By Cheryl Stern

Each year it seems there are endless articles that pop up about the hottest email trends being used for all types of marketing. This isn’t surprising, since email remains such an important tool for communicating with your current audience and growing it. And while it’s not realistic to try out every new fad within your emails, it is important to keep your emails fresh and engaging to prevent your audience from tuning them out as nothing more than unwanted inbox noise.

To that end, here are a few things that we’re mindful of as we strive to recruit and retain constituents through email:

1. Your email will only succeed if people can read it.

Depending on your constituent demographics, you may find 50% of your audience opening and interacting with your emails on their mobile phones or on tablets, rather than on their laptop or desktop computers. That said, even if that number is 50%, that still leaves half of your audience interacting with you from more traditional computers. So, it is vital that your emails work across a variety of platforms and with a variety of email providers. I know that I’m likely to quickly delete an email that is difficult to read or not formatted properly for the device I’m using. And it continues to surprise me how many emails I still receive that are not responsive.

2. A picture is worth a thousand words.

And seriously, who wants to read a thousand-word email anyway? Providing engaging language is certainly key, but imagery can be just as important. A limited-time discount becomes all that more eye-catching when the offer details are overlaid upon a colorful and dynamic photo. A description of your exhilarating race obstacles can only go so far; photos can help put your audience in the shoes of your participants. Great event photography is a powerful tool for selling a fun and meaningful experience.

3. Embrace an omnichannel approach.

When possible, your emails should hold hands with your social media posts and your digital advertising and skip through fields of daisies with one another. Your staff on the phones and at outreach events should reiterate the same messaging and offers that have been introduced in email/social/ads. Providing a cohesive message across your communications will present a seamless (and hopefully memorable) experience for your audience. Email is an important tool, but will only be made more successful when thoughtfully integrated with your other recruitment tactics.

When not playing the role of participant in everything from 5Ks to marathons, Cheryl works as the Brand Manager for MuckFest® MS, helping to deliver a meaningful event experience to others.

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