Ask many people about how they view email marketing and you typically find that it is treated as the poor relation of the industry, with some questioning its role in the 21st century world of social networking and instant information. If the last few years have proven anything, it’s that the truth is entirely different, and that email marketeers are typically at the cutting edge of industry when it comes to embracing innovation.
So what will 2013 look like for the email marketing industry, and what will be the big innovations that make the difference between success and failure? I’ve listed four innovations which I think will take off over the course of the next few months:
1. Live data and analytics
Providing live data or dynamic content are two data trends that marketers will be unable to ignore in 2013. Embedding countdowns for time sensitive offers in mailouts or even updates on stock availability add a vital call to action that improves click through and conversion when the email lands. Other dynamic data such as customer account records, adjustable maps, or other interactive apps can also be embedded in emails to engage users.
2. Responsive design
This year we’ve seen a huge divergence in the kind of devices that people are using to read emails or access sites. In 2013 this will only increase and it leads to a new challenge for markets looking to prepare campaigns that can be delivered across all channels. With changing screen size and form factor marketers need to ensure their designs can adapt to the end-point they are accessed on.
Viral video has become the proverbial golden goose for marketers and in 2013 we’ll see this sort of content delivered more frequently and in myriad ways. Videos playing automatically when an email is opened and links to YouTube videos will become more prevalent in 2013. However marketers need to ensure these are as accessible as possible through mobile or desktop email.
4. Spam filters
The average prospect is sent a deluge of marketing messages each day with many being filed immediately into the spam folder or deleted straight away. Avoiding interception by spam filters or being blacklisted by ISPs is a must for all marketers so messages must remain relevant at all times. Top email services like Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo are prioritising and displaying emails according to set criteria. These content-quality tools have changed the game in email services and marketers need to offer only highly relevant content.