Email is a mainstay in the marketing toolbox, but marketers need to continuously evolve their email tactics to cater to a changing audience. Join me in a leap forward into the future of email marketing in the 6th annual review of email marketing trends, changes, predictions, and constants.
Compiling this overview has always been a good excuse to highlight what’s happening right now, and taking a peek at what is just around the corner in 2017 and beyond.
So let’s jump in and see what marketing industry thinkers today have to say about the future of email marketing tomorrow…
Email marketing 5 years ahead…
How will email marketing evolve? Econsultancy asked brand side marketers: “Looking ahead five years, what do you think the single biggest change to email marketing will be?”
The following word cloud is the result. The biggest changes in the coming 5 years gravitate around Personalisation, Data, Automation, Devices and Content.
10 MarTech Experts Decipher the Future of Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
What will be the most interesting developments and trends? Ten industry experts came together on request by the emailvendorselection.com site and shared their views on what the future of Email Marketing & Marketing Automation will hold.
- Scott Brinker Marketers will rationalize technology stacks to achieve economy of architecture and Account Based Marketing (ABM) will remain one of the hottest categories.
- Pawel Sala Increasingly lower costs unlock a work-flow of data between web tracking, social media, BI solutions, CRM or ERP systems and email marketing. Making communication more personalized and relevant.
- Krzysztof Jarecki Artificial intelligence will take over campaign execution, especially for companies with large content libraries.
- David Raab Video is the up-and-coming functionality, easy creation will be accompanied by changes that make it easier to deploy and understand video content.
- Willem Stam E-mail systems move towards the data instead of other way around, senders will need more data-points to personalize communication that will drive user engagement.
- Benoît De Nayer Machine Learning will steer adaptive campaigns for smaller Marketing Automation platforms where AI will allow to continuously adapt campaigns to the individual customer journey.
- Jordie van Rijn The definition of MarTech will change as small market, ABM and dynamic content functionality comes together
- Tink Taylor Innovation will come from an explosion of machine-learning start-ups. For top-tier industry leaders, data is often in good shape, but it’s not all held in the same place.
- Assaf Ben-Asher Integration platforms are on the rise to extend the top marketing and engagement applications and increase service reach.
- Matt Hayes Iterative development on content automation in order to solve content production problems.
Read the full article with the complete and most juicy MarTech predictions here: 10 MarTech Experts decipher the Future of Email and Marketing Automation
What one learns from reading 134 mail marketing predictions
What happens if you read all the “Top email trends for 2017”, “Where is email headed in the year to come?” and “2017 email marketing predictions”articles out there? Gerald Marshall took the gamble and went through 134 email marketing predictions. My advice, don’t try this at home. And in one sitting, you’ll have a 100% chance of information overload!
The top 4 for 2017 are in the category data analysis, emails and ESPs, content and segmentation. The other big winners this year are email design and improved ESP platforms followed by video content and AI-assisted segmentation/ personalization.
AI is have email data analysis for lunch. The data analysis category includes artificial intelligence and bots with nearly half (15 of 33) of the category predictions dominated by that type of smart tech.
Have a look at the complete breakdown of predictions
Email marketing trendbook 2017
What are the most interesting trends that could play a bigger part in your email marketing strategy in 2017? Email marketing experts Krzysztof Jarecki, Aleksander Heba and Adam Ambrożewicz from Expert Sender discuss it in their Email marketing trendbook 2017.
- Expect Chatbots to run e-commerce email marketing
Customer behavior can already trigger automated emails. Expect chatbots to start doing the same. They’ll run automated workflows; send confirmation emails, abandoned cart emails, create newsletter sign ups, all personalized with data from the chat session.
- Email will shrink
Mobile phones are now the most common devices to access emails. According to 2016 research, the sweet spot for email length was between 50-125 words for optimal effect. With less space and minimal attention spans, expect email content to get shorter.
