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Email Marketing Trends in 2016

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Digital marketing is a notoriously fickle field. But in this ever-changing minefield of an industry, email marketing has held strong. It’s consistently effective in converting leads and can be a content marketer’s most valuable asset. What can you do to up your email marketing game? So far in 2016, these trends have held their ground and should continue to do so.

You’re reading this on your phone, and so is your audience.

Two-thirds of all email is now read on mobile devices. If you’re not optimized for mobile and using responsive design, you need get on that, like, yesterday. But optimizing for mobile shouldn’t limit you- screens are getting bigger and better suited for valuable content like video and animation. See creating content for mobile as an opportunity to be creative and innovative with your email campaign. What more could you want than an audience that will probably get your content immediately, right in their pocket, no matter where they are?

This .gif from a recent email blast for a Tribu client is not only unique, engaging and to the point- it’s optimized for mobile!


Targeting and Segmentation are more important than ever.

The “batch and blast” email of the past is dead. More than ever, consumers are seeking out personalized information that values them and their experiences. This goes double for millennial and generation Z audiences, who crave authentic communication geared toward them and their specific interests. Automation is a valuable tool, but it loses its efficacy when you’re inundating your audience with information they don’t want or need. Doing research about what motivates your consumer and speaking to that motivation will help you target them appropriately and make an authentic impact with your email. You can accomplish this by…

Tracking what works and what doesn’t, and acting accordingly.

All of the beautiful design and creative copy in the world won’t get open or clicked if it’s not going to right audiences at the right time. Campaigns must be data-driven. Tracking how your campaigns are received and developing that information for future campaigns must be at the heart of your email marketing strategy. In many ways, email marketing is a science that comes down to experimentation and implementation. A systematic approach will incorporate analytical findings and creative vision in equal measure. At Tribu, we call this “creat-alytical” thinking, and it drives the work that we do.


Social media and email will become increasingly entwined

One of the best ways to give users a feeling of involvement in your brand is to simply involve them. The easiest way to do this is social media- giving your audience their own voice in your marketing. While including links to social media accounts is now standard in virtually any email campaign, consider making them front and center. Including a real-time portal to your social media accounts and what people are saying about your brand is a brave and authentic way of sharing your consumer’s feedback. It can also contribute to lead generation via social media- people will sign up for an email list that includes their thoughts as a consumer.

Think long and hard about your subject lines.

More than 205 billion emails are sent and received every. Single. Day. Your email needs to stand out right away, and the subject line is the first impression. Today’s audiences are wary of anything that smells like a sales attempt. Consider the tried and true subject line: “20% off coupon inside!” You have to consider that they probably receive that exact subject line multiple times a day and the value it offers no longer feels urgent. If five different retail outlets offer me 20% off for Labor Day, I don’t feel the need to buy from any of them. My next offer is just one email away! A subject line needs to be a little weird, but it can’t strike me as click bait or a sales offer. One bold strategy: Hubspot cites a study of over six million emails that found subject lines with no subject line at all were actually opened 8% more often than those with a subject line. Maybe the best way to stand out in a subject line is to play hard to get and make your consumer click for content.


Email marketing is a key part of inbound strategy, and we make it our business to do it well.  Find more examples of our excellent email strategy here and here. For all of your digital marketing needs, Tribu’s got your back. Let our cutting-edge solutions be your organization’s success.

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Feeling inspired yet? Keep an eye out on our portfolio to see how we’re implementing these trends into our work here at Tribu!

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