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New Year, New Strategies 2018: Email Marketing Predictions

If there is one thing that marketers know to be a constant, it is change. The rapid proliferation of new technologies and improved quality of behavioral data has drastically altered the way marketers connect with consumers across various touchpoints.

This year alone has seen an abundance of new communication channels and a greater degree of connectedness. However, the one medium that has consistently stood the test of time and proved itself capable of digital evolution year after year is email marketing. As marketing strategies continue to undergo digital transformation in 2018, email will demonstrate that it is capable of adapting yet again.

As technological disruption stands poised to pick up speed in 2018, marketers must be prepared to adapt or risk falling behind to competition. What trends can marketers can expect in the coming year?

A Jam-Packed Year of Personalization

While personalization has been top of mind for marketers in the past, 2018 will undoubtedly be the real tipping point. Equipped with troves of structured data, marketers finally have the necessary resources to craft hyper-targeted campaigns that allow connection with customers in authentic and relevant ways. Recent Campaigner data shows that 68 percent of marketers are prioritizing social media integration in 2018, which will undoubtedly aid in personalizing the customer journey across multiple mediums and touchpoints.

Gone are the days of simply browsing for a product and making a transaction. With each purchase, consumers now expect to engage in a personalized experience that speaks to their needs and specifications. For this reason, it is increasingly important for email marketers to listen to their audience and properly segment their lists to deliver relevant messages. The more that marketers cater their content to specific characteristics, such as tastes, interests and activities, the greater chance these messages have at resonating with subscribers.

Predicting, Predictive Analytics
One trend already making headwinds over the past few months is predictive analytics, or the application of technology and predictive tools to make smarter and more effective marketing decisions. With predictive analytics, marketers are able to make informed choices based on actual customer behaviors. By applying this to email initiatives, marketers can drive more conversions, boost engagement and ultimately increase their bottom line.   

Throughout the course of 2017, select businesses have experienced first-hand how predictive analytics turned out to be a great way to sell smarter and sell more. As 2018 progresses, the applications of predictive analytics will come into clearer focus and its popularity will become more widespread.

In fact, the same survey found that 44 percent of marketers plan to use predictive analytics more this coming year. With the availability of new automation tools, improved cloud computing power and easier access to vast amounts of data, marketers must make the implementation of predictive analytics a top goal for 2018 or risk falling behind to competition.

Video Content Will Be King
Unique, personalized and well-written content is critical to the success of any email marketing campaign. While text content has reigned supreme for a number of years, 2018 will gift subscribers with new content that is a bit more visual and engaging. In their easily digestible format, videos serve as an excellent way to convey a brand’s message in a creative and interactive way. As more and more emails are being consumed on mobile phones, video is an increasingly powerful medium that can grab consumers’ attention even on the small screen. In fact, having a video embedded in an email can lead to higher click-through rates. By implementing videos into their campaigns, email marketers will be sure to see a boost in both engagement and bottom lines.

A Year of Progress
As technology continues to evolve at a breakneck pace and rewrite the script on traditional marketing, 2018 will bring about an exciting year of disruption and innovation. All of these advancements pushing the boundaries for marketing in 2018 will enable marketers to be more sophisticated, drive better returns and continuously improve their email campaigns. Those marketers who make the decision to embrace change and adopt the latest innovations will be the ones who break through the noise and stand out in a crowded space.

About the Author
EJ McGowan, VP and managing director of Campaigner, has more than 25 years of experience in the software industry with expertise in building highly available, scalable SaaS-based solutions.

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