Many of your customers could be opening your email through Microsoft Outlook. Research shows more than half of the business email accounts – around 500 million – are registered to Microsoft Outlook. In recent years, however, the interest in Outlook has declined. That’s why the company rolled out some new features, hoping to bring customers back.
Outlook’s change won’t just impact users; it will impact small businesses that are trying to reach customers through email marketing.
Here’s what businesses should know about the new streamlined Outlook:
Link preview can help showcase your business
Outlook is now using a new link preview feature. Let’s say you add a link to a recent blog post to your email, Outlook will automatically pull the image and the title of the post into the email as a preview. It looks similar to this:
It’s a great feature for businesses because now your links really standout. It’s especially great for video links. We already know that video has the power to boost open rates. Research shows that using the word “video” in the subject line can increase open rates by 19%. Now, when you add a link to a video, Outlook automatically pulls in a thumbnail of the video, which can be played instantly.
Improved calendar features
Want to send your customers an invitation to an event? With the new Outlook, there are a number of updates to the calendar feature. Now, when you send an invitation, the customer can add it right to their calendar. Some businesses, 47% in fact, are still sending invitations to events via snail mail. While there are many ways to invite guests to an event, email marketing is one the easiest options.
And, with new features like the ones Outlook has introduced, it makes emailing invitations an even stronger idea. With email, you can not only extend an invite, but you can send follow up emails that reminder customers about the event, or provide additional information like best places to park.
Improved search functions
New search functions allow users to find emails easier. Now, users can use “refiners” to search by sender, folder, date received or attachments. What does this mean for businesses? You should make sure that your email has a few keywords that describe your business in it. For instance, if your company sells digital cameras, make sure you have words like, “camera,” “picture,” or “photography” in the email.
That way, if a subscriber wants to search for your email, but can’t remember the name of your company, the email will still come up in a search. With so many people using Outlook as an email provider, it’s important to stay up to date with changes like this. For business, it means making small tweaks to their email marketing strategy that could result in big returns.
What do you think of these new changes? Do you think they will help your email marketing strategy? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.