Every new year, marketing managers, analysts, and pundits across the globe make predictions about the most popular trends to come in email marketing. Based on early statistics, the top priorities for real email marketing managers in 2014 are 1) increasing subscriber engagement and 2) expanding the use of list segmentation.
While more modern online marketing channels, such as social media, are increasingly important to marketers, email marketing is growing in importance right along with them. On January 7, Salesforce released a report showing that of the 2,600 mid- to senior-level marketing managers surveyed, 57 percent planned to increase the number of emails they send out this year. Furthermore, according to “a teaser from the April 2014 issue of Direct Marketing News,” 68 percent of marketers believe email is core to their business, and 52 percent plan to increase spending on email marketing.
In January, a StrongView survey reported that 44 percent of 387 business leaders said increasing email subscriber engagement is one of their top three priorities in email marketing. Even more telling is that 32 percent of respondents indicated a desire not only to increase engagement, but to develop more relevant engagements.
Relevant engagements are the key to successful email marketing. While high open and click-through rates are nice to achieve, they don’t matter much if they’re not driving sales. In order to drive conversions through email marketing, marketers have to send email content that provides value, and, most importantly, converts.
Popular tactics for increasing engagement:
Email list segmentation is another major way to increase subscriber engagement, yet many email marketers still don’t use this tactic. In January 2014, Pure360 released the results of a survey of 600 email marketers, reporting that 44 percent of respondents had not yet created segmented email lists. Improving segmentation and targeting, however, was named a top priority by 31 percent of email marketers, according to the StrongView study.
Segmentation can increase engagement and conversions in email marketing, because smaller segments allow more targeted emails. The larger an email list gets, the more diverse subscriber demographics become. This makes it difficult to target content and provide relevant opportunities for engagement. Segmenting one list into multiple smaller lists drives relevant engagements.
Popular email list segments:
With their focus on increasing engagement and list segmentation, marketers are indicating that the future of email marketing depends on developing personal connections with subscribers in order to achieve more relevant engagements. People receive so many emails per day that standing out and deepening subscriber relationships is crucial to staying relevant in customers’ inboxes. Targeting specific demographics with better, more engaging content is the key.
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