This past year, we saw the inbox repackaged and introduced to the 4th screen, with technology like Google’s Inbox and the Apple Watch entering the scene. Consumers are becoming increasingly selective with the type of content they’ll engage with. But these apps also make it easier to capture engagement at more specific points where customers are ready to purchase. The Google promotions tab is one example of a recent development that captures customers when they’re further down the purchase funnel.
Although email is one of the oldest players in the digital communication space, it’s constantly evolving. And there’s only more innovation in store for the year ahead. We gathered thoughts from email experts across various industries on what’s to come in 2015.
“Email is not dead, but it has become a specific channel for certain communications. Looking at Millennial phone usage and shifting patterns of use of Facebook and other social networks, we see a shift toward instant messaging, the decline of talk time, and the decline of traditional email as a comms tool. Email will increasingly have a specific, less dynamic role to play in people’s lives.
But data savvy marketers, especially those with e-commerce models, will continue to use it as a powerful marketing tool. Good examples: Dot & Bo, Thrillist, Jack Threads, Amazon, Gilt. Brands that offer up poor content or email too frequently will suffer the ultimate punishment – “Unsubscribe”. At the end of the day, frequency of email is not a substitute for quality and relevance of email communication.”
“Everyone uses email as individuals, but it’s incredibly hard to build great apps on top of it and it’s not built well for teams. I think these two things will change in 2015. Email will become more integrated into the tools that companies use everyday. As a result, communication within organizations through email will become easier, and teams will find exciting new ways to leverage email together, like sharing access to inboxes and collaborating on external communications.”
“In 2015, email marketers will remember the human. The particular power of email is that it lands in individual’s inboxes — which means that personalization and responsiveness to mobile is increasingly vital. Even simplistic automation won’t be powerful enough to cut through the noise anymore. The more intelligent and relevant you can be — through targeting and dynamic content — the more of a competitive advantage you’ll gain because people will actually have a reason to pay attention to you.”
“The new features Google introduced to the inbox in 2014 could be real game changers across the entire digital marketing platform. On one hand, the sorting of email messages has the potential to decrease open rates, but those who are opening and clicking through may be further down the purchase funnel than those who have not moved the messages to their general inbox. The GSPs (Google sponsored promotions) have also introduced the inbox to the realm of SEM/remarketing.”
Lauren Debrowski, Assistant Manager of Ecommerce, Tarte Cosmetics
What are some of your predictions for 2015? Where are you looking to grow your email program in the coming year? Let us know in the comments below.