- Eye-tracking is back! and now for kick-ass email
Are you looking at me? Eye-tracking was mainly used for websites, but is now being used for testing email creative. It uses focus groups with real end users. Thanks to more affordable hardware, it’s now possible to run fast and inexpensive email eye tracking tests.
- Context makes real-time email
There’s going to be a whole lot more emails using contextual data, in real-time. Content will be based different sources including for instance geo-location, device, weather, time, (twitter) trends and stock levels. Based on real-time variables the emails will be generated at moment-of-open (not send).
- Predictive lead scoring is picking up
More businesses choose to have integrated models that are employing Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to generate lead scores automatically. This is what we call predictive lead scoring. A predictive intelligence layer on the top of the marketing automation we will hear more about in 2017.
- Email will have a more conversational tone
Keep it real, be honest, don’t take yourself too seriously, write like you talk, ask questions that encourage your customers to respond. A casual conversational tone will help your customers better relate to you and by extension to your brand, thus, creating a personal connection.
- Machines will match subscribers with content
Segmentation and personalisation produce better-targeted emails but are often too time-consuming. We crave a way for content to be matched with our customers automatically. With so much data and content, marketers will look to machines for content matching.
- Cross-channel data will fuel the customer view
Channel data silos are going to be less prevalent. We’ll see behavioural, demographic, contextual and transactional data used across campaigns to give us a single customer view. Push emails with the right content with right timing to always-on devices.
The Biggest Email Marketing Trends in 2017 Are…
Litmus asked 1.200+ marketers to rank the biggest email marketing trends for 2017. Chad White provided the context as Litmus’ research director and industry trend hawk-eye. The research shows that marketers are betting on Interactive email, Big Data personalisation and HTML 5 video in email to break through in 2017.
2017 will be the year of… Interactive emails
Email interactivity pulls some of the interactions from the landing page into the email. You can think about, for instance, Hamburger menus and other navigation, Carousels, Image galleries, and sliders, Offer reveals and Add-to-cart functionality.
By allowing more interactivity inside the email, it has potential to reduce barriers to engagement. It produces clickers with higher intent. The two biggest issues that still hold back adoption are 1: technical challenges around implementation and 2: Tracking and attribution changes.
2017 starts the half-decade of… Big Data personalisation in emails
Translating Big Data into actions for email marketers starts with breaking down data silos across channels. this means connecting the dots – which is no small technological or political feat. Marketers have embraced personalization driving most of the content in emails.
However, Big Data personalization is so complex and involved that it’s never likely to be a huge trend in any particular year. Instead, it’s probably truer to say that we’re in the half-decade of Big Data personalization.
2017 will be the year of… HTML5 Video in email taking off
Video in email is straightforward and easy for subscribers to understand — and for that reason is likely to be a catalyst in making both marketers and email users more receptive to other forms of interactivity.
With the launch of iOS 10, HTML5 video support is back! As of November 2016, more than 53% of emails were opened in Apple email apps justifying trying it as long as there is a fall-back for subscribers with email clients that don’t support HTML5 video.
2017 will be the year of… Automated and triggered emails
Marketers know the importance of automated emails. At some brands triggered emails, like welcome emails and cart abandonment emails, already generate the majority of email marketing revenue.
The outsized productivity of such a small percentage of email volume presents huge opportunities for brands to better engage subscribers.
5 Email marketing trends to consider for your email communication strategy in 2017 – and a few things to safely ignore
The heart of (email) marketing remains the same. It is about providing customer-centric experiences. Don’t expect 2017 (or 2018… or possibly ever) to see technological perfection for getting the right message/person/time combination. So how is this mantra translated into the reality of the day? Tim Watson shares his 5 trends to act on.
- Email Targeting
Capturing user interests with preference centres is dead. Brands not using behaviour in 2017 will be brands stuck in the past. I expect to see more medium sized brands of scale adding behavioural driven content blocks, such as recommended items.
- Customer Data regulation and privacy
Permission is getting stricter; what marketers can do with data is going to be more tightly regulated. Within the next two years, the requirement for unambiguous consent looks like it may end the practice of pre-ticked check boxes for email permission during a purchase.
