Once the ugly stepsister of the marketing world, email marketing has made huge strides in 2014. Don’t take our word for it; recent email statistics prove email marketing is here to stay. As of 2013, there are nearly 3.9 billion email accounts worldwide, with that number expected to increase to 4.9 billion by the end of 2017.
It’s important to note that while email users are increasing, they are becoming more sophisticated in regards to consumption habits. In a recent study, 54% of people reported using automatic sorting filters for their inbox and 58% claimed they will unsubscribe if they receive an unwanted commercial email. To keep saavy email users happy, marketers have to continually improve the strategy and creative innovation of their email campaigns.
Here are three email marketing trends you’re likely to see in your inbox this fall–plus a list of helpful tools and analytics to implement them.
Email users tend to prefer emails that are primarily image-based versus text-based, but unfortunately 85% of email clients block images by default. To reconcile this, marketers are finding ways to improve the look of images-off emails with styled ALT text, HTML mosaics and bulletproof backgrounds/buttons. And if you’re really up for a challenge, try SONY Playstation’s technique of using smart Photoshop design and slicing to make images and logo outlines appear in the images-off version (as shown below).
Must-try tool: Mozify is an innovative tool that allows you to convert any image to an HTML mosaic or to formatted HTML text. The result is a coloured mosaic of table cells that render an approximation of an image even before the image is loaded in emails.
(Source: Sony Playstation)
Basic email personalization, such as name and account information, no longer satisfy the consumers who expect detailed, up-to-date messages that match their unique buying needs. To truly make enhance the customer experience, emails should take into account detailed interaction data (including how, when and with what customers are engaging) as well as factors like holidays, weather and location. According to a recent study, about 64% of marketing executives say they want to increase the amount of money they spend on personalization in the next year.
Software essentials: CRM & Marketing Automation platforms allow marketers to effectively track and engage with customers based on consumer behavior. Popular solutions include Salesforce, Marketo and HubSpot.
Videos & Animated GIFs
Approximately half of the marketers who used video in email campaigns saw increased click-through rates, increased time spent reading the email, and increased sharing and forwarding, according to a survey by eMarketer. Both videos and animated GIFs are smart alternatives to lengthy copy when trying to encourage click-throughs, give instructions or illustrate complex concepts.
Pro-tip: Animated GIFs can have large file sizes which can be slow to download and play. When it comes to saving your GIFs, one of the best ways to minimize file size is to reduce the number of colors actually saved in the file.
(Source: Jack Spade)