Email marketing trends

According to eMarketer, the number of email users in the United States will reach 236.8 million by 2017. And the worldwide numbers will grow from the current 2.4 billion to 2.76 billion over the same time period (The Radicati Group). Wow!

Let’s take a look at some email marketing stats and tips that will help you capitalize on that growth, and point the way towards success in 2014 and beyond:

1. Watch the clock.

Pay attention to when you’re sending your emails. According to Harland Clarke, most smartphone and desktop email opens happen between 10am and 4pm (in other words, during regular business hours).

2. Get to the point.

Include your call to action early on in your emails. Research is showing that recipients often only read the subject line and/or the first few lines of your message.

3. Keep your subject lines short and sweet.

According to an Adestra Report from July 2012, subject lines with fewer than 10 characters had an open rate of 58%.

4. Measure the right stuff.

61% of B2B marketers (and 48% of B2C marketers) worldwide said they found that measuring their click-through rate (CTR) was the most useful way to analyze the performance of their email campaigns. (Ascend2)

5. Sharing is caring.

It’s now more important than ever to include social sharing buttons in all your emails. Put them at the top, so your subscribers can easily find them. By making this simple update to your emails, your recipients can automatically share your great content on their social networks at the click of a button, and your message will reach a wider audience.

6. Email is very much alive.

According to a survey conducted in June 2013, people are spending more time per week with email than any other digital activity, including Facebook and texting. (The Buntin Group/Survey Sampling International (SSI))

7. Autoresponders are your friends.

Contrary to what some believe, automatically-generated emails don’t have to be impersonal or “spammy”. Plenty of companies are doing a great job with autoresponders as we speak. Give it some thought: You’re going to send welcome and thank-you emails again and again to your subscribers. This is a perfect opportunity to test email marketing automation and figure out how to make it work for you.

8. Get graphic.

Emails are starting to look more and more like Facebook and Pinterest posts, thanks to the increasingly popular use of graphics. (Video is also gaining momentum, and is sure to be a big email trend in the months and years to come). Images make your messages stand out in the crowd and can powerfully enhance your message. If you have the resources, consider creating your own images rather than relying on stock photos. This is another way you can set yourself apart and create a distinct and memorable brand identity.

9. Now it’s personal.

Personalization is an important trend that is only going to get more important as we move into 2014. Smart marketers are already using behavioral data and the latest technology to personalize their emails based on the interests of their customers and prospects.

10. You have to have standards.

Start building your landing pages, forms, and email templates using industry accepted best practices. Many automation providers offer implementation services that will walk you through creating these assets, from template design to the content included in each.

How about you? Are there any trends or stats you’ve noticed that you think will influence your email marketing strategy in 2014? Let us know in the comments!