Email marketing has been written off many times over the past few years as the onslaught of Social Media and new and emerging marketing channels have gained prominence.
But email has proven time and time again that it’s a marketing powerhouse, often earning the highest rate of return and widely acknowledged as delivering the best bang for your buck on your marketing spend.
As we look towards 2015 here are some of the key trends and email predictions to take with you to help build upon your email marketing efforts.
1) Google will continue to innovate
Gmail has been around for many years now and it’s become the world’s most popular free email marketing service (also used by millions of businesses globally). Its prominence means it can never be ignored and Google has shown it is not afraid to innovate and try new things to shake up the traditional role of the inbox.
In 2014 we saw Google introduce Grid View and more recently a new smartphone app simply called Inbox. Both of these represent a direct attempt by Google to make the user experience of checking emails less time to consume, and more enjoyable – putting the end user firmly in control of how and when they would like to read their messages.
I expect 2015 we will continue to see Google reshape how we subscribe, read, interact, opt out and manage our email messages and it’s important that as a marketer you’re aware of your Gmail contacts and how these innovations will continue to change to way they read your messages.
2) Screen sizes will play an even more important role
In the past few years, we have come to understand the importance of optimising emails for the smartphone audience, with readership continuing to increase year on year. I’m now seeing some clients reporting smartphone readership outnumbering desktop by a factor of 2:1, so it’s clear that screen size is a key priority for email design and interaction.
Apple’s impending release of the ingeniously titled Watch in the early part of 2015 will no doubt have some further implications in how we optimise our email marketing campaigns. (Recent reports predict Apple will sell up to 24 million of them next year alone!)
It’s not yet clear exactly how users will engage via email using the Watch but we should expect there to be a flurry of activity upon the official launch.
3) Automation will become a major focus
While email marketing automation has been around for a while, I still see many businesses make poor use of it.
Email will continue to become deeply integrated with other marketing channels and with this we will no doubt see the need to email smarter, faster and (usually) more often.
Trigger-based email marketing will help save time (and money) and it will require investing in quality data segmentation and lead nurturing tools to achieve the best results.
For automation to be truly successful there will also be a much greater need to improve data collection to allow for more advanced personalisation and improved one-on-one messaging techniques.
The role of email will evolve as marketing automation does, into an activity funnel for driving individual behavior to perform specific actions.
Get in touch with us to chat about how we can kick-start your email marketing activity in 2015!