The Bright Future of Email

Patti RennerRemember the Brady Bunch? The topic of mobile lately seems to be the “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha” of direct digital marketing. And while mobile seems to be turning heads and getting all the attention, email remains the “Jan” of the multi-channel bunch. Fairly attractive, highly reliable, everybody likes her, but there’s not much else to talk about. Or is there?
Well, according to forecasts through 2016, email will continue come into its own. It’s the one tool a marketer can count on to connect everything that goes into the marketing mix. And in the next five years, its value will continue to grow, as will the amount marketers will spend on this workhorse of channels.

According to a recent report by Forrester, “US Interactive Marketing Forecast, 2011 to 2016” released last month, the upward trend for email use can be linked to three key factors:

    • New interactive programs. Interesting to think that developing mobile or social programs will make you send more emails. That’s because email pulls together customer experiences across channels. Some brands puts blog content in their weekly e-newsletter. Some retailers use daily deal emails. Others encourage social media-based offers forwarded to friends via email. The more channels marketers embrace, the more email programs they’ll need to support them, and the more email will grow in value.
    • Highly targeted campaigns. Getting the right message to the right person at the right moment means further email delivery growth, especially as campaigns get more specific and targeted. In many cases, better targeting means smaller sends are done more often. That can result in spending more money on campaigns and production, however, the payoff is larger. Batch-and-blast may be a thing of the past as advanced segmentation and targeting does more to increase ROI.
    • Sending smarter. Email marketers know that analytics matter. Sending the right message based on data can enrich the lifetime value of a customer. Forrester reports that marketers will become more focused on upgrading their current levels of email analytics, seeing the investment as part of a larger focus on customer relationship management (CRM) and customer intelligence. I also know of one email service provider in particular who includes access to business intelligence support as part of its commitment to its customers.

With increasing weight on the importance of email to anchor your bunch of marketing campaigns, it’s important to work with a partner who can unite the channels with maturity, expertise and exceptional deliverability.

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