What marketers need to know for 2017

Jeff Slutz


We’re well into December, which means many of us are taking some time to reflect on the year that was. 

But here at Emma, we’re plowing full steam of ahead, year-end lists and winter storms be damned. It’s time to start thinking toward the future, so we broke out the ol’ crystal ball, passed it around the office, and saw seven things marketers should prepare for in 2017.

1. We’ll focus on the results that truly matter

2017 will be the year direct marketers move beyond opens and clicks and embrace tools that help them get the results that truly matter, such as conversions, direct revenue, or in-store traffic. Campaigns and marketing automation that drive business value beyond simple engagement will become the centerpiece of marketing technology for SMB and mid-market organizations. 

– Jeff Middlesworth, Chief Product Officer



2. R.I.P. batch and blast (finally)

The days of sending "mass blast" emails are over. They’ve been on their last legs for awhile, but 2017 will be the year that companies large and small abandon them for good. Inboxes are too crowded, so delivering relevant, personalized content is a must if you want to get any kind of positive results. And with the sheer amount of tools at our fingertips (like web tracking, data integrations, and automation), there’s really no excuse not to get to know your subscribers and send more targeted, data-driven email. 

– Emma Mathews, Director of Client Services



3. Email platforms will get smarter (and so will marketers)

Email platforms like Gmail and its competitors will get more complex, nuanced, and, by extension, much better at providing a great user experience. Part of the complexity and nuance is their focus on identifying unwanted or uninteresting “one-size-fits-all” blast messages and getting them out of the user’s way. Sending the kind of targeted, relevant messages that their subscribers (and Gmail) prefer will be an absolute must for marketers in 2017. 

– Art Quanstrom, Deliverability and Compliance Lead



4. Customer behavior will lead the way

Marketers that are thinking in terms of “What do I want to tell my audience today?” are going to get left behind. The key for marketers is to get closer to their customers, track their behavior, and trigger 1-to-1 communications based on their actions in-store, on the website, or wherever they engage with a brand. That’s what will pull people farther down the sales funnel.

– Joey Humke, Senior Sales Executive



5. Teamwork will make the dream work

Marketers will continue to look for more integrated solutions to streamline the number of tools they’re using. Connecting your CRM to your email marketing platform to your social media channels and so on saves time and makes it easier to align all marketing activities under one cohesive plan. It also gives marketers the full picture of how their audience is interacting with their brand, so they can make more informed, data-driven decisions on how to communicate with them.

– Cliff Corr, Director of Client Success



6. Interactive email is going to blow up

My prediction (and I’m not alone in this among #emailgeeks) is that 2017 will be the year that interactive email really catches fire. Whether it will be done well, with purpose, or poorly as the hot new thing to imitate (likely both), you’ll see start seeing it more and more in your inbox.

– Logan Baird, Design Services Lead



7. We’ll measure our success differently

We’re going to continue to close the gap between measuring marketing campaigns and tracking business results.  We’ll see marketers getting smarter about attribution and following our impact through the entire customer lifecycle, leading to more engaging campaigns and better results. As one of the most measurable channels available, email will continue to be at the center of that effort, and we’ll connect more of that data with other channels to get a complete picture of a successful campaign.

– Cynthia Price, VP of Marketing



Have a crystal ball of your own? Share what you're seeing in the comments (unless it's winning Powerball numbers – let's just keep that between us). 



About the Author

Jeff Slutz

Jeff is a senior content writer at Emma. When he’s not geeking out over email marketing, he enjoys jogging short distances, chowing down on Mom’s cooking, appreciating a beautiful jump shot, and telling anyone who listens how underrated Ohio is. Usually not at the same time.

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