Looking Ahead: 2017 Email Trend Report

It may be surprising to some, but the recent explosion of businesses using social media has done little to eclipse the power of email marketing. As an easy-to-implement, low-cost and highly effective form of marketing, email continues to thrive.

In fact, McKinsey recently found email is 40 times more effective at attracting new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

While email may be the old industry stalwart, it is constantly evolving — every year marketers must adapt this tried-and-true tool to meet the changing needs and habits of consumers. Inevitably, new trends emerge as these strategies begin to produce exciting results.

Here are a few of the email marketing trends predicted to take off in 2017:

Meaningful brand experiences: It’s simple: when you create positive user experiences, consumers will have positive brand associations. Fostering this type of connection with consumers typically leads to further engagement down the line.

Emails that look good on any device: Responsive design is the name of the game on mobile devices, especially now that 53 percent of emails are opened via mobile.

Hyper-segmentation: Customer behavior data is being integrated with other customer information, allowing for truly unique, personalized messaging. Instead of bombarding users with multiple messages, the newest tools allow for selectivity in choosing the most valuable message. That’s especially key when targeting millennials, reports Kristin Naragon in Harvard Business Review. “Many millennials want to see fewer emails and fewer repetitive emails from brands,” she reports. “Marketers take note: Stop spamming your lists and start marketing to individuals by understanding who they are first.”

Machine learning: By applying algorithms to behavioral data, marketers are getting accurate predictions about how customers will act, in some cases allowing for messaging that’s 1:1 optimized.

More automation: The burden of scheduling email broadcasts is being eliminated with increased automation. New technology allows for the easy triggering of new messages based on user behavior.

User-friendly design: Creating effective email campaigns is becoming easier for those not technically inclined, thanks to the variety of interchangeable, user-friendly templates on the market.

Simplified email editors: The need for HTML coding is sharply declining as email design via drag-and-drop tools becomes even simpler.

Send-time optimization: Since different audiences are more likely to open emails at different times on different days of the week, more thought is going into determining the best time to send out campaigns.

Great email design: Email appearance is becoming both more important and easier to implement. More time is being devoted to creating appealing graphics, photos and copy aimed at drawing in the customer. “Millennials are thinking and communicating in images,” Naragon points out. “So marketers need to optimize emails for images and allow for quick feedback through emoji.”

Kinetic tools: Designed with the goal of standing out from the competition and improving opens and click-through rates, creative animation is being used more and more. Deluxe Blog published November 2, 2016