With social media becoming more “pay to play,” many marketers are turning back to email to send targeted messages to fans and potential customers. How has email marketing evolved and what’s on the horizon for this still-important tactic? Glad you asked:Email Marketing

Advanced Targeting

Global business executives plan to increase spending on email marketing this year, focusing on targeted and personalized tactics and campaigns. One current challenge is the ability to easily access data from multiple channels in one place, but U.S. enterprise marketing executives say improving segmenting and targeting is a high priority this year, which will help improve email marketing ROI overall. Having a giant database with a bunch of data doesn’t automatically create great results by itself, but more sophisticated targeting, or dynamic customization, is the future because of the personalization options it gives marketers if they use the data properly.

Optimized Communications

It was never okay to send out a mass email to as many people as possible and hope for the best in terms of leads and conversions. But now, with predictive analytics – based on demographics and behavior getting more advanced – there’s no excuse for not creating more tailored, relevant content. Predictive intelligence, which involves optimizing buyer personas (figuring out patterns or traits of those most interested) and better segmenting data, will help marketers provide even more personalized messages. And marketers are able to do this quicker than ever. Real-time marketing is helping get the right messages to the right place at the right time by using current data to create highly targeted, personalized content. Adobe even goes as far as saying real-time or contextual email marketing is the next frontier for marketers.

 Clean Design with Creative Copy

With wearables becoming increasingly popular, more people will be reading email across multiple devices, making clean design crucial, and the creativity of subject lines, header text and visuals even more important, according to MarketingProfs. Marketblog says subject lines should be 35 characters or less and that good “preheaders” (like the first few lines of body text in Mail items on iPhones) are going to be more imperative moving forward.

Visual Movement

While Outlook and Gmail don’t yet support video playback, CSS3 animation or HTML5 video, these are being used on other email service providers with high success rates and will likely become more mainstream soon. Animated GIFs are easy to make and currently the best supported method for creating movement in most email platforms.

Email marketing is evolving. Are you? Contact us to see how NST can help you use email as a strategic part of your company’s marketing efforts.