How Will Email Marketing Change in 2017?

Business team working at a desk on computers.

As local marketers begin putting together their strategies for the coming year, one thing is clear: Acquisition is out, and awareness is in. That’s according to the results of a new survey released by the email marketing firm Campaigner.

In a survey of more than 500 email marketers, Campaigner found that the top email marketing challenge in 2016 was increasing open rates, followed by creating compelling content and earning new subscribers. Although attracting new customers ranked as the number one marketing goal for marketers in the survey, a shift toward other marketing strategies is currently taking place. Nine percent fewer marketers selected customer acquisition as a top goal for 2017 compared to 2016, while goals like increasing brand awareness and brand loyalty quickly moved up the charts.

It’s something worth watching for those in the industry, particularly because marketers rely on their ability to measure results—whether through conversions or ROI — to validate the latest trends and technologies.

Although building a customer base will always be important for local marketers, many of the tools they’ve been given to help achieve that goal — like ‘Buy Now’ buttons—have been seen as ineffective. According to Campaigner’s survey, 72% of marketers say they haven’t seen any sales as a direct result of ‘Buy Now’ buttons on social media, and 25% fewer marketers are using them today compared to this time last year.

Read the full article here.

With email marketing, timing is everything


To reach consumers through email, when you decide to hit “send” is almost as important as the content of your message.

To resonate with busy professionals, survey results from Reach Mail suggest taking an in-depth look at when your emails are going out, as some of your data might be outdated. If you want to meet the needs to today’s email-focused consumers, here’s what to adjust:

When you should send your first—and last—email

On average, most consumers are scanning their virtual inboxes when they first wake up and just before they go to sleep at night. For many people, though, those specific times will vary.

Here’s the latest, from Reach Mail:

How about the infamous “first check” of the day—does it happen in bed, at breakfast, on the train, twenty minutes after you’ve arrived at the office and gossiped for a bit? More than 70 percent of Americans check their email for the first time from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m.

New York and New Jersey consumers average the latest first check—just before 9 a.m.—and people in Utah check earliest, just after 6:30 a.m.

As for checking for the last time before bed, thirty percent of Americans check before 6 p.m. and 70 percent after 6 p.m.

If you want to greet your audiences with a morning email, consider sending blasts in installments based on the location of your primary audiences.

Read the full article here.

Email Marketing is Back in Fashion


Trends come and go. Remember bellbottoms and shoulder pads? What about email marketing? Although marketers predicted the demise of email after its tremendous decline in the mid-2000s, the tool is now soaring to new heights. That’s right – email is back in style. Now, you might be wondering why email is on the rise and how your brand can hop on the email bandwagon.

Read the full article on B2C here.

Email trends to watch for 2017


Email continues to be one of the most-used options for consumers to contact or follow brands, and according to one expert, email newsletters will continue to be hot through 2017. Here are three trends to follow in the email space in 2017.

First, sophisticated mailbox filters

“As the major mailbox filters get more sophisticated, senders will need to know as much as they can about a user’s engagement with a brand. While the inbox actions are mainly what the filters will be reacting to, marketers should incorporate things like site activity and product preferences when deciding which content to send to the users that also engage in the messages themselves,” said Scott Heimes, CEO, SendGrid.

Second, look for email newsletters to continue to rise

“Companies like The Skimm and The Hustle have made an entire revenue model out of email newsletters. As ad blocking continues to rise and social media’s ROI remains hazy, more brands will be turning to the email newsletter, an old standby, to build a more stable, monetizable relationship with their audiences,” said Andrea Bridges-Smith, Product Marketing Manager, PostUp. “The new metric for success going forward won’t be how many eyeballs see your content, but how many times those eyeballs come back for more, and email is a great way to continue engaging. The LTV of drive-by users from social media is tiny compared to the LTV of engaged, repeat users, and brands will have to adjust their communication strategy accordingly. In short: it’s all about developing relationships.”

Third, expect more difficulty reaching the inbox

“It is still a ticking clock for the final date when Gmail and Microsoft update their DMARC policies and completely move to “p=reject” and no sender will be able to send from their domains unless they are those organizations. They originally planned on this being in June 2016, then sometime this “fall.” But, regardless, this should be top priority for any mail program that uses these domains in their “from” address to move to sending from their own domain instead to ensure deliverability,” said Heimes.

/via Bizreport.

