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Email Force Review: The secret of the HIGH margin product launch

· Email Marketing

Email is a mainstay in the marketing toolbox, but marketers need to continuously evolve their email tactics to cater to a changing audience. Join me in a leap forward into the future of email marketing in the 6th annual review of email marketing trends, changes, predictions, and constants.

Compiling this Email Force Review has always been a good excuse to highlight what’s happening right now, and taking a peek at what is just around the corner in 2017 and beyond.

So let’s jump in and see what marketing industry thinkers today have to say about the future of email marketingtomorrow…

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 on request by the site 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 Live Video Crusher Review 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. My advice, don’t try this at home. And in one sitting, you’ll have a 100% chance of information overload!

The top 4 for 2017 are in the category 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.

AI is have email data analysis for lunch. The data analysis category includes artificial intelligence and bots with nearly half (15 of 33) of the category predictions dominated by that type of smart tech.

Have a look at the AppZilla Review

The Biggest Email Marketing Trends in 2017 Are…

Litmus asked 1.200+ marketers to rank the biggest email marketing trends for 2017. Chad White provided the context as Litmus’ research director and industry trend hawk-eye. The research shows that marketers are betting on Interactive email, Big Data personalisation 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. The two biggest issues that still hold back adoption are 1: technical challenges around implementation and 2: Tracking and attribution changes.

2017 starts the half-decade of… Big Data personalisation in emails
Translating Big Data into actions for email marketers starts with breaking down data silos across channels. this means connecting the dots – which is no small technological or political feat. Marketers have embraced personalization driving most of the content in emails.

However, Big Data personalization is so complex and involved that it’s never likely to be a huge trend in any particular year. Instead, it’s probably truer to say that we’re in the half-decade of Big Data personalization.

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! As of November 2016, more than 53% of emails were opened in Apple email apps justifying trying it as long as there is a fall-back for subscribers with email clients that don’t support HTML5 video.

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.

More trends? Read the whole article including quotes from the experts on the litmus blog.

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 exactly what they think are significant changes and trends in the role of agencies, 3rd party technologies, and vendors in relation to each other? Find out below what these global experts had to say about the transformation of MarTech

  • 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.

  1. 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, create newsletter sign ups, all personalized with data from the chat session.
  2. Email will shrink
    Mobile phones are now the most common devices to access emails. According to 2016 research, the sweet spot for email length was between 50-125 words for optimal effect. With less space and minimal attention spans, expect email content to get shorter.
  3. 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. Thanks to more affordable hardware, it’s now possible to run fast and inexpensive email eye tracking tests.
  4. Context makes real-time email
    There’s going to be a whole lot more emails using contextual data, in real-time. Content will be based different sources including for instance geo-location, device, weather, time, (twitter) trends and stock levels. Based on real-time variables the emails will be generated at moment-of-open (not send).
  5. Predictive lead scoring is picking up
    More businesses choose to have integrated models that are employing Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to generate lead scores automatically. This is what we call predictive lead scoring. A predictive intelligence layer on the top of the marketing automation we will hear more about in 2017.
  6. 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 by extension to your brand, thus, creating a personal connection.
  7. Machines will match subscribers with content
    Segmentation and personalisation produce better-targeted emails but are often too time-consuming. We crave a way for content to be matched with our customers automatically. With so much data and content, marketers will look to machines for content matching.
  8. Cross-channel data will fuel the customer view
    Channel data silos are going to be less prevalent. We’ll see behavioural, demographic, contextual and transactional data used across campaigns to give us a single customer view. Push emails with the right content with right timing to always-on devices.

Download the trendbook here.

5 Email marketing trends to consider for your email communication strategy in 2017 – and a few things to safely ignore

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 the reality of the day? Tim Watson shares his 5 trends to act on.

  1. Email Targeting
    Capturing user interests with preference centres is dead. Brands not using behaviour in 2017 will be brands stuck in the past. I expect to see more medium sized brands of scale adding behavioural driven content blocks, such as recommended items.
  1. Customer Data regulation and privacy
    Permission is getting stricter; what marketers can do with data is going to be more tightly regulated. Within the next two years, the requirement for unambiguous consent looks like it may end the practice of pre-ticked check boxes for email permission during a purchase.
  2. Blended and supplemented Automation
    Many brands already have some automation included in their email programmes. In 2017, they will be supplementing existing email activity and blending in automation programs to add to their broadcast activity. A few adventurous brands will try out innovative approaches to decisioning of what emails to send to each contact.
  3. Deliverability, Inbox placement and email bombs
    Indiscriminate and illegally sent email has been beaten, the bar is rising on standards for B2B brands to get to the inbox. Poorly permissioned, third party permissioned or sending on opt-out basis is going to be an increasing challenge for B2B.

Seed list based inbox monitoring tools no longer give usable inbox placement results. The trend of email list bombing we have seen at the end of 2016 is going to lead to more use of reCAPTCHA on subscribe forms and double opt-in processes.

  • 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 Enveloppe
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.

Are smart watch users, Google Home Assistant and Amazon Echo things we can safely ignore? Read the full article here on SmartInsights: 5 trends Email marketers need to stay on top of and a couple you can safely ignore…

Email Marketing Innovation

According to Econsultancy research companies intend to innovate their email marketing this year with more creative uses of behavioral triggers (66%), greater use of dynamic elements and marketing automation to reach one-to-one communication.

Agencies expect to see a bit less innovation for their clients, except for content messaging apps and the use of email as identifier on external platforms. Such an identifier can be used for for instance retargetting 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. With predictions about what the future holds for email marketing in 2017 and beyond. Below a short summary. Read the full article here: 7 email marketing predictions for 2017

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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”.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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. In her post Email: the trends for 2017, 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. Yikes! To connect with your contacts by taking a look at your data, to find true segments and personalize our messages based on the needs of each segment.

Step two: Build an emotional connection through Brand Storytelling
To be truly great at brand storytelling, you need to first understand your customer journey. An evocative story is both true to your company and your customers’ lives. 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 for a consistent experience.

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, especially for capturing them when they are in the moment.

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. Perhaps you’re looking to increase conversions, allowing your customers to shop directly in the email.

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