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Earlier this year, we talked about the social media marketing trends we see on the horizon for 2016.  This is important to keep in mind as we discuss how it affects email marketing in 2016.  Email and social go hand in hand, so we’re going to walk through some of these social trends and tell you how you can use these ideas for email as well.

 

INFOGRAPHIC: 2016 Social Marketing Trends

 

360° Video and Live Streaming

 

As video becomes more and more popular, the technology continues to evolve.  In 2015, we saw an explosion of live streaming, and 360° video is growing more and more in popularity.  What do these two have in common?  They’re new technological advances that allow the viewer to be more engaged with the video, bordering on virtual reality.  As you create content for the web that seeks to engage an audience, it’s important to know that these developments offer an excellent chance to reach that audience in a new, more memorable way.

 

What is 360° Video?

 

360° video allows the viewer to move their point of view at will.  When viewing on a mobile device, simply move your phone around to change the view, and when viewing on a desktop, use the mouse to drag around to different viewpoints.

 

Check out this 360° music video from FanBridgers Miracles of Modern Science:

 

 

READ ALSO: Featured FanBridger: Miracles of Modern Science

 

Making a 360° video can be expensive.  It requires multiple cameras recording at once, which you then need to stitch together with editing software.  Cameras run anywhere from $400 to $6,000, and uploading to YouTube is also a technical process.

 

Here’s a comprehensive Beginner’s Tutorial, for those who are interested:

 

 

What is Live Streaming?

 

Live streaming allows a viewer to see what you’re experiencing in real time.  It truly adds another level of intimacy to that relationship with your fans, plus it’s just super fun!

 

You can live stream with apps like Meerkat and Periscope, or you can live stream straight to YouTube.  YouTube is even working on developing the ability tolive stream in 360°!

 

How Does This Affect My Email Marketing?

 

While you can’t stream a YouTube video directly in an email, this still affects your email marketing!  After all, clicks to content from email stream twice as long as clicks from social!

 

With a 360° video, it’s important that your fans understand how they can watch it.  Miracles of Modern Science made sure to explain this when they sent an email to their fans announcing the new 360° video:

 

Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 3.16.55 PM

 

For a live stream, if you plan it in advance, sending an email would be an excellent way to let your fans know when to tune in.  You can also schedule an email to go out at the exact moment you start streaming.  Make sure to include a link to your YouTube or Periscope account so that your most supportive fans can easily find you – and see you in real-time!

 
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READ NEXT: Social Trends & Email: Animated GIFs

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Team FanBridge

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One of the biggest struggles of email marketing is always figuring out what to send to your fans.  Sometimes it can be tempting to just say, “Screw it,” and skip sending an email.  While it’s entirely up to you, it’s important to know the risks associated with skipping a regular email campaign and the benefits of sending frequently.  We’re here to give you some extra motivation and keep you informed!  Here’s why it’s important to regularly send a campaign to your email list:

 

Sender Reputation

 

Yes, that’s right.  Did you know that how often you send can affect your reputation as a sender?  How does that happen?  Well, a couple of different reasons.

 

Firstly, your subscribers’ engagement with your emails is important.  The more they receive an email from you, the more their email client (Gmail, Yahoo, etc.) knows that you can be trusted as a sender.

 

Additionally, bounce rate is a key factor in whether or not you are viewed as a trusted sender.  The bounce rate is the percentage of email addresses  on your list that were invalid.  Basically, for one reason or another, we couldn’t reach their inbox.  If you haven’t sent to your email list in awhile, you could have a higher bounce rate than normal.  That’s a sign to email clients that you don’t have a good list or follow best practices, and you could end up in the spam folder.

 

Sales

 

Always remember that email has the highest ROI of any digital channel.  People are far more likely to click through to purchase something from an email than from social media.  If you make money from streaming content, clicks from emails stream content twice as long as clicks from social media.  If you’re looking to boost revenue in any way, sending an email is always a good idea.

 

Stay Top of Mind

 

The subconscious is a powerful thing.  Even if you don’t have a very important update, and even if your subscriber doesn’t open every single email, they will most likely still see your name appear in their inbox.  Even a subtle reminder that you’re around and promoting your work helps.  They may not take action right then, but when they need to buy a gift or when they want to buy tickets to an event, your name may pop up sooner.

 

Your Fans Want to Hear From You

 

Lastly, and most importantly, your fans always want to hear from you.  Even if it’s not an important update, they’ll be excited that you thought to keep them in the loop.   Sharing your life, even the dull moments, with your fans is an easy way to build that relationship.

