3 Important Features All ESPs Must Have
From the first email system that was developed in 1971, emails have evolved and changed and have also gained popularity among masses. Today, 269 billion emails are sent daily, as per the 2017-2021 Radicati email statistical report. More so, by the end of 2021; worldwide email users is estimated to be over 4.1 billion – and that’s a huge market.
Changes in terms of the UI, additional features or even simplification of existing features are an indication that ESPs are drastically changing to accommodate this massive email shift.
In our coding journey we Monks come across many different ESPs and are on a lookout for some features that all ESPs should have. Three prominent suggestions are:
But since many ESPs don’t support or may take time in implementing these features, the Monks also suggest a few third-party tools that can help in integrating these features into your emails.
Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. are some of the few social platforms that have gained popularity over the years. These platforms are great to connect with prospective clients. However, some emails lack social sharing tabs that can otherwise help boost popularity and connections along with increasing open and click rates.
Although Mailchimp offers an option to add a social sharing feature within your email template, it limits you from creating custom social sharing tabs. You have to make do with the one provided by the ESP.
And unfortunately, other major ESPs don’t have any provision for social sharing.
This option is majorly used for the articles or newsletter emails that are worth sharing on social platforms. However, as this is not a feature included by any ESP, it is unfortunately not possible for all email marketers to have them in their Email Template.
So here’s a workaround till ESPs starts building those.
‘Share Link Generator’ by Patrick St. John, helps a lot here.
Mailchimp Social Sharing Tabs
‘Share Link Generator’ by Patrick St. John
How It Works
Once you choose your social platform, all you have to do is just add the URL you wish to share and hit the ‘create the link’ tab. This action will open a drop down menu with the URL and HTML link code that can be copied and inserted within the email.
Source: Share Link Generator for Facebook
Add Event to Calendar
Time management is a great yet rare skill. As humans, with so much to do and such little time in hand, it’s natural to miss out on certain important dates and occasions.
Wouldn’t it be great to have someone constantly remind you about your upcoming events; like a music fest happening over the weekend, or your next appointment with your dentist, or a birthday of a close friend, etc.? This will not only keep your life on track but will also help marketers increase conversion rates.
Again it is not available in all ESPs. But with one-off emails that are time bound and invitation based, it’s mandatory to send ICS or calendar invite helping them save the date.
‘iCal Maker’ by Michal Klouda
How It Works
iCal maker is a calendar making tool that helps to schedule, exchange calendaring information. Let’s see how it works.
Once you have created an event in the tool, just hit ‘Create iCal (.ics) file’ and the following results window pops up.
Now, select the result and paste it in the notepad and save it with an .ics extension.
Host this file on a remote server or file storage provided by your ESP and add the url in your email. This allows anyone to easily add appointments and events. When they click it, the event is registered in their calendar automatically. It is currently supported in Apple mail (Desktop and Mobile), Outlook and Android native clients.
Forward To a Friend
Forwarding an email to your friend is something every email marketing manager will either love or hate the most.
Hate because the rendering goes haywire if HTML email is forwarded from Outlook or Thunderbird.
Love because this is a great way to allow subscribers to forward your email campaigns to their friends and get more opens and clicks.
Doing this without the entire layout being ruined is a challenge if forward is done using email client. But including a ‘Forward to a Friend’ link of ESP within all your email campaigns can help increase and boost open and click-through rates.
A ‘forward to a friend’ form must have certain required details such as your friend’s name, their email id, your name and email id and a message (optional). This process creates a list and then forwards the exact email to your friend.
Forward to a Friend Form
ESPs That Support
MailChimp / Campaign Monitor / SFMC (Exact Target) / Marketo and more.
How It Works
While creating your campaign, add the FORWARD variable to your content. This tag automatically occupies the link when the campaign is sent.
Once the subscriber clicks the ‘Forward to a Friend’ link in your campaign, they are directed to a form after filling which, the friend receives an email to view the campaign. These campaign forms can be customized.
There are some ESPs that do not include forward to a friend link, sad but true and fingers crossed they will soon add that as a feature.
Having ESPs supporting and including these 3 features – social sharing, add to calendar and forward to a friend – can revolutionize the way emails work. These elements help boost open and click-through rates. They have also changed and broadened the horizon of conversions.
Looking forward to building your first email template with social sharing option? The Monks can help you build one.