- Blended and supplemented Automation
Many brands already have some automation included in their email programmes. In 2017, they will be supplementing existing email activity and blending in automation programs to add to their broadcast activity. A few adventurous brands will try out innovative approaches to decisioning of what emails to send to each contact.
- Deliverability, Inbox placement and email bombs
Indiscriminate and illegally sent email has been beaten, the bar is rising on standards for B2B brands to get to the inbox. Poorly permissioned, third party permissioned or sending on opt-out basis is going to be an increasing challenge for B2B.
Seed list based inbox monitoring tools no longer give usable inbox placement results. The trend of email list bombing we have seen at the end of 2016 is going to lead to more use of reCAPTCHA on subscribe forms and double opt-in processes.
- Email Design and creatives
Expect to see the trend for use of animation and video to continue in 2017. The key is to make the animation support the message and capture imagination, not just add a pointless decorative element.
Pushing the Enveloppe
Some brands experiment with interactive emails featuring push the envelope – email design techniques, such as creating carousel elements, hamburger menus, and interactive features in their emails. However, these design innovations still are largely unproven in value.
Are smart watch users, Google Home Assistant and Amazon Echo things we can safely ignore? Read the full article here on SmartInsights: 5 trends Email marketers need to stay on top of and a couple you can safely ignore…
Email Marketing Innovation
According to Econsultancy research companies intend to innovate their email marketing this year with more creative uses of behavioral triggers (66%), greater use of dynamic elements and marketing automation to reach one-to-one communication.
Agencies expect to see a bit less innovation for their clients, except for content messaging apps and the use of email as identifier on external platforms. Such an identifier can be used for for instance retargetting or profile enrichment.
7 email marketing predictions for 2017
Top minds in the email marketing industry have come together for some crystalball gazing over at Campaign Monitor. With predictions about what the future holds for email marketing in 2017 and beyond. Below a short summary. Read the full article here: 7 email marketing predictions for 2017
- Chad White of Litmus: Data-driven marketing will rule.
Data science is making email marketing smarter by powering better automationand personalization. But It isn’t “set and forget”, Marketers will zero in on the data points and behaviors that lead to value.
- Alex Williams of Trendline Interactive: Mobile payments will come to inboxes.
A native, fingerprint-based integration for inboxes on mobile that will allow 1-click payment from email in 2017.
- Matthew Smith of Really Good Emails There will be a revolution in email design.
With sets of modular templates and meaningful content components. Less time will be needed in the design of emails. Focus will shift to creating more meaningful content rather than constantly designing and creating the “container”.
- Daniel Codella of ZURB There will be an evolution of marketing automation.
With more options to fine tune automated campaigns like advanced segmentation and time optimized sending. Secondly, there will be more g pre-packaged customer journeys to help move the needle.
- Andrea Wildt of Campaign Monitor: Behavioral data will help marketers dominate their competition.
As consumers welcome smart devices into their homes and lives, marketers can integrate consumer usage data like sites visited, apps downloaded, or games played.
- Jordie Van Rijn of Email Monday Email: Marketing is reinventing itself by acknowledging Person + Profile + Purpose = Performance. I think this is profoundly influenced by tactics advocated in B2B marketing automation. It is changing how everyone (including B2C) looks at their audience value. I think we will see a rise of (predictive) lead scoring and matching.
- Ros Hodgekiss of Campaign Monitor: As we see email further integrate with other marketing and analytics platforms, I predict that more marketers – and not just engineers – will be able to determine ROI, but also see how email is influencing repeat purchases, renewal rates, feature adoption and more.
2017 will be the year of the savvy emailer
Josie Scotchmer of Mailjet declares this year’s theme “Start practicing what you preach”. Not a bad idea. In her post Email: the trends for 2017, she encourages to get the basics right, stop talking about what you’re going to do and start putting practices into action. Let’s take that as a five-step program.
