Email marketing is one of those disciplines that people often claim is on the way out.

However its enduring power for driving traffic and sales means it’s highly unlikely that email marketing will die anytime soon.

So rather than wishing it ill, let’s consider how email marketing is likely to develop over the coming years.

Our new Email Marketing Census, produced in partnership with Adestra, asked respondents to identify the top three areas of focus for their email campaigns in 2015, as well as asking them to take a longer-term view and predict how email will look in five years' time.

Here’s an overview of the results, but if you’re interested in discussing email marketing trends and best practice then apply for a place at our APAC roundtable events.

They will focus on marketing automation, email, and behavioural marketing. The dates are:

Email focus in 2015

Respondents were asked to identify the top three areas they or their clients really need to focus on in 2015.

The most common answer among company respondents was automated campaigns (29%), with the proportion of those citing it having increased by 12% since 2014.

The ability to automate communications with individual customers is a key part of the personalised future that marketers envisage.

In addition to automated campaigns, company respondents are most likely to be focusing on strategy and campaign planning, list/data quality and measurement and analytics (all 25%).

Which three areas of email marketing do you really need to focus on in 2015?

Interestingly, the proportion of companies who see design and copywriting as a focal point in 2015 has increased by 42% from last year.

Email marketing in five years’ time

But what about the long-term view? How do marketers think email will develop in the next five years?

Far from thinking email is dying, only 9% of client-side respondents agreed that email marketing is on its way to becoming redundant.

Instead the majority of respondents (84%) believe that email is likely to become fully integrated with other marketing channels.

A further 74% believe that email will still be one of the highest channels for delivering ROI, while 76% believe that all messages will be completely personalised.

Thinking ahead five years into the future, please indicate whether you agree or disagree with the following statements.

And finally, respondents were also asked to look ahead five years and predict the single biggest change to email marketing.

Data, content and personalisation were the most prominent themes. Here’s a selection of some of the verbatim answers:

I think personalisation will go beyond the content of the email. It will be about reaching the right person at the right time with the right content for the right device. We’ll move away from email campaigns being sent out in one big hit to spreading them out over days, weeks, months to create a truly personalised experience.

Mobile optimisation is already creating changes and I expect that to continue. I’d expect email marketing to become even more targeted to a customer’s specific needs and become more integrated with apps.

David Moth

Published 16 April, 2015 by David Moth

David Moth is Editor and Head of Social at Econsultancy. You can follow him on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn

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Comments (4)

Parry Malm

Parry Malm, CEO at Phrasee Ltd.

Copywriting should be important! Because sending out crap copy, be it in subject line or body, wont make automated campaigns magically good :)

over 3 years ago

Matt A

Matt A, Head of Product at Pay on Performance

The actual results of these surveys aren't as valuable to me as the actual list of topic areas. haha Weird, I know. But I prefer having the list and prioritising myself based on our own needs... but when you sit down to think about it your own list is never this complete. "Uhm, deliverability, headlines, um .. security ... automation." And that's as far as it gets. Having the initial list of "areas" to follow up on is really valuable.

about 3 years ago


Katie W, Social Media Specialist at Email Campaigns

Email marketing 5 years from now will probably look very different. Not only has going mobile changed the game but the release of wearable devices (such as the Apple Watch) will begin to change the way people decided to engage with email. Meaning email marketers will have to change up their strategies as well.

about 3 years ago


Brian Steacy, Sales Director at Adestra

I'm surprised optimization isn't higher on the list. To quote Bill Gates, "...Applying automation to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency." Optimize first, then apply automation.

about 3 years ago

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