Email marketing is big business – there’s no arguing this point. However, just because the power of connecting with customers in the inbox is common knowledge, that doesn’t mean questions regarding the current state of this tactic aren’t still popping up from time to time on the web. After all, it’s not like email marketing is a spring chicken in the digital marketing world these days.
However, has email marketing reached a plateau in terms of innovation? If not, what’s the next step? Will these potential changes affect my brand? While these questions definitely lead to a tough discussion, that doesn’t mean we can’t work through the clutter and find the answers your company needs to keep pressing the advantage with refined and engaging inbox content.
Breaking down the Argument
As Jordie van Rijn of MediaPost’s Email Insider Europe blog explains, there’s definitely a case for stating that email marketing has reached a plateau – at least on the productivity front. Essentially, this statement comes from the fact that any digitally connected brand understands that funneling resources into this process can yield significant results.
While the power of email marketing is definitely not in question, the discussion naturally turns to whether or not there’s any room left for growth or development in terms of effectiveness and productivity. The answer to this question rests solely on what design spaces and new methods brands are willing to explore in order to find untapped potential and growth.
Making a Case for Innovation
In his look at recent innovations and growth, iMedia Connection’s Christopher Marriott notes that brands on the cutting edge are definitely willing to go the extra mile in terms of testing uncharted inbox territory. From clever abandoned cart messages that aim to capture unclaimed conversions via head-turning graphics, to feedback requests that play on the basic human desire of wanting to feel important and included within a select group, there’s no denying that organizations around the world and across a variety of markets have pushed the boundaries on both the conceptual and graphical levels.
So now that we know innovation is part of email marketing’s recent history, it’s time to decide whether there’s still room to grow moving forward. According to Bola Awoniyi of Econsultancy, the next five years could see quite a few innovations. Naturally, there’s not nearly as much room for growth and change as there was in the days of email marketing’s infancy, but that doesn’t mean the industry is completely stale.
At the top of Awoniyi’s list is the concept of the completely personalized email. Obviously, personalization is already a hot topic, but surprisingly it’s not completely accepted in all circles. Considering the power that comes with speaking directly to the consumer, it makes sense that this stands as one of the next big changes to the status quo.
Additionally, there’s also the chance that innovation related to marketed messaging doesn’t happen in the inbox at all, but in related fields that support this tactic indirectly. The idea of “going wide” with email marketing and promoting across multiple channels has already gained some traction, but how far are brands willing to take it? Could the hallowed ground of traditional TV spots even become a place to spread the word about mailing lists? It might seem outlandish now, but if inbox initiatives continue to rise in prominence, don’t be surprised if this dream becomes a reality in the near future.
Getting Your Brand Ready for the Future
There’s no doubt that this is a lot to consume in one sitting, but it’s still a topic that matters a great deal to your brand. Email marketing isn’t about yesterday’s best practices, but rather taking advantage of the potential of tomorrow before your competition beats you to the punch.
The best way to prepare for these opportunities? Ensure that there’s no cracks in the foundation of your campaign. As Seamus Egan of Entrepreneur magazine explains, if you want to score big with email content, start by working your way from the ground up. Making good use of winning subject lines, relevant content based on consumer data, and smart timing and email frequency all position you to stand as an early adopter if – and when – the next big thing pops up.
Considering how important it is to be a step ahead, enacting this strategy, in addition to keeping everything else you’ve learned here in mind, should stand as a priority during any upcoming campaigns that connect your brand to the valued customer on the other side of the screen.