Email marketing is one of the primary mediums and to be a good email marketer requires constant evolution of tactics to reach the ever changing market.
I am always looking for new openings in email marketing. It helps in the development of new products to keep up to speed with how the market is changing.
So putting together this article was a good excuse for seeing what’s out there and what lies ahead.
Email marketing – The Next 5 Years
Take a peek to the years ahead – which direction do you think email marketing is evolving towards?
For me the biggest developments centre round AI assisted Personalisation and segmentation, Big Data, Automation, Devices, HTML5 Video and Content.
Top Email Marketing Predictions of 2017
Data analysis, emails and ESPs, content and segmentation are listed as the top 4 with other notable predictions including improved email design, more efficient ESP platforms followed by HTML 5 video content and AI segmentation and personalisation.
When it comes to data analysis nothing compare to AI. Articial Intelligence and Bots account for 15 out of 33 of the category estimations.
What’s Trending in Email Marketing in 2017?
Litmus undertook a study where they asked over 1,200 marketers what were the biggest trend in email marketing in 2017.
The research shows that marketers are betting on Interactive email, Big Data personalisation and HTML 5 video in email to break through in 2017:
Interactive email marketing involves extracting content from a landing page and inserting it into an email. This has been possible for some time with rss importers injecting web content in to emails.
With interactive emails we will soon be able to add carousels, image galleries, sliders and Add to Cart functionality.
By increasing the interactivity inside, the email the marketer can increase user engagement and encourage clickers with higher intent.
The big obstacles right now are, firstly, the technical challenges that come with implementation and, secondly, tracking the attribution changes.
Big Data personalisation in emails
Savvy email marketers have identified personalisation as a conversion stimulus in email content for some time now.
These days we can see the potential of translating big data into actions that form emailers but breaking down data silos across various channels is no easy technological or political challenge.
With such complexity involved in translating big data, I wouldn’t be expecting bid data personalisation in emails to be happening any time soon, but we should be looking towards the next 5 years for the imminent breakthrough to occur.
HTML5 Video in email
Video in email presents enormous marketing potential because for the user it’s super easy to understand.
By November of 2016 over 53% of emails were opened in Apple email apps. Combine that number with the launch of iOS 10 and HTML 5 video is very much on the horizon – providing there is an option for users with email clients that are unable to support HTML 5 video.
Automated and triggered emails
An automated email sequence takes the hard work out of emailing which makes it one of the most powerful tools in the email marketer’s weaponry.
Triggered emails, such as related product emails, welcome emails and cart abandonment emails already pull in the bulk of email marketing revenue.
Even a small percentage increase in email conversion stats can represent enormous commercial benefit.
What Email Marketing Trends Lie Ahead?
Krzysztof Jarecki, Aleksander Heba and Adam Ambrożewicz from Expert Sender outline their future for what’s trending in their Email marketing trendbook.
Chatbots to run e-commerce email marketing
As user behaviour already triggers automated emails you can expect chatbots to do the same. Workflows, confirmation emails, abandoned cart emails, creating newsletter sign ups will soon be automated and all complete with personalisation and data from the chat session.
Emails Will Get Smaller
Mobile phones are now becoming the most common devices for opening and reading emails resulting in average email length declining to 50-125 words for optimal effect. As attention spans get shorter and with space at a premium expect email content to be much more economical.
Eye tracking can already be used for testing out email creatives. Thanks to better and more affordable technology eye tracking can now be run faster and at less cost.
Expect more context driven email content. With so much more contextual data becoming available, content can be based on a whole range of variables. These can include geo-location, device, weather forecasts, time, twitter and stock levels so that when assessed in real time the email will be generated from the point of open not sending.
Integrated models that utilise Machine Learning and AI to generate lead scores are becoming increasingly popular among businesses. Optimove has been generating customer lifetime value with much success at predicting customer behaviour for some years now. Predictive lead scoring will become an essential marketing automation tool in the near future.
Emails Will Become More Conversational
A more casual tone to marketing communication is more likely to assist customer relations. Creating a personal connection between brand and user has always helped users better relate to a brand.
Content Matched to Subscribers
Email marketers can already create better targeted email content thanks to segmentation and personalisation but it is still a time consuming process. With ever increasing sizes of data and machine content to subscriber matching is an all too necessary development on the horizon.
Multi Channel Data
Behavioural, demographic, contextual and transactional data will prevail when it comes to presenting customer profiles. Push emails with relevant content and correct timing to the right device will become more common.
Email Marketing in 2020:
The Outlook On Email Marketing for Small Businesses
Between this year and 2020 the near future will witness some powerful trends in email marketing according to Infusionsoft CEO Clate Mask. This will present serious challenges for small businesses trying to keep up the pace:
The End of Bulk Email Marketing – Small business will no longer be able to bulk send impersonal emails to inboxes.
Email Marketing Will Keep Growing – At present, Infusionsoft sends for its clients more emails than the growth of their customer base. That means more emails per customer per year, suggesting that the demand for emails will only go up.
Small Businesses Will Need More Automation – Any business intending to compete will need automation software.
Seamless CRM Integration – will increse personalisation, reporting and sales.
Email automation will be so good that small businesses will be able to utilise it without understanding how it works.
2020 may seem far off, but the reality is that while email marketing’s role remains significant, it will become increasingly more difficult. Small businesses must embrace the powerful new resources that lie instore if they are to tackle the ESPs successfully.
Back to the Future of Email Marketing
The last year has seen spectacular developments in email marketing and automation and in this fast evolving world we are nowhere near to the end of what is still possible.
The truth is we can only move with the flow! Pretty soon we will be looking back to these Future of Email Marketing Predictions!