Is Email Marketing Dead?
Posted on March 13, 2017
Is email marketing dead?
Though email marketing has taken on many different looks since its inception, it’s not going anywhere, even as other marketing styles ebb and flow. 2017 is poised to be another banner year for email marketing. Here’s what to look for:
Automation and Chatbots
Automating your email stream is old news and more automated services are emerging and converging to make your email connections fluid and seamless. Chatbots on your website can interact with your customers and track their actions to send pointed emails that drive re-engagement with your content.
Have chatbots deliver abandoned cart emails, confirmation emails, and CTA response messages right from the chat window when your customers request information. Automating this content will keep your schedule free for other business activities.
More Mobile Optimization
Each year, mobile technologies advance by leaps and bounds, and 2017 is no exception to this trend. Expect email marketing to become more pointed to display on mobile devices through smaller and more concise emails.
Shorter content blocks and smaller email footprints will dominate the smaller screens to hold the attention of mobile users. Even users on non-mobile devices will benefit from brevity and targeted email messages that convey a single concept and related call to action.
Along with visual and contextual mobile optimization, mobile payments are coming to email. Email payments in general are becoming more popular, as are mobile payments, particularly through apps like Apple Pay and other mobile wallet options.
Adding mobile payment options gives your customers the opportunity to respond with immediate buy-in – literally. Simply include relate transaction info with your email content or CTA and direct customers to pay right from their email on their device.
Demographics are so hot right now, and it’s no longer enough to maintain a robust email list that you send every single email to every single time you send something out. Email lists divided by customer segments are essential to maintaining a strong email presence and reaching your customers where they want to be found.
Email services can sort your lists and target emails to different groups, depending on their activity with your brand. For example, customers who have ordered within a recent period of time will likely respond better to certain promos than will customers who haven’t placed an order in over a year.
Customers don’t want to hear the same thing as one another, and it’s your job as a marketer to understand what each of your customer segments desires and what will make them likely to engage. Since the technology exists to target each group individually (or overlap groups when it makes sense to do so), it’s imperative that you employ this practice when engaging your customers through email campaigns.
Personalization and “Real Voice”
Personalized emails have been increasingly popular as email marketing has grown throughout the years. First, we included info like personalized greetings and inserting form info from each customer in their own inboxes.
Now, personalization is reaching even greater levels of customization for each customer that you want to reach. This type of customization goes hand in hand with the targeted demographic concept that we discussed above.
Additionally, emails will take on more and more of a personality or real voice of you, your brand, and your company. Bloggers and entrepreneurs are becoming more conversational with their email correspondence, setting the tone of a relaxed living room chat, rather than a commercial screened on the family TV.
Bigger companies, too, are taking note of this success and becoming less “big” to reach customers in a genuine way.
One last note on real voice: if you’re using a “do-not-reply” email address, you may want to consider replacing it with something more friendly and personal. Even though you probably do have helpful little robots helping you with your email list management, it looks more friendly for emails to come from personal addresses, rather than corporate sounding ones that stick out like a sore thumb.
Interactive email – in fact, interactive everything – is gearing up to be another big trend for 2017. CTAs and clickable ads are no longer enough to hold your reader’s attention.
Media, including streaming HTML5 videos, will dominate more of the email scene, giving you more options for tailoring your ads and email campaigns. Other creative interactive formats can give your customers the option to build a pizza or a date night outfit right from your email and submit an order without having to bounce around their browsers.
These developments in interactive email make it more enjoyable for customers to read their emails and will improve your clickthrough rates. Additionally, they can be engaging for mobile users who might otherwise not tap through their phone to manually open a separate browser to participate in the offer you might be sending through your email.
It’s 2017 and email is here to stay. By adding some of the hottest email technologies and trends to your marketing campaigns, you can stay in touch with your customers in a meaningful way.