When it comes to statistics, conversions, and ROI generated through any marketing channel, email marketing outperforms all, including social media. This puts to rest the debate about whether email marketing is dying. In fact, email is that dark horse which will never let you down, be it in 2017 or beyond. Welcome to the dazzling future of email marketing.
In the year 2016, we experienced a surge in the use of interactivity in emails, rise in mobile-friendly, concise, and automated emails, and a lot of emojis in subject line and preview text – all of which was predicted by the Monks.
So, what is it that email marketers should look forward to in the coming year? Inspired by the success of the 2016 predictions, the Monks bring to you predictions for the future of email marketing in 2017.
2017 demands for something beyond the regular profile-based segmentation. What time of the day do your subscribers generally open your emails, what type of emails do they open, etc. are some of the factors to consider. Integrating this data with other customer information will help you stay ahead of the lot in the coming year. Some like it when you send emails more often while some like just a few and specific type of emails. 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 personalisation to a new level
First name personalisation did show email marketers high hopes but now that everyone knows about it, it does little to better your image; in fact, it only unmasks you as a marketer. Personalisation will now surpass this basic stage. Algorithms applied to behavior of subscribers on your site will help to find out what they are about to do next. Geo-targeting can prove useful in delivering custom branding offers to subscribers. Demographic, firmographic, behavioural and psychographic data can together help in building a buyer persona, a trend that is likely to pick speed in 2017. A buyer persona makes it possible to send 1:1 automated + personalised emails. This level of personalisation will take you a long way.
Mobile optimisation for optimal emails
A Litmus study states that 56% of email users prefer opening their emails on mobile devices. And 42% of them delete an email if it doesn’t display correctly, according to BlueHornet study. 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. The subject line, the main copy, and the CTA all will need to be short, crisp and to the point. CTAs must be prominent and easy to click on the mobile device.
Email + socials = a match made in heaven
According to Nonprofit Hub, emails that have social sharing buttons increase click-through-rates by 150%! By now you must be convinced that social media integration helps. Sending emails about the campaigns you run on your social channels like Facebook can supplement your marketing efforts in 2017.
Another trending way of merging the two mediums is the use of live social media feeds in your emails. Channels like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook can help to add that pinch of spice through feeds about latest happenings and brilliant images. This way, you reach out to a broader audience, making sure no one misses out on any of the fun.
Pictures to please the eye
Images and emojis both help to grab attention; they will continue to do so in 2017. Make sure you use them strategically in the coming year and half your work is done especially considering the millennials. And to know what exactly the millennials want, observe the latest trends on social channels; it will certainly help you create emails that will get opened and clicked.
Bring life to your emails with interactivity
Interactivity in emails has already made a grand debut and it is the future of email marketing, for sure. The innovative elements make today’s emails truly engaging. But apart from adding a zing, interactivity also helps to offer more content compressed in a short and user-friendly format, which in turn enhances user experience. So, it is a win-win situation.
Awesome interactive elements in email that will make it big in 2017
GIF and video: GIFs have brought that fun element to emails. Moreover, they are supported across many email clients, making them the most sort after interactive element. Videos, though they had taken a backseat in 2016 as many ESPs did not support them, are all set to make a comeback in 2017. Thanks to Apple’s iOS10 supporting videos in email.
Live shopping cart: Adding a live shopping cart in emails helps subscribers to not only remind subscribers of what they’ve left in their shopping cart but also makes it easier for them to edit their cart, without having to leave the inbox. You can also utilize this space to remind your customers about orders they place on a regular basis.
Countdown timers: A sense of urgency always leads to increase in conversions, and countdown timers work exactly on this concept. Whether you want to create curiosity about an upcoming sale or you want to remind your subscribers about the validity of an offer, countdown timers is what you need.
Rotating banners and sliders: Both the elements offer the chance to add multiple images, which can be linked to respective pages. Rotating banners boast of another benefit- they provide an opportunity to add multiple CTAs. While sliders give a 2D effect, rotating banners give a 3D effect.
Scratch effect: Human beings have a deeply curious nature and the scratch effect in emails uses it to the best capacity. Scratch effect (providing codes that appear after scratching) works amazingly well when it comes to presenting offers.
Menus, accordions, and flip: Providing all necessary information and still keeping the email short – that’s what menus and accordions help you do – they downsize the content. Through flip, you can exhibit a product image, clicking or tapping which will showcase the respective information, thus saving space.
Wrapping it up
From personalisation of the next level to better ways of social media integration and from more emphasis on visual content to interactivity that will raise the bar of excellence, 2017 is going to be an exciting year for email marketers. The struggle to STAND OUT in the inbox will accelerate; all you need to do is think out-of-the-box.
Kevin George is the head of marketing at EmailMonks, one of the largest Email Templates production company which specialises in converting PSD to Email Templates and custom Mailchimp templates. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage and share insights with fellow marketers. Feel free to connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn.