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Email: What Should Marketers Expect in 2014?

Jeannette Kocsis, EVP of digital engagement at The Agency Inside Harte-Hanks, has witnessed her fair share of marketing trends. Here, three email marketing issues she believes marketers should brace for this year.

1. New mail programs. Technology evolves and email platforms are certainly no exception. Google’s popular email program, Gmail, received an overhaul in May 2013. Google unveiled a new inbox for Gmail that uses tabs to separate incoming messages into categories including Primary, Social, Promotions, and Updates. As a result, Kocsis says, “We can expect continued changes to the user experience of webmail clients.” Marketers will need to rethink how they run and deliver their email promotions to take advantage of new features and functionalities.

2. Marketers will need to listen more than ever to audiences.

Errors in judgment regarding content, delivery channel, and frequency can alienate consumers and tarnish your brand. “We can expect that deliverability will continue to be a challenge, as [will be] maintaining mailer reputation,” she says, adding that “when a customer chooses channels, content, and frequencies, their preferences need to be respected.”

3. Mobile will continue to set the bar. By now, many marketers have tired of the mobile-first mantra, but Kocsis says they will continue to hear it this year. more than 1.2 billion mobile web users worldwide, marketers must “design for mobile first, meaning that if it works on mobile, it will be fine everywhere else,” she says. Tips for making email more mobile-friendly include developing an enticing subject line, including a compelling call to action, and making sure you don’t inundate mobile users with unwanted messages.

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