2014 Trends: Email Marketing

Click-Through Rates are already more important than Open Rates. In 2014, they’ll be even more important.

Open Rates and Click-Through Rates are the two metrics email marketers pay most attention to and, in the past, it has been easy to argue that both have a place in key reports. Increasingly though, Click-Through Rates are the main metric to monitor, especially considering Google’s recent change to Gmail, which takes away one of the methods some email clients use to monitor opens (but simultaneously increases the chance recipients will see the picture components of your fantastically designed emails!).

What this means is that the figures the Open Rate metric produces may well start to fluctuate, whilst Click-Through Rates remain a reliable method of tracking recipient engagement and generating follow-up and triggered activities. As both of these happen, and as potentially more email clients look to mirror Gmail, Click-Through Rates really will become the new Open Rates.

Emails will go further to stand out; triggers, data and behaviour become key

The volume of emails being sent is continuing to increase, which means that our inboxes are only getting busier. The email marketing antidote to this is to increase the relevancy of the content and spend more time on targeting, gathering data and analysing behaviour.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to follow up initial email campaigns with campaigns based on a behaviour: when people click on a specific link, for example. The metric these triggered campaigns produce suggest much higher engagement rates, as you communicate with clients on a topic you know they’ve shown an interest in.

Mobile trend continues to take over

We’ve talked about the spread of mobile across email and internet usage before (in this infographic, for example) and you don’t have to go far to find an article that makes a similar point: mobile will take over desktop at some point and it’s wise to bear that in mind when designing email templates and new websites.

2014 will continue to see the trend sliding more towards mobile and it’s worth making sure that your systems and platforms are working in tandem with one another: there’s no point having a beautiful responsive email template if your landing page on your website will only display in desktop mode.

More custom landing pages in individual campaigns


As Content Management Systems get easier to use and the facility to create landing pages from within email marketing platforms does likewise, more firms will use custom landing pages to take clients exactly where they want to go, quickly.

This is another way to make sure clients who are engaged aren’t lost at the final hurdle, maintaining their interest in something they’ve clicked on immediately, rather than forcing them to navigate a complicated and un-targeted page, with only a passing relationship to the message in the email.

Inbox innovation will continue slowly and have limited effect

Google’s Gmail change to add tabbed inboxes was heralded as something that would have a big effect on open rates in 2013 and, whilst there was some impact, it wasn’t nearly the major change some were predicting.

In another of our 2014 Trends articles, we looked at the incoming raft of ‘social email’ apps and features that will also affect how we all interact with our inboxes. Whilst these may change behaviour, it’s likely the changes will initially be minimal and uptake on the new applications, fairly slow.