This year, email marketing is back in the limelight.

According to the 2016 State of Marketing:

  • 80% of marketers agree that email marketing is core to their business.
  • 79% of marketers in 2016 say email marketing is directly generating ROI, vs. 54% who agreed in 2015.
  • 64% of high-performing marketing teams have integrated their email marketing into their overall marketing strategies. Among them, 95% say email channel is very effective or effective.

In other words, summer temperatures aren’t the only thing rising. Email is hot again.

Does your email marketing strategy need some reenergizing? Lindsay Siovaila is Lead Solutions Developer at Salesforce — and an expert in email design and strategy. Lindsay joins us this week on the Marketing Cloudcast , the marketing podcast from Salesforce , to showcase all the powerful ways brands can use email to enhance the customer experience, customize a full customer journey, and energize ROI.

Take a listen here:

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are four ways that you can bring some excitement and current best practices to your email strategy, based on our conversation with Lindsay.

1. Design in units and then put the pieces together.

“Teams are becoming a lot more strategic about the way they save blocks of reusable code that can be recycled and adapted over and over again. Think about it like a library of assets that you can draw from instead of having to start from a blank canvas every day,” explains Lindsay.

Having to create design elements from scratch for each campaign can be time-consuming and yield inconsistencies. Once you have a library of assets, you can work more efficiently and give your brand a more unified look — which will help customers recognize you in the inbox and learn to love you more over time.

For example, Lindsay’s team at Salesforce has “developed a whole component library that our team can start from without having to rebuild everything all the time. It’s a huge time saver, and from a production standpoint helps everyone keep things consistent and reusable in the long run.”

2. Make every email interaction mobile.

“If you don’t have a mobile strategy in place, you should probably do a little revisiting,” laughs Lindsay. Mobile is the new inbox battleground.

Our mobile devices are intertwined with everything we do these days, and the same goes for the email inbox. Lindsay tells us that mobile email isn’t just big, it’s huge: “Fifty-five percent of email opens are on mobile devices today, according to Litmus.”

For your organization, that means it’s essential that all your emails have strategic design for mobile in mind. This may include larger text, bigger buttons, and combining your headers into one column for easy reading.

3. Wield the power of personalization.

As Lindsay says, “There’s just a lot of power in companies personalizing their email.” Taking the time to design with personalization goes a long way. Personalization can be simple when driven by data and predictive intelligence.

The email inbox is still a mostly personal place. We get messages from family members and friends there, and now messages from your brand are in the mix. Making the effort to create messages that reflect this intimacy is absolutely worth it, and “it really does goes a long way — more so than even social media, or other channels that can be a little bit louder or not quite as comforting,” Lindsay confirms.

She continues, “Knowing that a brand and a company has taken time to personalize a message, even if it is automated and driven by data, really does help make that company and that customer experience memorable. And that results in them engaging with the email message and then arriving at the landing page or directed to an app to make a purchase.”

4. Funkify your email design with movement.

“Technology has done a lot to help marketers improve their production of emails; [the emails aren’t] as static anymore. You can definitely become a lot more dynamic,” shares Lindsay.

Email design offers more possibilities than ever before, so go for it! Everyone loves images, especially images that move. We’re looking at you, GIFs.

Lindsay says, “General and subtle animation can bring an otherwise static email to life. Just adding a little movement or interactivity can go a long way.”

And while video might not be accessible for every inbox at the moment, it might not be far off either: “I’ve seen a lot of really great creative ways to hint at the idea of a video in an email that then directs to a landing page or maybe the app for that company to continue the video experience there.”

When used well, email can be an exciting and dynamic way to connect with your customers. And as Lindsay says, “[Email is] this amazing creative medium in which you have a lot of limitations, but you can really use those limitations to push the envelope.”

And that’s just the beginning of our conversation with Lindsay Siovaila (@lindsaylee13). Get the complete low-down on current email design and personalization from a top email designer in this episode of the Marketing Cloudcast.

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