This content was originally posted on emailmonday.
Marketers need to continuously evolve their email tactics to cater to a changing audience. So let’s jump in and see what marketing industry thinkers today have to say about the future of email marketing tomorrow…
Email marketing 5 years ahead…
How will email marketing evolve? Econsultancy asked brand side marketers: “Looking ahead five years, what do you think the single biggest change to email marketing will be?” The following word cloud is the result. The biggest changes in the coming 5 years gravitate around Personalisation, Data, Automation, Devices and Content.
10 MarTech Experts Decipher the Future of Email Marketing and Marketing Automation
What will be the most interesting developments and trends? Ten industry experts came together and shared their views on what the future of Email Marketing & Marketing Automation will hold.
- Scott Brinker Marketers will rationalize technology stacks to achieve economy of architecture and Account Based Marketing (ABM) will remain one of the hottest categories.
- Pawel Sala Increasingly lower costs unlock a work-flow of data between web tracking, social media, BI solutions, CRM or ERP systems and email marketing. Making communication more personalized and relevant.
- Krzysztof Jarecki Artificial intelligence will take over campaign execution, especially for companies with large content libraries.
- David Raab Video is the up-and-coming functionality, easy creation will be accompanied by changes that make it easier to deploy and understand video content.
- Willem Stam E-mail systems move towards the data instead of other way around, senders will need more data-points to personalize communication that will drive user engagement.
- Benoît De Nayer Machine Learning will steer adaptive campaigns for smaller Marketing Automation platforms where AI will allow to continuously adapt campaigns to the individual customer journey.
- Jordie van Rijn The definition of MarTech will change as small market, ABM and dynamic content functionality comes together
- Tink Taylor Innovation will come from an explosion of machine-learning start-ups. For top-tier industry leaders, data is often in good shape, but it’s not all held in the same place.
- Assaf Ben-Asher Integration platforms are on the rise to extend the top marketing and engagement applications and increase service reach.
- Matt Hayes Iterative development on content automation in order to solve content production problems.
Read the full article with the complete and most juicy MarTech predictions here: 10 MarTech Experts decipher the Future of Email and Marketing Automation
What one learns from reading 134 mail marketing predictions
What happens if you read all the “Top email trends for 2017”, “Where is email headed in the year to come?” and “2017 email marketing predictions”articles out there? Gerald Marshall took the gamble and went through 134 email marketing predictions. And in one sitting, you’ll have a 100% chance of information overload!
The top 4 predictions for 2017 are in the categories; data analysis, emails and ESPs, content and segmentation. The other big winners this year are email design and improved ESP platforms followed by video content and AI-assisted segmentation/ personalization.
Have a look at the complete breakdown of predictions
The Biggest Email Marketing Trends in 2017 Are…
Research shows that marketers are betting on Interactive email, Big Data personalization and HTML 5 video in email to break through in 2017.
2017 will be the year of… Interactive emails
Email interactivity pulls some of the interactions from the landing page into the email. You can think about, for instance, Hamburger menus and other navigation, Carousels, Image galleries, and sliders, Offer reveals and Add-to-cart functionality.
By allowing more interactivity inside the email, it has potential to reduce barriers to engagement. It produces clickers with higher intent.
2017 will be the year of… HTML5 Video in email taking off
Video in email is straightforward and easy for subscribers to understand — and for that reason is likely to be a catalyst in making both marketers and email users more receptive to other forms of interactivity. With the launch of iOS 10, HTML5 video support is back!
2017 will be the year of… Automated and triggered emails
Marketers know the importance of automated emails. At some brands triggered emails, like welcome emails and cart abandonment emails, already generate the majority of email marketing revenue. The outsized productivity of such a small percentage of email volume presents huge opportunities for brands to better engage subscribers.
Experts on MarTech transformation of the email and marketing automation industry
With technology, marketing strategies and tactics constantly evolving, the eco-system is ever so important. We asked experts what they think are significant changes and trends in the role of agencies, 3rd party technologies, and vendors in relation to each other?
- Roland Pokornyik agencies will be forced to bring the creative spice and become fluent in Automation, otherwise advanced DIY (do It Yourself) tools will be eat their lunch.
