REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (Jan. 18, 2005) - EmailLabs (www.emaillabs.com), the leading Web services provider in the email marketing space, announced today the top trends that will impact email marketing in 2005.
Topping the list is the prediction that companies will allocate greater resources to email marketing in 2005, with many establishing a full-time email marketing role to manage the process across the enterprise. Another significant trend will be the emergence of the "delivery divide," with the "have not" companies experiencing continuing challenges in getting their email messages delivered to the inbox. EmailLabs also expects to see increased integration of email marketing data and functionality with other databases and applications such as Web analytics, increased use of triggers and behavioral segmentation and a greater use of email marketing tools and best practices, to improve non-marketing email communications.
EmailLabs presents the top trends for 2005:
1. The "Email Marketing Manager" Role Emerges as a Full-Time Position -- This role will be responsible for managing the entire chain of email activities including privacy and opt-in policies, design and content development, centralized email database management, vendor selection and management, delivery improvement, legal compliance, frequency management, segmentation strategies, list management, reporting, corporate email strategy and beyond.
2. "Email Delivery Divide": The Haves and Have Nots -- According to Loren McDonald, VP of Marketing for EmailLabs, "2005 may be remembered as the year the 'Email Delivery Divide' began. Email marketers that deploy best practices, adopt emerging authentication, accreditation, reputation technologies and solutions, and allocate the necessary resources will achieve superior delivery rates."
3. Resource Constraints Fuel Demand for Consulting Services -- While companies will increasingly hire internal personnel dedicated to email marketing, many will also hire outside agencies and consulting firms to help achieve greater results with fewer internal resources.
4. Companies Continue Shift from Software to Hosted Model -- EmailLabs anticipates that companies will increasingly switch to or choose ASP solutions over installed software. Drivers of this continuing trend include the need for ISP relations, adopting emerging authentication protocols such as SPF and DomainKeys, integration with other solutions such as Web analytics tools, delivery monitoring and access to consulting services and best practices knowledge.
5. Increased Integration with Corporate Databases and Other Applications -- In 2005, look for more companies to integrate their email response data and preferences with their CRM, SFA and other databases. Additionally, look for increased integration of metrics and reporting interfaces between Web site analytics tools and email marketing applications.
6. Use of Advanced Email Technology Features Grows Rapidly -- Increasingly segmented and triggered emails will be driven by behavioral data, such as which specific links a recipient clicked, whether someone did or did not open an email, and what pages they visited on the company's Web site. Companies are automating these tasks and/or integrating their email data with other customer data via an API (Application Protocol Interface).
7. Design Takes on Greater Importance -- Design has become critical on a number of fronts including designing for challenges such as blocked images, the increased use of the "preview pane," and using images instead of text to protect against content filters. Layout, readability and usability are critical to differentiating emails from "competing" emails, conveying value and trust, driving action and retaining subscribers.
8. Marketers View "Email" in Larger Context than Marketing -- Look for email marketers to interface more with other departments within the organization to increase the quality, effectiveness and brand building components of these "non-marketing messages" in 2005. Tactics will include switching to HTML from text, monitoring delivery rates, tracking open and click-through rates and improving the "from" field and subject lines.
9. Only "Spammers" Will Spam -- The CAN-SPAM Act and the growing use of anti-spam filters has done little to stem the tide of spam emails. But in 2004 the attention paid to the CAN-SPAM Act, privacy policies and delivery best practices raised the minimum bar for companies sending "legitimate" email messages. McDonald says "That in 2005, most legitimate marketers will be forced to improve their email practices, if they haven't already, or they will find that their messages will be neither delivered nor opened."
10. Marketers Place Greater Emphasis on List Quality -- In 2005, EmailLabs says to look for savvy email marketers to spend more energy retaining, "reactivating" and recapturing subscribers and maximizing return through behavioral segmentation and analysis, than on growing their lists.
11. Marketers Cede Control to Customers; Focus on Building Trust and Lifetime Value -- Customers choose to: opt-in or not, if and when to open, read and act; provide more information for personalization, or not; or subscribe or unsubscribe if they wish to receive the emails. Marketers will deploy various tactics to increase trust and enhance relationships including: ensuring only permission-based emails are sent from their company, switching to a double-opt in subscription process, use of fewer or no pre-checked boxes and having more transparency in privacy policies.
For more details on EmailLabs' top trends, please see article at: http://www.emaillabs.com/articles/email_articles/article_2005_email_marketing_trends.html (Due to certain characters contained in this URL, it may be necessary to copy and paste this hyperlink into your Internet browser's URL address field).