As is the case with all internet marketing, the landscape of email marketing is constantly evolving. The way brands and consumers communicate changes daily. With new tools and technologies arriving at a never before seen pace, it’s important for any marketer to keep an eye on what’s coming and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to adopting new technology.
Although email is still fundamentally going to be email, the way we manage this marketing channel will see some changes over the coming months and years. That said, let’s take a look at the 4 latest email marketing trends to watch for.
While everyone is busy talking about whether or not the Apple Watch will succeed, what we do know is that wearable technology is coming. Whether that’s watches with displays, glass wear similar to Google Glass, or full virtual headsets like Oculus Rift and Sony’s Morpheus. This technology will happen whether or not it is convenient for the marketer in all of us.
In Q3 of 2014, 53% of all emails were opened on a mobile device, yet studies suggest that as high as 40% of marketers still do not have a mobile email strategy. It’s fair to say that many, many business owners and marketing professionals have missed the boat on mobile email marketing.
Will this same thing happen as the trend begins to shift towards wearables? Instead of a “wait and see” approach, why not learn this technology and be on the forefront of what is inevitably coming?
Keep an eye on the psychology of the wearable technology early adopters. How do they engage with emails? My bet is it will be used as a tool to quickly scan incoming emails and instantly decide “trash or read later?” This puts an added emphasis on your brand name recognition in a users inbox, writing captivating subject lines, and leveraging as much of the preview as possible.
Proximity and Geo-Location
Another interesting email technology that has gained steam as of late is the use of proximity and geo-location tools. With proximity and geo-location tools marketers can now track the exact coordinates of where an email has been opened. This gives creative marketers a number of options, just a couple ideas being:
- Based on location of a previously opened email, marketers can instantly segment email lists into states, cities, or even neighborhoods.
- Send location specific emails depending on the local weather, local events, and local happenings based on the segmented lists
Imagine this scenario. You’re a national eCommerce retailer specializing in college merchandise and you have an unsegmented email list of 50,000 contacts. Your only option in this case is to deliver very generic email marketing messages about your products. However, when you begin segmenting this list by state or even city, you can now narrow in on your exact audience and begin sending college specific sendings to a geographically centralized audience.
Video In Email
Video is easily one of the fastest growing trends in email marketing. The major barrier at this point is that many major email platforms do not support video playback in email, namely Gmail and Outlook. With Outlook and Gmail holding major market share when it comes to email client usage, it’s important to have a plan that works for all email clients.
Here are some recent statics of video in email according to EmailMonks:
- 55% increase in click-through rates
- 44% more time spent reading emails
- 41% more email sharing and forwarding
- 24% increase in conversion rates
When looking at using video in email there are really three options to consider:
- Embed and play the video directly in the email
- Use an animated GIF in place of a video file
- Use a static image that emulates a video player. When clicked it opens the video in a browser.
When embedding a video to play directly in the email client be sure to use a fallback image for recipients unable to play the video. Animated GIF’s are currently supported by all major email clients except for Outlook 2007-2013, and static images linked to a video will work across the board.
Transactional Emails & Creative Copy
When I say “transactional email,” what do you think? Pretty boring stuff, right? You might be right, however, transactional emails are potentially powerful email marketing tools and a fairly recent phenomenon that has begun to catch on with creative marketers.
Consider this: You have two emails in your inbox. One is a promotional email from a business you shopped with once many years ago talking about their latest and greatest product line. The other is a transactional email you received because you recently made a purchase with your favorite eBoutique and they’re following up to see how the experience was.
What are you going to open?
The transactional email, right? Right. Just like most other consumers. Transactional emails most often have a higher open rate than promotional emails, and when matched with creative and compelling copy can boost email conversion rates even more. Experian recently released a marketing report that shows transactional emails result in four times more revenue than promotional emails.
Of course these are just four trends out of many, many upcoming changes to the email marketing landscape. What do you see as a new tool or technology to help email marketing in the future? Let us know over on Facebook or Twitter!