We’ve asked key industry leaders about email marketing trends.

Find out what is their "must-have" email marketing trend that will be extremely relevant in 2017!

Experts addressed major challenges and opportunities for email marketers to consider in 2017 and beyond. And pointed out what you should be aware of in the competitive email landscape.

Read the transcript below the infographic! And remember to tweet out your favourite trend with pre-set tweets!

email trends infographic

Laura Atkins

Owner at Word to the Wise and Deliverability Consultant

My focus is deliverability, and a lot of deliverability is not trendy. Instead of talking about trends I think people should be following. I’ll talk about trends people should be starting.

Deliverability metrics are followed, but typically only to see how mail is getting into the inbox. Opens, clicks, even complaints and bounces are all about the inbox. But they can be so much more. With modern filtering, deliverability metrics tell us about how a specific campaign is performing. Opens and clicks tell us how much recipients like our mail. Unsubscribes, complaints and bulk foldering tell us how much our recipients don’t like our mails.

For a long time marketers have used deliverability as its own metric and treated it as separate from actual valuable measurements. But as ISPs have improved their filtering technology, deliverability metrics have become a direct measure of how recipients are viewing campaigns. Bulk foldering, complaints, temporary failures, blocking are all valuable metrics about brand and email reputation.

Leading marketers are already starting to incorporate deliverability metrics into their KPIs. Making deliverability a KPI means a shift in thinking for many marketers. Inbox access seems uncontrollable, filters change over time. How can we use metrics we don’t control to measure our performance? But if we never measure it, we can’t improve it.

We must start treating deliverability as a valid way to measure our campaigns. Not because failure to reach the inbox means our campaign has failed, but because we can improve inbox delivery by improving our marketing. The path to a healthy marketing program is good deliverability.

Make 2017 the year you turn deliverability into a KPI.

.@wise_laura turn deliverability into a KPI #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Guy Hanson

Senior Director of Return Path and the Chairman of the DMA Email Council

The most successful email programs are the ones which recognise customer behaviour has a huge impact on program success, and this starts with trust. Trust is created by being clear about how the personal data will be used, a strong promise that it won’t be shared, and the provision of meaningful choices about what they will receive, and how often.

Subscribers are more likely to provide a primary email address when they trust the sender, and over 80% of all email reads are generated from these addresses. GDPR means email programs need to focus on stronger consent and greater transparency anyway. The early adopters in 2017 will have the added benefit of more trusting and responsive email subscribers who generate more program revenue!

.@returnpath sender's trust is #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Kath Pay

CEO & Founder at Holistic Email Marketing

In 2017 email marketers will look to upskill themselves and become strategists rather than technicians. They will increase their use of personalization, automated lifecycle programmes and intelligent testing to deliver an improved customer experience and reap the rewards accordingly.

.@kathpay @HolisticEmail becoming strategist is #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Jordie van Rijn

Email Marketing Consultant and founder of Emailvendorselection.com

The email marketing trend nobody is talking about (yet), but we will hear more of is Email Content Automation. Pull content, products, and information from your site or database into the email. Automated content removes the need to copy-paste, format, check and update. It is great timesaver for small email programs, a lifesaver for large enterprises who operate at scale.

For instance through a product feed with latest offers. This can be the product category they visited on the site, bought from before or from their preferences. Add a bit of logic and segmentation (no AI needed) and you have the foundation for a homemade recommendation engine.

.@emailmonday Email Content #Automation is #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Scott Cohen

VP Client Services at InboxArmy

2017 will be the year email address acquisition becomes priority #1 for all marketers. You'll see the embrace of address collection and the channel in everything marketers do. Email automation will become more critical to marketing success and responsive design and coding, particularly for mobile, continue to carry more weight.

Greater investment and resources will be devoted to email as the channel will get its due as the hub of digital marketing and customer communication.

.@scottcohen13 @inboxarmy focus on #email address acquisition #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Jenna Tiffany

‎Founder and Strategy Director at Let'sTalk Strategy

With the evolution of technology for email, it’s tempting to focus on the next shiny thing. But this has been at the sacrifice of optimising the basics. Going back to basics is a trend for 2017. It’s important to get the basics right because this is what consumers want and voted Amazon as the brand that does email best.

For Amazon, it’s not about just including the latest tech, it’s about defining a clear email strategy that optimises the customer's journey. Amazon use customer data to enhance their experience with heavily targeted and personalised campaigns. These are the basics, that are yet to be fully mastered.

.@JennaTiffany Going back to #emailmarketing basics #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Rob H Allen

Editor at SmartInsights

Dynamic personalised product emails that allow customers to change product attributes within the email will transform email marketing in 2017. They will turn product emails into ‘micro-stores’ where customers are able to do more than just look at a list of product options.

Because they will allow customers to tweak product attributes to their personal tastes (such as changing the colour of a garment on a model) they will be more engaging and help email marketers boost their conversion rates.

.@Rob_H_Allen @SmartInsights Dynamic product emails will transform #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Jaymin Bhuptani

Director at EmailMonks

Interactivity in emails has been trending for a while but it was more or less restricted to GIFs and Countdown Timers in 2016. The year 2017 shall see the rise of the era of Mailable Microsites. The use of innovative elements like Hamburger Menu, Accordion, Carousel, Search, Slider, Rotating banner, Flip effect will catch momentum.

The Mailable Microsites will not only be engaging but will also help to offer more content compressed in a short, precise format, thus enhancing user experience.

.@jayminbhuptani @emailmonks 2017 shall see the rise of Mailable Microsites #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

Paweł Sala

Co-founder and Managing Director at FreshMail

With the relatively lowering costs of big data technology it seems that finally we will be able to see comprehensive ecosystems with the work-flow of data between web tracking, social media, BI solutions, CRM or ERP systems and email marketing.

Probably, this process will not end in 2017 and will continue in the coming years. Being able to use and process both the data from email marketing platforms and the data outsourced from integrated apps and services the email communication will be highly personalized and relevant.

.@pawelsala @FreshMail_APP #bigdata is #emailmarketing #trend2017 Click to Tweet

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  • https://buyexpressly.com/ Expressly

    Thanks for the great article, Maria.

    A lot of mention in automation and dynamic features of emails. People often say that email marketing is dead but it’s really more a case of just having to get it right. So many people use email that it’s an enormous channel to tap into. With automation and added dynamics it can become a lot more effective than it is now.

    Our solution uses a network of online merchants within which individual merchants can form strategic partnerships. When it comes to emails, these partnerships can be utilised to help deliver something that is genuinely valuable to the email recipient. With real value within the emails, their effectiveness is increased significantly.