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4 Email Marketing Trends That Make Me Want to Cry

Posted by Kim Schick on March 19, 2015

If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you? A sagely bit of parental wisdom, this can be equally applied to the world of digital marketing. With the incredible volume of email marketing facts, strategies, theories and tests floating around, the world of email marketing can seem quite nebulous – but there are some common email marketing trends that simply don't mesh with established email marketing facts and stats.

1. Lack of two-way communication
It's 2015 and digital marketers are still sending emails from "no-reply" email addresses; a marketer from ClickZ found that approximately half of her inbox consisted of no-reply email addresses and, what's more, they weren’t stated in a consumer-friendly fashion.1 In truth, there is no longer a real reason that you should send an email from a “no-reply” address; in what scenario would you ever not want your prospective customers to be able to contact you? A far better solution is to simply route emails to a specific party, such as an administrator. If you're concerned about getting bounce-back emails, you can simply filter those out. All "no-reply" does is make it more difficult for your customers to engage!

2. HTML5 Videos Embedded in Emails
According to MarketingProfs, over 75% of marketers are either somewhat likely or very likely to incorporate video directly into their emails.2 What's the missing statistic? No one knows how effective this technique actually is. Users today certainly aren't expecting a video to automatically play when they click on an email; in fact, it may prompt them to press the delete button. Even if they are intrigued, the same study discovered that only 58% of users can even see HTML5 videos in their email content. This is a technique that can reach only half of any given audience. Incorporating a video directly into email is an example of trying to integrate two disparate but popular concepts under the assumption that they will be even more popular together. Email is an extraordinarily powerful marketing tool, as is video – so why not integrate them? The simplest answer is because email is good at doing what email does, while video is good at doing what video does. The time may come when they work better together, but it isn't here yet.

33 Reasons Mass Emails Are Dead 3. Clickbait Email Subject Lines
The capability of clickbait titles in articles really cannot be debated. Consequently, many successful email marketing campaigns have attempted to leverage clickbait titles in subject lines to initially engage their readers. But this strategy may not be as effective as it may at first appear. Email marketing techniques are inherently different from the digital marketing techniques associated with websites. At its core, clickbait is an engagement technique in which reading and sharing are, in themselves, the primary goal, with no further conversion necessary. Most of the readers who click on these articles spend less than 15 seconds reading them. In email marketing, clicking on an email often means very little if the reader of the email does not convert in some form, and it means even less if they spend less than 15 seconds on the text.

4. Generic Personalization Tactics
Everyone knows that personalizing emails is more effective; it's one of the most heavily touted email marketing facts. But that doesn't mean that any personalization will guarantee you a winner. In fact, according to the Fox School of Business, generic personalization, such as first name, can actually have the opposite effect if there is no or little established relationship with the customer.3 Consumers consider their personal information just that, personal. If they don’t know your business they will have no regret clicking “spam” or “unsubscribe.” Customizing an email with a discount for your customer's favorite products is an example of a highly effective personalization. They need to know what you know about them, not just that you know who they are.

So what are some email trends that don't inspire sobbing? Marketers are moving toward responsive and simple email designs, which are certain to engage the ever-growing mobile audience. And social sharing buttons are an incredibly effective way to increase engagement and click-through rates. But it's important to remember that just because something's a trend doesn't mean that it's effective; it just means that it happens to be popular right now. Very few companies ever struck gold by doing what everyone else was doing!

To find out if your company is just following the trends of today or actually optimizing your email marketing programs to be effective, sign up for J&C’s email marketing assessment. This assessment will provide recommendations on how to leverage techniques and best practices to ensure a successful program.


Topics: Digital Marketing

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