So far, 2015 has been a year of change and innovation in the email marketing world. From real-time data to sticky data, advancements in personalization and customization and, of course, adaptive content, our industry has kept marketers on their toes.
Looking into our crystal ball, we don’t see these trends losing steam anytime soon. But we certainly anticipate some shifts. In fact, we have our eyes on a few key developments that we believe will shape email marketing trends throughout the rest of the year and well into 2016.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what you need to know:
1. Wearables and Email Marketing
With a market that’s expected to grow at a compound annual rate of 35 percent over the next five years, as many as 148 million of us could be sporting state-of-the-art Apple or Android smartwatches, Fitbits or other wearable technology by 2019.
These numbers are simply too big to ignore. With more and more consumers viewing emails on their wrists, it’s up to marketers to determine how to navigate the wearable-technology environment – fast! Especially because Google has already unveiled a new wearable-ready Gmail redesign, which features a stripped-down, distraction-free content display that puts the focus on the message.
In other words, it’s safe to say that wearables may completely change the email experience. The lines will become blurred between social, SMS and email, since readers will interact with all three in the same way. Design will likely become (even more) minimalist, and subject lines and preheader text will be optimized for brevity.
We imagine readers may ultimately use their watches to quickly triage all non-essential email, their smartphones for short email interactions and their laptops for emails that require their full attention.
2. Geolocation and Email Marketing
The rise of wearable technology also leads into the next big trend to watch: geolocation. While marketers have been using geolocation for years through computer-based IP addresses, now they have the ability to lock in on the location of a customer through their mobile device.
One company that has used this to great effect is AIMIA, a loyalty program consulting firm. AIMIA wanted to provide its clients with innovative tools to help them help get more results from their loyalty programs. Using contextual marketing technology from Movable Ink, AIMIA created a campaign that sent subscribers emails that included an embedded personalized map showing nearby locations where that subscriber could redeem their loyalty program rewards points.
Every map showed up to 10 personalized locations, all close to the subscriber. The results? Click-through rates skyrocketed by 66.67 percent over non-targeted sends, with 31 percent of all clicks going to the maps – creating a huge win for AIMIA, its clients and its clients’ subscribers.
3. Martech and Email Marketing
All of this points to the third big development we see on the horizon: a growth spurt in middleware marketing technology (martech) solutions. For far too long, email service providers have left it up to individual marketers to figure out how to harness the promise of technology in their email campaigns. Now, we are seeing an increase in third-party providers that are more than happy to fill that gap.
Some early leaders include companies like Movable Ink, which is figuring out better ways to connect readers to dynamic messages, and LiveRamp, which is connecting marketing data across the full spectrum of digital applications and platforms.
We believe the results of this new martech approach could be nothing short of revolutionary – finally allowing marketers to easily push and share data back and forth across any channel in which they operate. The ability to connect and share real-time, data-driven messages across a truly omnichannel presence is no longer just a dream. It’s happening today.
But all of this, of course, is just our take on what’s happening in the industry. We’re curious: What do you see affecting the way you operate in the near-term? What big trends of tomorrow are influencing the decisions you’re making today? Reach out on social and let us know!
All three of these major trends rely on one thing: data. Prepare for the next big shift in email marketing by filling in your data gaps with InstantData. Try it for free today!