I hope you had a good festive break, a jolly New Year and are now fully back into the swing of things!
It might be a bit of a cliché, but a new year is always a good time to reflect on what has worked and what needs improving. And with this in mind, I’ve asked around the office and have come up with my top five predictions for email marketing in 2011. What will be hot and what are the issues that email marketers need to pay attention to?
1. Collecting your own data
I think 2010 was the year that many marketers suddenly sat up and realised that just buying lots of data and blasting out emails wasn’t a good way to go. The rise of the socially empowered individual means that consumers are even less tolerant of this method of ‘marketing’. So in 2011, I expect to see more email marketers focusing their budget on collecting their own data. I’m happy to bet they’ll benefit considerably as a result.
2. Inventive collection methods
With the first prediction in mind, I think we’ll see a range of very interesting, innovative data capture techniques. For example, I’m sure we’ll see a rise in the number of competitions that encourage potential recipients to sign up.
3. Integration of social
2010 was the year when there was lots of buzz about social, but little action! I think savvy marketers will begin to try and work out how to make social pay. They will realise that an effective social strategy is about more than just putting a ‘share on Twitter’ link in an email. And if you link social media integration with the first two predictions, it is not hard to see how you can begin to develop a winning combination!
4. Mobile: who knows!
Saying that there will be a growth in the use of mobile and smartphones is like saying the Pope is Catholic! It’s obvious; it’s going to happen. The question will be; what does this mean for email and how will mobile develop? The answer is that no one really knows. In this area, the rate of change is so fast at the moment, anything could happen, and probably will. So watch this space!
5. Looking at the digital journey
Finally, I think we will see more and more businesses focusing on email and how it fits into the wider digital journey. We will see email marketers increasingly working with SEO professionals to see how search traffic can be used to drive data capture (back to the first prediction again). Marketers will stop seeing a website as a static site, but as a more dynamic vehicle, and email will have to grow, adapt and change to fit in with this.
These are my thoughts, but what do you think? Let me know.