Email Marketing Trends in 2016

Digital marketing is a notoriously fickle field. But in this ever-changing minefield of an industry, email marketing has held strong. It’s consistently effective in converting leads and can be a content marketer’s most valuable asset. What can you do to up your email marketing game? So far in 2016, these trends have held their ground and should continue to do so.

You’re reading this on your phone, and so is your audience.

Two-thirds of all email is now read on mobile devices. If you’re not optimized for mobile and using responsive design, you need get on that, like, yesterday. But optimizing for mobile shouldn’t limit you- screens are getting bigger and better suited for valuable content like video and animation. See creating content for mobile as an opportunity to be creative and innovative with your email campaign. What more could you want than an audience that will probably get your content immediately, right in their pocket, no matter where they are?

This .gif from a recent email blast for a Tribu client is not only unique, engaging and to the point- it’s optimized for mobile!


Targeting and Segmentation are more important than ever.

The “batch and blast” email of the past is dead. More than ever, consumers are seeking out personalized information that values them and their experiences. This goes double for millennial and generation Z audiences, who crave authentic communication geared toward them and their specific interests. Automation is a valuable tool, but it loses its efficacy when you’re inundating your audience with information they don’t want or need. Doing research about what motivates your consumer and speaking to that motivation will help you target them appropriately and make an authentic impact with your email. You can accomplish this by…

Tracking what works and what doesn’t, and acting accordingly.

All of the beautiful design and creative copy in the world won’t get open or clicked if it’s not going to right audiences at the right time. Campaigns must be data-driven. Tracking how your campaigns are received and developing that information for future campaigns must be at the heart of your email marketing strategy. In many ways, email marketing is a science that comes down to experimentation and implementation. A systematic approach will incorporate analytical findings and creative vision in equal measure. At Tribu, we call this “creat-alytical” thinking, and it drives the work that we do.


Social media and email will become increasingly entwined

One of the best ways to give users a feeling of involvement in your brand is to simply involve them. The easiest way to do this is social media- giving your audience their own voice in your marketing. While including links to social media accounts is now standard in virtually any email campaign, consider making them front and center. Including a real-time portal to your social media accounts and what people are saying about your brand is a brave and authentic way of sharing your consumer’s feedback. It can also contribute to lead generation via social media- people will sign up for an email list that includes their thoughts as a consumer.

Think long and hard about your subject lines.

More than 205 billion emails are sent and received every. Single. Day. Your email needs to stand out right away, and the subject line is the first impression. Today’s audiences are wary of anything that smells like a sales attempt. Consider the tried and true subject line: “20% off coupon inside!” You have to consider that they probably receive that exact subject line multiple times a day and the value it offers no longer feels urgent. If five different retail outlets offer me 20% off for Labor Day, I don’t feel the need to buy from any of them. My next offer is just one email away! A subject line needs to be a little weird, but it can’t strike me as click bait or a sales offer. One bold strategy: Hubspot cites a study of over six million emails that found subject lines with no subject line at all were actually opened 8% more often than those with a subject line. Maybe the best way to stand out in a subject line is to play hard to get and make your consumer click for content.


Email marketing is a key part of inbound strategy, and we make it our business to do it well.  Find more examples of our excellent email strategy here and here. For all of your digital marketing needs, Tribu’s got your back. Let our cutting-edge solutions be your organization’s success.

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4 Ways San Antonio Graphic Designers Stay Ahead of the Joe-Blows of the World

It seems like everyone knows what “good” design is and if they don’t, they sure have an opinion of what it should look like. (Just photoshop it). All designers have had a run-in with that “gifted” someone; a client, non-designer friend or a co-worker blessed with design talent. We’ll call these guys the Joe-Blows.

So how can we true designers keep a creative leg-up on all the undiscovered designers we encounter? There are at least 4 ways to keep yourself up to speed and relevant in such a world. Add your own tips by leaving us a comment below.

1. Knowledge.

Anyone can get a bootleg copy of Adobe software or some poor substitute, and most of us went to school learning the in’s and out’s of how to use them all. Keeping up with the latest versions and the new tools and techniques that come with every new version is what keeps us ahead. Keep your skills relevant, use a new tool everyday and learn to master them all. While everyone else is perfecting their craft we are (or should be) doing the same.

2. Creativity.

Keep the cliche creative juices flowing. I like to look at all kinds of creative & non-creative fields to give me inspiration for my design work. I like to see the work of other designers, but I also like to look at fashion, architecture, game/video game design, cars, furniture design & nature to name a few. I use Flipboard pretty religiously because its great way to pull from a variety of resources. I don’t leave my house for work without browsing through it. Anything really can spark that great idea you need for your client, but while everyone else is only stealing from the obvious place, we should be looking deeper into the world around us for inspiration and ideas.

3. Blogs.

I am constantly looking at what other designers are talking about, their inspirations, their tools and their work. What better place to get those creative juices flowing than your professional peers? (or a good laugh at the expense of someone else’s client) There are tons of great blogs out there on the big-ol’ www filled with great content. One of my favorites is  The guys and gals there are always blogging about something designers can find useful. Stay in touch with your fellow designers in the comment’s sections of these sites. Interaction with your peers is a great way to share and learn more about design.

4. Sketch.

Obvious and true, we live in a world dominated by computers and smart phones, making the ol’ pen (pencil) and paper nearly obsolete. I like to keep a sketchbook handy while I’m at home or in the office. Whenever I have an Idea I’ll sketch it out or write it down if I don’t have time to draw something up right then. Sketching your ideas or thoughts out always help keep your design skills sharp and ready to fire at the drop of a hat. Most people can’t even explain what they want let alone draw it up, so this is a great way to keep ahead of the Joe-blow designers of the world. Wether it’s a post-it note or a moleskin sketch pad, keep honing that “old world” craft and draw as much as you can.

In Brief

To keep ahead of everyone who thinks they can design, do what you love and stay creative. Use these tips on a daily basis to keep well ahead of the Joe-blow designers out there and you should have no problem coming up with ideas far superior to theirs. Leave a comment below with your own tips on how you keep a leg-up in a world filled designers. We welcome conversation.

If your not a designer at all and your willing to admit it, let our San Antonio graphic designers help you out in your efforts. See our work, and critique our work. Theres nothing we take more seriously than good graphic design.


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