- Pawel Sala Integrated systems and data makes that triggered emails will fill in a larger share of email efforts and a be a big driver behind positive email marketing ROI.
- Matt Hayes Content Automation is the must have for marketers to save time and personalise at scale. Must-have innovations will come from 3rd party platforms and agencies.
- Krzysztof Jarecki The Chatbot Space will impact email and marketing automation. You might be subscribed to a Chatbot in the near future. With APIs making integration between email and chatbots seamless.
- David Raab Strong movement towards channel-independent data and decision systems. making it easier to share resources and coordinate customer treatments across channels.
- Fabio Masini Demand for on-premise and Hybrid email (MTA) systems grows due privacy concerns and wishes for data control.
- Willem Stam Deliverability trends will shape campaign types and ask for new complementary measurement of Deliverability
- Benoît De Nayer No more BYOMT (Bring Your Own Marketing Technology). Market Consolidation will accelerate, while new players enter the game.
- Jordie van Rijn ABM will start to appear in every (B2B) platform.
- Tink Taylor Migration back from the single marketing suite to a connected marketing stack.
- Kath Pay Specialist 3rd Party suppliers are on the rise, adding to the services provided.
- Gerald Marshall Productising AI will affect email marketing agencies and brands.
- Scott Brinker Account-based marketing (ABM) and the rise of “Smart Outbound” as a counterpoint to inbound-only.
Read the full article with all the MarTech prediction trimmings here: 13 Experts on MarTech transformation of the email and marketing automation industry.
Email marketing trendbook 2017
What are the most interesting trends that could play a bigger part in your email marketing strategy in 2017? Email marketing experts Krzysztof Jarecki, Aleksander Heba and Adam Ambrożewicz from Expert Sender discuss it in their Email marketing trendbook 2017.
- Expect Chatbots to run e-commerce email marketing
Customer behavior can already trigger automated emails. Expect chatbots to start doing the same. They’ll run automated workflows; send confirmation emails, abandoned cart emails, newsletter sign ups, all personalized with data from chat.
- Email will shrink
Mobile phones are now the most common devices to access emails. The sweet spot for email length is between 50-125 words for optimal effect. With less space and minimal attention spans, expect email content to get shorter.
- Eye-tracking is back! and now for kick-ass email
Are you looking at me? Eye-tracking was mainly used for websites, but is now being used for testing email creative. It uses focus groups with real end users.
- Context makes real-time email
There’s going to be a lot more emails using contextual data, in real-time. Content will be based on different sources including for instance geo-location, weather, time, (twitter) trends and stock levels. Based on real-time variables the emails will be generated at moment-of-open (not send).
- Email will have a more conversational tone
Keep it real, be honest, don’t take yourself too seriously, write like you talk, ask questions that encourage your customers to respond. A casual conversational tone will help your customers better relate to you and your brand, creating a connection.
5 Email marketing trends to consider for your email communication strategy in 2017
The heart of (email) marketing remains the same. It is about providing customer-centric experiences. Don’t expect 2017 (or 2018… or possibly ever) to see technological perfection for getting the right message/person/time combination. So how is this mantra translated into reality? Tim Watson shares his 5 trends to act on.
- Email Targeting
Capturing user interests with preference centers is dead. Brands not using behavior in 2017 will be brands stuck in the past. I expect to see more medium sized brands of scale adding behavioral driven content blocks, such as recommended items.
- Customer Data regulation and privacy
Permission is getting stricter; what marketers can do with data is going to be more regulated. Within the year, the requirement for unambiguous consent may end the practice of pre-ticked check boxes for email permission during a purchase.
- Blended and supplemented Automation
Many brands already have some automation included in their email programs. In 2017, they will be supplementing existing email activity and blending in automation programs to add to their activity.
- Email Design and creatives
Expect to see the trend for use of animation and video to continue in 2017. The key is to make the animation support the message and capture imagination, not just add a pointless decorative element.
Pushing the Envelope
Some brands experiment with interactive emails featuring push the envelope – email design techniques, such as creating carousel elements, hamburger menus, and interactive features in their emails. However, these design innovations still are largely unproven in value.
