Last week saw PerformanceIN play host to Matomy Media Group’s ‘Ultimate Email Acquisition Marketing Webinar’ – a treat for any direct marketers wanting to get ahead of their inbox-based competition.

The session was hosted by Christina Diederich, associate VP for client strategy at Matomy, who roadmapped email’s growth to a $3 billion industry whilst imparting a series of tips for making the most out of the channel in 2015.

If you missed the session, you can now view it online for free below. And to whet the appetite, here is Christina taking on some of the session’s key points of focus.

Where are we currently at with email as a channel?

CD: Despite many predictions claiming otherwise, email isn’t going away. In fact, it’s growing in both importance to advertisers and influence among consumers. 

Email marketing spend in the US is projected to reach $3.1 billion by 2019, up from $2.1 billion in 2014, according to Forrester. Driving much of this growth is the consumer’s increasing preference to open — and act on — emails from their mobile devices. The majority (53%) of all email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet in Q3 2014, according to Experian, while email is now the second-biggest marketing channel for mobile purchases. 

In recent years, deliverability has become more challenging for marketers. In order to ensure consistent inboxing, compliance must be a top priority. A mailer who doesn’t comply with CAN-SPAM regulations, or has slightly higher complaint rates than the average, has no chance of building strong relationships with major ISPs. These are just a few of the reasons why the quality for actions generated via email is high. 

Another reason for consistent quality of the email acquisition channel is the fact that today, data can be segmented and targeted according to a user’s interests, conversion history, demographics and geographic location.  

How would you ensure that a campaign succeeds on a creative level? Is there anything to consider regardless of the vertical?

CD: Regardless of which vertical your email acquisition marketing campaign is running in, there are three important factors to keep in mind. 

First, you must always design your emails for mobile. Using mobile-friendly text and creative in your emails will ensure they render properly on most mobile devices. We have found that a majority of non-mobile-optimised emails will be deleted without being read and some consumers will take the additional step of unsubscribing entirely. 

A clean, simple email design is more likely to produce an action from a consumer using a mobile device than a complex, multi-layered email that will eat up their battery life.

Secondly, you must have a clear call-to-action that stands out above the email “fold”. Your customers and prospects should be able to easily view your key messages and calls-to-action without having to scroll down on their mobile devices. Even better, include your calls-to-action in the first two to three lines of your email, so it will show up in the preview screen of most smartphones. 

You should also consider putting trigger words (‘free’, ‘promotion’, etc) that lead to the creative being blocked into image format. Doing so will ensure your email doesn’t immediately land in your customers’ and prospects’ spam folders or, worse, get blocked by an ISP. 

What is the outlook for email in 2015?

CD: Email will continue to grow throughout 2015 and beyond, but email marketers will get smarter in terms of targeting, their use of data and ability to customise creatives.

The email marketing channel has been changing drastically over the last couple of years and will continue to do so in 2015. 

If I were to give advice on preparation, I’d urge a closer look into mobile optimisation. It’s thought 60% to 80% of users open emails on mobile devices, which means mobile-optimised campaigns are indispensable.

Also study the utilisation of data segmentation and targeting, as every email record has a story and it’s crucial to consider it when mailing. 

Last but not least, we must consider that fewer players in the email industry will lead to more demand for it. Many emailers have gone out of business due to a lack of data integrity and quality.

For further insights, you can also download a copy of Matomy’s ‘Ultimate Guide to Email Acquisition Marketing’ eBook here. The guide offers expert tips that will aim to improve the performance of your future email campaigns.