ExactTarget Offers E-Mail Marketing Trends for 2006

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E-mail marketers are growing more sophisticated, ExactTarget said today as it released its annual e-mail marketing trends for the upcoming year.


A year ago, the trends involved relevancy and frequency of e-mails, said ExactTarget, Indianapolis. Those are now the industry basics, and the future is to focus on deliverability, analytics and multichannel marketing. The top trends:


* 1. Deliverability will drive e-mail success, with four factors in play: reputation, technology, human element and design for deliverability.


"The design has to be flexible enough to deliver your message to various media in formats that work," ExactTarget wrote. "This goes beyond HTML versus text, and includes designing for smart phones and for e-mails with images suppressed."


* 2. The open rate is overrated.


* 3. E-mail metrics and Web analytics will be integrated.


* 4. Multichannel marketing will deliver better results.


* 5. List growth will be healthy, but it takes work to build a list.


* 6. RSS (Really Simple Syndication) will start to make an impact on e-mail marketing.


"The Indianapolis Colts are a great example of how to aggregate content in an e-mail template and then distribute that content as an e-mail to their fans," ExactTarget wrote. "The content is available on the Web at sites like NFL.com. The RSS feeds the information to a site that places it into the Colts' e-mail template. Alternatively, marketers can make content for their e-mails available through an RSS feed that subscribers can choose to access through their RSS reader versus e-mail."


* 7. E-mail will get more personalized.


* 8. Rich media will be added into e-mail.


* 9. E-mail will carry third-party advertising.


* 10. The new metric: return on subscriber.


"Marketing with e-mail will fail if marketers only are focused on the results of one e-mail campaign versus another. The goal for 2006 must be to focus on return on subscriber, creating high customer lifetime value," ExactTarget wrote. "This is accomplished by simply monitoring the value of your subscribers as individuals. Measure their value quarter to quarter, not campaign to campaign."


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