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Team FanBridge

Designing an email campaigns makes you consider many elements you might not have thought of before, such as ‘How big should I make this button?’ or ‘Do you think this canary yellow complements the white text? Should I go with Tuscan Sun instead?’

 
If you’re not familiar with email design, all of these details that need your attention can seem very daunting. With practice, you’ll start to find a visual aesthetic that fits your brand and appeals to your fans. In the meantime, here are some tips on how to get started.

 

The Template

After the subject line, the layout of your template is one of the most crucial things your fans will use to decide if they want to continue reading. The Template Tool may need some exploring on your first time around, but for any questions on how to navigate the different modules, consult this tutorial video.

 
We’re here with recommendations on how to implement those modules for a successful email campaign. An extremely important factor to keep in mind is how many people are going to be viewing your email through a mobile device. Each year the number of emails viewed from smartphones and tablets rises, so you’ll want to test your layout and make sure it appears how you intended on both small and large screens.
 
A few things you’ll want to test are the header lines and spacing. What appears as one line on your computer screen might be shortened into two, causing words to overlap.
 

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Also, think about how pictures with text on them might transfer to a mobile viewing setting. If the pictures shrink, so will the text. Pictures may also be too large to load or blocked on a mobile device so, be sure to include a description of the picture in the html.
 

The Color Scheme

Don’t have an art degree to analyze the aesthetics of your email campaign? Neither do most of your viewers. But they can still feel overwhelmed or confused by an email with too much going on. We have some words of wisdom for choosing whether or not Pantone #9DCFA3 will be too muted for an email about exciting tour dates.

 
First, think about your brand. Do you have a website with a color scheme? An image you use as the profile picture across all of your social media accounts? Sticking to two or three main colors will help your brand be easily recognizable, even if the viewer only spends 30 seconds reading the email.
 

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If you don’t have a brand color yet, it’s time to take it back to elementary school and think about the color wheel. The colors you pick shouldn’t be over the top or boring after one email. These are the colors you will be using as the Global Settings for your template to maintain unity over time. You could go with something simple like black and white with monochromatic accents. You could also stick with warm or bright colors to stand out (However, from personal experience I can say that an all pastel-colored email is visually offensive). Find one color you like and see what works best alongside it, colors that contrast or colors that complement?
 
You can also find inspiration from campaigns you already love. Subscribe to brands/influencers whose content you enjoy, or check out this article from Hubspot for some examples of successful email campaigns. Find what moves you and tweak to fit your own brand’s voice.

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Team FanBridge

2017 Trends- Social

 

We recently discussed a few up and coming trends for email marketers in 2017. But since we’re firm believers that email & social media work hand in hand, we wonder what this year has in store for social marketers.

 

Visual content

With the continued evolution of live streaming content in 2016, there’s no doubt we’ll come across newer advancements in live video throughout 2017. With the debut of Facebook Live and Instagram’s Live stories last year, along with Twitter’s Periscope app, brands have wasted no time in taking advantage of new ways to market themselves through livestreaming. These tools have proven themselves to be a low-budget method of candidly connecting brands with their audience while yielding results.

 

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Periscope in action

 

We’ve also seen a growing interest from brands in temporary content. Snapchat first blazed the trail for ephemeral social content upon release, followed by Instagram with the release of new Instagram Direct features in August and this year’s Facebook Stories release. Like live video, these tools allow brands to create raw content that give audiences a candid glimpse into their favorite brands. And with the temporary nature of the content, there’s a number of innovative ways to make the best of these resources.

 

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Can Facebook Stories compete with Snapchat? 

There’s a possibility that we’ll also see a rise in virtual/augmented reality marketing for brands. While widespread accessibility for marketing with this tech hasn’t quite arrived for smaller brands, large companies have still been making the best of what’s available in incredible ways. With Snapchat lenses and Facebook masks for live video, it’s a matter of time before more platforms begin to adopt this functionality for small businesses.

