Email Trends in 2013

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It does not matter whether or not you have started sending an email newsletter to your customers, you need to be aware of important emerging trends in this area. Before you read this article, remember that newsletters are vital for conveying messages to customers, employees, suppliers or investors and you should not be deterred by the following trends.

Opting Out

As Sam Goldwyn put it “include me out”. Customers will click on the ‘unsubscribe’ more readily as they begin to feel flooded with newsletters. Instead, if they are still interested, they will prefer to specify how often they want to receive the emails. LinkedIn has this option when joining its ‘groups’ and you can decide if you want daily, weekly or monthly updates.

Overmarketing

Unfortunately, this is partly in response to ‘overmarketing’ by companies who have considered emails as very low cost marketing. However, an ‘opted out’ customer means that you have lost that channel of communication with your customer. Depending on your relationship with your customer, you could call up and ask why he or she opted out. Emphasize that this is not a sales call and you might receive some very interesting feedback. You must pay attention to both frequency and content of your newsletter.

Smart News

A second trend is that more email traffic will go to mobile devices. Mary Meeker of Kleiner Perkins in her ‘State of the Web’ report at the end of 2012, presented statistics which show high growth in smart phones – now there are over 1bn of them. Over 13% of B2B target audiences are reading their emails on the handheld devices and not on their desktops or laptops.

The challenge is to maintain and improve the ‘opening rates’ by presenting concise and eye-catching seductive titles. Content will have to be even more engaging. Even if your readers know you have something worthwhile reading, you will still have to lure them to open your email.

Old Fashioned

If your audience is not too large, you can still consider the old fashioned method of sending a hard copy of your newsletter. I recently sent a survey about newsletter habits and discovered that the more senior and important an executive is, the more he is likely to prefer receiving a printed newsletter. Surprisingly, the same rules for online newsletters apply here. Content is critical, as is timing.

Irrespective of which medium you opt for, if you want to attract regular readers to your newsletter you have to aim for the “it was worthwhile reading ” feeling so that they will read your newsletter again.

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