Step One: Personalization… closing the disconnect between brand and customer
Every year we talk about personalization, yet so many marketers still think this ends with adding a first name to an email. Yikes! To connect with your contacts by taking a look at your data, to find true segments and personalize our messages based on the needs of each segment.
Step two: Build an emotional connection through Brand Storytelling
To be truly great at brand storytelling, you need to first understand your customer journey. An evocative story is both true to your company and your customers’ lives. Use the story to uncover the hidden treasures you have in your product catalog.
Step three: Use Transactional Emails as a part of marketing
Marketing teams tend to govern marketing emails, whereas transactional emails often sit under IT departments. The space within your transactional emails can help you to connect your customers with their wants and desires. Even if they didn’t know they wanted it. Give your transactional emails the same brand feel as your marketing emails for a consistent experience.
Step four: Trust The Machine, marketing automation
Wow, 48% of SMBs are not using any form of marketing automation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting smarter and more intuitive, so, yeah, 2017 is the year to put your faith in technology and trust the machine, especially for capturing them when they are in the moment.
Step 5: Make Email an interactive experience
By now, you’ve mastered crafting beautifully responsive emails (well, hopefully anyway). So let’s make your subscribers love them, by making them interactive. Perhaps you’re looking to increase conversions, allowing your customers to shop directly in the email.
Read the whole article here on the Mailjet blog.
Email Marketing in 2020: 3-Year Outlook On Email Marketing for Small Business
Clate Mask, CEO at Infusionsoft, looks ahead to 2020 from the doorstep of 2017 and notes that the near future will see some powerful trends, especially in email marketing. The rapid shift over the next few years will have serious implications for small businesses trying to keep pace:
- Bulk email marketing dies (It’s nearly dead now). Small businesses can no longer hammer inboxes with impersonal email.
- Email marketing will keep growing. Right now, the number of emails Infusionsoft sends on behalf of our customers is growing faster than the growth of our customer base. This means more emails per customer year over year, which reveals a continual high demand for email that we expect only to increase.
- Small businesses won’t be able to compete in the email marketing space on their own. Any business that wishes to compete must use automation software.
- Seamless CRM integrations will allow for a focus on personalization, powerful reporting, and improved sales.
- Small businesses will be able to implement highly sophisticated marketing campaigns without having to understand how they work. The automation will be that good.
The year 2020 used to sound so distant, but now it is right around the corner. Email marketing will be as important as ever, but it will also become increasingly difficult. Small businesses working with ESPs will be able to take advantage of all the powerful new tools and resources that the future holds.
Top 5 email marketing trend predictions in 2017
So what does 2017 have in store for email marketing? One thing is for certain, it’s going to be another very exciting year for email says Jenna Tiffany of Communicator! Here are her Top 5 email marketing trend predictions in 2017:
- Back to Basics means smiling customers and more Automation
Research showed that consumers respond well to brands that get the basics right. As a result of optimizing the basic elements, the adoption of automation will grow. This technology currently isn’t being fully used. Optimizing from the ground up with be vital in 2017, so evaluate the basics you configured many moons ago.
- Strategy is driven forward by Machines that Learn
Email marketing comes from a history of tactical implementation. Over 60% has an email marketing strategy but the majority is at a basic level. AI and machine learning will drive your strategy forward in three areas: Sophisticated segmentation, Lifecycle marketing optimization and Intelligent personalization
- Email Content comes to life
Finally, cat videos in our inbox! Email marketing content can be more interactive, it can be more engaging and start to reflect more and more what a website can display. And don’t forget real-time optimization and functionality like including live shopping carts in the email.
- Data quality & trust
Trust is important. Make sure your existing marketing practices are compliant because the GDPR will come into effect May 2018. By taking an active stance on this, you can truly demonstrate the value and respect you have for using and storing their data. It’s never too late to start building trust.
