Our last post on 2012 email marketing predictions got some marketers thinking about their own predictions. The following is a guest post from Remy Bergsma, who works as a community manager providing the user community of his company’s email marketing platform with email marketing insights through blog posts, training sessions and videos to help them reach their goals:
Writing predictions is actually difficult. Some people say it’s easy because you are not ‘held back’ by prior events and experience: just make some statements, put in your views and that’s it. Prior events and experience mean you really should be prepared for the future.
Contrary, life in email marketing is not that simple. The more experience you have, the better you may be able to predict the future: but also the more cautious you get.
Without further ado, here’s my take on what 2012 will mean for email marketers.
Platform independence for email
Email used to be straightforward: people would read it on their regular computer or worst case, on their laptop. Either way, a fixed width would be fine, with the better email designs optimizing for images off, snippet previews and vertical/horizontal panes.
With the global rise in usage of any type of mobile platform however, it has become a challenge for email marketers to keep all platforms happy from the start. Most email designs currently in use still date from the 2005 ~ 2007 era, when Outlook 2007 was only just being introduced and the biggest change was losing backgrounds and some CSS support.
The email designs that will win in 2012 and beyond are the ones that are fluid: they’ll look beautiful and will work on any platform–be it the iphone, android, ipad, laptop, and more. Regardless of touch or mouse interface, and regardless of the resolution used.
The next level of personalization
Personalization will not just mean you can put Dear Remy in an email to me and call it a day – that is now more of an expectation than an attention grabber. The next level of personalization will (and should) involve a lot more data, to include in emailing in very specific levels of detail.
The importance from this comes from websites with great conversion rates (I’m talking 90% and up, no joke): if you can make almost every single email unique like all your subscribers are, you will win their hearts.
Example: put in a big logo of your product/company or a small one? Just the name and no logo? What about CTAs? Buttons or text links? Which color? How big should the email be? Extra info or not? Just some factors which you can personalize in every single email: you just need to collect the relevant data on every customer and put it to good use.
Does it sound a little too much like Minority Report? Don’t worry, it will happen sooner or later – and as an email marketer, you better be involved in the process!
The total integration of all online channels
Surprisingly (or not), in quite a few companies, email is still the lone gunman: the strategy and execution of that strategy is often a separate process done by people who don’t oversee the total picture of online marketing. A subscriber however does not want to see different channels or different marketing campaigns: they want to see a single brand or a single product with a single message.
They don’t want to waste time navigating from email to landing page to another landing page to a form. They want to get everything done in the least amount of time so they can get on with their lives.
If a brand wants to lift all their online channels to the best conversion level possible, a total integration of those channels is key. Only then can a consumer go from channel to channel in a seamless way and convert without a hitch.
That type of integration will demand time, money and effort but will be very rewarding in the end. No more dead ends, no more separate campaigns and statistics. Email will play a big role in this: either as a hub or a supporting actor it will guide consumers in the right direction. Timing is everything, as is location and personalization: with the technologies that are available today it is not too difficult to achieve this.
So there you have it: three developments that deserve your attention and will (and should!) become hot in 2012. Do you agree?
More about Remy: Previously the head of the customer care team, Remy knows what’s on user’s minds and what they want to achieve during their day to day use of the platform. Special interest includes email design, campaign management, deliverability and the fusion of social media and email marketing channels.