Email marketing is dead. A phrase we’ve heard on numerous occasions and one that can’t be further from the truth. In fact, email marketing is alive and kicking, especially with a ROI of $44 for every $1 spent!

It is still a key channel for marketers, even in the age of instant messaging and social media and it is a channel that is constantly evolving.  Email can be professional or personal, brief or informative, it can deliver promotions, files or newsletters, updates and invitations directly to your smartphone, computer etc.

As a channel it has evolved over the years and undergone major changes, e.g. designs are optimised for mobiles, rich media can bring the creative to ‘life,’ while AI and algorithms are allowing for a more personalised experience and journey.

In the next 5 years, we predict that AI will play an even bigger role in email marketing. Data science will drive content and timing of when an email is sent, based on the individual’s previous history, behaviour, buying patterns etc. Companies will focus on single customer views. The personalised customer journey via email and smart ESPs has already begun, but in the next few years it will evolve.  Smarter algorithms will allow for a hyper personalised experience for the end user in years to come.

Currently, email is the ‘standard digital identity’ individuals use to navigate the internet and at this stage, we cannot see that changing. This means, each individual with an email address has buying power and companies need to start understanding the end user, how they want to be marketed to, when they wanted to be marketed to and what they want to be marketed to, etc. to ensure they send them the correct marketing material that will lead to conversions.

Below are a few trends that can and probably will influence email marketing in the years to come.

  1. Artificial Intelligence and automation – thanks to AI, processes are becoming more and more automated, with less human intervention in the digital customer journey.
  2. Hyper personalisation – email marketers will have to get each and every individual’s needs right.
  3. Keep it sweet and short – more and more individuals are viewing emails on their mobile devices and we are currently being bombarded with promotional mails etc. Your email needs to stand out.

Designs – email marketing will probably become more and more visual and interactive. More and more GIFs, videos and animations will be used to tell a story quickly and impressively.

There are more than 200 million emails being sent daily, with the suggested figure reaching 4 billion by 2020, this is a clear indication that email is not dead or not planning on going anywhere anytime soon. How we use email and how marketers might use email will change, but if done correctly, as a channel it will keep on delivering.

With all the changes and different email clients, browsers, devices to view emails in etc., email marketing is definitely not for the faint hearted.

Email marketers will need to be flexible and open minded. Change is happening all the time, but this channel will keep on delivering, as long as it keeps on adapting.