- Modular Design builds a library of partials
Email marketing has now got to a place where the majority of a design can be dragged and dropped. Modular designs mean less time is spent on designing the email. Designers are still needed to build your library of partials – no matter if they are locked in a cupboard or not.
Read the whole trendy article at the communicator blog
10 Email Design Resolutions
Have you thought about your email design resolutions for 2017? Kelly Shetron at the BeeFree blog reached out to email marketing experts to get their resolutions for the new year. They weighed in on everything from improving design techniques for headers, GIFs, CTA buttons, and more to Inspire your own email design resolutions. As this email from Daniel Wellington says, the best time for new beginnings is now. : )
- Add Cinemagraphs and Dive Deeper Into Geo-Targeting – Priya Bransfield, Email Consultant
- Increase Interactivity With Engaging Photography and Bold CTAs – Melanie Kinney of G3 Communications
- Make Sure to A/B Test More Design Elements – Shannon Crabill Email Developer at T Rowe Price
- Include Fun Animation (No Matter How Small) – Kathryn Grayson of Everyday Health
- Experiment With GIFs for an Animated Email – Leo Thom, Freelance designer and developer
- Rely on More Data-Driven Design Decisions – Annett Forcier of Hootsuite
- Grab Attention With CTA buttons and Avoid Gimmicky GIFs — Kiandra Plummer
- Use Emoji to Encourage Emotional Impulses – Nick Haby from RevSquare
- Improve Rendering Across Gmail, Outlook, and iPhone – Belinda Blakley, DeVry Medical International
- Focus on Content-First Strategy Principles – Courtney Prebble, Digital Designer at Bronto
Read the full article with all resolutions: 10 Email Design Resolutions for 2017.
The future of email marketing is already here
Is your Email Marketing manager already a Director of Essential Engagement? Len Shneyder shares why the future of email marketing is already upon us, although the rules of email marketing are still about to evolve in ways we won’t even notice until well after the fact.
Companies must have the vision to realize a logical step as personalisation of each message and say goodbye to Batch-and-Blast like Pinterest did. But what about Big data and Artificial Intelligence? Unlike Ultron, this AI will want to sell you something.
Len lays out six steps to get to a Big Data and AI powered email scheme:
- Get your Big Data house in order
- Lay a Plan
- Think 1-to-1
- Explore the provider landscape
- Pay for performance
- Elevate email in your marketing mix
Email marketing won’t change through radical leaps like jet-packs or better email technology. Instead through improvements to the ways that companies gather and leverage customer data and the systems’ ability to make automated inferences about user behaviors and needs
Email marketing in 2017 – Gurus reveal their predictions…
At the close of every year, the email marketing gurus of Striata get together and discuss their predictions for the year that lies ahead.
- Mia Papanicolaou – Interactive email will be huge and everywhere (with increased support for CSS), email will start to mimic our online experiences.
- Sheryl-Lynn Omar – Emails and digital content that adapt to a user’s age will take relevance and user experience to another level.
- Stergios Saltas – Less use of stock images. ‘Real’, ‘in the moment’, ‘slice of life’ type images are going to appear on email and websites.
- Alex Papadopulos – More synergy and dialog between the email designers and the email applications. Changes to Outlook and Gmail lead to a better inbox.
- Ross Sibbald – Going forward it will be about the quality of the customer’s experience within the communication and not the quantity of emails you send that will differentiate you.
- Adam Q. Holden-Bache – we are now seeing a shift towards using data to predict what a recipient wants, and delivering that to the inbox.
Four Unexpected Investment Areas For 2017
In the coming year, marketers plan to focus on building a better email marketing program mix and better messages. But it is more interesting to hear what email marketers are not saying when talking about their strategy and plans.
George Bilbery president of Return Path urges marketers to consider adding the following fundamental areas where major investment doesn’t appear to be planned for 2017:
1. Increase the subscriber list size
2. Increase list quality
3. Improving inbox placement
4. Finding the right email frequency and cadence
5 ways email will evolve in 2017
There’s been quite a bit of transformation for email in recent years. April Mullen, strategist at Selligent, lists a wave of changes for our beloved email channel to watch out for.
