This is an exciting time for email marketing. Innovations for email have virtually been non-existent until recently. We believe we are on the brink of an email evolution and 2015 was just the start!
Below are our email marketing expectations for 2016 and some lessons from 2015.
- Marketing automation is leaving batch and blast in the dust!
In 2016, marketing automation and its capabilities will continue to shape our marketing strategies of the future.
Marketing automation has been around for some time but it really hit its stride in 2015. Marketing automation goes beyond just email. It analyses the behaviours and engagement taking place on a tracked website, email, and paid search campaigns. This information supports micro-targeting based on behavioural and engagement metrics. Marketing automation allows businesses to automatically serve dynamic content that is relevant to the user across digital channels.
- Email marketing has gained in popularity
Email is finally getting the credit it deserves, being an efficient and effective digital marketing tactic that is highly trackable and can tie an omnichannel campaign together. People are more accepting of email and more comfortable with opt-in management. With the use of marketing automation strategies, email communications are becoming more relevant and timely, aiding in the wider acceptance. We are happy to say email is cool again!
- Email mark-up
In 2016, we may see other ISPs join in, however, there is no official confirmation (yet).
By adding Schema.org mark-up to your email coding, you can accelerate user actions in Gmail by highlighting the most important information from the email right in the inbox. These actions include RSVP, Review, One-Click Actions, Go-To, and Flight actions. Inbox by Google has a few additional features that Gmail doesn't. For more details, see our blog How smart is Google's smart reply?
- Dynamic content
Audience and email strategies will become more integrated in dynamic omnichannel marketing supporting micro-targeting efforts in 2016.
Behaviour-driven content has had some major improvements throughout 2015 with various tools making it more accurate and effective to deliver the content that matters. Say goodbye to the days of data-driven content and hello to behaviour-driven content! Data-driven content is when you have first name in your database and can dynamically pull in first name to your email. Though it is still important to utilise the data you have in your database, it is more important to collect information about the content your customers are interested in based on their behaviour with your site and engagement with prior emails. This information will allow you to deliver communications that support their interest.
- Responsive design is a must
In 2016 all emails should be designed responsively. 2015 has taught us that the most popular activity on a smartphone is email and 75% of smartphone users delete emails they can't read as reported by Email on Acid. Additionally, Experian reported 53% (and growing) of email readership is taking place on mobile making responsive design a must.
In April 2015 there was a major push for businesses to support mobile experience on their website with Google's SEO mobilegeddon. This was when the Google algorithm was being updated to take the mobile experience into consideration when delivering mobile search results. Because many businesses upgraded their website to responsive they tackled email at the same time to support a cohesive customer experience.