At the 2014 emfluence Marketing Platform User Conference — dubbed "RE:one-to-one" — I shared the big trends I see in my day-to-day work in email marketing. (Check out the full Prezi "Trends Email Marketing in 2014" to see all 17 trends!)
First, I revisited some of the trends I called in 2013 that are still growing or finally hitting. For example:
1. Mobile Email Accessibility – Upgraded in 2014 – Templated, re-usable responsive email designs have taken over… but only for brands that can prove that they have a high mobile readership. Be sure to monitor your own mobile open rates before diving into the extra work of responsive email templates.
2. Video in Email – Upgraded in 2014 – Video in email has evolved to mean all types of rich media in email (since standard video still won't play in all email inboxes). Animated GIFs can replace video and have a default still frame for inboxes that won't play the animation. More than just motion to grab attention, animated GIFs can act as a short "silent movie" that previews a full video in your email. I also gave out a bonus high five mention for Litmus' use of HTML5 to play full video in the background of an email (for those inboxes that will play it)!
3. Cross Promotion between Email Marketing & Social Media – Wider adoption in 2014 – More brands actually get it this year: you can't just stick social icons in your emails and expect traffic. Share your social media promotions with your email audiences! Give your email subscribers a strong, unique reason to follow you in each social media channel.
(See the full Prezi to see all 7 updates to 2013 Trends in Email Marketing.)
Now, onto the good stuff: What's up hot in 2014 and what's coming soon? Here are a few of my favorite trends:
1. Beyond Response to Results Tracking – Opens and clicks have served us well in email marketing, but more and more marketers are integrating with Google Analytics or their customer relationship management system to track email's impact on sales. One client even found that over 54% of their eCommerce revenue is driven by email campaigns! Now that's success.
2. Gmail's Promotions Tab + Grid View – Gmail's tabbed inbox had it's one-year anniversary this month and yes, eventually, email marketers saw those tabs negatively impact open rates… but we didn't see much impact on clicks. Even better news, our pals at Litmus say that after Gmail enabled images by default, open rates soared back up to pre-tabbed inbox levels. On the horizon: Gmail's new Grid View is in beta, a layout that emphasizes images more than the standard subject line. (See Tiffany's recent post on Gmail's Grid Layout for more.)
3. Social Trends in Email – Speaking of cross promotion between email and social media, in 2014, it goes both ways. Social memes are popping up in inboxes to provide email relevance (and usually humor) from brands.
(See the full Prezi to see all 10 Email Marketing Trends in 2014)