Top 4 Email Trends

small business

Rumors about the death of email marketing have been greatly exaggerated — to borrow a Winston Churchill phrase.

Email marketing is alive and well. But you had better know what you are doing, or you will fail with it.

That seems to be the message from a recent MarketingSherpa report on the Top 4 Email Trends.

Here are the key trends they see, and what you need to do with them:

  • Execution, Execution, Execution — The businesses that are getting good results are those that work hard at it. They test their techniques to see which ones work best, and they adapt their practices. Also, they segment their lists and tailor their messages. Sure this takes time and effort. No pain, no gain.
  • Pictures Bring Better Results — The presence of an image in an email message, and where it is located, can have a major impact. Those using images intelligently tend to get better results.
  • Readers Get Bored Quickly — The longer a name has been on an email list, the less likely you are to get a response from them. Smart emailers are sending out a “welcome series” of messages during the first 60 days, to take advantage of their readers short attention spans.
  • Email Filters Wreak Havoc —Email filters continue to snag legitimate email messages, especially those going to work addresses. It requires considerable diligence to get around filters. The words you use, the quality of the HTML code — they make a difference.

I found this report interesting on a number of levels. It demonstrates just how much technology you need to know as a marketer or small business owner doing your own marketing today. Because success in email marketing comes mostly from knowing how to manipulate and use the technology.

The report is an executive summary of a much larger report. The executive summary is free and can be downloaded here: Executive Summary: 4 Key Email Marketing Alerts for 2006 (PDF).


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

10 Reactions
  1. Shirley George Frazier

    I agree that some newsletters are great for adding pictures and also agree with the points made in the MarketingSherpa report.

    My newsletters have gone through some changes in the past year as I’ve wrestled with a decision to add or not add graphics.

    I decided not to add pictures or any type of graphics to my newsletters. This is because Email accounts deliver in many formats, and I believe, for my subscribers, that the message is more important than visuals.

    If I want subscribers to see an example of something referred to in the newsletter, I’ll post a link to a page within my Web site for greater detail and an additional chance to capture sales.

  2. The Journal Blogger

    Winston Churchill? Now, why did I always think that quotation was attributed to Mark Twain?

    Hope you have a terrific Thanksgiving Holiday, Anita!

  3. Yes, Dawn, you are right about Mark Twain being the first to coin the phrase “rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated.”

    I thought Winston Churchill picked up the phrase, too, possibly after he escaped from captivity during the Boer War. I am rather a Churchill buff, and that phrase is associated in my mind with him. But I could be wrong. (Where is Google book search when you need it?)

    No matter — whoever said it, it is a great saying because it coveys so much in a few words, with humor.


  4. Thanks for posting recent supportive findings for email marketing. I agree that images do enhance an email campaign and can help click through rates, however, I am curious to know your thoughts about what Shirley Frazier posted. Do you find that with proper segmentation open and click through rates in emails with only links as opposed to images/designs are still good?

  5. To follow up on your question, Rachel, I think Shirley raises an interesting point.

    Some newsletter publishers decide to do text-only for email client compatibility reasons. Sometimes they do it because text-only takes less time to create. Some publishers send text-only because of deliverability issues: too high an HTML-to-text ratio can be a flag for filters.

    However, most reports I have seen — including Marketing Sherpa’s — suggest that text-only does not have much bearing on whether the message gets opened.

    It does make a difference, though, on click-through rates and conversions (sales). Images make a message more visually interesting, and keep the reader reading. They also direct the eye’s gaze. If you direct the eye in the right place, it should increase message click-through rates and conversion rates. That is one of MarketingSherpa’s key findings.

    Nonetheless, some publishers have determined that text-only is the way to go for whatever reason. If it works for you — and you have tested the results — then go for it.


  6. Hi Anita,

    The New York Journal published an obituary of Mark Twain in 1897 to which he responded, “The rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated.”……he did not die until 1910.


  7. Dear Anita:

    I read the story in the Times about you today and figured it’s about time I learn more about blogs.

    Would you by any cahnce be willing to suggest the best way to get started? And, if it’s not too too much of a stupid question: Is this a blog I’m wrting in right now?


  8. Hi Beau (I just hate the thought of calling you Blognoramus!),

    Yes, this is a blog you are on. The ability to leave comments like this is one of features of blogs.

    If you want to learn more about blogs, the best way to get started is to immerse yourself in them for a while. That means: go read blogs. Read lots of blogs.

    Pretty soon you’ll get the hang of blogs. They are a little like crack — one time and you are likely to get hooked on them!

    You can start with my blogroll. Go to this page and start surfing:

    Have fun,

  9. Good Article! Hey, did you know that this blog is cataloged by Google news?I just stumbled into a second ago…demand to!lol.