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Herman Trend Alert: Near-Term Future of E-mail Marketing

According to the StrongMail “2010 Marketing Trends” report, 89 percent of respondents said they will either maintain or increase the amount of their marketing spending in 2010.

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Herman Trend Alerts are written by Joyce Gioia, a strategic business futurist, Certified Management Consultant, author, and professional speaker. Archived editions are posted at http://www.hermangroup.com/archive.html

As we move into economic recovery, marketers are optimistic — optimistic enough to maintain or increase their online marketing spending. Based on a recent survey of 1,057 business executives, online marketing spending will be up in the coming year.
 
According to the StrongMail "2010 Marketing Trends" report, 89 percent of respondents said they will either maintain or increase the amount of their marketing spending in 2010. Fifty percent of the executives said they will allocate "additional dollars" to their marketing efforts.
 
The top two areas that will benefit from this increased spending are social media and e-mail marketing, with 69 percent responding they will increase e-mail spending; 59 percent saying they will increase social media efforts; and 69 percent reporting they will integrate both areas. Moreover, 68 percent of marketers say they will also work to make better use of the data that is already available to them.

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StrongMail’s director of corporate marketing Kristin Hersant points out that marketers are becoming more sophisticated and "leveraging the viral aspect of the Web."

"For example, using targeted segmentation to create a referral program with their top influencers, …[those] most active with their brand," says Hersant.

Better tools are becoming available to help marketers identify their most active customers by examining engagement metrics. (Engagement metrics measure the degree of customer involvement.) These companies can also scan lists to determine which people are involved in social networks, including the networks in which they participate.

Not surprisingly, 46 percent of marketers reported a desire to increase efficiency by adopting segmentation and targeting. "Marketers will also increase relevancy by using video in e-mail," added Hersant.

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Marketers will use video more often to promote opportunities like Webinars, training and product education. There’s also a developing technology that turns video into animated GIFs that look like a playing video. A new technology, Relevance Engines, that make it easier to test alternative versions of artwork and copy will become more important in 2010.

Our forecast: wise marketers will begin by looking at their current missed opportunities to better target current customer segments. More sophisticated marketers will embrace the new technologies to make their marketing investments go farther.

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