Every year we are told that in the world of email marketing, “this is going to be the year of mobile”, “of social media” or something else. Here are some of my predictions for what the future of email marketing looks like.
A little change we might start to see is marketers becoming innovative in how they style their marketing emails for when images are not downloaded. We have all been guilty of crafting our email designs in Photoshop or Dreamweaver, sometimes forgetting that the instant people see the email for the first time there won’t be any of the glitzy images that contain your key messages and call-to-actions. And we all know how important it is to be instant in email, so expect more people to use tools like Mozify which help replicate the images as background table cells with stylised ALT text to get the message across without images being downloaded.
2. Integration with more channels – including TV!
Last year it was announced that some Cable TV companies had started experimenting with tailoring the adverts displayed on home TV screens based upon what they know about their viewers. Expect this to take off in the next 5 years as streaming TV over the internet increases, and then expect email marketing to play a leading role working alongside these campaigns as advertisers get more sophisticated with their adverts. Imagine seeing an advert during a TV programme and then as you are browsing on your tablet on the sofa you get sent a marketing email which follows up with more detail to reinforce the advertisers original message.
3. Real-time content
The likes of Hotmail and Yahoo are very keen for you to use your email inbox as much as possible. The more you do, the more advertising they can sell. Therefore they are looking into ways of allowing marketers to insert live content into the email so each time you open it the latest prices are available. This makes the email inbox more sticky, while offering marketers many more options. There are services that do this already, with changing an image in the email, but this is restrictive to what can be pulled through live.
4. Automated decision making & testing
I’m sure we have all heard the term big data, but often it is mis-used. However as more systems crunch large amounts of data about customers and make decisions on the next course of action, one major outcome will be the need to trigger highly personalised emails to customers at the right time. While many marketers do already trigger emails, expect the sophistication of these marketing emails to increase further as ‘Big Data’ takes over.
Whilst you might think some of these predictions are a little far fetched, when you consider that by 2015 we have been promised hoverboards and flying cars, they seen a little bit more achievable!