As CEO of ClickMail Marketing, part of my job is keeping up with, and even ahead of, trends and changes in the email marketing industry. In a world like ours, technology and tastes can change in a flash, leaving the unsuspecting email marketer playing catch-up once he or she finally does catch on. Spotting email marketing trends becomes, therefore, less of a fun guessing game and more of a critical strategic process.
The common theme in 2010 as I see it is integration. To me, this indicates email’s lasting power, as it becomes more and more entrenched in the marketing framework. No longer is email a standalone messaging medium or marketing tool. Now more than ever, email is becoming the backbone of marketing, enduring and evolving…and proving its worth one message at a time.
Below are the trends we at ClickMail Marketing see as the most important for this coming year. You won’t find any rocket science-level complexity in this list, because by now you’ve at least been exposed to all of these trends even if you haven’t yet acted on them. But this coming year will be the time to take the next step: start implementing now, or be left behind. Far behind.
Integration with social networking sites and tools
Email still reigns supreme as a marketing tool, but to keep pace with the rapidly changing world of technology and cultural expectations, it must integrate with social networking tools. That’s the only way you can hope to communicate with all audiences, as some stay with email for communication and others move to social media. Integration with social media extends your reach, as people share your content and therefore expand your exposure. (And sharing is what social media is all about, so make sure your content is worthy of sharing!)
Integration with add-on services like CertifiedEmail
Email is still the strongest messaging platform out there, despite cries of its demise. One characteristic that makes it so strong is the ubiquity of email. It is everywhere, truly. And as technologies are developed, it integrates more and more with add-on services, services like video in your email marketing and Goodmail’s CertifiedEmail.
Integration with the new data management tools
Major ISPs are making decisions about which emails are spam based on if and how recipients interact with an email. That means their interaction is directly influencing your deliverability. You have to have the tools to manage your data to meet these new standards, tools that move you beyond open rates to data that really matters, like Pivotal Veracity’s Mailbox IQ that helps you measure audience engagement. But these new tools must integrate with your existing email platform.
Speaking of trends and staying current with changes in the email marketing industry, stay tuned for our soon-to-be-released 2010 guide to choosing a top tier ESP.