 

3 Email Marketing Resolutions for 2016 & How to Keep Them

 

How to Stay on Track

 

Has it been awhile since you sent an email?  Cleaning your list might be in order.  Here’s some steps to take to help prevent your email campaign from accidentally hitting the spam folder:

 

  • In your FanBridge account, head to the Fans tab and select Search and Manage
  •  If you search your list using Undefined FanRank and Date Added Before, you can find the old email addresses that have never opened an email from you.  Use your own judgment when searching for Date Added.
  • You can place these in a different group to send to less often, or remove them entirely.  Either way, they’re not doing you any favors staying on your list.

 

Now that your list is clean, maintenance is key.  First, we would recommend setting a weekly or monthly reminder to send an email to your fans.  Want help?  You can set up a google calendar alert on the FanBridge logout page.

 

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Of course, setting a reminder isn’t always enough.  Even if you plan to send a newsletter, you need to plan what you’re going to send.  We can help make it easy with our Template Tool and integrations with SoundCloud, YouTube and Spotify, but you’ll still need to have the material!  Sometimes it works best to plan out what to send in advance.

 

Why We’re So Excited About SoundCloud in Emails

 

If you don’t have any new projects or merchandise, make sure to keep in mind, once again, that your fans want to hear from you anyway!  Plus, you’ll stay in that top of mind position, even if it’s not an important update.

 

What should you send?  Tell your fans what you did that week.  Did you play an interesting show?  Are you preparing for a project or event?  If you did nothing, tell them what you watched on Netflix.  Go on a House of Cards rant.  It’s still an opportunity to make a connection and continue building that relationship.

Email MadLibs!  What to Send During a Slow Period

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Team FanBridge

Earlier this month, we talked about the social media marketing trends we see on the horizon for 2016.  This is important to keep in mind as we discuss how it affects email marketing in 2016.  Email and social go hand in hand, so we’re going to walk through some of these social trends and tell you how you can use these ideas for email as well.

 

INFOGRAPHIC: 2016 Social Marketing Trends

 

Animated GIFs & Cinemagraphs

 

As we mentioned before, marketing is becoming increasingly visual, which includes increasing usage of animated GIFs and cinemagraphs.  Use of animated GIFs in emails saw a 26% higher click through rate!  If that’s not reason enough, we don’t know what is.

 

What is a Cinemagraph?

 

A cinemagraph is a type of animated GIF, except only a portion of the photo is actually animated.  Check out this incredible example (which was used in an email campaign) from Mr. Porter:

 
email-marketing-mrporter-cinemagraph
 

As you can see, the man’s hand and glass are moving, the flame is flickering, but nothing else.  Not even a shadow moves in the rest of the photo.  Cinemagraphs, while more subtle than a fully animated GIF, demand more attention from the viewer to figure out what they’re looking at.  Your eye is immediately drawn to the swirling glass.  Behind the glass is the jacket for sale.

 

How do I Make a Cinemagraph or an Animated GIF?

 

There are a lot of great online resources to create a GIF.  You should already have a video file ready to convert, and then you can use a tool like giphy or ezgif to convert the file and optimize it.

 

For a cinemagraph, there are less tools available, and it’s a bit more technical.  First, you’ll need to make sure that the video you’re converting has been recorded on a tripod.  If you don’t, your cinemagraph might come out like this:

 

ezgif.com-optimize (8)

 

Cinemagraph Pro is an excellent tool to use once you’ve recorded your video.  Simply add the file, then use the mask function to select which parts of the video should remain moving.

 

ezgif.com-video-to-gif (4)

 

As you can see, the results can be quite stunning:

 

Daniel’s Violin. Moving image by @ericitaphoto #DanielParkMusic #Cinemagraph #Violin #Music #LasVegas A video posted by Lawrence Creative Group (@lawrencecreativ) on

 

 

How do I add these in an email?

 

You can add an animated GIF the same way you add a photo to the email campaign!  A few things to keep in mind:

 

  • Make sure the file format is .gif
  • The file must be less than 2MB in size
  • An email is only 600px wide, so no need to make your GIF any larger than that

 

How should I use a GIF or Cinemagraph in an email?

 

Any movement in an email campaign will draw the eye.  The question is, what do you want the eye drawn to?  The obvious answer is that you’d like the reader to click through to another page where they consume content, or perhaps make a purchase.  Your GIF should be in support of that action.  Here’s some of our favorite examples:

 

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