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#emailmarketingin5years – what’s the future of email?

The world of email marketing is evolving fast. Understanding the latest changes and trends will help you create an effective email strategy.

Three reasons why email marketing is definitely still alive and kicking:

1. Email is one of the most popular online activities – 88% of people either send or read emails.

2. It works. In 2013, the average open rate for emails in the UK was 21.47%.

3. 89% of marketers still use email as their primary channel for lead generation.

You can’t rest on your email marketing laurels though. Changes are happening . . . So what’s the future of email?

Cross-platform deployment

Smartphones, tablets, smart watches, Google glasses and clouds – the way we consume digital is changing and so must our interaction with email.


We all know that personalization works – 56% of consumers say they would be more inclined to use a retailer if they offered a personalized experience.

However, technologies will soon enable marketers to analyze individual consumer preferences and behaviors in more detail – from app use to social media usage – enabling hyper-targeted communications.

It’s not just email – personalizing the customer’s multi-channel experience will become more important.

“We are blurring the physical and digital, and it’s not just the retail experience. It is the service.”

Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry, soon to be SVP of Retail at Apple

Marketing automation gets bigger

Marketing automation isn’t going anywhere:

While marketing automation drives a 14.5% increase in sales productivity, the big challenge for 2014 will be gaining expertise in this area.

Not only is it about finding the right service provider, it’s also about getting your data right. Rubbish data = spam… and that definitely won’t boost revenue.

The email address is the key

The future of email marketing will be about harnessing the unique identifier – the email address.

Take custom audiences, which Facebook and Twitter have rolled out. They enable you to target an audience on their sites with information you already have (such as an email address).

Let’s not forget that social media is an effective influencing tool – 46% of consumers rely on it when making a purchase.

Other sites such as eBay and Amazon look set to follow, so it’s imperative to get testing and see what works for you.

Essentials to remember

When Gmail introduced email tabs, it created panic among marketers. However 76% of Gmail users said the promotional tab did not affect their interaction with their favorite brand’s emails.

Technology will always be changing, so instead of having a knee-jerk reaction when something new is launched, it’s important to get the email basics right:

Want some tips to help future-proof your career? Then download our free eGuide: Anatomy of the Successful CMO of the Future: Characteristics and Behaviors


  • Kate Gowers

    There is a serious statistic misuse here. You say “Video content increases click-through rates by 55%, so strategic marketers should include more audio visual content in their emails.” It just isn’t so. If you click through to the link you provide, it says “Respondents who had used videos in their email campaigns saw real returns on their investments. Fifty-five percent reported higher clickthrough rates” – it’s not a 55% uplift in clickthrough rates, but rather 55% of people who used video SAY their clickthrough rates improved (and it doesn’t say by how much). Those are two very different 55% animals. Naughty!

  • adestramarketing

    Hi Kate, nice to hear from you! You are absolutely right. We have corrected this in the post. Thanks for keeping us honest!