email marketing best practices

Email Marketing in 2012: A Few (More) Predictions for the Upcoming Year

One thing about being an email marketing agency: One must always have a finger on the pulse of and an eye on the blogs of the industry! Email is blessed with so many knowledgeable, insightful people who can look at the big picture and help guide our everyday strategic and tactical decisions. ClickZ is a wonderful resource for this kind of insight. In particular, ClickZ’s latest blog by David Daniels has some predictions for you for 2012, a few of which intrigued us enough to expand upon here.

We like David’s statement about behavioral segmentation. As an email marketing agency, we’ve been pushing segmentation as an email marketing best practice for years. Why? Relevance. Segmenting means targeting. Targeting means relevance. Relevance means increased email delivery rates and higher conversion rates. As David describes it, behavioral segmentation is even more useful because it is based not only on demographics, but on a customer’s past behavior, making it a predictor of future behavior too:

The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior and the marketer’s ability to digitally understand customer’s desires and actions begins with segmenting audiences based on click-based engagement.”

As this becomes a standard email marketing best practice in 2012, it will also become a competitive advantage. Make sure behavioral segmentation is something your email marketing team is at least considering in the very near future.

David is also the bearer of good news, predicting businesses will pay a little less attention to the glitz and glamour of social media marketing campaigns and get back to measuring concrete results: “the focus will rightly turn to the return on investment of those social efforts.” David expects the kinds of reporting and analytical features we’ve come to expect from email marketing solutions will be adapted to measure results across channels. That kind of insight will only improve our tactics and techniques as email marketers, resulting in deeper knowledge about the effectiveness and inter-relatedness of each marketing channel and—ultimately—a higher ROI.

David also predicts security, breaches, and legislation will increase in 2012, a scary thought and something to consider as you plan out your year. He is also optimistic, saying marketers will understand the penalty of emailing to dormant addresses, a topic near and dear to our email marketing hearts because emailing to dormant addresses can have a negative impact on your email delivery rate. (Get tips on scrubbing your in-house email list for improved email deliverability.)

Let’s close with where David starts his post, about the longevity of email. As we keep saying, email is still alive and well and David concurs. So let’s just make that a given. Email will continue to offer the best ROI, to be the glue that holds other marketing channels together, and to be the foundation upon which countless marketing campaigns will be built…through 2012 and beyond. Long live email!

Published On: January 6th, 2012Categories: Email marketing best practices

About the Author: Sharon

Sharon Ernst from is on a mission to improve the business and marketing writing skills of today’s workforce with her blog, newsletter and online classes. Her newest class on intermediate email copywriting covers 19 tips and techniques non-copywriters can put to use right away for better results. The class has real-life examples and before/after comparisons to make the lessons stick. Find her class at When she’s not busy helping employees, managers and marketers master their writing skills, she and her husband are busy raising pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables on their 20-acre farm.

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