- The customer journey will become a crucial focus.
Customer experience will be the single most important attribute that brands live or die by, and your role as an email marketer will be to develop programs that touch various parts of a consumer’s journey with your brand.
- Reporting will begin to shift from campaigns to consumers.
Deeper development of customer journeys will bring a change in how marketing efforts are evaluated. Brands will look at the effect their marketing orchestration has on individual customers.
- Delivering to messaging apps will become apart of an email marketer’s job.
Apps are the new inbox opportunity to send hyper-focused, opt-in promotional messages and service notifications. And email marketers will be tasked with developing the strategy and executing these programs as they are direct marketing experts.
- Shared IPs will become more prevalent.
We may start seeing major email service providers/marketing clouds offering a shared IP option to clients of all sizes. With major changes in recent years in how reputation is established, dedicated IPs aren’t as critical as they once were.
- We’ll see leaders test in-email conversion buttons.
Given that email is a universal app with a lot of flexibility, one-click conversion technology is ripe for someone to implement it. What brand will be the first? I can’t wait to see it hit my inbox.
Email Marketing Trends 2017 from Industry Leaders
FreshMail asked key industry leaders what is their “must-have” email marketing trend that will be extremely relevant in 2017. Here are their answers:
Turning deliverability into a KPI
Laura Atkins of Word to the Wise: We must start treating deliverability as a valid way to measure our campaigns. Not because failure to reach the inbox means our campaign has failed, but because we can improve inbox delivery by improving our marketing.
Acquisition is #1 priority for all marketers
Scott Cohen of InboxArmy: You’ll see the embrace of address collection and the channel in everything marketers do. Greater investment and resources will be devoted to email as the channel will get its due as the hub of digital marketing and customer communication.
Improving sender reputation
Guy Hanson of Return Path: Subscribers are more likely to provide a primary email address when they trust the sender, and over 80% of all email reads are generated from these addresses.
The era of Mailable Microsites
Jaymin Bhuptani of Email Monks: The use of innovative elements like Hamburger Menu, Accordion, Carousel, Search, Slider, Rotating banner, Flip effect will catch momentum and enhance user experience.
Becoming a strategist In 2017
Kath Pay of Holistic Email Marketing: Email marketers will increase their use of personalization, automated lifecycle programmes and intelligent testing to deliver an improved customer experience and reap the rewards accordingly.
Email Content Automation
Jordie van Rijn of Email Monday: Pull content, products, and information from your site or database into the email. Add a bit of logic and segmentation (no AI needed) and you have the foundation for a homemade recommendation engine.
Going back to basics
Jenna Tiffany of Communicator: It’s important to get the basics right because this is what consumers want and voted Amazon as the brand that does email best. For Amazon, it’s not about just including the latest tech, it’s about defining a clear email strategy that optimises the customer’s journey.
Dynamic personalized product emails
Rob Allen of Smart Insights: Marketers will turn product emails into ‘micro-stores’ where customers are able to do more than just look at a list of product options. That means more engagement and better conversion rates.
We will see the complete ecosystem of data work-flows
Pawel Sala of FreshMail: With the relatively lower costs of big data technology, it seems that finally we will be able to see comprehensive ecosystems with the work-flow of data between web tracking, social media, BI solutions, CRM or ERP systems and email marketing.
Email Marketing: The Best, The Worst, and What’s Next
What does the future of email hold? Since they don’t have a crystal ball, Aweber asked five email marketing experts to share their predictions during #Emailchat. Some highlights:
This is what we predict for 2017
Data will play a bigger role than ever
More personalization, more relevance
Holistic email experiences
The email design trends we saw everywhere
Interactive content, i.e. live Twitter and Instagram feeds
GIFs and emojis
And these brands killed it with their campaigns
Collaborative Fund’s magazine-style newsletter
Spotify’s “Most Listened to”
Movember’s fundraising campaign
The greatest 2017 email marketing predictions of all time
The fundamentals of email haven’t really changed in the last 10 years, in truth, Elliot Ross of ActionRocket doesn’t expect a sweeping change to happen and a lot of innovation is in improving boring things. But one day… So what is the direction we would like to see it go?
