As you wrap up the year and begin planning for 2013, take time to consider the latest trends and projections for consumer behavior in the coming year. Here we unveil our Top 5 Email Marketing Trends to plan for in 2013. From mobile to social media and beyond, learn not only the top e-marketing trends but also how to prepare for them as you gear up for success in the coming year.

E-marketing Trend #1: MOBILE

With a significant shift in the mobile market toward smartphone usage, there has been a huge increase in mobile browsing, mobile buying and, you guessed it, mobile email, which continues to rise.

What to do about it:
If you haven’t tested your current email newsletters in a mobile browser, that should be first on your list for 2013. The key to mobile-friendly email newsletters is understanding the limitations of checking email on a smartphone, and then addressing those issues. For example, clicking with your finger is much more clumsy than the precision of clicking with a desktop mouse cursor, so make use of big links or action buttons to help solve that problem. Some more suggestions for mobile-friendly e-marketing design include:

  • Stick to a single-column layout if possible
  • Minimize use of sidebars or dedicate them for non-crucial information
  • Use % values in place of specified table dimensions
  • Increase font size for links, or use action buttons
  • Have enough text to convey your message for those with images turned off

Email Marketing Trend #2: SOCIAL

The whole world’s gone social, and that trend will continue into 2013 with new ways for businesses to connect with their target audience through social media.

What to do about it:
If you have icons on your email newsletters that link to your Twitter, Facebook and other social media profiles, you’re off to a good start… but that’s only the beginning. Here is what we suggest to get on the right track with social media for 2013:

  • Make sure your social icons are prominent and easy to find
  • Encourage interaction and invite conversation to move from your newsletter to your social media page
    • Ask a question where replies are directed to your Facebook page
    • Run a giveaway where the only way to enter is by tweeting at you or RTing you
    • Feature a photo where “click to enlarge” link leads to your Pinterest pin
    • etc
  • Make a promise or value proposition to encourage followers
    • example: For hot deals and last-minute specials, follow us on Facebook
  • Deliver! Update your social profiles every day with valuable content, offers and engaging conversation

E-marketing Trend #3: VIDEO

The power of media is ever growing, and video is becoming one of the most effective ways to engage and provide value to your audience.

What to do about it:
Think about what it is your audience might want from you in a video. Test different topics, and add your videos to your blog and/or YouTube channel. See what the response is, and continue to provide the types of videos your readership responds to positively. There are a few things to keep in mind when incorporating videos into your email marketing for 2013:

  • Do not try to embed the video into the e-newsletter
  • Include a screenshot image of the video with link to view
  • Make sure your video is interesting and engaging
  • Keep it short (less than 3 min)
  • If longer, provide a text summary of topics covered at different time intervals
  • Ask yourself, “What is it my audience might want?”
    • Informative / “how to” video
    • Funny clips
    • Interview
    • Something else?
  • Look at the stats and respond appropriately when planning future videos

E-Marketing Trend #4: COUPONS

People are looking for savings now more than ever, and oftentimes, a coupon or deal is the deciding factor for where they choose to do business.

What to do about it:
If you currently run coupons, specials and giveaways on your website or social media pages but have neglected to include them in your e-marketing, that is a “must” to put on your list for 2013. If you don’t currently run coupons, specials or giveaways… start! Here are some things to keep in mind when running a coupon in your e-campaign:

  • Include the offer in your subject line
  • Give the coupon prominent placement
  • Make sure the offer is clear
    • List any restrictions
    • List expiration date
    • Tell how to claim
  • Evaluate the performance of the coupon and make adjustments accordingly for next time

Email Marketing Trend #5: DESIGN

Online, books are often judged by their covers. One of the distinguishing factors between trustworthy and non-trustworthy businesses is the look and feel of their marketing. From your website to your display advertising to your email newsletters, everything your brand puts out should convey professionalism and trust. As we move into 2013, this will become increasingly important as customers expect everything to be cutting edge.

What to do about it:
If your email newsletter design hasn’t been updated in the past year, chances are, it is beginning to look dated. In addition, if you don’t have a place for social media icons, videos, coupons and other important components we just discussed, that would be another indicator that your enews template is in need of an update for 2013. Whether you have an in-house designer do a revamp or solicit services from a professional design team, it is crucial that you get your enews design up to speed. Here are some things to consider:

  • Decide on the components that need to be incorporated into your e-newsletters
  • Gather a collection of email newsletters that appeal to you for inspiration
  • Have a professional designer revamp
  • Test! After any new design changes, be sure to test your email newsletter in different platforms and on mobile to ensure it displays correctly

Ready, Set, Go!

As you get ready to meet the challenges that await you in these Top 5 Email Marketing Trends for 2013, we wish you the best of luck, and our team is here to help you along! If you’d like to talk more in depth about any of these trends, please feel free to shoot us an email, or call us at the office. Let us help your email marketing be the best it can be in 2013… and Happy New Year!

About Sara Mannix

Sara Mannix is the CEO of Mannix Marketing, Inc., a Digital Marketing Agency headquartered in Glens Falls, NY. She founded Mannix Marketing in 1996 with a goal to get clients "found" on the web through organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The company now serves over 1500 clients worldwide and employs a team of over 30 specialists, still operating under the tagline "We Get You Found On The Web." This multifaceted company is an industry leader, specializing in organic SEO, Link Earning, SEO-friendly Website Design, Online Advertising, Social Media and more. Mannix Marketing also has one of the largest portfolios of tourism and city guides in Upstate New York. These guides, which include Albany.com, Saratoga.com, LakeGeorge.com, GlensFallsRegion.com, CliftonPark.com and Adirondack.net, reach over 10 million visitors a year. Corresponding social media profiles for the region extend this reach to millions more on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube and more.