Email Marketing Innovation
Companies intend to innovate their email marketing this year with more creative uses of behavioral triggers, greater use of dynamic elements and marketing automation to reach one-to-one communication. Agencies expect to see less innovation for their clients, except for content message apps and use of email as an identifier on external platforms. Such an identifier can be used for instance in re-targetting or profile enrichment.
7 email marketing predictions for 2017
Top minds in the email marketing industry have come together for some crystalball gazing over at Campaign Monitor.
- Chad White of Litmus: Data-driven marketing will rule.
Data science is making email marketing smarter by powering better automationand personalization. But It isn’t “set and forget”, Marketers will zero in on the data points and behaviors that lead to value.
- Alex Williams of Trendline Interactive: Mobile payments will come to inboxes.
A native, fingerprint-based integration for inboxes on mobile that will allow 1-click payment from email in 2017.
- Matthew Smith of Really Good Emails There will be a revolution in email design.
With sets of modular templates and meaningful content components. Less time will be needed in the design of emails. Focus will shift to creating more meaningful content rather than constantly designing and creating the “container”.
- Daniel Codella of ZURB There will be an evolution of marketing automation.
With more options to fine tune automated campaigns like advanced segmentation and time optimized sending. Secondly, there will be more g pre-packaged customer journeys to help move the needle.
- Andrea Wildt of Campaign Monitor: Behavioral data will help marketers dominate their competition.
As consumers welcome smart devices into their homes and lives, marketers can integrate consumer usage data like sites visited, apps downloaded, or games played.
- Jordie Van Rijn of Email Monday Email: Marketing is reinventing itself by acknowledging Person + Profile + Purpose = Performance. I think this is profoundly influenced by tactics advocated in B2B marketing automation. It is changing how everyone (including B2C) looks at their audience value. I think we will see a rise of (predictive) lead scoring and matching.
- Ros Hodgekiss of Campaign Monitor: As we see email further integrate with other marketing and analytics platforms, I predict that more marketers – and not just engineers – will be able to determine ROI, but also see how email is influencing repeat purchases, renewal rates, feature adoption and more.
2017 will be the year of the savvy emailer
Josie Scotchmer of Mailjet declares this year’s theme “Start practicing what you preach.” Not a bad idea. She encourages to get the basics right, stop talking about what you’re going to do and start putting practices into action. Let’s take that as a five-step program.
Step One: Personalization… closing the disconnect between brand and customer
Every year we talk about personalization, yet so many marketers still think this ends with adding a first name to an email. To connect with your contacts, take a look at your data, find true segments and personalize messages based on the needs of each segment.
Step two: Build an emotional connection through Brand Storytelling
You need to first understand your customer journey. Use the story to uncover the hidden treasures you have in your product catalog.
Step three: Use Transactional Emails as a part of marketing
Marketing teams tend to govern marketing emails, whereas transactional emails often sit under IT departments. The space within your transactional emails can help you to connect your customers with their wants and desires. Even if they didn’t know they wanted it. Give your transactional emails the same brand feel as your marketing emails.
Step four: Trust The Machine, marketing automation
Wow, 48% of SMBs are not using any form of marketing automation. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is getting smarter and more intuitive, so, yeah, 2017 is the year to put your faith in technology and trust the machine.
Step 5: Make Email an interactive experience
By now, you’ve mastered crafting beautifully responsive emails (well, hopefully anyway). So let’s make your subscribers love them, by making them interactive.
Read the whole article here on the Mailjet blog.
Top 5 email marketing trend predictions in 2017
So what does 2017 have in store for email marketing? One thing is for certain, it’s going to be another very exciting year for email says Jenna Tiffany of Communicator! Here are her Top 5 email marketing trend predictions in 2017:
- Back to Basics means smiling customers and more Automation
Consumers respond well to brands that get the basics right. As a result of optimizing basic elements, the adoption of automation will grow. This technology isn’t being fully used, yet. Optimizing from the ground up with be vital in 2017.
- Strategy is driven forward by Machines that Learn
Over 60% has an email marketing strategy but the majority is at a basic level. AI and machine learning will drive your strategy forward in three areas: Sophisticated segmentation, Lifecycle marketing optimization and Intelligent personalization
- Email Content comes to life
Marketing content can be more interactive, more engaging and start to reflect more what a website can display. Don’t forget real-time optimization and functionality.
