Contrary to the popular saying about being unable to teach old dogs new tricks, email has actually gone through significant changes over the past few years. That trend is expected to continue into the near future, with email increasingly becoming just a new feed for people to gather information through.
At one point, the email inbox was similar to a conventional inbox – it served as a spot to collect incoming messages and send outgoing communications. People checked their inboxes only periodically, which made it a static communication channel to engage prospects. However, as ClickZ asserted, the inbox has changed radically in recent times. Thanks to the penetration of mobile devices, it has become a real-time marketing channel that can be used to engage customers anywhere at any time.
Here are three ways that email may continue to evolve in the coming years:
1. More organization in the inbox
Recently, we saw Gmail add different categories to the inboxes of Gmail users, which separated content into primary, social and promotional tabs. At first, many advertisers and publishers thought the sky was falling with such a significant change, but as it turns out, a number of studies found the sectioning of the inbox actually didn’t have a negative impact – and sometimes, actually improved open rates.
ClickZ explained there are numerous apps that consumers can use to sort and otherwise regain control of the inbox. Instead of trying to fight this change, publishers need to just improve their own game and work with it. Email newsletters need to be highly valuable, otherwise consumers have more options than ever before to simply tune them out.
2. Mobile is just the beginning
In recent years, smartphones and tablets have quickly become leading channels for reading email. In fact, according to our first quarter report, nearly half of unique impressions seen on the LiveIntent Exchange are from mobile devices. People are no longer sequestered to their desktop computers if they want to read emails from publishers.
But smartphones and tablets are only just the beginning. New devices are cropping up all the time, ranging from smart watches to Google Glass. Publishers and advertisers will need to keep this in mind as they develop their campaigns, as the bottom line is that people don’t prefer reading emails on their smartphones, they just do so because it is convenient. Any device could replace them, as long as it is even more convenient.
3. Email is only the beginning
Getting a customer to open the email should never be the only goal, and many of the most successful campaigns are simply using it as a starting point. By bringing prospects on a journey across multiple devices and channels, advertisers can create a more meaningful experience with their customers.
“Think beyond responsive design for email to how you can ensure that a consumer who starts a transaction on their smartphone can continue it on their desktop and complete it on their tablet,” ClickZ suggested. “Consider that your customers’ primary interaction with your brand may be through a smartphone app … How does that impact the customer relationship and brand experience, and what adjustments are you making to your email program to enhance that?”
Email has been growing in importance, both for publishers and companies leveragingemail advertising. It’s crucial they stay abreast of new email trends and continue to make improvements to their campaigns as they move forward. This will enable them to fully capitalize on any developments or changes and maximize the effectiveness of their initiatives.