Responsive Design and Mobile’s Next Moves for Email Marketing


Mobile has undoubtedly altered the way we connect, communicate, and conduct business. With an estimated 5 billion mobile phone connections worldwide, the smartphone is set to become one of the most defining technologies of the 21st century. It has transformed pre-existing technologies and fueled a “mobile-first” revolution in business models. Gone are the days of designing for desktops; adaptive email marketers have now made these small screens their biggest priorities by re-doubling efforts and focusing on how to best facilitate mobile content consumption.

Considered one of the most effective channels for brands to reach consumers, email marketing is poised at the forefront of this mobile evolution. Now that 55 percent of emails are opened on mobile phones or tablets, emails must be designed to respond to the user’s screen size and orientation in order to create a more consistent experience across devices. As mobile consumption rates continue to rise, a seamless path to purchase is no longer a luxury for users, it’s a necessity for marketers.

The first step to a mobile-first approach is responsive design. This means creating the most optimal viewing experience possible by crafting emails that render properly to allow easy navigation and minimal resizing. In our age of convenience, users will no longer bother with emails that need reformatting to be viewed on a mobile device. A responsively designed email will ensure the content is accessible regardless of what device is being used to access it.

Read the full article here.

Four Practical Steps to Align Email Marketing with the IoT


With all the buzz about the Internet of Things, and other innovations, marketers can easily overlook the vital role of stalwart strategies such as email marketing. Email subscribers represent a reliable, reachable audience.

But in fact consumers have already adopted email as an essential activity in the one device central to IoT campaigns—smartphones. eMarketer noted that mobile-only viewership of email rose 64% back in 2013. Email subscriber opt-in, therefore, is a bridge between the initial contact with a customer and deploying a strategy with mobile as a core starting point. It is why many companies consider email campaigns a key element in a multichannel campaign.

So what steps should marketers take to ensure that email campaigns fit with an IoT environment?

1. Use advanced analytics tag protocols
2. Establish the basic email metrics
3. Label Links with Programmatic Activity In Mind
4. Get Hooked to Webhooks

Read the full article on DMN News here.

Email Smashes Social Again


The figures are in, and email is again bucking the trend. According to Adobe, it greatly increased its share of directing and influencing Cyber Monday sales while the two channels that ranked above it — search and direct traffic — dipped.

In fact, the role of email in driving sales was up nearly a third compared to last year, while search and direct traffic each saw a dip of around 5% in their contribution to Cyber Monday sales. So that meant that very nearly one in five items sold over Cyber Monday were driven by email, while roughly a third and a quarter of all sales were driving by search and direct traffic. This puts mail in third place, as it was on Black Friday, but the key point is that the two channels above it are starting to weaken. It’s also arguable that email plays a large role in keeping brands fresh in the minds of consumers and so could well play an important role in driving direct traffic.

Social media, interestingly, doesn’t get given a percentage of sales. When Adobe did grade the channel alongside email for Black Friday sales, the comparison was pretty embarrassing for the channel beloved by the “social ninja” and “guru.” It delivered just under 1% of sales compared to email’s near 18%.

Read the full article on MediaPost here.

Three Facts About Email Marketing That Make or Break Campaigns


Does your brand obsess over marketing? Good. Does your marketing team constantly try to stay up to date and fresh with their marketing? Great. Do they tend to abandon older technologies, and assume that they’re obsolete? Hold up.

American adults spend, on average, around 11 hours looking at screens a day. Over 20% of those people admit going online “almost constantly,” according to Pew Research – and it’s no surprise that the younger the person, the more time they spend online, with 36% of 18-29 year spending more than double the time of those 65 and older. So what are those people doing, and how can your brand reach them?

The answer is email. Overall, 58% of online consumers check email as their first online activity of the day, followed by a search engine or portal site (20%), and Facebook (11%). Over 215 billion emails are sent every day. There’s a reason why email marketing has a 3800% ROI, resulting in about $38 for every $1 invested.

So how can you master your brand’s email marketing campaign? We asked the team at VerticalResponse, the leading email marketing platform, whose users sent around 100 million emails in 2016 – here are the top three guiding trends to keep in mind when developing an email marketing plan:

  • Brace for Q4: Email Density and Intensity Peak
  • Days of the Week and Holidays Play a Role in Success
  • Time of Day Matters

Read the full post on HuffPo here.