Social messaging 

Recent advancements in automation have led to platforms introducing chatbots to provide support for customers. Tools like WhatsApp, Kik or Facebook Messenger’s chatbots allow you to engage your audience during times when you and your team are unavailable. And with the right tweaks, you can create a chatbot that seamlessly furthers your brand’s identity for you. While this kind of functionality has experienced some growing pains in the past year, we believe there’s a strong possibility for advancements in artificial intelligence tools for social marketers in the near future.
 

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Facebook Chatbots can provide automated support 24/7

 

Paid advertising

In the past year, many major social platforms underwent algorithm changes to determine how content displays in users’ feeds. Given this algorithmic shift and an increase in brands using social platforms for marketing, social reach experienced a drastic decline as the noise of social marketing grew. Now, more brands are switching to paid social ads to amplify their content and work around newsfeed algorithms to get in front of their audiences. These tools are used to target content to the right audience for maximum efficiency. And when used with social analytics, you can determine the perfect audience for your ads and see if your campaigns are providing a valuable return on investment. But while paid social ads can be valuable for your brand, it can only help so much if your content isn’t up to par.

 

Social ecommerce

In 2016, Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat rolled out features to allow brands to post and sell merchandise through social media, joining Pinterest on the roster of social platforms with e-commerce capabilities. These features allow customers to easily access product info while browsing your content and even make purchases directly from your posts. It can be an excellent opportunity for smaller brands to advertise their products at little-to-no cost.
 

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Pinterest has transformed into an ecommerce powerhouse for marketers

Do these trends have a chance of becoming the new norm for social marketing? Or will we have moved on to bigger and better things by 2018? Try these out for your brand and find out what excites your fans most!

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Team FanBridge

2017 Trends-Email

With 2017 well underway, many digital marketers remain curious to find out what’s in store for the future of email this year. We saw a few innovative trends break out in 2016, but what lies ahead in the near future? Let’s take a look at what email marketing trends have been building steam so far:

 

Segmentation/Personalization

2016 brought forth a massive shift in focus towards the value of customer activity data. When used efficiently, this data makes it easier to predict who to reach out to, when to connect with them, what they’ll respond best to and more. This allows for deeper segmentation and can be used to create highly targeted campaigns based on subscriber activity. Subscriber data can also be used to create a stronger personal tone in your emails which can help improve engagement rates.

 

Automation

Knowing how your audience acts gives you the ability to predict what fans will do before it happens. The vast growth in valuable data in the past year has given way to a rise in popularity for automation among independent marketers. The right automation tools allow you plan to connect with your audience ahead of time without constant scheduling and tedious campaign production. More brands have begun adopting methods including cart abandonment popups and trigger emails that send when subscribers perform certain actions for efficient customer outreach with little hassle. With more marketers warming up to automation, there’s no doubt we’ll be seeing more advancements in 2017.

 

Interactivity

After Apple’s release of iOS 10, videos can finally be embedded and viewed in emails…for iOS mail on iPad. While this functionality isn’t currently available on desktop or most mobile devices and is limited to non-YouTube sources, it’s just a matter of time until playback video in email becomes more of a widespread possibility.

Cinemagraphs and gifs have also proven to be a popular and easy way to add compelling visual flair to your emails in 2016. We’ve preached about these handy tools before and we have no doubt they’ll prove their use in 2017. Since most email clients support gifs, they’ve become a strong alternative to video for adding motion to your emails.

Design

One key takeaway marketers have picked up on in the past year is that your subscribers’ time is precious. Which is why it’s crucial to communicate their message as quickly and easily as possible. This necessity has created an audience demand for minimalist and flat designs that allows your subscribers to scan and digest your campaigns quickly. These campaigns use clean visual elements, a small amount of text and simple images to convey your message efficiently. And with less time spent on campaign design, you can focus more on improving their email content.

Now that you’re up to date on what’s new, see how these methods work for your marketing efforts. Find out which trends your audience respond best to and whether they’re here to stay or a passing fad.

Sources:
Hatchbuck
Sumo
Litmus
MediaPost
Business2Community

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