In 2011, we witnessed several amazing events. Search engine results pages (SERPs) integrated social networks; Microsoft acquired Skype, Google + came out as a strong competitor for Facebook; and Twitter and Facebook advertising soared. Also, the usage of mobile gadgets skyrocketed and is still growing strongly.
The most significant of all the changes in 2011 is the advancement of social media and its influence on almost of every facet of human experience. Remarkably, Facebook recorded another height of users, nearing the 1 billion mark. For email marketing, the year 2011 has been good. More customers signed up to receive emails; email marketing got much more sophisticated; and intelligent reporting of email parameters also improved.
However, what should we expect in the coming year – 2012?
One of the most remarkable changes expected in 2012 is Facebook’s first offer to sell its stock to the public. More available funds means increased growth for Facebook. In addition, the use of mobile gadgets is towering; this will make many more people begin to access the Internet via mobile devices.
These developments will definitely impact email marketing. Let’s see some of the expected changes in 2012:
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1. More Intelligent Email Messaging
In 2011, consumers showed greater approval for email marketing and more willingness to receive relevant emails. Based on the present level of sophistication and reporting in email marketing, marketers are likely to focus more on intelligent message contents. Aspects of emails previously paid less attention like email signatures, order confirmations, and subscription notifications will become more sophisticated and intelligently actioned. More emails will be treated as marketing channels than before.
2. Mobile plus Email Marketing Convergence
Email marketing has achieved phenomenal success in the last few years. Mobile marketing on the other hand is still in its infancy and is showing strong trends. 2012 is the year we expect mobile and email marketing to intersect, whereby mobile will be used to complement email marketing. Moreover, website designers would have to always consider different screen sizes in their design. Similarly, email designers would have to incorporate responsive email designs.
3. Deeper Email and Social media Marketing Integration
Considering the phenomenal growth of social media in 2011 and what is looming in 2012; email and social media marketing are ready for better integration. Social media will serve as a funnel for aggregating email addresses and sending targeted emails to complement existing and growing social media strategies.
4. Email Marketing Will Steadily Increase
Since consumers’ approval for email marketing greatly improved last year, we do not expect any decrease in email marketing in 2012. However, email marketing has developed very strong competitors; and unless strong innovations merge them with the new platforms, email marketing may begin to diminish in subsequent years. Also, email marketers have to make certain they focus on sending relevant emails and less spam.
All in all, email marketing in 2012 will be much different from 2011. However, email marketers must continue sound practice in order not to kill consumers’ confidence.