The Future of Email Marketing: 5 Trends for 2015
Like many Internet marketing techniques, email marketing experiences fluctuations in trends that change every year. These changes are driven by customer characteristics, marketing techniques that are currently trending and other factors.
Quality content should be at the core of every marketing campaign. Regardless of the type of business you own, you must provide your customer base with information that they find useful and intriguing. For years, consumers have been deterred by in-your-face techniques that go for the hard sell, and are now attracted to a business that will first pull them in with great written and visual content before they offer their product or service.
For marketing professionals, the beginning of 2015 means the chance to start fresh with new email advertising tactics. If you’re looking for a way to engage potential customers and increase revenue, use the following 5 email marketing trends for 2015:
1. Quality Over Quantity: Improving Content That Engages Customers
Last year, digital advertising (including email marketing) accounted for roughly 25 percent of the total marketing spend across all business sectors. This year, that number is expected to increase to 33 percent.
Much of that increase will go towards creating better email content for their users. over the past five years, companies could increase their email lists by simply sending out countless emails to consumers, who in turn would opt in to receive even more newsletters from the same company. Over the last year, customers have become more suspicious about websites who ask for any type of personal information, including email addresses.
For 2015, businesses will need to be careful about the quality of the email content they send out, and how to entice more consumers to sign up. Consider offering a free e-book or white paper that pertains to your particular industry, and reduce the amount of times you send out these types of emails to once a week or less. Consumers become dissatisfied when they are bombarded with too many emails, and will likely delete it.
2. Images Versus Text
Images were always thought to be excellent marketing tools, even when included in email marketing campaigns. A 2014 study by HubSpot has proven that an increase in images equals a decrease in CTR (click through rate). This study was done using software that tracks CTR for marketing and budgeting purposes.
A separate study by Hubspot was conducted by actually asking consumers if they prefer text over images showed that two out of three people preferred images in their emails. The discrepancy in results points to an actual subconscious reaction consumers have when opening and reading emails. While they might prefer to look at images, they click on emails that contain more text the majority of the time because common sense dictates that text emails are more trustworthy.
In the vast majority of email marketing campaigns, 2015 will see a decrease in flashy graphics and images. Consumers are turned off by these tactics because they often link these types of images with spam websites.
If the use of images is necessary in your email campaign, keep them to a minimum. It’s always important to have the customer focus on the actual written content within the email, the main source of information that will engage them and increase your chances of making a sale.
3. Go Mobile With Your Email Marketing
Like the rest of digital marketing, in 2015, email marketing will trend towards mobile devices.
A recent study from Hubspot showed that 51 percent of Americans now use either a tablet or smartphone to access their email on a regular basis. To be successful in 2015, make sure your email marketing campaigns are optimized to be viewed on all types of mobile devices.
The best way to ensure your emails can be viewed on all devices, including desktop computers, is to send them as responsive emails. Similar to responsive websites, these emails will automatically detect the device that the browser is using and change the format and layout to match the browser. Consider minimizing the amount and size of images you place in your emails to reduce the time it takes them to load.
4. In 2015, Consumer Data Will Dominate Email Marketing Campaigns
In 2014, roughly 35 percent of respondents to a study stated that they rarely or never buy anything because of an email they opened. Consumer data will help increase the amount of conversions from email marketing in 2015 by sending more personalized messages.
Consumer characteristics, browsing and buying behavior are all essential to creating a targeted and unique email campaign that will help increase CTR and conversion rates.
This tactic is being implemented by using what are known as real-time marketing techniques. These techniques send out engaging emails to targeted consumers on a list when an event occurs in their area or that’s relevant to them. For example, if a local sports team wins a championship game, the software has the ability to send out an email to potential customers in a certain geographical radius from a pre-determined list about the game. These types of emails are highly personalized and useful because they create an emotional connection between a local event and the product or service the business is trying to sell them.
Other consumer data will also be the driving force behind higher conversion rates from email marketing campaigns in 2015. Intelligent email software now has the ability to not only determine what type of content consumers are likely to read, but where and when they will actually open the email.
Simply put, the more data recorded and analyzed by email marketing professionals and businesses, the higher the conversion rate will be.
5. Automation Tools Will Dominate Your Email Campaigns
According to recent research by the Aberdeen Group, using automated tools for your email marketing and other digital advertising campaigns can increase your conversion rate by as much as 50 percent.
Automated marketing tools, such as Salesforce, can help you integrate all of your campaigns, essential personalized data about your customers and what they’ve purchased in the past, and conversion and CTR goals into one platform. These types of tools can help you drastically cut down the time spent gathering and analyzing data manually.
With a little practice, in 2015 these type of automation tools can be manipulated to help you increase email marketing conversion rates and opt ins by micro-targeting your consumer base and sending them engaging and relevant content.