The art of prediction can backfire, especially if you tell anyone your conclusions. After all, someone nasty might look back a year later and point out where you went wrong. Or occasionally where they were spot on. So let’s do that.
Not all the predictions made for 2014 were off target. The most popular one, which most commentators picked up on, was that before the end of the year more than half of marketing emails would be read on mobile devices. It was hardly a shot in the dark and no one was that surprised when it proved correct.
Being right was not something you could accuse those who suggested responsive email design would be the norm by the end of the year. At the end of the summer the jury was still out, with some returns, although by no means all, being positive. But the furore died soon enough and RD looks to be old hat.
Email marketing was going to die once Gmail produced tabs, the fear being they would never be read. Then we discovered the benefits of images shown by default and the returns were, if anything, improved. I now use Gmail when I subscribe to email marketing lists for research purposes.
The success of one prediction was a bit disappointing. Website design, and to an extent email design, hit a plateau. Mobile devices were to blame, with long download times being treated with caution.
Facebook, Twitter and the like did not disappear under the onslaught of Pinterest. I’m not sure they even suffered much. Reports of their death were exaggerated. Those companies which took the hint and diversified have, according to some reports, found it useful.
The number of images used in marketing emails, we were told, would increase. We still await that phenomenon.
Someone suggested that personalisation would come to the fore and the worth of data from email marketing software would be essential for profitable marketing. This wasn’t the most risky of predictions and being right with that one is a bit like saying it will be cold in January.
The only prediction I will make for 2015 is that those who plan to respond quickly and effectively to change will benefit more than those who depend on predictions.