Email marketing has been pushed down the pecking order at some organisations in recent times, thanks to the emergence of social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. But plenty still believe there is a place for this approach and that it can continue to thrive.

In fact, a recent study by Econsultancy and Adestra has found that just nine per cent of client-side marketers believe email marketing will soon be redundant. Meanwhile, 84 per cent expect email to become more closely integrated with other marketing channels in the future.

It therefore looks as if suggestions that social media would kill off email marketing have been premature, to say the least.

Nearly three-quarters of those polled by Econsultancy and Adestra believe email will remain one of the best channels for delivering return on investment, while a similar proportion expect all email messages to be completely personalised.

David Moth, Social Media Manager at Econsultancy, commented: “Email marketing is one of those disciplines that people often claim is on the way out. However, its enduring power for driving traffic and sales means it’s highly unlikely that email marketing will die anytime soon. So rather than wishing it ill, let’s consider how email marketing is likely to develop over the coming years.”

The study also looked into what particular areas respondents and their clients need to focus on over the coming months.

Some 29 per cent said automated campaigns are a priority this year, compared with 17 per cent during 2014’s survey. In particular, many respondents said they want to be able to automate communications with individual customers, as they see this as a “key part of the personalised future”.

Strategy and campaign planning is also high on their agendas this year, along with list/data quality and measurement and analytics.

In addition, many businesses are keen to pay more attention to design and copywriting – a reflection that they are no longer willing to construct emails haphazardly, and instead want to ensure they are well presented and well written in order to genuinely engage with a target audience.

Respondents to the survey went on to suggest that the fact more and more people access emails via their mobile phones will drive changes in how promotional emails are designed. For instance, they would need to be optimised for this platform in order to ensure they render well on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.

Meanwhile, some predicted that personalisation will go beyond tailoring the content of the email to a specific individual. Instead, they believe promotional emails will be designed to reach a particular person at the best possible time – and be designed for the actual device they are using. As a result, email campaigns “sent out in one big hit” could become a thing of the past and be spread out over weeks and months instead.

How will email marketing evolve over the next five years?, Econsultancy

Posted by Robin McCrink