Some may call email marketing outdated, that it has already been surpassed by better online channels, specifically, social media. Fortunately, that’s simply untrue.

Email marketing continues to serve as one of the strongest assets in an online campaign, even if the best approaches and rules evolve as the world around us progresses.

Any business owner, no matter if they run a small or big business, should be aware of the trends and changes occurring in their market or sector, to ensure that they do not find themselves outmaneuvered by competitors.

Some of the leading experts in the field have made predictions this year regarding the current and future state of email marketing, and where it will lead businesses. Let’s read a few…

Email Marketing is Maturing, Growing, and Becoming Stronger than Ever

Chad White (Litmus) calls this year a “second coming” of the email marketing. From being considered obsolete and irrelevant in the age of social media, email marketing hasn’t died on the vine just yet.

According to a 2015 study from the Pew Research Center, reading email has become one of the most frequent activities for mobile users. Email strategies have seen a huge rise as these services were available on mobile devices, and as companies have gotten on board with developing and executing upon responsive email strategies.

Gmail is Expected to Improve Email Readability Soon

Alex Williams from Trendline Interactive predicts that one of the biggest changes in email marketing will be the addition of style support by Gmail to their mobile apps. Again, the experts strongly connect the rise in email marketing with the exponential development of mobile apps and interaction. Williams’ prediction comes from a rapidly increasing gap in the market for updated Gmail mobile apps, as the existing apps tend to break down email and not be able to recognize the styles used within them.

The Next Level of Email Personalization

“Hyper-targeted emails with a specific focus will soon become the norm”, says Daniel Codella from ZURB. It’s not news that the increasing trend in marketing is to personalize the experience and get closer to your customer as an individual – while making you brand engaging and relatable.

Codella predicts that email marketing will become even more customized by increased focus on taking advantage of triggers – a list of indices that allow the marketing strategy developer to choose a suiting message for each recipient. This way, email marketing will focus more on quality and not so much on quantity – a customized email to one customer will be more efficient than repeating emails with no such substance en masse.

Changes Afoot For Email Marketing Designs

Elliot Ross from Action Rocket focuses more on the design of email in the future. He anticipates a great change that will become the norm in terms of email structure: Modular Template Design.

Modular Template Design will allow users to edit their emails easily and quickly. Businesses will be able to manage their email marketing campaign much more efficiently. An email will have more modules that you can include or exclude, depending on the recipient’s profile. You will be able to align these features to easily edit and send targeted emails to your audience.

Personalization and Marketing Automation: BFFs

“Insane personalization”, says Philip Storey from Enchant.

Email / marketing automation is one of the building bricks of the future in online marketing. Automation is a huge growing trend, which allows companies to set certain triggers for sending particular emails – as we have mentioned before, triggers make the customer’s experience personalized and customized to their needs.

For example, as a business owner, you will ideally use email marketing wisely and avoid flooding your customers with emails. Just by automatically sending a personalized email when a customer subscribes, you will be avoiding sending emails blindly, which wastes both your time and your customer’s patience.

At the same time, you will be providing a tailored experience for the customer, which can build up to a loyal audience.

These are only a few predictions for this year. The crystal ball mostly concentrates on email design and customization – in the future we will most probably see changes in the way we write our emails and tools than can help an email become a layered marketing tool that builds up a personal experience for the customer.

Bottom line is every marketing professional must be aware that integrating social media into an email marketing campaign matters a lot. However, if you’re not familiar with both domains, it might be a good idea to seek help from a direct marketing services company; just to make sure you’re starting on the right foot. It is important to stay safe (at first) rather than be sorry down the road.