As 2015 comes to a close, we’ll be looking back at the trends that have shaped digital marketing over the past year. Today, let’s review the top 2015 email marketing trends that will continue to affect our strategies and best practices into the new year.
1. Customer-driven marketing
Consumers are now driving the conversation with brands. They will only engage with content they really want to see. As a result, we’re seeing segmentation and personalization becoming more important than ever since these tools allow us to focus on meeting our customers needs and building relationships with them.
2. Holistic marketing
Based on the philosophy that “everything matters,” holistic marketing involves integrating your email marketing with social media and other marketing channels to directly target and engage subscribers. For example, more and more marketers are using social media to grow their email list. You can read more about this in our post “Make Your Email & Social Media Marketing Work Smarter . . . Together.”
3. Lightbox pop-ups
More and more companies are growing their email lists by using pop-up boxes, otherwise known as lightboxes, to collect email address. And it’s working! These pop-ups make email signup more visible and offer a clear call to action. Here’s an example of Pottery Barn’s lightbox pop-up:
4. Optimizing for new devices, applications and apps
With the advent of new devices, we need to pay attention to optimal character counts and more for email from names, subject lines, and preview text. For example, the iPhone 6s Plus shows three lines of preview text, instead of two lines on previous models. Furthermore, the new version of Outlook for Mac also introduced support for preview text, displaying it as the third line in the inbox (after the from name and subject line). You’ve also got wearable devices to take into consideration now. As a result, you want to ensure that you’re using a recognizable from name, a compelling subject line and preview text that works well with your subject line, optimized for all the devices your customers are using.
Mobile has changed what we expect of brands. The proportion of email opened on mobile devices is still on the rise, and this trend looks set to continue. To keep pace, you need to focus on ensuring that your emails look awesome across all mobile devices—especially those your target audience use. Even if you don’t have a ton of mobile users in your email list at the moment, it’s highly recommended that you move toward creating adaptive content for the future.
6. Adaptive content
One way to address trends 4 & 5 is by turning to adaptive content. We recently covered adaptive content in our post “How Adaptive Content Makes Your Lifecycle Marketing Better.” For your email marketing, you’ll want to start with the intent that your content will go out and live on a wide variety of devices, platforms, screen sizes, and resolutions. This means thinking about content differently and writing differently, too.
7. Good data vs. Big Data
You can use good data (vs. Big Data) to create better emails. Instead of trying to measure everything, look for high-quality data for key data points. You want to collect and analyze data that maps to strategic business objectives. Check out our post on what email analytics to measure and why for an excellent starting place.
8. Better personalization
Mobile use has broken the customer journey up into hundreds of real-time micro-moments shaped by customer needs. Customers act on their needs in the moment, which requires brands to focus on relevance and usefulness all the more. Toward this end, personalization is key. It is a proven strategy for nurturing leads, increasing conversion rates, and cultivating relationships with customers who turn into brand advocates. If you follow through on #7 above, you’ll have some great data that you can translate into meaningful action.
9. Better segmentation
Following naturally from our discussions of good data and better personalization comes better segmentation, which is necessary to deliver quality, relevant and useful email content. By narrowing your focus and sending messages to targeted groups within your lists, your recipients will find your campaigns more relevant—and relevant campaigns get better results, i.e. better open and click rates. Check out our blog post from April of this year on “14 Ways to Define and Refine Your Segmentation Strategy.”
10. Increased automation
Automation is one of those strategies where you can put your data into meaningful action. Email automation plays a key role in converting leads into customers. It can help you stay fresh on buyers’ minds and plant the seeds of a relationship with your brand. Triggered emails also have the capacity to help you save time and money. You can use triggered emails to match up your automated emails with the customer lifecycle, which will help build better relationships with customers at every stage along their journey. Check out a few examples of triggered emails in our recent blog post “Triggered Emails & Lifecycle Marketing: Tips & Best Practices.”
What do you think were the top marketing trends in 2015? Share your insights in the comments section below. Then, check back with us in two weeks for top email marketing tips based on what we now know about email marketing in 2015.
Learn more about Filament and how we can help shine a light on your email marketing.