New Year, New Rules: Email Marketing In 2016

Written by Kara Burns

Email marketing is a tactic that all businesses can benefit from if done correctly.  Email serves as a communication channel to connect with customers and prospects who are willing to engage with you. The goal is to send emails that include eye-catching images, compelling subject lines, and content that resonates to maximize the value you are providing. As with many other aspects of marketing, email marketing will see change in 2016. We’ve outlined the top trends to watch as the new year approaches - read on to learn more!

It’s been estimated that a staggering 205 billion messages are sent around the world every day — that’s 2.4 million per second! For this reason, it’s crucial for companies and brands to stay ahead of email trends in order to cut through the noise, differentiate themselves from the competition and maintain permission to enter subscribers' inboxes. In this post, we've outlined the top 4 email trends to watch for in 2016.

Top 4 Email Marketing Trends for 2016

Mobile Will Dominate

In 2016, mobile devices with big screens - large tablet computers and "phablets," for example - will increase in availability and utilization. As a result, subscribers' expectations of promotional email design and usability are likely to increase proportionately with the size of their devices.

Savvy digital marketers will craft their email marketing strategy around mobile, making desktop a secondary consideration. Additional email "must haves" include: catchy subject lines, dynamic introductions, concise, well-organized text, universally accepted fonts (or text contained in images), mobile-optimized images and strong calls-to-action (CTAs).

Email Will Get Personal

With more and more content being published online everyday, consumers are more likely to gravitate towards content that speaks to them personally. In 2016, it will be crucial for marketers to personalize their email content so it speaks directly to each individual subscriber.

There are two ways to look at email personalization: implicit and explicit.

Implicit personalization involves tailoring the contents of an email based on measured behavior. For example, if an online retailer notices that a segment of their subscriber list regularly views a specific category on their website, they can use implicit personalization to send those subscribers an email promoting products within that category.

Explicit personalization involves tailoring the contents of an email based on an intentional action. For example, imagine a B2B online security company that tracks downloads of the data security white paper on its website. That company can use explicit personalization to send an automated follow-up email to every person who downloads the white paper thanking them for the download, and linking to 3 data security blogs that they may be interested in.

Video Use Will Skyrocket

Integrating video into emails has been shown to increase click-through rates by as much as 55%. Additionally, embedding videos in emails can help increase social sharing, email forwarding and conversion rates. In 2016, marketers should look for ways to incorporate videos into their email campaigns, and to measure how their subscribers' respond to video content in emails.

The Line Between Social and Email Will Blur

Social media and email are fundamentally different, but together can achieve great results. In 2016, it will be vital for marketers to bridge the gap between these two platforms to maximize their email marketing results. However, simply linking to your social profiles won't cut it. The most successful email marketers will be those who celebrate social interactions in their email blasts, as well as those who capitalize on social sharing to grow their subscriber list(s).