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E-mail remains a strong and relevant marketing tool in 2017 due to continual technological advancements and the increased use of e-mail on mobile devices. Source: Google Images

While some might think of age-old e-mail as an outdated marketing channel, the use of e-mail as a marketing tool is actually more relevant today than ever – and it’s expected to continue growing. With the still-increasing use of mobile phones and significant advancements in e-mail creation and analytics, e-mail marketing “continues to be one of the top performing tactics in marketers’ technology stacks,” according to a Campaign Monitor article.

According to a recent Entrepreneur article, e-mail marketing campaigns are especially valuable in today’s mobile world for three main reasons. First of all, consumers generally like receiving promotional offers via e-mail. 62% of respondents in a survey by Zeta Global and The Relevancy Group said that email promotions have at some point helped them make purchasing decisions. Their favorite offers to receive are typically free shipping (41%) and “buy one, get one” deals (37%). Furthermore, e-mail is increasingly valuable as a marketing tool because consumers like to do their shopping conveniently online. 71% of consumers in the study claim they are willing to make online purchases on whichever internet-enabled device is most conveniently available in the moment. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, consumers are increasingly using e-mail on their mobile phones. With e-mail available on smartphones, this means that consumers are connected to their e-mail inboxes as long as their phones are with them – which is a lot. E-mails are increasingly being opened on mobile phones, and Zeta Global has found that mobile conversion rates are increasing.

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Customers especially enjoy receiving “free shipping” promotional offers via e-mail, making e-mail marketing a valuable tool. Source: Google Images.

This increasing value of e-mail marketing has industry professionals predicting trends for e-mail marketing in 2017 – and they all point towards progress and growth. The Campaign Monitor article discusses some of these predictions made by “some of the best and brightest email leaders around the globe.” Chad White from Litmus predicts that the days of “set it and forget it” automated e-mail marketing are over. He believes that marketers will put more effort into leveraging the power of data-driven email marketing by regularly evaluating their data intelligence and strategically using the data points to gain valuable insights, as well as updating automated e-mails often to ensure consumer engagement.

Furthermore, Matthew Smith from Really Good Emails predicts that e-mail service providers will make e-mail design easier by providing some sort of templates for marketers. These will allow marketers to quickly and easily design e-mails and allow them to focus more on creating impactful content. Additionally, Andrea Wildt of Campaign Monitor predicts that, in 2017, e-mail marketers will use more behavioral data to “deliver the right message at precisely the right time.” She states that behavioral data is becoming easier and easier to collect as new devices such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are increasingly integrated into consumers’ lives. Another prediction, by Ros Hodgekiss from Campaign Monitor, is that in 2017 email key performance indicators (KPIs) will move past just opens and clicks, and allow marketers without much technical skill to determine the ROI of marketing skills using tools like Google Analytics and Adobe Analytics.

While these are just some of the predictions industry leaders have made, it is clear that 2017 looks to be a promising year for e-mail marketing. E-mail is a marketing tool that has been around for ages, but it growing and is now more useful and powerful now than ever. It is important for brands to utilize this marketing tool and leverage all value it has to offer.

From a marketing management perspective, here are some questions to consider:

  • What e-mail marketing trends do you predict based on your own experience with e-mail marketing, either as a professional or a consumer?
  • Identify a company that leverages the power of e-mail marketing. How are they doing so, and how do you think it could be improved?
  • Choose one of the 2017 e-mail marketing predictions mentioned here. Do you believe agree with this prediction? Why or why not?