Email marketing in 2017, and how to use it.

With every year that passes, more marketing trends emerge. From the recent rise of sponsored videos teaching us how to make lasagne (cheers, BuzzFeed!), to trends from way back when social media marketing gained momentum in the mid-2000s, to even further back when coupons, direct mail and sandwich boards were the top dogs.

Similarly, every year the latest ‘trends’ are more complex and more niche than the year before.

Enter: the humble e-mail marketing campaign, the quiet achiever that stopped making any ‘best ofs’ lists years ago.

Let’s start with a short story…

A few days before Christmas last year, five of the Ellis Jones ladies (who shall remain nameless) received the same eDM at around 11am on an otherwise standard Friday morning:


Word passed around the office extremely quickly, and soon enough we squeezed into cars headed up to Brunswick Street to indulge in the flash sale during our lunch break. Following this outing, nearly everyone who received the eDM had not only opened it, but had read it, gone to the website, traveled to a storefront and purchased something.

While this is anecdotal evidence of an eDM’s success, the fact remains: email marketing works. According to Campaign Monitor, businesses are 6 times more likely to get a click-through from an email than a tweet. Even more impressively, McKinsey research suggests that email marketing is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s how to ensure you get the most out of your emailing marketing efforts in 2017.

Compelling design.

If your email only has 50 words, then what (other than excellent copy!) is going to compel your audience? Great design. It goes without saying that in 2017, people expect a certain standard of aesthetic. Similarly, designers should be working closely with developers to produce beautiful, logical templates that can easily be re-used. Clarity, blank space, and high-quality images will propel your eDM into the mailboxes of many.

Interactive emails.

Interactive emails can be as complicated (or as simple) as you make them. Basically, interactive emails flow based on the recipients’ prior decisions and actions. Think of product galleries built into the email, a shopping cart or purchasing functionality, or GIFs that populate based on the section of the page that’s selected.

Interactive elements make the email experience personable, exciting, and most importantly, practical. If you’re viewing an email on your phone, you can finish a purchase, book tickets, view tailored content – all in the email, without being directed elsewhere.

If it’s not optimised for mobile, it’s not worth your time.

In December 2016, nearly 50% of Australians used their mobile phones to check their emails. Worldwide, it’s estimated that nearly 70% of emails are opened on a mobile.  While content quality is paramount for blog updates and newsletters, for e-commerce emails it’s the shorter, the better (between 50 – 125 words, to be exact) As copywriters know only too well: saying less is often harder, so choose your words carefully.


Email automation is on every ‘email marketing trends for 2017’ list going around at the moment. Automation allows for marketers and brands to automatically send an email to a specific person at a specific time (ideally, the right person at the right time). These emails are usually personalised, too.

For example, when you leave something in an online shopping cart and then abandon the purchase, you might recall getting an email from the platform showing you what you’d left in your cart… enticing you back to make the purchase. And while these automated emails aren’t particularly new (you might have been getting them for a few years now?), it is forecast that automation will get smarter this year. With increased access to rich data and a great understanding of customer journeys, marketers will be able to ensure their audiences are receiving the right messages at the right time.

If you’re already doing all the above, then congratulations – seems you’re nailing it. If you’re not, but are keen to know more, we can help. Ellis Jones runs email marketing campaigns for many different clients, and we know what will work best for your organisation.

Talk to us about email marketing.