Email is still king when it comes to marketing. Did you know that 25.1% of Black Friday transactions originated from email marketing? Seasonal sales aside, consumers use email to get promotional sales, connect with the brands they trust, and engage with people and organizations that fulfill them in some way. As a matter of fact, a June 2016 survey (fees apply) of US marketers conducted by the Direct Marketing Association and Demand Metric found that email had a median return on investment (ROI) of 122%. This was more than four times greater than other marketing formats, social media marketing included.
The fact is, email marketing is here to stay. More importantly, considering the way these emails are actually read will have a huge impact on your business. Over 67% of emails are read on smartphones or tablets, making the movement to mobile-friendly and intelligent targeting more important than ever as we move into 2018.
Automation will become a cornerstone of success
Whether you are creating a streamlined sales funnel, or welcoming a new subscriber, email automation will be a necessary part of your marketing campaigns. New tools and technology are created every day. Automating your content will be key in keeping your focus where it should be: taking care of the clients and customers who have decided to invest in your business.
Campaigns will be more data-driven
Performance data will lead the way in developing solid campaigns. Your data says a lot about your customers and prospects. Those insights will help you create targeted and relevant campaigns that will meet customer's needs, preferences, and interests.
Personalized Campaigns will lead the way
Customers want to know that they're appreciated and understood. By creating customized and personalized content, you can connect with your audience and make the conversation more relevant. Movable Ink's case study regarding Hilton Honors rewards program members is a prime example. They used customer data to send personalized messages to each customer that listed their number of stays, number of hotels visited, and more. As a result, open rates increased 70%, click-throughs increased by 37%, and the campaign resulted in an $82 per-click conversion rate.
Expect more Micro-moment Targeting
Micro-moment marketing is a way to target mobile users in real-time. It creates a situation in which customers will make purchases within seconds of receiving information. Think with Google has several informative articles on the four different types of micro-moments. Micro-moment marketing is the understanding that you only have a few seconds to capture your target customer's attention. As email marketing campaigns begin to leverage intelligent content and contextual content, there will be a more dynamic connection between a consumer and the business that gets their attention.
Intelligent Content will become the new norm
Intelligent content is customer-centric or smart content that uses the customer data to deliver real-time content that is perfect for your ideal customer. This is done through the combination of traditional email marketing, like data and metadata, and new technology like artificial intelligence and machine learning. The case study mentioned above actually used artificial intelligence in the campaign. AI allows you to send personal curated emails to every customer. AI-assisted emails could analyze topics of interest and reading patterns to create a personalized email for each subscriber. If this is a new concept to you, the Content Marketing Institute has a great article that further explains intelligent content.
List Segmentation will continue to be a key factor in increased open rates and click-throughs
List segmentation has become a large part of email marketing, and don't expect that to change! By segmenting your lists based on how customers reach your content, purchases they've made, and other key factors, you can create successful, targeted campaigns for those who are already on your list. A recent study (February 2017) conducted by MailChimp showed that segmented lists have an open rate of 14.32% and click-through rate of 100.95% higher than non-segmented campaigns.
Source: Kevin Layton.