The Trends To Watch In 2011

Last month my column focused on what I thought were the big trends of 2010. Today I want to discuss the trends to watch for in 2011.

The meaning of mobile will change. Last month I reported that mobile usage had exceeded 10%, making it a trend for 2010 but also something to continue watching. Well, I think not only is mobile a trend for 2011 (and probably 2012, 2013 ...) but what we mean when we say mobile will change. With millions of iPads on the market and other tablet devices set to join them, the ground is shifting. These devices create an email experience that is very different from even the best smartphones, but they don't exactly replicate the experience of a "regular" computer. You need to start to think about your customer's email experience in ways that go beyond "mobile" and "not mobile."

The battle for webmail dominance continues. Both Yahoo and AOL have announced plans for interface changes. I'm looking forward to some really cool stuff here. I don't know exactly what they have planned, but I'd  bet on innovations that help people manage email better.

The tweaking of individual level inbox filtering. These are new tools for mailbox providers that will continue to tune the usage of inbox filtering

An increased security focus among email marketers. Many readers of this column are probably aware of last year's spear-phishing attack on the email marketing community.  Especially for those with the keys to large data assets, the need for heightened alertness has become more urgent. This year I think you will see both providers and clients taking measures to be sure they and their customers stay safe.

An increase in email security that builds on top of DKIM. The good news is that more mailbox providers and security vendors accept DKIM. But there are some key capabilities that need to exist to allow most mailers and mailbox providers to take advantage of the security provided by email authentication.

The straight jacket of flat HTML will be removed. This is the year that we'll see wider rollout of experiments by large webmail providers to allow JavaScript and Flash-like functionality in the inbox.

What are the trends that you're watching in 2011?

Tags: email
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