As 2015 goes into full swing, marketers are highly focused on executing the marketing strategies and campaigns that they implemented for the year. As a great deal of emphasis has been placed on social media marketing, there has been a great deal of discussion centered on determining the future of email marketing. The one thing that seems to be a consensus is that email marketing will still be very vital to the overall success of any marketing strategy. The key is gaining a lucid apprehension of the key points that marketers will focus on when it comes to developing and executing their email marketing strategies.

Time Efficiency Demands Specificity

There are multitudinous methodologies and philosophies associated with email marketing; however, the expanse of the marketing spectrum creates a situation in which a business can only allot so much time to email marketing — meaning that there has to be key focal points that are addressed. Attempting to do it all will only convolute the process and reduce efficiency. This means that marketers must give priority to the dynamic elements and points of focus in the email marketing spectrum that will produce the greatest results. Recent studies reveal that email marketing, despite being considered outdated by some, is still one of the most effective marketing mediums available.

Below you will find six areas of interests that marketers have determined are the key areas of interest for 2015. Obviously, this could vary based on the unique needs and goals of your business, but it should provide a general portrait of the direction that email marketing is going in. Keep in mind that the focus is on specificity and the richness of the engagement experience.

Email marketing is still king when it comes to direct marketing, so it is vital to get optimal results from your efforts. Giving significant attention to the points made below should help streamline your email marketing campaign.

1. Developing a Strategy

Developing and defining a lucid campaign strategy should be at the top of any email marketer's list. It is the development and communication of the strategy that provides clearer direction and focus for the campaign. This is the process in which ideas are presented, evaluated and selected as a part of the strategy. Developing an efficacious strategy is not only about determining the campaign model and methods that will be used, but it is also a time in which the unique skill sets of those involved are evaluated to determine how each person will fit into the execution of the strategy.

The strategy development and planning process are immensely dynamic. It involves a detailed anatomisation of the metrics from previous campaigns, subsequently determining what worked and what did not. It is important to understand that creating a strategy is about producing the desired end results that can be measured and confirmed.

2. Segmentation

Segmentation or categorisation of your database will allow for campaigns that have a higher level of specificity. Grouping people who have similar consumer characteristics will create the capacity to disseminate more focused and targeted messages to your audience. Additionally, this will allow you to maintain a high level of relevancy with the content that is being developed and distributed.

What is important when considering segmentation is the fact that for this to work there has been an added value associated with the segment that is created. If no added value can be detected, then segmentation will prove to be a wasted motion — destroying the efficiency of the campaign.

3. Campaign Automation

When focusing on direct response marketing, campaign automation presents a powerful advantage that cannot be ignored. With the current technology that is available, campaign automation has never been easier. Additionally, automation creates a more time efficient process. Automation provides the potential to enhance conversion results, even when campaigns are executed in lower volumes. According to a study conducted by The Lenskold Group, 78 percent of marketers who have achieved a significant amount of success as far as revenue contribution is concerned, attribute their success to marketing automation.

Marketing automation is an exceptional mechanism to enhance the overall results of your marketing campaign; however, the most important aspect of this process is ensuring that choosing the right campaigns that will serve to produce the results that you are looking for. Automating poor campaigns will only work to magnify poor results.

4. Expanding Analytic Insight

You can only analyse the performance of those aspects of the campaign that are being measured; therefore, you can only develop measured and precise strategies for those aspects of your campaign of which you have measuring mechanisms in place. If the only measurements that are being taken is focused on how many click throughs were achieved, there is little that can be improved upon beyond that.

The vast majority of email programs have comprehensive analytic programs and features, and these features should be put to use. The more data that can be measured, the more information you will have to help develop a campaign that will produce greater results.

5. Delivering Relevant Content

Although this item is further down the list, its importance should not be underestimated. It is immensely vital to deliver highly relevant content to your target audience. The business world is more competitive than it has ever been, subsequently leading to a substantial number of businesses vying for the attention of the same customers. The quality of the content that is being delivered through your email program will go a long way in securing and sustaining the attention of your customer base.

6. Improve List Quality

Focusing on improving the quality of your database is extremely important. Sending out an email to 500,000 people will mean very little of 60 percent of them are not interested in the data that you are sharing. The most effective way to do this is to actively grow your list, while ensuring that you make it easy to unsubscribe from the list. There are some marketers who fail to see the benefit of people unsubscribing from their mailing list. If a person takes the time to unsubscribe from your list, it means that they have no interest in what you are providing, or they were not happy with the manner in which you were providing it. By offering an unsubscribe format that allows your users to express why they are unsubscribing, you can gain valuable information that will help you improve your direct marketing approach, while reducing the number of inactive users on your list.

As 2015 progresses, the ability to develop and execute successful email marketing strategies will be vital to the overall success of your company. These six points of focus should get you headed in the right direction.