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5 email marketing trends for the Belgian market in 2016

2016 has just started, and it’s pouring predictions for the coming year. It’s a great way to see what’s happening and to keep up with emerging trends. On the other hand, most of these predictions come from large international companies, and sometimes there is an unbalance with the Belgian market.

To give you an example: you’ll read about hyper personalization everywhere. 10 (or more) types of content for your newsletter, sent to the perfectly targeted audience. It goes without saying, this approach would get you more response. Still, most Belgian marketers will think twice when the content production costs are out of proportion with the size of their database.

There are roughly 11 million Belgian citizens. The US counts 319 million citizens. Imagine you are B2C player and you have 1 out of 1000 people in your database (that’s 0,1% of the population). For a Belgian company this would add up to 11.000 contacts. For an American company, that would be 319.000 contacts. So investing more in content is justifiable, because you have a larger target audience. And then we’re not even talking about Belgian marketers, who have to send out 2 (or in some cases even 3) language versions of every email…

To help you keep the focus as a marketer, here are 5 important email trends we see gaining significance on the Belgian market in 2016. Feel free to use the knowledge to your advantage.

5-trends_1200px1. Build messaging streams rather than campaigns
2. Email quality will be accessible for all brands
3. CRM & communication need to be connected
4. Automation will push through, and will keep getting smarter
5. Email addresses should be the main focus in data mining

1. Think in messaging streams, not campaigns
We see that a lot of brands are experimenting with the implementation of different types of email. The old school technique of the monthly newsletter is not fading out. It’s changing. You have a newsletter, but it usually drips out based on the preferences of the user. Depending on interaction, follow-up emails are triggered. And all this data is stored in CRM, which you can use in clever scoring models to set up new emails. So the classical create&send is changing towards messaging streams, where interaction is triggered in multiple ways.

2. Email quality will get better
In 2015, we’ve seen email get its sexiness back. That trend will set trough in 2016. Brands are once again looking for professional experts to be their partner in the complex world of data, design, HTML and automation that email marketing has become. For more limited budgets, email tools are increasingly offering volatile drag & drop editors. And although these have their limitations, they do help companies with limited email marketing budgets create easy, professionally looking emails.

3. CRM and campaign management will truly connect
Connecting email to CRM is not a new thing. Heck, it’s been around more than a decade. But the last few years we can see the gap between CRM and campaigning truly closing up. Large CRMs and campaign tools are merging or expanding with campaign management tools (Microsoft Dynamics & Clickdimensions; Adobe & Neolane; Oracle & Eloqua; Salesforce & Exacttarget;…). Smaller, more easily accessible CRMs are integrating with campaign tools to facilitate your work.

4. Automation pushes through
Automation was a hot topic in 2015. But we’ll see the focus shift to ‘action, not words’ in 2016. More and more brands will be taking their first steps in automation, starting off small with triggered campaigns and defined welcome programs. Over the next couple of years, data will become easier to access and process. That will undoubtedly become the gate opener for the larger mass to adopt intelligent algorithmic and self-learning automation flows, based on cross-channel user interaction.

5. Email is the primary data collection source
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again:  marketers are grasping back to owned data. We’ve all invested in social media to build an audience, but today, the platforms have changed. Facebook, Twitter and others have become fully fledged advertising platforms, where organic content only reaches a fraction of your audience. This is in sheer contrast with email data, where the value per subscribers, and content interaction is higher.

Conclusion

Keep these 5 take-aways in mind with every email campaign you plan in 2016. They’ll help you take your email marketing to the next level: more response, more ROI and an overall better performance. Let’s get this show on the road!

Posted on
Jan 21, 2016