Top 3 Email Marketing Trends of 2016

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by  Alexia Bullard Roughly 3.17 billion people in the world are internet users. That’s nearly half of the entire world population!  Re...

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Roughly 3.17 billion people in the world are internet users. That’s nearly half of the entire world population!  Research predicts that these email marketing trends will only continue to increase. Especially as mobile technology makes the internet more accessible to a variety of socio-economic groups.
Out of that 3.17 billion people, the vast majority are using email.
With that wide reach, email marketing is an incredibly powerful way to connect with consumers around the globe. Think about how often you check your own email. It’s probably quite a bit, right? Email plays a salient role in the lives of billions of people. Keeping up with the latest email marketing trends ensures your business has a part in that role.
Check out the most effective email marketing trends of 2016:

Trend #1: Using Email Marketing to Increase Customer Retention

Customer retention is incredibly important for both long-term and short-term success of a business. Which starts with the very first experience a customer has with that company. This retention continues throughout the entire lifetime of the relationship with that customer. Which has a significant influence on a business’ profits. One of the most effective means of increasing customer retention is by employing email marketing strategies.

Just How Effective is Email Marketing?

According to the CMO Council, email marketing yields an average 4, 300% return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the U.S. alone.
In almost every country, email wins out in terms of popularity. Internet users prefer to start their day with email, and many users check their email more than once per day. If you want your content to be noticed, email is the way to go. It is also the preferred method of customer-business communication for most internet users.
It is this popularity and global reach that makes email marketing the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention. With this reach increasing, especially as mobile technology advances, the effectiveness of email marketing will continue to rise as social media and mobile use grows.

Trend #2: Using Triggered Emails to Boost Customer Engagement

The vast majority of businesses primarily send welcoming (new customer), appreciation (‘thank you’), and transactional types of emails. Direct marketing emails, such as sales announcements, fall somewhere in the middle of those three categories. Unfortunately, they are also one of the least likely types of emails to be opened. Newsletters have an open rate of around 20%, while transactional emails have an open rate of about 50%.
Trigger-based transactional emails, on the other hand, are far more effective than regular ‘business as usual’ newsletters. Why is this? Because these types of emails focus on the customer, rather than on the business.
Emails based on customer actions are opened more often because they are contextual and personal. It will pretty much always be relevant to them, so they are more likely to open it. Take Amazon, for example: Amazon sends emails based on what the customer has browsed on their site. This is highly relevant to the customer’s interests (since they were already looking at those items) and, therefore, is something that is more likely to engage that customer.
LinkedIn also uses triggered emails. They send an email to users when someone has endorsed that user for a skill. Not only does this give that user a sense of accomplishment and pride, but it also makes that endorsed user more likely to click on that person’s profile and return the favor. These emails connect with the users on a personal level, which makes them very likely to open them.

How Can Business Owners Create a Triggered Email?

The effectiveness of triggered emails is why they are one of the biggest email marketing trends of 2016. To implement this trend in your own business, create a triggered email that will engage the customer on a personal and contextual level.
How? By using a first name in the subject line. It’s a simple, but highly effective email marketing trend that more and more companies are starting to use.
Many analytical and marketing companies will agree that click-through rates are higher when the recipient’s first name is used in the subject line. In fact, Marketing Sherpa did extensive research. It showed including a name in the subject line increases overall open rates by nearly 30%. Within that number, consumer products and services industries increased open rates by over 41% and travel companies saw an increase that was only a little less than that. A significant increase in open rates results in a significant increase in revenue. Who doesn’t want that?
Another way to create a triggered email is to send emails at a time that is most relevant to the recipients. While there are exceptions (as there are with virtually any rule), there are optimal times that most digital marketers agree on.
  • Weekdays are the best overall, especially when it comes to reaching business professionals.
  • Sundays are the best if you are sending an email that you wish to reach only a few of your subscribers.
  • The best time to send the emails is 10 AM in the recipient’s time zone. If the audience is college-aged (18 to 25), the best time is around 1 pm. This is especially true during the summer months, when this age group is sleeping in even later.
  • When in doubt, check out the Optimized Timing offered by Sendlane. It takes note of subscriber behaviors, and sends the email at the time when the recipient is most likely to open and read their email.
Sending emails that are relevant and person in both content and arrival time is the best way to make sure your content gets seen.

Trend #3: Moving to Mobile Marketing


Go to any public place (or even look within your own household) and you will see numerous people glued to their phones or tablets. During conversation, during meals, while waiting for a ride, or just because it’s habit – People are constantly using their phones. This reliance on mobile devices means businesses who are not reaching their customers through mobile marketing are missing out on sales that their competitors are picking up. For this reason, optimizing for mobile is one of the biggest email marketing trends for this year.
According to the PewResearchCenter, 10% of Americans own a smartphone but do not have broadband internet in their home. 15% have a smartphone, but still have some options for online use outside of their cell phone. Populations with lower incomes and lower educational levels, as well many younger adults, are the most likely to be highly (if not completely) dependent on their cell phones for internet. 
While the majority of internet users still use a laptop or desktop PC for most things – including email – mobile devices are certainly not far behind. In fact, studies showthat mobile email opens have increased by a mind-blowing 500% over the past four years.

How Can Businesses Use Mobile Email Marketing?

Businesses would benefit from ensuring their emails are completely optimized for a wide variety of devices, rather than just for the PC. By 2018, 80% of email users are expected to use a mobile device for reading their emails. Getting the optimization process started and honed now will allow businesses to stay current and updated on the newest email marketing trends.
While this optimization process may require more time and effort, not doing so has the high potential to result in businesses losing prospective – and current – customers.
With email marketing continuing to be one of the most effective ways to reach past, current, and prospective customers. It’s important for businesses to keep up with the email marketing trends of 2016. By crafting triggered emails that hold personal and contextual appeal, are sent at the right times, and are optimized for a variety of devices, businesses will ensure they do not miss out on huge opportunities for increased revenue and customer retention.

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