Tomorrow evening, we’ll don our party hats for the last event of the holiday season and prepare to ring in a fresh start. For many, today is the last official working day of 2015. And as we reflect on the many successes of the past 12 months, many email marketers are wondering what the next year has in store. Last year, while some were predicting the demise of email, we predicted 2015 would be its next defining year. From drilling down on ROI to micro-targeting, we saw many of our email predictions come to fruition this year. Here’s to continuing the trend.
Without further ado, here’s what our crystal ball shows for 2016:
Convenience Will Be King
If the “uberization” trend has taught us anything, it’s that customers love two things: convenience and control. I don’t need to tell you we live in a fast-paced world—as a marketer, you’re a multitasking master with an ever-growing to-do list. Time is a precious commodity, and it seems the only way to achieve a work-life balance is to automate and streamline as much as possible. We predict the most successful brands of 2016 will be the companies that offer flexibility, instant gratification and greater customer control.
Competition for Attention
In that same vein, we’ll also see a tremendous amount of competition over customer attention. Let’s face it: We’ve reached a point of message saturation. From email and social media accounts to the dozens of apps on smartphones, there is a lot of content out there. So how can you stand apart? First, use data to help you determine which channels are most effective. Then, get straight to the point. Short, concise messages that pack a punch will almost always reign supreme.
Which brings us to our next point.
Context Will Rule Over Content
Previously, we talked about how messaging is becoming the new emailing. With so many ways to communicate with your audience, it’s not just about what you say—it’s about where you say it that determines whether it’ll make an impact. While the content of your message will always be important, the platforms you use to engage with your audience will play a major role in the type of messaging you share. For example, you can’t share the same message in a push notification that you can in an email—even if it’s for the same offer.
The Convergence of Data Management & Marketing Automation
Prepare for a potential title change in 2016 and beyond. “Email marketing” is not a broad enough descriptor for all the types of marketing you’re responsible for managing. In addition to overseeing email campaigns, email professionals are becoming marketing analytics gurus and digital messaging wizards. Thanks to the convergence of email, data management and marketing automation, your wheelhouse will continue to expand. (With any luck, maybe 2016 will also be the year you get that mega raise you’ve been hoping for.)
Mobile Will Continue to Grow Rapidly
I apologize if I sound like a broken record, but this bears repeating: It’s all about mobile. It’s been about a year since we reached the mobile tipping point—when mobile eclipsed desktop in email opens. And just when we thought we’d reached the zenith of the mobile movement, 2015 brought another wave in wearables and more sophisticated mobile technology. It’s not enough just to make sure your messages render correctly on all devices—you have to make sure your strategy is also friendly to mobile shoppers. When in doubt, assume your message will be read on a smartphone. Chances are, you’ll be right.
There you have it, our official 2016 email predictions. It’ll be a year of continued innovation, improved tools and, of course, a giant step in personalization. All in all, it’s a great time to be a marketer.
Have a safe and happy New Year!
Ready to make a great impression on all those new subscribers from your holiday campaigns? Start 2016 off right with a free email intelligence test, and get all the data you need to make this your best year yet.