As we officially make our way into 2012, (Happy New Year!) not only are new resolutions being made, but also the latest predictions for what new trends will emerge and stick in the upcoming 12 months in email marketing. Will email remain a key channel for communication? Will social media continue to become a key adopter for businesses? To help us Email Marketers answer this question, here are 6 predictions for email in 2012, according to Online Marketing Strategies and Tactics:
1. More emails will be sent than ever before in 2012. Consumers are signing up to receive emails in larger numbers. Everyone in email marketing should continue to focus on relevancy to ensure that they're building quality mailing lists and, in doing so, maintaining a healthy sales conversion per audience ratio.
2. Subscribers will be demanding greater respect for their privacy. Consumers became more aware than ever this year about the amount of information available online related to their purchases and interests. Behavioral targeting via cookies has become the norm.
Perhaps the biggest impact on privacy and deliverability in 2011 came from changes to laws relating to consumer permission and protection. In 2012, you'll need to show your subscribers more than ever that you're trustworthy.
3. It’s time to make sure email campaigns render well on mobile screens. An overwhelming amount of people now read their emails on a mobile device, and smartphone prices are predicted to continue to drop. Therefore, email needs to continue to be mobile optimized.
4. QR codes will become more commonplace and rewarding. You should see new list-building possibilities open up once potential subscribers are able to opt in to email communications by simply scanning a QR code. Although technically speaking it's already possible, most email service providers aren’t using QR code reading features.
5. The lines between email and social will blur even further. We witnessed many indications that email is still alive and well this year, and there's no doubt social media is here to stay. Over time it will drive the traditional inbox to become more social. After all, social media marketing is a very effective medium to engage with prospects, drive traffic to a website and build lasting relationships. Looking at it on a superficial level, email will allow for social connections. Social platforms will include messaging systems that are basically email with a different face.
6. Email continues to be the single most effective marketing medium for small businesses despite efforts from some who claim that social media has taken over. It's a solid argument that emailers who were considering it to be the year to convert entirely to social media marketing should stick to their guns in 2012.
Many predictions are stating that email marketing has a healthy outlook for 2012 if marketers continue with the progress they've made this year. Whether managing and optimizing existing email marketing programs or enabling integration with social media and mobile, there's a real opportunity for emailers to up their game and achieve more in 2012. What do you predict will happen in email marketing this year?