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Examining the latest trends in email marketing

Companies around the world have been eager of late to improve their strategies where email marketing is concerned. Recognizing that email is still a valuable channel for customer communication despite the rapid rise of other, more hyped media, business leaders are still hard at work, looking to beat their competitors and win over consumers' inboxes. They're looking to improve everything, from their email marketing deliverability to the quality of the messages they send out.

As the business world grows and the war for customers intensifies, companies are evolving quickly in the way they go about courting valued patrons. It's no longer enough simply to churn out a promotional message and click send - you need to send out communications that are smarter and better-targeted than those of your competitors. Doing so requires a combination of sharper content and higher-quality data.

Econsultancy recently examined the most significant trends that are powering the growth and evolution of email marketing. David Moth, deputy editor for the organization, zoomed in on a few noteworthy storylines to follow moving forward.

Sending the right message
One of the key areas where companies are looking to improve is in the actual substance of their email marketing content. What's the best way to send a message that will win people over?

Moth noted that one key value in this regard is simplicity. No one wants to wade their way through an email that's overly long or complicated - it's more effective to send a message that gets directly to the point and cuts out all the unnecessary mumbo-jumbo.

It's also important not to be too sales-y with marketing content. People want to read emails that they find appealing and interesting, and if they feel like they're constantly being badgered to spend their money, that likely won't go over well.

Prioritizing quality email data
Another area where companies can sharpen their email strategies involves data quality. If you have a deep collection of names and email addresses for people you keep in close contact with, you need to make sure that all that contact information is accurate and up to date. If not, you risk wasting time and money on messages with no chance of having any positive impact.

Brian Streich from StubHub told Econsultancy that having high-quality email data should be a key goal for any company that wants to step up its marketing game and reach new levels of marketing success.

"Going up a level is about data, or the lack of it," Streich said. "It's a two-pronged problem - you have a lot of data, but you always need more, and then how do you use it? That's when you need the support of the ESP to manage the campaign and provide the analytics."

Everyone, from marketing and sales people to consumer care agents, can benefit from better customer data.

Curating data effectively
The data challenges don't end with ensuring high quality - there's also the matter of effectively curating customer information, which becomes especially tricky when you consider the ordeal of integrating data across multiple channels and corporate departments. If, say, a marketing professional wants to share his data with the customer service office, this can bring about unexpected technical hassles that need to be addressed.

Using all available channels
Finally, companies need to work to bring as many communication channels as possible into the email marketing process. People are sharing their names and email addresses in many different ways in 2014, including their social media profiles and their mobile app interactions, and the most data-savvy companies are using all of these available channels as means to corral consumers' information.