DMCNY: 7 Email Marketing Trends for 2011
The continued rise of social email, an increased use of mobile email, and a focus on relevancy are just three of the seven email marketing trends for 2011 laid out by Anita Absey, senior vice president of global sales and service at Return Path during her keynote address at the Direct Marketing Club of New York's February luncheon at the Yale Club. Here are the seven trends she discussed:
1. The rise of social email. "Email is not dead, it's just changing," Absey said. Emails are becoming more integrated with social networks — enabling recipients to more easily share their email messages with their connections — and this trend will grow this year. But, to be successful with their social email programs, email marketers must have a strategy around them. "Just adding a link to Facebook or Twitter on you emails won't cut it," she said.
2. Facebook Messages will not kill email. Absey also discussed Facebook Messages, the recently launched Facebook service that allows email, text messages and instant messages to be linked together in a "social inbox." While many email experts and bloggers have written about how the service will be an "email killer," Absey disagrees. "Facebook's new messaging system is just another form of email that includes chat, text messaging, and status updates," she said.
3. The rise of video in email. While many marketers are adding video to their emails now, Absey predicts that this trend will become even more popular in 2011. "Marketers are using it as a way to engage their audiences and draw them in," she said, adding that video in email is particularly effective when using it to display product features or explain how to use a complex product via a how-to or educational video.
4. An increased use of mobile devices. As the number of people using mobile devices grows, so does the number of people reading emails on their mobile devices.
5. An increase in spoofing and phishing. Spoofing (an email activity where an email is altered to appear as though it originated from a different source) and phishing (the act of sending and email that falsely claims to be from a legitimate organization combined with a threat or request for personal information) are huge problems and will become even bigger in 2011. "These kinds of attacks damage the trust you build with your customers through email," she said. "They are things any good marketer should be aware of."
6. Spam is alive and well in 2011. ISPs are becoming even more diligent in their efforts to protect email subscribers from spam, Absey said, adding that the problem is still widespread. "Of the 100 trillion emails sent a year, 95 trillion are spam," she said.
7. Emails must be relevant. ISPs today are looking more closely at how subscribers interact with the email marketing messages they get. If a subcriber has opted in to receive emails but isn't reading them or sharing them, for example, the emails will be sent to a spam filter, Absey said. "ISPS are using your interests to determine what emails you want and which ones you don't want," she said. "If you're getting 100 emails each day from Borders and you haven't ordered from the company for three months, you may not get emails from Borders anymore because of the ISP rules." As a result, "it's more important to sent relevant messages to your subscribers," Absey said.