As 2011 comes to an end, the role of email marketing in today’s world has been seen as a key focus for brands over the last 12 months. The constant changes and drastic updates over the year made us wonder: What will the email world look like a year from now?
These are exciting times for the email industry, and we must rise up to meet the latest challenges and step into this brave new world characterized by real-time marketing, personalization, and marketing automation while heading into 2012.
A new study from Lyris, The Future of Email, identified eight new trends emerging in email marketing, proving that email marketers can’t afford to ignore the fact that the channel remains one of the most popular marketing tools today. Here are some best practices they propose around those eight trends:
Trend No. 1: Expansion of Mobile. According to Nielsen, 45 percent of all mobile web use is spent checking email. This is happening on 5 billion mobile devices worldwide, which is a huge audience. Lyris advises that with the mobile web ever expanding, it’s vital that you optimize all emails for mobile devices.
Trend No. 2: Social media. It’s the latest craze that we are seeing used just as much for business now as for pleasure . Incorporating email content across social media sites, as well as encouraging social sharing will only multiply your marketing efforts via word-of-mouth, for little to no cost.
To capitalize on the popularity and viral nature of social media, make sure your content is shareable. Content that can easily go viral includes incentives and discounts, events, product reviews, exclusive insider information, and more.
Trend No. 3: The social inbox. Quite a few email service providers now offer social media feeds to users’ inboxes to only allow emails from a person’s address book to be featured in their inbox. This emphasizes how important it is to get your email address added as a contact so your email actually gets delivered. To do this, create interesting and engaging subject lines, share enticing content, and reflect the core values of your brand.
Trend No. 4: Social currency. The study defines social currency as “shareable info that encourages more social interaction and builds awareness and loyalty, which drives sales.” In order to boost your social currency, leverage social media to connect with your customer base. Gather all the positive feedback you can and repost it on your social media sites, listen to your audience (and ask!) to find out what they’re interested in.
Trend No. 5: Shopper marketing. Shopper marketing includes knowing who, what, where, why and how your customer shops. Leverage third party data and gather your own information to get to know your customers and create the best possible user experience; whether it be in-store, online or via email.
Trend No. 6: Location-based marketing. Geo-targeting is a fairly new concept for marketers. It involves sending offers such as coupons to mobile users within range of a brick-and-mortar location, as well as rewarding consumers for ‘checking in’ to locations, such as Foursquare. Segment your list accordingly to properly incentivize consumers in an effective way.
Trend No. 7: Millennials. Those born between 1981 and 2000 account for a large chunk of the internet population. The study suggests that the best way to reach millennials is to “mirror them.” They’re constantly tweaking their online persona to present themselves in a way that best reflects who they are. Make a conscious effort to tweak your brand (frequently!) in ways that reinforce what you represent.
Trend No. 8: Social gaming. An eMarketer study found that 27 percent of the online audience will play at least one game per month on a social network this year. That number is up from 53 million last year. Capitalize on this trend by offering virtual currency, if applicable.
Do you agree or disagree? What do you think are some trends we can look for heading into 2012? Leave a comment and let us know!
Get the full Lyris Case Study Here.