Easy segment of one marketing – if it works
There are some amazing things able with hyper personalised email, but only after we know when and where to use it. And the ESPs makes it simple..
Fixing the email production process.
The process of making a marketing email, from managing it to producing content to QA to personalisation, is disjointed and inefficient. Fixing this will enable everything else.
A focus on brands and experiences, not tech.
If we use technology to improve our emails, it’s imperative that it improves the experience — so we need to think in those terms. Technology for the sake of it achieves nothing.
Truly considering mobile.
Aside from tweaking the design, what do we really think about when it comes to mobile email? Mobile changes the entire experience, also because so much of it is shaped by social media cues.
The Top Email Marketing ROI Trends to Watch in 2017
Marketers should be careful not to rest on their laurels when it comes to this “oldie but goodie” marketing tool and keep up with changing trends. Email may be a long-established communication format, but today’s email marketing strategies can’t afford to be old-fashioned.
Live and breathe mobile first
The rise of mobile means all age groups are using their smartphones to check email, with Millennials leading the charge. Marketers should experiment with sending emails in the early morning or late at night for this audience subset. Brands absolutely must think mobile-first or risk alienating the users that live and breathe with mobile.
Channels add further degrees of details
Email marketing can work in tandem with larger campaigns across channels. If you’ve got a great campaign happening on social channels like Facebook or Instagram, email can further describe the campaign with supplemental, relevant details.
Taking visual impact cues from social
When targeting email for Millennials especially, brands should take their cues from social. Optimizing emails for great visuals and using emojis strategically will appeal to an age group that increasingly relies on visuals to communicate.
Future Trends in Email Marketing for 2017
“In 2016, we experienced a surge in use of interactive emails, more mobile-friendly and email automation, and a loooot of emojis”, says Kevin George from the Email Monks. So, what should email marketers look forward to in the coming year? The struggle to STAND OUT in the inbox will accelerate; all you need to do is think out-of-the-box.
Use context for Superior Segmentation
Beyond the regular profile-based segmentation. Now make it more contextual, individual. What time of the day do your subscribers generally open your emails? Some like higher frequency while some like just a few and specific type. Understanding the interest of the person you are sending an email to is the need of the hour; it will help you segment better.
Taking Personalization to a new level
Personalization will now surpass the basic stage. Algorithms applied to behavior of subscribers will help to find out what they will do next. Geo-targeting can prove useful in delivering custom branding offers to subscribers. Demographic, firmographic, behavioral and psychographic data can together help in building a buyer persona, a trend that is likely to pick speed in 2017.
Mobile Optimization for Optimal emails
It will thus become quintessential for email marketers to think mobile first; there is no option but to create responsive emails (single column template is the best solution). The content of the email, too, should be written with mobile users in mind.
Bringing Social content into email
Sending emails about the campaigns you run on your social channels like Facebook can supplement your marketing efforts in 2017. Another trend is the use of live social media feeds in your emails. Channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. This way, you reach out to a broader audience, making sure no one misses out on any of the fun.
Bring life to Your Emails with Interactivity and animation
Interactivity has already made a grand debut and it is the future of email marketing. Innovative elements make today’s emails truly engaging and helps to offer more content compressed in a short and user-friendly format. GIFs have brought that fun element to emails. Video is bound to make a comeback in 2017. Thanks to Apple’s iOS10 supporting videos in email.
Think about intereactive items like a Live Shopping cart, Countdown timers, Rotating Banners and Sliders, Scratch Effects and Menus, Accordions, and Flips
Four predictions for email marketing in 2017
What is the future of email marketing? Expect nothing to change with email in 2017, until marketers start acting on the trends and rethink their email strategy. Ryan Phellan hopes to see more marketers become “first-person” marketers. For these active marketers, he crafted this must-do, must-look-into topics list based on his predictions and trends for 2017.
