ESM Digital's Higher Ed Marketing Blog

Litmus Live Email Marketing Conference: The Golden Rule

In the digital marketing industry learning never stops and a true email marketing geek always seeks out the most current best practices, the newest technology and upcoming trends. And a great place to soak all of that in is The Litmus Live Email Marketing Conference, so it was only natural that ESM Digital sent a team member there to learn a thing or two (or ten!). Litmus Live is a haven for email geeks – designers, marketers, strategists and the like, and as the Lead Email Marketer here at ESM, I felt right at home.

One of the recurring themes throughout several of the conference sessions was that email marketing is a privilege and not a right. Now, what does that mean? It means that we, as marketers, need to treat our subscribers’ inboxes as our own and not be spammers. That’s right. The Golden rule of treating others like you’d like to be treated applies to email too.

This doesn’t just mean that you comply with the law of the land, whether it be CAN-SPAM, CASL or GDPR, it means that you give subscribers email that they want, email that they signed up to receive. You don’t just blast your entire list the same content regardless of whether it relates to them as a consumer, a prospective student, or any other relationship you may have with the subscriber.

To fully adhere to this idea means you need to carefully segment your lists. Not every subscriber is created equal; they have different interests, different relationships with your organization and they may be located in very different geographical regions; any other number of relevant characteristic could set them apart. Knowing and understanding these differences, or personas, allows you to tailor an email marketing experience to your subscribers’ needs.

Meeting your subscribers’ expectations doesn’t end just with content.  Another valuable consideration is quantity – more is not always better. You may have subscribers who want an email every day or subscribers who would be happier with a single email per month. The simplest way to discover this is to ask your subscribers what they want. Although, you can also determine this based on their email activity; keep a close eye on engagement, including open rates, click through rates and unsubscribe rates.

Since we’re talking email marketing we of course need to touch upon design – because who doesn’t love a pretty, well designed email? How your email looks and is designed is important when you consider your subscribers’ needs. Are your emails mostly being viewed on mobile devices? If so, it is imperative that the design displays perfectly on mobile platforms – both Android and iOS. Other considerations are the age and tastes of your subscribers. For example, if you’re emailing an older subscriber base you might want to consider larger font sizes. However, if you have a younger, hipper and more tech savvy based list, perhaps you’d like to test out using more advanced features like interactive emails.

Litmus Live was a paradise for email marketers and a perfect place to learn and generate new ideas. This Golden Rule only scratches the surface of what I learned at the conference.  We’re always looking for new opportunities for our clients to bring their email marketing campaigns to the next level and this conference really got our creative wheels spinning. If you’d like to learn more about how ESM Digital can help you contact us today!

~Marcy Ansley