6newsletterThe e-mail is an essential element of online marketing that has been often declared dead, but just as often re-invented itself anew. Let me give some insights into the most important trends for company newsletters that are worth to watch this year:

Hybrid TV is the magic word

To mention TV and e-mail in the same sentence has been quite rare so far, but that could change soon. In the future, new technologies in the TV area will provide tremendous opportunities for e-mail marketers. According to telecomasia.net, the number of households using hybrid TV services could reach 100 million households by 2016, connecting the two most influential media: the Internet and television. Market researchers expect around one third of them would read e-mails on their TV set, proving marketers new opportunities - in particular broader reach.

Usually, the TV set is a "sit back and do nothing medium", which means people spend time relaxed in front of it and tend to have more patience with the TV than the tablet PC or smartphone. So, your target audience would probably spend and invest more attention when receiving your newsletter via the hybrid TV - just for the new experience. E-mail managers can for sure achieve wider reach that way and appeal to new target groups.

During the running TV program, companies could allow viewers to subscribe to contextual content or retrieve detailed information about products in the broadcast. Commercials could be linked directly, so that with just one click on the remote control the audience arrives in your branded world.

Location-based email marketing is the way to go

The mobile optimization for newsletters has become the most important success factor by now in e-mail marketing. Thus, smartphones and tablets will rise as an important support medium for your e-mail campaign and you have to consider mobile-typical operations, such as checking in via GPS.

Although for many, SoLoMo is still just a buzzword, there's more to it than a diverting trend.

The fusion of social, local and mobile elements demonstrates the growing humanization of our mobile world. With location-based service providers, such as for instance Foursquare, members can enroll via GPS data into registered locations (restaurants, bars, shops, etc.) and receive discounts or other benefits and network simultaneously with friends.The online and offline world literally merge through these check-ins.

Typically, smartphones are used to log-in and to receive newsletters, so it is convenient to combine location-based services with your newsletter to offer the recipients discounts and promotions. Of course, you can promote your check-in program with your newsletter easily, as well, besides allowing marketers - at the same time - to collect additional address information from people that are already interested in the product or service. Therefore, all offers must be extremely attractive, as people naturally are reluctant to reveal e-mail address and other data. Thus, keep at it and offer your customers, for example after the third log-in on your site, a voucher via e-mail. In that way, you connect both channels permanently and your customer recognizes the added value of both actions. Since an e-mail is still the most effective way to reach their customers, it simply makes sense to combine this medium with your location-based service program.

Social media continues its road to success

In just a few years social media has become the top issue in online marketing. Unfortunately, many online marketing managers still consider social networks as an autonomous channel is that separated from other types of media with regard to content. However, who wants to be successful in the long-term, has to rethink and set-up an integrated e-mail marketing and social media strategy.

Topics addressed in the newsletter should have a presence in social channels, as they can initiate a dialogue – especially since social networks provide the context for a personal and authentic communication. It’s an option to present the issues in the newsletter first, as recipients will appreciate the exclusiveness.

Share With Your Network (SWYN) features in the newsletter allow recipients to share and recommend content via social networks with their contacts. The integration of Social Buttons of the most popular social networks under your individual content produces a viral effect in the newsletter as well, allowing your content to be extended socially and reaching a broader audience. And with the mobile optimization of the newsletter for smartphone and tablet by Responsive Design, a poor presentation of your newsletter can be avoided and the open rates be increased at the same time, too.

Countries such as India and Indonesia are rapidly becoming major usage centers for social networking, particularly via mobile phones, and will each see their user bases grow. It’s simply a no-brainer for marketers to broadcast deals and recommendations across a wider network of users in real time with improved location and mobile targeting. Now just imagine that for the first time Facebook has more users in Asia than North America, due to its staggering growth in the region, and you know what to do.

Storytelling captivates consumers

Good salespeople tell stories, presenting a logical and coherent sequence of information packed into a creative presentation that is simply more memorable for consumer than the pure release of information. Elements of storytelling offer the audience a lot more points of contacts to their own life and experience as incoherent information.

Therefore, package contents that you want to tell, for example, in several sequences and tell a story in several emails. In this context, even photo shoots or travel reports work very well as they activate the imagination of the recipient.

Stories are a great way to build and strengthen a brand. The content, however, should always be rigorous and relevant, as with increasing information overload, it is most important to present the reader a unique, entertaining and informative content. (Source: TWT Interactive)

By Daniela La Marca