Four important email trends to follow in 2015.

If you’re keen to learn more about your audience – and provide relevant, personalised content that inspires consumers to act - email can be a powerful data capture ally. 
While a 2014 survey from Econsultancy found that on average, companies are attributing 23% of their total sales to the email marketing channel, up from 18% in 2013.
So what are the key trends of 2015 to allow businesses to take best advantage of email?
According to an Econsultancy/Adestra report, 79% of marketers believe that all email marketing correspondence will be personalised in the next five years. Use merge tags in Mailchimp or Mojn’s Performance Email Targeting Slution, to customise emails to the customer. Personalisation technology gives digital marketers the ability to provide consumers with a shopping experience tailored to their individual needs, desires and queries, acting very much like a sales person in a physical shop. It’s more simple than it sounds: track visitor behaviour on your website, then link that browsing data with your email database using this technology, and finally offer consumers personalised product and service recommendations via email.
It’s clear that email has the capacity to deliver unique content unlike ad retargeting and social media posts. Given consumers are ever more on the go, emails need to be designed for cross-device consumption. According to Litmus, at least 51% of emails are opened on a mobile device. Responsive emails, viewed easy across multiple devices, will help you bump up your open and click through rates.
Data shows again and again that a good mix of relevant images – in the form of product recommendations – with texts that have powerful calls to action, will continue to work their magic.
HubSpot recently published an unexpected finding: although 66% of consumers reported in a 2014 survey that they prefer image-led email messages, as more images crop up in an email, the click through rate diminished. Emails with one image had a 7% CTR while emails with three or more hovered between 3–5%.
So, images for their own sake, i.e. without a clear purpose, don’t necessarily encourage engagement. As we head into 2015, stay ahead of the curve and don’t give in to bandwidth-busting image overloaded messages. Data shows again and again that a good mix of relevant images – in the form of product recommendations – with texts that have powerful calls to action, work.
Email marketers are finding that the biggest hurdle they face when it comes to providing personalised content is their data access and management facilities. As the need to provide personalised content continues to grow, marketers need database services with the capacity to track multiple types of information – and the skills to adequately track and use this information in various campaigns.
Data and personalisation are the key forces behind emails that will drive results in 2015!

Content and marketing strategist, Khaleelah, has created and implemented digital marketing campaigns for companies including WellTok, the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and Living Social. She has also been published in FullStart, Elephant Journal, the Washington Post and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter @khaleelahjones.