Email is going to challenge the wits out of marketers in 2011. In terms of large brush strokes there are going to be three trends, which need to be understood. First there needs to be more emphasis on the delivery of real value in the reality of the actual marketing world. Secondly there has to be careful and judicial differentiation that email will have to offer to other verticals. Thirdly hosts of e-mail marketing services that mature will have to grow into acquiring control in marketing-automation units to have continuous success. In terms of the specific details the following will need ongoing attention in 2011.
ESP’s will have to work on enhancing their features. Those with bigger feature combos will be able to provide greater agility to fit strategically into the digital marketing mix. Of course the features need to be useful. The excessive overlapping of features also needs to be avoided as they will begin cannibalize each other rather than compete.
With increased reliance on digital marketing there is also going to be a plethora of tools and strategies that will pervade in 2011. One way of fighting this is to work on ease of use. Creating campaigns should not be a complex activity. That will cause businesses to stop using them.
ESP’s should work with agencies and expertise to create campaigns rather than singular efforts. When activity levels of a medium increase so does noise, which causes a real issue with getting noticed. Campaigns, which use a series with recognized connectivity would be able to overcome this set back.
Another critical function is going to be campaign reporting. There has to be virtual or real time reporting possibilities worked out to aid more immediate responses to market place and web space realities. No one will know if a campaign has achieved what is has set out to do, unless there is a statistical representation of what has taken place, which is effectively presented. This statistical information should focus on speed of reporting and accuracy. 2011 will have to see innovative tools being developed which reduce the time between activity and reporting. A report at best should be delayed only by hours. Which would also mean that support staff that can make adjustments would have to be standing by to act on the near virtual reports being received.
The activity of support staff would be the final aspect of email in 2011 we would discuss for the moment. The caliber of the staff must involve not just technical support, but strategic thinking with creative support available on call. When companies are willing to invest, technical superiority cannot be the differentiation that would make campaigns to be successful. It is digital marketing intuitiveness with everything it involves that would have to be developed into support staff. This would make the biggest difference if email marketing is successful for an business in 2011.