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2017 Email Marketing Trends That Actually Work

Is your company looking to implement a few new marketing tactics? Or has your email marketing hit a plateau?  It may be time to integrate some of the new trends marketers are saying will be hot in 2017.

First things first: if you are not engaged with an email marketing platform you are missing out on the ability to integrate most – if not all — of these trends that will improve your marketing reach and return on investment. Many companies are doing the bare minimum when it comes to email marketing strategies. Newsletters, thank you emails and offers are some of the tried and true when it comes to email marketing of the past.

Today, things like personalization, customer journeys and interactive content are taking email marketing returns to the next level. Once that guidance is in place, you can delve further into the top items that are a must for your email marketing campaign this year.

2017 Email Marketing Trends That Actually Work

Automation

Email automation is making our emails smarter. Automation has opened the doors to automatically sending consumers emails that work off of your database or CRM tool.  Most of the top email marketing tools will integrate with CRM’s like Salesforce to share customer data. Is it the subscriber’s birthday or anniversary? Do you have a sale going on? Has it been a while since the customer visited your site?  Automation allows your system to work smarter by automatically connecting with customers at the perfect times based on data and behavior. For example, an online flower business can dynamically send offer emails to husbands who have purchased for their wife in the past reminding them in advance of the date.

Make sure your marketing team is always enhancing your campaign by maintaining data.  Keep campaigns fresh and new. Make your emails smarter by branching off recipient’s location, search history and behaviors.  Your company will reap the benefits – more engagement, increased hits to your site, and revenue growth.

Big Data Personalization 

Big data personalization will really hit its stride in 2017. It is the perfect storm where marketers pitch the perfect email content to the right person at the precise time. To make all of this work, marketers are using data gathered across all marketing channels about current and potential clients in order to deliver the right message at the right time. Email platforms like Campaign Monitor can intake the data, through integrations with other business systems like Salesforce CRM and Shopify, to help you segment your subscribers to take them down specific customer journeys that suit their needs. For example, an international watch brand could have millions of customer records that they need to market their new product line to. By centralizing all those records from disparate systems, the watch brand can segment their customers by data point such as age, gender, geo-location and purchasing history for highly personalized email messages.

Big data personalization through email marketing platforms makes that possible. This email logic creates the strongest personalized emails and increases revenue exponentially.

Interactive emails

Over a quarter of marketers believe that interactive emails are the top trend of 2017.  By implementing interactivity, viewers will ultimately be more engaged because they are seeing more through their email. What typically would only reside on a company’s website is now embedded in the email.  Emails with search bars, quizzes or a portion of your blog are a few examples of interactions now being added to emails. This technique has gone even further in 2017 with “Punch Card Coding.” Punch Card Coding allows email designers to use CSS alone to give users an interactive experience. This has started to be used to create emails that look like ecommerce pages and checkout functionality.

There are some drawbacks and considerations for marketers wanting to use interactive functions within emails in 2017. From a technical standpoint, interactivity isn’t supported by all email clients to you will want to use fallbacks to properly serve all email recipients.

Another consideration of interactive emails has to do with attribution and tracking. Since more of the engagement will happen within the email, click through rates will be less important as in-email engagement metrics.

HTML5 video in email

By the end of this year, video content will account for 74 percent of all internet traffic – so why not incorporate it in email campaigns? Video in email marketing is finally taking off thanks new programs allowing users the ability to view from different devices.  The issue has always been coding video that will work for all email clients across all devices. Of course, there is never one email operating system that all the people who read your emails will use – and even opening that email in a browser will yield different results based on the default browser. Analytics can tell you a bit more about what systems your audience is using but it simply informs your video campaigns. Analytics alone won’t fix viewability problems when it comes to the video messaging you send within emails.

Though Flash has always been widely used for in-email video, it isn’t effective in all cases. Developers are adjusting to this though, specifically through video coding through HTML5 that gives a better chance for viewability. This HTML5 coding can serve as a backup to other methods, like embedded video or Flash options. Remember, a reader who cannot get a video to display or work properly will move on – don’t take a chance that your audience will miss the important video content that you worked so hard to create.

While it is advised to always have a fallback for viewers whose devices cannot support video, this will become less and less of an issue in years going forward. As more demand for in-email video arises, developers will make the technology more accessible and convenient for email marketers. Video is another optimal format to promote and enhance interactivity so make sure you use it – and make sure your viewers can actually view it too.

Which Will You Add?

As technology and competition grow, keeping your email marketing strategy fresh is essential. Email automation and big data will continue to be critical in how businesses communicate with their customers in a highly targeted and personalized way, while interactive and video content continue to show how effective they are at engaging audiences. The days of sending mass, non personalized emails that consist of text alone are already antiquated. Giving readers interactive ways to engage with your email campaigns is essential to having those messages opened, read and acted upon. Email marketing is a business investment so make the most of your campaigns.

If your businesses isn’t using these strategies, which will you add in 2017?


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Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. Chamber specializes in helping small businesses grow their business on the web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. As a small business expert, Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources, as well as providing small business advice. She has significant experience with the topic of small business marketing, and has spent several years exploring topics like copywriting, content marketing and social media. When she’s not publishing a weekly newsletter to educate small businesses on the vast importance of building up their web presence, she likes to keep her finger on the pulse of the latest small business products, services, apps and other reviews. She also keeps tabs on the foremost events for small business owners to attend. Megan spends much of her time building partnerships and establishing new relationships on behalf of ChamberofCommerce.com. With a strong suit for managing business partnerships and developing partner relations, she often cultivates topics around the partnerships she’s established by reviewing and highlighting what makes each business unique. She prides herself on keeping up with the diverse variety of services each business specializes in to spotlight new offerings. With her extensive repertoire, Megan regularly contributes to a growing number of publications, like Business.com, Disability.gov, Vistaprint, Yext, Infusionsoft, among many others. She can be reached at megan@chamberofcommerce.com. http://www.chamberofcommerce.com

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