It’s been almost 30 years since the conception of the World Wide Web. A lot has changed since the dial-up days when marketing was in conjunction with the yellow pages and tele-marketing. These days, you need a degree in internet marketing, and comprehensive understanding of content strategies for business blogging, social media, eNewsletters, etc. In the middle of all this is one channel of advertising which keeps on rising – email marketing. While it’s true that most companies today cannot compete without a strong social media presence, there’s still substantial ROI to be gained from email marketing. And this makes sense. In 2016, email marketing had a median ROI of 122%, i.e. four times higher compared to other forms of marketing, including social media, paid search and direct mail.
Even though other forms of marketing have been around for a while, email marketing is by far the best channel to generate high ROI. And no matter what your marketing goals are this year, major trends in email marketing in 2017 are the key to success.
Behavioral Email Targeting
The average email marketer spends the majority of their time creating an email marketing creative or content. However, a majority of executives noted that their main concern was finding who best to target and when.
Until the last decade, behavioral targeting was seen as the most underrated forms of advertising. Today, behavioral targeting is a hot and growing category. Advertisers are rolling out behavioral targeting capabilities, which allow brands to buy, optimize, and analyze their campaigns.
Behavioral email campaigns focus on the actions that your customers do when interacting with your brand. This allows you to send emails that are truly personalized to each individual recipient.
When creating a behavioral campaign, you must use information including –
Basic customer attributes: gender, age, location, loyalty level
Most recent actions: signed in, viewed product xyz, used feature abc, completed checkout
Mature practitioners of behavioral email marketing are focusing on customer behavior across the available channels. Marketers seeking ways to enhance customer engagement realize that the practice leads to a higher return on marketing investment and higher contribution to overall sales. For instance, online shopping website Gilt.com has over 3,000 iterations of daily email content, each carefully crafted based on purchase and browsing history.
Taken seriously, behavioral email targeting could unify all available channels, from physical to digital, and help businesses deliver an improved customer journey. The second major trends for email marketing in 2017 is quite unconventional. Let’s take a look.
Data Regulation and Privacy
Governments worldwide are becoming more restrictive about unsolicited marketing emails. Not only are the laws becoming tightly regulated, but the penalties for failing to comply with data privacy laws are increasing in severity.
The “private right of action” under Canada’s anti-spam laws goes into effect in July 2017. This clause allows individuals as well as government agencies to initiate complaints against businesses that violate the key provisions of CASL. Moreover, companies will need to review that their data gathering and protection practices comply with the EU’s omnibus data protection law.
Email marketers who advocate for their customers’ right will work with their legal departments to make sure companies meet the highest standards of data protection and privacy laws. In 2017, email marketers will join hands with organizations like the Email Sender and Provider Coalition to keep up with domestic and international privacy laws and regulations.
So there is it, two major trends for email marketing in 2017 that will help you reach out to a broader audience.
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