- Data quality & trust
Make sure your existing marketing practices are compliant because the GDPR will come into effect May 2018. By taking an active stance on this, you can truly demonstrate the value and respect you have for using and storing their data.
- Modular Design builds a library of partials
Email marketing has now got to a place where the majority of a design can be dragged and dropped. Modular designs mean less time is spent on designing the email. However, designers are still needed to build your library of partials.
Read the whole trendy article at the communicator blog
10 Email Design Resolutions
Have you thought about your email design resolutions for 2017? Experts weighed in on everything from improving design techniques for headers, GIFs, CTA buttons, and more to inspire your own email design resolutions. As this email from Daniel Wellington says, the best time for new beginnings is now.
- Add Cinemagraphs and Dive Deeper Into Geo-Targeting
- Increase Interactivity With Engaging Photography and Bold CTAs
- Make Sure to A/B Test More Design Elements
- Include Fun Animation (No Matter How Small)
- Experiment With GIFs for an Animated Email
- Rely on More Data-Driven Design Decisions
- Grab Attention With CTA buttons and Avoid Gimmicky GIFs
- Use Emoji to Encourage Emotional Impulses
- Improve Rendering Across Gmail, Outlook, and iPhone
- Focus on Content-First Strategy Principles
Read the full article with all resolutions: 10 Email Design Resolutions for 2017.
Email marketing in 2017 – Gurus reveal their predictions…
At the close of every year, the email marketing gurus of Striata get together and discuss their predictions for the year that lies ahead.
- Mia Papanicolaou – Interactive email will be huge and everywhere (with increased support for CSS), email will start to mimic our online experiences.
- Sheryl-Lynn Omar – Emails and digital content that adapt to a user’s age will take relevance and user experience to another level.
- Stergios Saltas – Less use of stock images. ‘Real’, ‘in the moment’, ‘slice of life’ type images are going to appear on email and websites.
- Alex Papadopulos – More synergy and dialog between the email designers and the email applications. Changes to Outlook and Gmail lead to a better inbox.
- Ross Sibbald – Going forward it will be about the quality of the customer’s experience within the communication and not the quantity of emails you send that will differentiate you.
- Adam Q. Holden-Bache – we are now seeing a shift towards using data to predict what a recipient wants, and delivering that to the inbox.
4 ways email will evolve in 2017
There’s been quite a bit of transformation for email in recent years. April Mullen, strategist at Selligent, lists a wave of changes for our email channel to watch out for.
- The customer journey will become a crucial focus.
Customer experience will be the most important attribute brands live or die by, and your role is to develop programs that touch a consumer’s journey with your brand.
- Reporting will begin to shift from campaigns to consumers.
Deeper development of customer journeys will change how marketing efforts are evaluated. Brands will look at the effect their marketing has on individuals.
- Delivering to messaging apps will become apart of an email marketer’s job.
Apps are the new inbox opportunity to send hyper-focused, opt-in promotional messages and service notifications. And email marketers will be tasked with developing the strategy and executing these programs.
- We’ll see leaders test in-email conversion buttons.
Given that email is a universal app with flexibility, one-click conversion technology is ripe for someone to implement it. What brand will be the first?
Email Marketing Trends 2017 from Industry Leaders
FreshMail asked key industry leaders what is their “must-have” email marketing trend that will be extremely relevant in 2017. Here are their answers:
Turning deliverability into a KPI
Start treating deliverability as a campaign measurement. Not because failure to reach an inbox means the campaign failed, but we can improve delivery by improving marketing.
Acquisition is #1 priority for all marketers
You’ll see the embrace of address collection and the channel in everything marketers do. Greater investment and resources will be devoted to email.
The era of Mailable Microsites
The use of innovative elements like Hamburger Menu, Accordion, Carousel, Search, Slider, Rotating banner, Flip effect will catch momentum and enhance user experience.
Becoming a strategist In 2017
Email marketers will increase their use of personalization, automated lifecycle programs and intelligent testing to deliver improved customer experiences and reap the rewards.
