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Alright, if you’re one of those folks who is still trying to tell us that “email marketing is dead,” then I have some news for you: it’s alive and well. We recently wrote about Social Media vs. Email Marketing where we took a look at big data behind email marketing and how it stacks up against social media in today’s face paced digital world. The numbers don’t lie folks, email has social media beaten across nearly the entire board. While social media is still critical to your agency’s digital marketing strategy and your overall customer experience, we’d like to take a moment to observe where email marketing is going, this way we can prepare accordingly for what we know works, and works well. Let’s take a look at what trends we can expect in email marketing in 2017 to help you and your agency plan for success.

Litmus had recently surveyed over 1,200 marketers to ask them about the six most promising email trends in 2017, including automated emails, big data personalization in emails, email encryption, HTML5 video in email, interactive emails, and omnichannel email experiences. With the results tallied up, our top 3 landed at about 27.2% of those folks said that interactive emails would be interactive emails, while another 21.6% said it would be big data in personalization emails, and another 17.5% said it would be HTML5 video in email. Let’s take a look at these top three trends in more detail to see how your agency can capitalize within your email marketing campaigns.

Interactive Emails

Yes, a whopping 27.2% of marketers had said that interactive emails was the most influential trend for our customers within email marketing campaigns, so it’s about time we made this a priority. So what exactly is an interactive email? When a customer takes action within one of your emails, and that action triggers an event to take place within that same email, then that campaign would be considered an interactive email. So how can we apply this newly acquired fundamental to our agency’s emails?

Some common elements we can include in our emails for interactivity are as follows:

  • Image carousels – this is where we have multiple images that can be slided left or right to view more of the gallery of images you decided to include. Most carousels include somewhere between 3-5 images. In terms of your agency, you could use a carousel to highlight the features of your agency’s mobile app and include a download button beneath your email to try to increase click throughs and user engagement. At the same time, our agency could also use a carousel to highlight each of our promises with a unique visual for each individual promise. The possibilities are endless.
  • Quizzes or Surveys – Every agency says that they provide service, but how do you know this for sure? Did you ask your staff? Is this your personal opinion? Well, I have to let you know that the only opinion that really matters is your customers’ and clients’, and for that reason, it’s important you ask them where you could be doing better. We include a survey to see how we’re doing as part of our onboarding process, so that we can fix where we are going wrong and own up to our mistakes.
  • Reviews – Additionally, another step in our onboarding process is to ask our customers and clients for reviews on Facebook, Google, or Yelp. While there may be a bit of a technical challenge to get a review or survey to perform directly in an email, it’s still important to include them in the email in some way, shape, or form. Our suggestion would be to include a visual in an email marketing campaign that includes verbiage along the lines of “click here to leave us a review today,” and then embed a link within that visual that brings them directly to your agency’s reviews. While it may not be direct interactivity within your email, you can still bring attention to a call-to-action.

Personalization in Email Marketing

Personalization is a trending topic in marketing in recent times, because marketers are looking to capitalize on “marketing moments” – when we deliver the right content, to the right individual, at the right time. We need to make our customers feel as though we deal with them in a one-on-one basis, as if they are our only client, so they can feel like we are servicing them to our fullest extent. As we observe the rise of this trend, being our second most popular among marketers at 21.6% within the above survey, it’s about time we focused on personalization within our agencies.

We have an entire piece that focuses on personalization, whether it’s in email marketing, social media, or other forms of digital content, which you can access here.

HTML5 Video in Email

This concept is fresh, and brand new, but the technical digital gurus have finally figured out how to make videos play right within the body of an email. There is one exception though, only certain email clients support this type of video file to play. Fortunately for us, one of the leading brands, Apple, has decided to support HTML5 videos within email, and a whopping 53% of all emails opened last November were done so on Apple client devices. That’s good news for us agents who are looking to increase engagement within our email marketing campaigns. If you’re not already using video campaigns within your email marketing, I would suggest getting started by reaching out to my good friend Mike Demko of MyInsuranceVideos. His videos are branded to your agency, explain various insurance products and services, and even include customizable campaigns for events such as birthdays and holidays. While I am a firm believer of building your own agency videos in house, I am also a firm believer of Mike Demko’s product, and I believe it is a fantastic place for you to get started.

Alright folks, those are your top 3 email marketing trends to expect in 2017. I hope that your agency takes the time to implement these strategies and track your results, and of course, always improve when you see an opportunity to. If you’d like, let us know in the comments section below how your agency plans to change things in your email marketing campaigns,  because we’d love to hear about your ideas. Here’s to a prosperous and successful 2017, and to all agents and brokers, happy marketing!