate messages.

Betabrand: Straightforward discount reminder

Incentivizing new shoppers with a discount can be an effective retail tactic. However, an onsite offer is immediately worthless if the consumer doesn’t convert on their first visit. That’s where email follow-ups can keep the magic alive.

Betabrand, which has one of my favorite email programs of all time, has mastered the art of the straightforward, friendly follow-up email. Shortly after I signed up on their site, poked around a bit, and left, I received this email:

Betabrand Email

The copy is short and to the point. It clearly tells me how much time I have to redeem my discount. And it gives me an easy way to get back to their website and continue shopping.

InVision: Getting started videos

Video plus email is a killer combination. Research has found that using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19 percent. At Ceros, we’ve seen a positive impact on both open rates and click-through rates on our emails with video content.

InVision Email

Prototyping software company InVision leverages the power of video in their post-signup email.

The content is helpful, delivered in a timely fashion, and features four useful videos to help me as a new user get up and running with the platform.

ModCloth: Abandoned cart follow-up

Scary stat: 90 percent of mobile shopping carts are abandoned. But retailers are getting smarter about retargeting shoppers who haven’t completed a transaction with email.

Take ModCloth, for example:

Modcloth Email

They use clever copy (see subject line) and photos of actual items from your abandoned cart to entice you back to their site to finish checking out. The style resonates with their brand tone, and the email provides a gentle reminder rather than a pushy “buy now” follow up.

The bottom line

Whether you’re a retailer retargeting consumers who’ve browsed your site, or a B2B brand nurturing free trialers down the funnel to sales readiness, email follow-ups can help you seal the deal. These four techniques are great ones to test out in your email marketing program. We’ll be experimenting with a number of them ourselves this year.

This article was written by Ashley Taylor Anderson from Business2Community and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.

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