Years ago, the rise of social media and smartphone usage prompted many marketing professionals to believe email was dying, as consumers’ use of email was uncertain. But fast forward to 2017 and email is stronger than ever.
A recent article by Media Post analyzed a poll by Email on Acid of 3,000 individuals who work in the email industry. Seventy-four percent of respondents said they were planning on spending more money on email in 2017.
In this post, I’ll address the top four categories that email marketers plan to invest in, according to the study.
Improving Relevancy in Real Time
The Email on Acid study found that email marketers were looking to spend the most time and budget on improving the relevance of emails. Looking to expand beyond simple dynamic content and personalization, marketers are striving for that next step, to change the content when each recipient opens an email.
Personalizing emails in real time is a relatively new concept. It can take an already successful program and lift conversion rates even higher. Movable Ink is an example of a company that offers real-time email personalization. Movable Ink’s solution works within the body of the email, as sections are selected to be dynamic.
The example below is from Movember, which is a charity focusing on men’s health. In the email, the actual fundraising percentage (72 percent, in the example) is updated in real time, no matter when the email was actually sent.
Fixing Email Code
One of the most time-consuming aspects of email marketing is altering code so that the content displays properly on smartphones and tablets. Testing, fixing, retesting, and adjusting can take hours and delay all-important deployments. According to the Email on Acid study, 39 percent of marketers surveyed selected rendering as the most irritating aspect of email marketing. These respondents indicated they were looking to allocate more time to tools that would assist in fixing email code.
Luckily for email marketers, there are two effective options to help with rendering and code. They are Email on Acid and Litmus. Both companies offer similar tools that include (a) email previews across all browsers and devices, (b) spam testing, (c) validation that links, images, and tracking work properly, and (d) testing an email’s load time.
List growth is typically a top priority for email marketers. New subscribers are valuable. In “4 Ways to Beef Up an Email Subscriber List,” I addressed the easiest ways, in my experience, to add or re-engage subscribers:
- Revisit lapsed subscribers;
- Revisit past email bounces;
- Solicit new subscribers from site visitors;
- Solicit new subscribers from outside sources.
Adding Email Staff
Last on the list of items marketers were interested in expanding in 2017 was adding staff to their email team. Many smaller ecommerce companies may not have a dedicated email employee, or perhaps only one. For these companies, adding staff may not be possible. Retaining outside email professionals could be a better option.
There are hundreds of small agencies — one example is GS Marketing Group — that specialize in email design and development. Outsourcing email projects may boost your program and save time and money. Consider freelance marketplaces, such as Upwork.com, for smaller projects.