From our Blue Moon family to yours, we hope you had a wonderful holiday season! Company Update: our bellies are bigger, and our wallets are smaller, otherwise known as a holiday hangover.

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season may be over, but you’ve probably noticed that your inbox is as full as ever.

Retailers haven’t put the brakes on urging consumers to go into their stores or shop online. The result? Many of these marketing emails aren’t being opened, negatively impacting marketing objectives. We would like to blame the holiday hangover. However, there are two trends that we cannot ignore.

Mobile:

Mobile purchases continue to rise. Over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend, one BMDI client saw 65% of email traffic and 48% of email revenue come from mobile devices. Mobile purchases aren’t slowing down after the holidays either. That same client has 67% of their email traffic coming from mobile for the month of January.

So mobile is becoming increasingly important, what’s next?

Proper rendering and a dynamic email template are good first steps. There’s nothing worse than opening an email on your phone, and the images/text are too big or too small, making it impossible to read.

Ask yourself these questions when designing your email template: Are the images and text legible on mobile? Are your social icons and navigation responsive for mobile? Additionally, test on different types of mobile devices. Emails look different on an iPhone 5s (4-inch screen) than they do on an iPhone 7 Plus (5.5-inch screen). A good example of designing with mobile in mind is dressbarn.

dressbarn mobile view
dressbarn email mobile view

Merchandising is another thing to keep in mind while designing for mobile.

Ask yourself these: Which products do we want above the fold on mobile? Are those same products merchandised at the top of our mobile site so the consumer can see them right away? We recommend either remerchandising often or using different landing pages for each email campaign to ensure that openers/clickers are seeing different products each time.

You should also be thinking about the mobile experience as a whole. If your email is mobile-friendly, but your website isn’t, your consumer will have a harder time making a purchase and might bounce.

Personalization:

Email marketing has moved away from email blasts and has transitioned to segmenting based on demographic and geographic information. For example, if you are a fashion retailer that sells men’s and women’s clothing, you would want to segment your audience based on gender and send them emails with relevant content.

This trend continues as email marketers begin to create hyper segments and while this isn’t the norm, it’s something we can expect to see more of.

These hyper segments include behavioral segmentation such as clothing size or the time of day a consumer purchases. Several of our retail clients utilize segmentation based on size (misses, plus and petites for example) by sending unique and relevant content to each group, including unique pricing. We recommend breaking your audience into larger segments and slowly drilling down to create hyper segments as you learn more about your consumers.

In addition to audience segmentation, providing dynamic content is another way to increase personalization in your email program. Automated emails like abandon cart or product suggestions based on previous purchases are great places to start.

The trend of dynamic content is also progressing into real-time content like current pricing and product availability to offer a more personalized user experience.

The challenge for email marketers is finding an effective way get consumers to share information that would be valuable for better segmentation and the creation of dynamic content.

Traditionally, we use a link at the bottom of our emails prompting consumers to update their profiles/preference centers. We recommend first having a preference center in place. So, you have a place to gather information like gender, location, size, style preference, specific product interests, etc. Additionally, send an email that prompts subscribers to update their preference center information in order to help them receive more relevant emails.

While neither of these trends are new or revolutionary, we need to change the way that we approach them to create impactful emails that resonate with the specific audience.

What are your favorite email trends?