1) In 2017 more email marketers choose first-person marketing.
System, budgets, company structures and internal politics often won’t allow to make big leaps. So first-person marketers work hard for incremental changes. Change one thing at a time and build on that progress. Each customer is an individual, and every email gets them closer to marketing to their customers as individuals, not just another email address in a database.
2) First-person marketers will focus on wearable devices.
Don’t obsess about email rendering on a smartwatch. Mobile devices are all about notifications of information rather than the information itself. Marketers need to figure out what customers expect and perceive information. What will eventually evolve the email industry is how the consumer uses that information.
3) Marketers will catch up to mobile-first consumers.
The first-person marketer will look at how their customers consume information, not just if they did.
We are in the mobile-first age; maybe even mobile-only. Email proofs on our desktop computers, we’ll look first on phones to see rendering and behavior. For email marketers, the issue has gone beyond using responsive design. Developing metrics and KPIs for mobile is what’s important.
4) Global privacy comes to the forefront.
The “private right of action” of Canada’s anti-spam law goes into effect in July 2017. Individuals and government agencies can now initiate complaints. Marketers will start reviewing their data gathering and protection practices to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which goes into full effect in May 2018.
The privacy debate is important to trust and relationships with their customers and subscribers.
What’s Ahead for Email Marketing in 2017
Keep these email trends in mind to guide budget and planning of your email marketing strategies in 2017. Six current and continuing trends.
- Improved Automation
More companies will use emerging technologies to better automate the creation, distribution, and management of email content. Email automation is expected to help save businesses time and money.
- Machine Learning
With machine learning, marketers can mine data more effectively. These tools are key for everything from email automation to better personalization and targeting.
- Mobile Optimization
Chances are that your target audience will access their email via mobile devices. This means your emails need to be optimised and easily readable on a mobile device.
- Visual Content
Yes, visual content is super important in email marketing too. Document a well-researched visual storytelling strategy around the ongoing delivery of valuable information through visual media.
- Integration of marketing channels
Integrate your email campaigns across channels. Email is a great tool for supporting campaigns on social and other channels.
- Compelling Writing
From subject line to the body copy. It is all about compelling, creative content that tells a story about your brand and your products and services.
Key Predictions for email marketing in 2017
Orchestrate sees email coming back with a vengeance. Cognitive of the benefits of email marketing they predict what they see as the trends email marketing is most likely to follow in the year 2017.
- The rising adoption of responsive email design is increasing the conversion rates on smartphones.
- Automated emails become important to address the need for a better personalised customer experience.
- Innovation in triggers for automated emailing make campaigns more timely and relevant to the subscribers.
- Integrating email marketing with CRM and ERP will bring that elusive one-to-one communication with customers closer.
- Modular templates make running campaigns much more accessible and can drive adoption of email automation.
- Drag-and-drop technology will make email marketing simpler and more convenient.
- Kinetic email makes it possible for marketers to develop engaging and eye-catching campaigns that are much more distinct a recipient’s inbox.
- By applying machine learning and data mining, marketers can use their email marketing toolkit to improve results and drive profits.
Looking back at the Future of email marketing
Do you have the 1.21 Jiggawats it takes? Technical development in email and marketing automation has been spectacular in the last year. And I have the feeling that in this quickly-evolving world we are nowhere close to seeing the end of technical possibilities and creativity.
If you could go back to the future, what would you say to yourself? These are the previous “future of email marketing” predictions.
The future of email marketing 2016 edition
The future of email marketing 2015 edition
These Trends show the Future and Evolution of Email Marketing (2014)
The future of email marketing 2013 edition
The future of Email marketing 2012 edition
Email marketing insights for 2011
PS: As more and more future of email marketing articles are published, I’ll be updating this list. If you have any additions, comments, questions or just like to say HI, do post it below.