How will email marketing change in 2016?

February 12, 2016

Email marketing is a constantly evolving marketing tool where tactics are getting more creative as consumers become more and more picky about what they would like to get out of email marketing.

It is difficult to know whether your subject line or image is going to have the highest open rate. This blog delves into what the future holds for email marketing as we move into 2016 and what trends to keep your eye on to keep ahead of the game with your email marketing efforts.

The Mobile Experience

Over two thirds of emails are now read on a mobile device meaning that marketers need to reevaluate the user experience their subscribers are getting on the small(er) screen. The important metric to measure here is which device your users are visiting you from, whether it be an iPhone 6+ or an HTC and prioritize optimizing the experience for each model for responsiveness, font size and the placement of your CTAs.In addition to design elements, remember to consider what the user wants from an email on their phone. Likely they are looking for specific information in small digestible chunks that they can choose to bookmark until later or read quickly. Also make sure all images and videos are optimized so they don't impact load time.


You can't read any marketing blogs right now without personalisation being a key component of any marketing strategy. It is becoming increasingly more important, however to get as granular with your personalisation as possible, especially with email. Email marketers are up against several challenges such as Gmail accounts breaking emails out into promotions, social and inbox. This means that users will likely delete your email before opening it a lot of the time. Capturing the user's attention with something tailored specifically to their demographics (implicit personalization) actions online or needs based on shopping habits (explicit personalization) and so on, is the key to your email being opened amongst all the other clutter.


2015 saw many businesses adopt lightboxes as a means to drive users to sign up for their email marketing efforts and with good reason as they drive the growth of email lists by 5 to 10 times more than traditional methods. 2016 will see businesses get more and more creative with lightboxes as consumers get bored of this approach. There are two ways you can set up your lightbox:Exit Overlay - This lightbox pops up as a visitor tries to leave your website. The benefit of this type of lightbox is it doesn't interrupt the user experience. However it doesn't work on mobile.

Time on Page or Scroll Depth - This lightbox will fire once your visitor either spends a set amount of time on a page (30 seconds or more) or if they scroll down to a certain point on your page. This method works on mobile but has the tendency to interrupt engaged visitors mid-sentence.

Despite what the new year may hold for email, one this is a given and that it that you must track and measure your email campaigns so you can adjust and adapt according to your audience reaction.

Email marketing is one of the fastest developing mediums in the digital space and the faster you start testing new approaches in this space the better. Do you already have an email marketing strategy in place for 2016? Tell us your story over on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

Written by
Alexander Rauser
Alexander Rauser


Alexander Rauser is the author of Boardroom Guide to Digital Accountability and Digital Strategy: A Guide to Digital Business Transformation, and creator of the DSX Program, a digital strategy and transformation program for Enterprises.

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