It was a miracle! Or was it? Here's what I saw using the ancient tasseography method of divining the future by reading patterns of grounds left in a coffee cup:
1. Babies stop using email, so email dies. Of course it won't. Why would anyone say email is dying because a specific age cohort doesn't use it? In reality, communication needs and channels change as kids grow up and move into the adult world, where email is an essential communication tool at school and in the workplace.
However, younger generations will have less patience and communicate through more channels with your brand. As a marketer, you will have to work harder to make the email experience as valuable and necessary as possible in order to attract and retain the Snapchat generation.
2. Google revives Glass wearable computer as dedicated Inbox app. I expect Google will keep experimenting and tweaking the inbox experience in 2015, even bringing out new features, apps and perhaps a new version of Inbox.
Glass, whose first iteration was just taken off the market, probably won't see a second life as a dedicated email app. But I do see Google, Yahoo, AOL, Microsoft, IBM and start-ups continuing to innovate and try to create the perfect email app or inbox management experience.
It's easy to get distracted by these new tools, apps and inbox configurations, but you must stay focused on what's really important: building engagement with your subscribers and customers, finding and communicating the core values of your email program, and continually searching for ways that email can support your company's business goals.
3. Email marketers discover that responsive design doesn't lead to world peace. Having a mobile-friendly approach to email design is important now that most brands see more than 50% of their email being opened and viewed on mobile devices.
But, responsive design, which some hail as a magic bullet, won't necessarily drive more subscribers to open and act on your emails by itself. The challenges with recipients reading emails on mobile devices go beyond just design. They include the style, tone and amount of copy and content, the context of when and where the email is being viewed, and what the experience is like once a subscriber lands on your Web site, landing page or mobile app.
A responsive or mobile-friendly design approach is a key foundation today, but don't expect it alone to increase mobile engagement and conversion rates.
4. ESPs panic when Elon Musk proposes the HyperEmail marketing platform. Elon Musk, the force behind the electric car company Tesla and the SpaceX rocket program, the chairman of the solar power company SolarCity and founder of PayPal, has envisioned the HyperLoop, a system that would transport humans via tubes at speeds nearly as fast as airplanes.
Who knows what he could do for marketers if he set his mind to it. But even without Musk's brilliance, email-marketing technology platforms are evolving rapidly and will likely see a number of exciting advances in 2015.
Some of this will result from acquisitions producing broader marketing "cloud" platforms, innovative marketplace newcomers or partnerships, and integrations of specialized marketing technologies.
The key for email marketers is to take advantage of these increasingly sophisticated marketing platforms and to think beyond just the email channel. Otherwise, they could be left in the dust by competitors.
Whether my satirical predictions become reality in 2015 or not, I am confident that email will remain a hub of your well-planned digital marketing plan.
In the meantime, what are your predictions (serious or humorous) for email in 2015?
Until next time, take it up a notch!