It is that time of year again when last year’s predictions for email marketing are reviewed and rated according to outcomes. There is danger in this as there is a temptation to take the safe option and predict that everything will be the same except more so. We all knew that mobiles would increase their percentage share for both browsing and opening or filtering.
A recent report investigated the predictions of companies engaged in email marketing, the unexciting conclusion being that present trends will continue. As the GDPR goes live in May there might be some concerns there.
If we look at what other commentators are suggesting for 2018 we come up with a consensus on certain matters. Surprisingly, and contrary to last year, there’s one aspect that has everyone on board. They focus on different aspects but it all comes down to interactivity. This is hardly new as it has been a feature of 2017 but all agree that it will be the major factor of 2018.
As pointed out by many, this means a leap forward in personalisation. Those on our email marketing lists will demand the option of telling us when they want to receive emails and what the content will be. This has all sorts of implications for design, segmentation and automation. Whilst change is the one constant in email marketing, the speed of this development might catch out some.
Customers will expect the content of our emails to conform to what will become the norm on their mobile devices. They will want some form of programmability. Ignore their preferences and they will move to other companies who will satisfy their needs.
They will also want to interact in other ways. A mobile devices means interactivity for them. They will want choices. They want to be in control.
Far from being something to dread, this interactivity will give us the ability to be much more precise in our personalisation. We will have subscribers telling us of their preferences rather than us having to deduce from carefully controlled testing with segregated email marketing lists.
In essence, the way the subscribers interface with us is likely to change. They will now take a leading role in what information they receive, when and in what manner. We will now offer them a range of options, actually asking the customer how they want to interact. They will have a significant voice in the shape of the relationship.
We will have more to say on this matter in the weeks to come.
Chat bots are one medium that many commentators suggest will be a way we will interact with our customers. Again, this is not so much a new move as a development. The technology is established and reliable. All we have to do is install it.
A consensus does not equal what will happen but when we look back next year, I doubt this will be proven to be wrong.
As promised by all commentators last year, email marketing will remain the lead marketing method for companies where ROI is important. Isn’t that all of us?