While social media marketing continues to be all the rage, email marketing retains is relevance as the basic medium of communication and lead generation for most businesses. I feel that this will continue to hold true in 2013, but marketers will have to stay on top of the ever-churning trends to derive success from this legacy channel.
One big trend for email is an increasing number of recipients exercising the “Opt out” option. Since email is free, many marketers have over-marketed themselves by bombarding their leads with email messages of various types. But with customers now responding by opting out, marketers have a challenge to get it right the first time. A lead opting out is as good as a lead lost as the opt out cuts off the primary lines of communication with the customer. Even when the customer does not opt out, they may invariably opt down, or specify how many and how frequently they wish to receive emails. In 2013, the onus is on the marketer to send highly focused and relevant emails in the few opportunities that they get.
Another big trend is the growth of mobile computing. More and more people access the Internet through mobile devices such as tablets and smart phones, and mobile now accounts for about 13% of all Internet traffic. In tune with this trend, an increasing number of prospects access email through their mobile devices. This has big implications for the marketer. Content appears different in such mobile devices compared to desktops. Moreover, the small screen of the mobile device makes it difficult to lead lengthy and graphic ridden emails. Going ahead, marketers would have to make sure that their emails are highly concise, clear and has engaging subject lines to retain open rates in a tough mobile environment.
The ease of opt out, shorter attention spans, and the increasing quest for focus and relevance when bombarded with an information overload is poised to make email marketing tougher in the future.