The Evolution of Email Marketing: The Top 4 Innovations on the Horizon

While email marketing might not be as glitzy and glamorous as some of the new channels on the block, it continues to hold is position as a foundational element of the marketing mix because it consistently delivers outstanding returns year after year. And, while social channels frequently steal the spotlight with respect to innovation, there’s plenty happening in the email channel that marketers should get excited about.

Here are the top four areas of innovation:

Mobility

If there’s anything that’s crystal clear in email marketing’s future it’s the importance of mobility.  The statistics on the growth of the mobile channel with respect to email marketing are compelling – in 2014 it’s estimated that 48% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. And, as consumers are moving toward using mobile phones and tablets as their primary tool to access their email and the internet, these portable platforms will become the new default for email marketing design.

Deliverability

Experts believe that “smarter” deliverability will be the wave of the future.  From a user perspective, the experience will be more elegant – the “spam” folder may disappear entirely. And, from a sender’s perspective, “smarter” deliverability will translate into no more bounces.  With more affirmative opt-in requirements likely to emerge, sender reputation and compliance with anti-spam protocols will continue to be critically important.

Inbox Management

Innovation in the inbox will transform the user experience.  While today’s email users struggle to sift through their inboxes and find important messages, new tools will emerge to better manage the process.  “Newest on top” will become a thing of the past, and relevancy will influence the inbox view.  Categorization tools will help users organize their messages, and email marketing offers will become increasingly dynamic – there will no longer be such a thing as an “expired offer.”

Security

The electronic transfer of attachments containing sensitive information will become increasingly prevalent.  Consumers will migrate to electronic receipts and organizations across industries will provide digital document transfer services to both streamline operations and deliver better service to their customers.  As this migration happens, companies that don’t proactively put these tools in place to safely offer this service will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. While traditional email encryption tools have historically been clunky and challenging to use, new cloud-based secure document delivery solutions will bring secure email to the masses.

While the email channel might not snag the spotlight, it will continue to be a critically important part of the marketing mix.  And, as email user behavior evolves, email marketing solutions will continue to innovate to address new needs and opportunities in the marketplace.

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