Going back to basics
It’s important to get the basics right because this is what consumers want and voted Amazon as the brand that does email best. For Amazon, it’s not about just including the latest tech, it’s about defining a clear email strategy that optimizes the customer journey.
Dynamic personalized product emails
Marketers will turn emails into ‘micro-stores’ where customers can do more than just look at a list of product options. That means more engagement and better conversion.
The Top Email Marketing ROI Trends to Watch in 2017
Marketers should be careful not to rest on their laurels when it comes to this “oldie but goodie” marketing tool and keep up with changing trends. Email may be a long-established communication, but today’s strategies can’t afford to be old-fashioned.
Live and breathe mobile first
The rise of mobile means all age groups are using their smartphones to check email, with Millennials leading the charge. Marketers should experiment with sending emails in the early morning or late at night for this audience subset. Brands absolutely must think mobile-first or risk alienating some users.
Channels add further degrees of details
Email marketing can work in tandem with larger campaigns across channels. If you’ve got a great campaign happening on social channels like Facebook or Instagram, email can further describe the campaign with supplemental, relevant details.
Taking visual impact cues from social
When targeting email for Millennials especially, brands should take their cues from social. Optimizing emails for great visuals and using emojis strategically will appeal to an age group that increasingly relies on visuals to communicate.
Future Trends in Email Marketing for 2017
“In 2016, we experienced a surge in interactive emails, mobile-friendly and email automation, and a lot of emojis”, says Kevin George. So, what should email marketers look at this year? The struggle to STAND OUT in the inbox; just think out-of-the-box.
Use context for Superior Segmentation
Beyond the regular profile-based segmentation. Now make it more contextual, individual. What time of the day do your subscribers generally open emails? Some like higher frequency while some like a few and specific type. Understanding the interest of the person you are sending to is the need of the hour; it will help you segment better.
Mobile Optimization for Optimal emails
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.
Bringing Social content into email
Sending emails about the campaigns you run on your social channels like Facebook can supplement your marketing efforts in 2017. Another trend is the use of live social media feeds in your emails. This way, you reach a broader audience.
Bring life to Your Emails with Interactivity and animation
Interactivity has already made a grand debut and it is the future of email marketing. Innovative elements make today’s emails engaging and offers more content compressed in a short and user-friendly format. GIFs have brought a fun element to emails. Video is bound to make a comeback in 2017.
Three predictions for email marketing in 2017
Ryan Phellan hopes to see more marketers become “first-person” marketers. For these active marketers, he crafted this must-do, must-look-into topics list based on his predictions and trends for 2017.
1) In 2017 more email marketers choose first-person marketing.
First-person marketers work hard for incremental changes. Change one thing at a time and build on that progress. Each customer is an individual, and every email gets them closer to marketing to customers as individuals, not just another email in a database.
2) First-person marketers will focus on wearable devices.
Don’t obsess about email rendering on a smartwatch. Mobile devices are all about notifications of information rather than the information itself. What will eventually evolve the email industry is how the consumer uses information.
3) Marketers will catch up to mobile-first consumers.
The first-person marketer will look at how their customers consume information, not just if they did. We are in the mobile-first age. We’ll look first on phones to see rendering and behavior. For email marketers, the issue has gone beyond using responsive design. Developing metrics and KPIs for mobile is what’s important.
What’s Ahead for Email Marketing in 2017
Keep these email trends in mind to guide budget and planning of your email marketing strategies in 2017. Six current and continuing trends.
- Improved Automation
More companies will use emerging technologies to better automate the creation, distribution, and management of email content. This saves time and money.
- Machine Learning
This allows marketers to mine data more effectively. These tools are key for everything from email automation to better personalization and targeting.
- Mobile Optimization
Chances are that your target audience will access their email via mobile devices. So your emails need to be optimized and easily readable on a mobile device.
- Visual Content
Yes, visual content is super important in email marketing too. Document a well-researched visual storytelling strategy around the delivery of valuable information.
- Integration of marketing channels
Integrate your email campaigns across channels. Email is a great tool for supporting campaigns on social and other channels.
- Compelling Writing
From subject line to the body copy. It is all about compelling, creative content that tells a story about your brand and your products and services.