The past year was an excellent year for email marketing. Email marketing of some sort was used by almost all companies. Recipients continued to rate email as an important source of information and offers. Many companies shifted significant budgets to online and email.
Plus, the DMA (US) released a report that indicated email had the highest return of any direct tactic tested, with the highest ROI for each dollar invested in it. This fact has increased the use of email blasting software by businesses. This year things will continue to build and email will continue to grow in usage and return.
Here are my top 10 Canadian email marketing predictions:
- Relevance will grow in importance and will continue to increase in email. More marketers will segment and target plus those already targeting will get better at it. Relevance will also move beyond just content and include communicating the right message about the right product or service and at the right time.
- Optimization of emails and email programs will continue to grow. More people will start to include ongoing testing as a part of most email campaigns. As recipients get more emails and response rates stagnate testing will help the good marketers cut through the clutter in the inbox. Testing will include rendering in differing email clients and on different email devices.
- Email Reputation will be key and will be something more understood by all advanced email marketers and most others. Knowing your email reputation – including SPF from Sender ID and Domain Keys – will become critical in getting your emails delivered into recipient inboxes. Reputation will trump content when it comes to deliverability.
- Video in Emails will take off. Companies with video assets will start using them in email campaigns while others will create new video content for this channel. But make sure you use video in email the right way.
- Integration will continue to be a key part of most new and advanced email programs. This means automated data management between systems plus productized integrations with CRM and web analytics.
- Triggered Emails will become more important when it comes to timeliness of messages. More marketers will use automated campaigns or emails triggered by an action (e.g. abandoned shopping cart, subscription to a newsletter, birthday) or change in data/status (e.g.
- Transactional Emails (e.g. purchase confirmations, shipping notifications) will move away from plain text messages sent from website servers or the IT department’s SMTP servers. More of these types of “system emails” will be branded and sent as HTML. They will also add value starting with relevant up-sell/cross-sell offers.
- Multi-Channel Programs featuring email as a key component will become more common. These campaigns with marry email with direct mail, text messaging (SMS), blogs (RSS) and even voice. Integration and unified one-to-one marketing platforms will allow this to happen.
- Engagement will become a key metric for email marketers. It will also drive how, and how often, we communicate with customers, prospects and stakeholders.
- Finally…in 2008 I predict we will have a Canadian Spam law. It’s been discussed and recommended for years but nothing has happened. Until this year. Sure, it will be pretty similar to the US CAN-SPAM law and accepted best practices around permission marketing, but at least we will have something in place.
What do you think? Feel free to post your thoughts or contact me directly with any questions or comments.