I have been in the email industry for more than a decade now. During that time, while many parts of the email industry have changed, there are two fundamental things that have remained constant. First is the continued growth in the email channel. I went back and looked at the stats from SendGrid from when I started nearly 6 years ago. At that time, the company was a couple of years old and nearing a total of 20 billion emails sent to date. Today we are sending more than that in one month. In fact, we send more than 30 billion emails every single month–twice the volume of daily tweets sent from Twitter. The second constant in the email industry includes the ongoing claim that email is either dead, dying, or will soon become obsolete. Email fatigue will cause users to look elsewhere. Another channel such as social media (Facebook, Twitter, or SnapChat) will replace email as a form of communication because younger demographics, like millennials, don’t use email. Once again, I will say definitively that email is not going anywhere. Email will continue to be the next “big thing” in 2017 because it is at the center of all successful marketing programs. Email continues to evolve and change, but as users learn to evolve with it and use it more effectively, it will continue to be the most powerful digital marketing channel available. It’s been well documented that email boasts a higher ROI than any other marketing channel. And now we know that people of all age groups prefer to receive communication from brands by email over other channels such as social media. Why email isn’t going away anytime soon Engaging email communication builds loyalty and relationships on a much deeper level than any other channel–because email is extremely personal. That level of personal connection is at the heart of why email continues to be important. As a marketer, you have the opportunity to address someone in their inbox, where they keep conversations with friends and family, receipts, and other important communications. Your messages inside their inboxes are already more valued than tweets, status updates, and blog posts. Assuming your subscribers have provided you with their email addresses, they’ve already told you that they want to hear from you! It’s now up to you to make the best impression and take that customer/marketer relationship to the next level. The key to the next stage of email growth as we kick off 2017 is taking the information you have based on an email address and cross reference it with the other user behaviors you have such as: What they are doing on your website How they are engaging with your app What they are buying inside your stores Then combine that information with what actions you want them to take to inform your mobile, social media and in-store strategies. But remember, all of your other channels should be pointing back to email. Email is not a fad; it is not dying. It has proven to have the longevity and the return that drives growth. If you aren’t incorporating email into every channel, then you are missing out on the opportunity to better understand your customers and connect with them at every turn. Marketers who embrace email at the core of their marketing programs will be the ones to succeed in 2017. For more information on growing and improving your email marketing program, download our Expert’s Guide to Email Marketing.