Casting myself reluctantly in the role of Emailnezer Scrooge, I will be visited by three ghosts that will hold me accountable for my past email marketing predictions and press me for an assessment of the present and for predictions of the future:
Before you tip your glasses and celebrate the start of a new year or sign your blood away on your final 2014 budgets, you should reflect on 2013 and set goals. Several major acquisitions in the email industry have cast a huge spotlight on the importance of email in the marketing stack. Major changes at Google were a shocker for many, considering email is an industry that hasn't experienced much change at the ISP level for years, outside of how they block your email. This will challenge how you think about advertising in the inbox next year.
A post-holiday plan can help you organize what you've learned from the 2013 holiday season and guide your efforts for your 2014 program. It will be as unique as your company and your email program, but it should probably include at least the following three elements:
I'm predicting nothing for 2014. Most of the next big things, trends to watch, and emerging threats we all predict in December -- like the transactional inbox -- are already happening, so they're more observations than predictions. That said, it's my observation the transactional inbox is on the verge of becoming important. It could represent the biggest opportunity email marketers have seen in a long time, even as inbox evolution introduces major challenges for 2014.
Google has always done things a bit differently. It was the first company to be really successful at growing its email users base through referral and invitation-only tactics. It's grown from a nascent fraction of a percentage of any marketer's list to over 15% in some cases. Its early forays into mining inbox content for advertising and targeting purposes virtually shook the space. This past week, it took another step is applying more control over the Google user, masked in a veil of "better protection for the user" -- and as is typical of our industry, there was a bit …
As another year quietly comes to a close, I'm doing what so many others are: reflecting back on my activities and being thankful for what I have. This isn't a post filled with advice, direction or opinion. Given that the MediaPost Email Insider Summit is now here, industry expertise is abundantly available; instead, I want to take this opportunity to thank you.
Want more out of your email programs this holiday season? As we are in full swing, there are a number of low-hanging-fruit opportunities to increase ROI of your email initiatives. We can also use the end-of-year holidays to envision opportunities for your next big campaign. So let's get down to it. Here are some advanced approaches to holiday emailing:
In a 2011 Email Insider, ("Teens: OMG. Email is for Old People"), I predicted, "Email use will evolve as people move through different stages in their lives and as more emerging communication channels move into the mainstream." I still believe email will not die anytime soon. However, some uses might fade as user demographics change and as marketers and consumers adopt other channels, especially mobile apps.
After combing through my inboxes over the past week, here are my top findings from the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, starting with the idea that Thanksgiving Eve is the new Thanksgiving.
How many of these emails are sitting in your inbox this morning? Better yet, how many did you already triage last night as you sat around the fire watching TV with your tablet in hand? I love macro indicators and tracking the aggregate results of what happens online vs. brick and mortar retailers during our favorite holiday shopping weekend. Things are definitely changing for the shopper.