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Digital marketing news for small businesses: July roundup

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As we make our way into August, we take a look back over a few of the stories from the world of digital marketing and what they mean for your business.

Don’t give up on email marketing

If you think that your marketing emails are only going to get transferred straight to the ‘junk’ folder without being read, think again.

According to Episerver’s State of Digital Commerce report, email is still the top dog for mobile conversions, with one in five consumers having purchased something as a result of an offer they received in an email.

Yet many businesses aren’t cashing in on this popularity, with 30% saying they don’t include email offers in their overall mobile marketing strategy. It’s a useful reminder that for all the new marketing channels appearing on the scene, good old email still rules the roost.

Make sure your emails are mobile-optimised

While we’re on the subject of email, research released by Return Path this month shows that more than half of all emails are now opened on a mobile device, making mobile the preferred method of reading email.

The study showed that mobile email opens have doubled in the past five years, highlighting the importance of ensuring that your emails are optimised for display on the smaller screen of a mobile device.

Emojis can still help drive up your email open rate

17th July saw the celebration of ‘World Emoji Day’, and with it, the release of a report into the effectiveness of emojis in email marketing. The study showed that the heart emoji was most effective at driving email opens this year, with a 28.1% open rate, replacing the ‘crying with laughter’ emoji as the most popular.

However, the most popular emoji last year drove 31.5% of opens, outperforming this year’s top choice. The study shows that overall, while emojis in subject lines still increase email open rates in the UK by 5% (making them still worth experimenting with), they’re not as effective at getting people to open emails as they were last year.

Use social media to reach older people, too

A report released this month by Ofcom shows that more older internet users are now on social media than ever before, with four in ten of those over the age of 75 now having a social media profile. This means that it’s no longer just tech-savvy Millennials you can reach via social media.

That said, a fifth of over-65s say they’re not confident online, suggesting that simple is better if you’re trying to appeal to this demographic. Clear calls-to-action, such as “find out more”, are likely to be more effective than asking them to download an app, for example.

Respect email opt-outs – or else!

A cautionary tale emerged this month in the form of Moneysupermarket being fined a whopping £80,000 for continuing to send emails to customers who’d opted out of receiving them.

While the scale of the company’s transgression is somewhat larger than most – it sent 7.1 million emails over ten days to customers who’d opted out – it’s a reminder that such behaviour is a big no-no.

Not only that, but it’s illegal to ask customers to consent to email communications again when they’ve already opted out. So, if you’re sending emails to your customers, make sure that you remove their email addresses from your database when they ask you to do so.

Shorter isn’t necessarily better when it comes to videos

Finally, you probably don’t need us to tell you how effective videos can be in marketing, but you might be surprised by the findings of a study released this month, which says that longer videos may be more effective at driving engagement than shorter ones.

It found that videos longer than 15 minutes received 50% of all engagement, while those under five minutes – which make up 80% of all videos on social media – received less than a third of video engagement. This appears to go against the received wisdom that shorter is better when it comes to videos, but it’s food for thought if you’re thinking about using video to engage potential customers as part of your own marketing strategy.

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Zoe works as a Content Marketing Executive at the UK Domain. Previously working in advertising and the sporting industry, Zoe has over four years experience in marketing.

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