Yes… it’s 2017 and email is still a valuable resource in the marketer’s (and brand’s) toolbox.

But the audience is always changing, and that’s why it’s important to recap where email marketing is at the start of the year and where it is most likely going.

So, without any further ado, let’s jump in!

The Current State of Email Marketing

Email marketing is only five years away from being half a century old – yet the tool is changing more rapidly now than ever.

Naysayers used to proclaim “Email is dead,” but we now know that email marketing is smarter and stronger than ever.

Like other forms of content, it is being used to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time (also known as context with content).

When used correctly and not as spam, email marketing continues to be one of the top performing tactics in marketers technology stacks. And marketers continue to use data for improving the quality of their lists and email automation.

1. Data-Driven Marketing Will Reign

Data science is making email marketing smarter through better automation and personalization.

But in 2017, marketers will need to zero in on the data points and behaviors that lead to truly valuable insights. They will also need to routinely update and optimize their automated emails for higher engagement (and interactive content).

2. Email Design Will Undergo a Revolution

Designers, developers, and creators will work together to develop emails that stand out from the rest of the inbox.

The design of emails will be easier to create, and the focus will shift to making more meaningful content rather than the headache of always building the “container.”

Currently, most companies just need to communicate with less friction. From there, the products that help teams and clients do this with the right balance of constraint and flexibility will follow.

3. Marketing Automation Will Continue to Evolve

As we mentioned above, email marketing is all about the right message, at the right time and to the right person.

Automation helps with all three, and it will only continue to improve in 2017.

First, automation will become much smarter, helping marketers segment audiences better and optimize sending times. Second, watch for brands to capitalize on smart SMS (text) messages to compliment email campaign with the right messages sent at the time they are meant to be opened.

4. Behavioral Data Will Help Separate the Competition

Google Home and Amazon Echo are just the beginning of new devices that customers are using to share their likes, dislikes, and other behavioral data with that marketers will be able to use in their strategies.

Mainly, behavioral data allows marketers to split their audiences better into segments based on preferences. That way, marketers can use tactics like personalization and relevant content to deliver the right message at precisely the right time.


Those that can look ahead and master email marketing in 2017 will be sure to get a leg up on their competition, as we are just beginning to scratch the surface of the true capabilities of email marketing.