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email marketing and inbox evolution

Email isn’t dying, but it certainly is evolving. I’d speculate that the majority of those using email marketing haven’t given enough thought to how email might change over the next few years. It always seems that just as soon as you get something down pat, it changes and you have to learn all over again.

However, if you’d rather see the “train of change” coming than be run over by it, you should be listening to someone such as Kath Pay from DM Inbox.

Kath was another one of the great presenters at Tutorials.one’s Fusion Marketing Experience conference 2011.

As Kath points out, the inbox is becoming more and more of a moving target and ensuring visibility with subscribers is a bigger challenge today than ever before. Kath’s presentation focused on helping marketers deal with this challenge.

We’ve got a lot more inboxes to focus on today. There’s YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, just to name a few. You might not perceive these as inboxes, but they are because people use them to access and share content. It’s not just the number of new channels, but also the number of new devices people use to access and share information. All of this contributes to the evolving inbox.

Mobile devices such as smartphones offer marketers some amazing opportunities! For one thing, they often have a higher open rate simply because of the “killing time” factor. Commuting home on the train, people may be more receptive if you provide them relevant content which offers some distraction as well.

According to comScore, in November 2010, 30% of mobile users accessed emails on their smartphones – an increase from 2009 of 36% and the trends indicate that smartphone usage is going to continue to grow at a good pace over the next few years. In western Europe, smartphone usage is expected to double by 2015. eMarketer estimates that 58 million people in the EU-5 will access the internet from a mobile device this year.

How much do you know about your subscribers? You should have or be building a snapshot of who they are, where they are and how they access your emails. Far too many email marketers don’t even have a mobile strategy, let alone a mobile version of their newsletter. That inbox target is moving, what about you?

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