For the regular readers out there, there’s no doubt that we’ve spent plenty of time forecasting the growth of email marketing from month to month, or even from year to year. But what about when the conversation shifts toward a future that’s a little far away – say, five years? If you’re interested in taking a peak at the potential future of this powerhouse practice, pull up a seat and let’s connect with some voices from around the web who can help us decipher what inbox campaigns will really look like in the year 2020.
Enter the Fully Integrated Ideal
In his look at this subject, David Moth of Econsultancy pinpoints integration as the focal point of email marketing’s distant future. While the web is awash with blogs and posts telling you how important social, SMS, and other channels are in an overlapping capacity, Moth suggests that there’s still quite a bit of ground to make up on this front. However, by 2020 the over 440 respondents to his survey believe that the lines between email marketing and these other platforms won’t just be blurred, they’ll be completely nonexistent for the major brands and players within the inbox.
Additionally, Moth’s polling of members of the industry also note that in five years or so, this multi-channel method will be accompanied by platforms that embrace a “one size fits all” mentality. Instead of having to switch between your email campaign accounts and social media profiles, the future digital landscape will be all about convenience and expedience. You’ve probably already noticed this with the built-in social plug-ins that allow your email content to go viral, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the universal marketing tools being developed for brands like your own.
There’s No Future Without Automation and Personalization
For the final piece of Moth’s futuristic forecast, he and the other industry voices polled within the survey point to automation and personalization as moving from cutting edge tactics to industry best practices. In today’s inbox, slipping in a nod to your audience members based on contact list data and harvested info is seen as unique way to stand out and build a strong bond with the person on the other side of the screen. However, it won’t be long before customers expect brands to always follow in this path or risk the threat of a disinterested base of viewers.
The same goes for automation and the other side of the equation. It doesn’t take a master email marketer to understand that as campaign platforms continue to integrate and optimize automated tools, brands like your own will come to expect these services as the status quo. Those platforms that lag behind are sure to suffer in terms of usage and viability.
Video Will Be a Major Player
As far as actual content goes, Zach Watson of iMedia Connection pegs video content as the future of email marketing, so don’t be surprised if your audience starts clamoring for this kind of offering in the come years. This concept makes sense for a variety of reasons. First, as base hardware capabilities and Internet connections continue to grow stronger and more prevalent, the strain these selections put on the user’s devices, as well as the frustration that comes with content that’s slow to load, should drop dramatically. Additionally, utilizing video content plays heavily into the notion of interconnected marketing strategies since this approach works well on social platforms like Facebook and YouTube, as well as in the inbox.
What Email Marketing Won’t Be in the Future
While all of these developments speak to the wonders of email marketing’s future, it’s also worthwhile to talk about what email marketing won’t be down the road. Despite the insistence of some corners of the web, email marketing is far from becoming redundant or standing as a digital anachronism.
Are there other types of marketing strategies that work well with certain audiences? Sure; just look at SMS marketing as a great example for this side of the argument. However, this doesn’t mean that email marketing shouldn’t have a place in your outreach strategy moving forward. Until a future appears on the horizon that shows email marketing as declining – something that’s hard to imagine in 2020 or beyond – your best bet is to continue pressing your advantage in the inbox and giving your valued customers the kind of content that truly speaks to what they want.