5 Email Marketing Trends You Should Pay Attention to in 2016

Every year around this time you’re bombarded with messages themed around “New Year, New You.” While a new you may be well in the works, we think that the New Year represents something a little bigger than simply buying a new pair of running shoes or more veggies. It’s also an excellent time to refresh your marketing strategy by reconsidering the ins and outs of your budget and figuring out the smartest ways to spend it.Believe it or not, email marketing remains the highest revenue driving marketing strategy. Today, email marketing is the “hub” of the marketing strategy – it’s the core component of most  marketing automation strategies. But it’s more than that. Email is a powerful, flexible tool in any marketer’s toolkit so that when the times change, email marketing can change along with them to incorporate best marketing practices.

This year, we recommend taking a fresh approach to your email marketing campaigns. After all, the new year is not only a great time to figure out what was providing a great open rate or significant click-through-to-open rate (CTOR), but also what will be the best way to reach new customers and retain existing ones. Because email marketing, like anything else, is subject to evolutionary trends as new technologies sweep through the landscape. We’re talking about things like…

  1.  Personalized Email Marketing

The days of emails addressed to “Dear Valued Customer” are over. Different customers can have vastly different experiences with your brand, and may even have wholly different sales cycles. However, most companies can develop personas for various types of customers. By putting yourself in each type of customer’s shoes, you can identify their pain points, figure out what their sales cycle might look like, compile robust information about their media preferences – and improve your CTOR to boot.

Does the thought of sorting through a spreadsheet of hundreds or thousands of customer emails by hand give you the chills? Don’t worry! Today, it’s easy to deliver personalized email marketing, thanks to data technology. Appends (data enhancement) make it super simple to get more data about your customers from information as basic as their name and email address, or as sophisticated as their shopping preferences, hobbies and lifestyle choices, or political leanings and contributions. So don’t be afraid to get personal – your customers will love it (and so will you).

And of course, personalized email marketing can go beyond simply addressing your email to the right person. You can use this approach to implement relationship marketing, turning your best customers into more business – with great referrals.

  1. Mobile Marketing

It’s obvious that mobile phones have reshaped our daily lives. Today, 53{d3045b5e992ac15c9213e67a597f3fd4186f176ca13563581eb5ff0490d51a0b} of emails are opened on mobile phones. But the numbers get even more staggering when we look into the future: By 2017, 78{d3045b5e992ac15c9213e67a597f3fd4186f176ca13563581eb5ff0490d51a0b} of email users will access their email by mobile phone (and well over 2 billion consumers will have smartphones). Make 2016 the year you consider mobile-centric marketing – after all, with click-through rates as much as 23{d3045b5e992ac15c9213e67a597f3fd4186f176ca13563581eb5ff0490d51a0b} higher with responsive templates, it just makes sense.

And of course mobile no longer stops with smartphones. According to Business Insider, wearables, such as smartwatches, are expected to grow 25{d3045b5e992ac15c9213e67a597f3fd4186f176ca13563581eb5ff0490d51a0b} in the next 5 years. These devices are used more like email “triage” to determine if action is required right now or not, so they may require a different approach. However, you can take advantage of these devices’ on-the-go nature and keep your email messages simple and personalized.

  1. The Customer Journey

In 2015, you heard a lot about “the customer journey” – and you may have even taken steps to implement this idea into your marketing strategy. In 2016, we anticipate that more and more companies will be integrating their email and advertising strategies within the customer journey. After all, email or advertising alone don’t tell the whole story – but by analyzing your customer journey across various platforms and tactics, you can understand how to optimize the other pieces of your digital marketing puzzle to make your tactics even more effective.

Figuring out how your customers interact with your online presence is critical to this process. By integrating first- and third-party data, you can build a cross-channel 360° understanding of your customers across all platforms – and help them get the right content at the right time, personalized just for them.

  1. Behavior-Based Marketing

Sure, you could just send the same email to all your customers at once. With behavior-based marketing, you replace this “shotgun approach” with a far more targeted solution. For example, if you know you have customers who are night owls, customers who use their mobile phone to open emails, and customers who are on Twitter, you can send an email at 11pm, optimized for mobile, offering a tweet-to-save coupon to your customers who do all three.

The best part? It works! According to Silverpop, behavior-based email campaigns perform 325{d3045b5e992ac15c9213e67a597f3fd4186f176ca13563581eb5ff0490d51a0b} better than traditional blast emails. Moreover, those who open behavior-based emails spend more and convert more often.

  1. Data Brings It All Together

Implementing new types of email marketing may seem daunting, but it actually all comes down to one factor: data. From understanding which social media networks your customers are on to developing robust customer personas created from a simple email address, data is still king in 2016. Launching personalized campaigns, fine-tuning customer segments, and unearthing new channels to reach your best customers is a snap with Webbula’s Data Enhancement. Leveraging mobile IDs or email address appends gives you a deep understanding of your customers, with categories like demographic, automotive, B2B, political, attributive (behavior and interests), and even financial attributes.

So what are you waiting for? It’s a time for a new year, a new you, and most importantly, a new marketing strategy. Bring data to your email marketing strategy with our audience targeting and data enhancementoptions.