The Future of Email Marketing: 8 Trends to look out for
Your ultimate guide to email marketing for 2019 & beyond!!
'Email is dead.’ You have heard a lot of marketing gurus and pundits say that over the course of years.
But here’s the inside secret – email is far from dead. And email marketing is how you can effectively utilize this beautiful tool to reach your audience.
Roughly translated for your business, it means that email marketing is still very much necessary if you want your audience to know you, to interact with you and to purchase from you.
If you don’t believe me, perhaps a few stats will serve as eye openers-
- As per a research by Radicati Group, 7 billion people use email globally – a number that’s set to rise to 4.3 billion by 2022
- The ROI (return on investment) for email marketing is 3,800%, which means if you invest a dollar in email marketing, you get $38 as return
- 281 billion emails were sent and received each day in the year 2018
So who told you email is dead? It completed 40 years in 2018 for crying out loud! Google launched AMP for Gmail in the same year and mobile email marketing seems to be on the rise.
But that was all in 2018. What does the future hold for email marketing? What is its future?
It’s bright for sure but in order to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you need to know of the trends that will mark this year.
So without any further ado, let’s get started on that-
1. Personalization – It’s all about the human touch
Sure it seems all about automation right now but as far as the future of email marketing is concerned, it’s increasingly personal.
Yep, all those robotic, generic mails just won’t cut it in 2019 and beyond. If you want your mails to be open and read, you’ve got to personalize them. Your audience actually wants to form a genuine connection with your brand, so it might be a wise idea to get personal.
What is personalization though? It’s not simply restricted to knowing the names of those on your mailing list. It’s about providing real value, solutions to your target audience before they even know they need it.
Basically, you have to make your customers feel like you know them personally. You already have a lot of data on your customer base. It’s time to put that to good use by sending out customized emails based on their location, user history and more.
This strategy is guaranteed to work. American Express invented and adopted the strategy and reported a 150% growth rate in its email engagement strategy. They received a bevy of awards for it! You know it’s worth a shot.
2. Mobile-first – A shift to the pocket screen
Did you know that mobile Average Order Value or AOV has increased significantly? There was a time when it used to lag behind the desktop AOV but that’s not the case anymore. Consumers have opened up to making large purchases on mobile as well and as of now, the difference between the AOVs of mobile and desktop is inching closer.
This tiny difference in the AOV points to a shift in email optimization, placing mobile devices first.
In 2019, mastering mobile optimized copy and content for your emails is an absolute must. If stats are anything to go by, 62% of all emails are opened on smartphones and tabs and 75% of Gmail users open their mails on the mobile app. So if you really want the numbers to be in your favor, you’ve got to put mobile first.
3. Interactive content – Let the user do more
The end game is to increase user interaction. To achieve that, you have to make your audience feel that they can do a lot more than just hitting the boring old reply button.
You’ve got to give them interactive content if you want your email engagement rate to shoot up. 2018 did witness the rise of interactive content but I believe 2019 is the year of such kind of email content.
Quizzes, games, image carousels – there’s a lot you can offer your audience to interact with when crafting your emails. The crucial thing to remember here is to offer your audience the chance to interact with your brand without ever leaving the mail.
Interactive emails can educate or entertain your audience or even boost sales if you give them to option purchase within the email itself.
4. Quality content – Because quantity is out
Forget quantity. Email marketing is headed down the quality route in the times ahead. You have to churn out solid emails in 2019 and beyond if you want to be noticed for all the right reasons.
Why the emphasis on quality? Your audience is smart enough these days to mark bulk mails as spam. That’s not all. Even Gmail, AOL and Yahoo Mail have increased their standards, forcing bulk mails to land up in the spam folder.
To ensure that’s not the fate your emails meet, you have to ensure that you send out high quality and relevant emails to your subscribers every now and then and shift your focus from quantity. This could entail adopting best email practices such as segmentation, preferences, email verification, data hygiene and more.
5. Automation – AI your way to your audience
We live in a world in which email marketing tools are more intuitive than ever, offering easier user interfaces and the ability to automate emails at free will. So why not take advantage of that?
Segmentation is how you can use automation to your advantage. Automated email campaigns can actually help you create more personalized mails, which you can then send out a specific section of your audience that is most likely to open it.
How? AI-based tools can help you understand user behavior and engagement. You can use this data to create workflows which ensure that your target audience gets the right (and relevant) message at the right time.
Such targeted emails can are likely to generate 58% of your brand’s email marketing revenues thereby increasing your profit by 18%, according to study conducted by HubSpot. Besides, another study states that the click-through and open rates of automated emails are 152% and 70.5% higher respectively. That’s something to think about.
6. Data security – Because privacy matters
You can’t blame your audience for being paranoid. Privacy is at risk these days. Personal data is often misused and hacking is on the rise. Hence, offering your audience the assurance of data security is extremely important in email marketing.
It’s not just your audience that’s worried about privacy. Governments are too. This is evident in the EU’s passing of the GDPR law or what is also known as General Data Protection Regulation. The GDPR has a specific regulation that concerns the gathering and sharing of data over email for all members of the EU.
So while working on your new email marketing campaigns, you need to be careful. Keep opt-out or unsubscribe options in your mailers and let people know that you’re not misusing their private data
7. Text only emails – Weave a story with words
Know what can get your audience hooked to your email? A good story. A real and believable one though. You audience is always keen to know your experiences, something they can relate to. And once they find that point of relation, your brand is the one they think of whenever they’re in a similar situation.
If you want that to happen for your brand, you’ve got to direct your focus to text-only mails.
Yes, we spoke about interactive mails in about three points above but you’re not going to send out only one kind of mail are you? So enter the humble text-only mail.
Experts are of the opinion that users hold text-only mails in high regard as because they appear to be like personalized emails they receive from friends and family. Besides, they don’t look spammy either. And that’s a win-win for you.
8. Good design – A well-designed email is invincible
So far, flashy designs and photos are what make for good email designs right? Wrong. In 2019 and beyond, such tactics are not going to work. People are beyond bored of them, which mean you need to give your email designs a fresh spin.
My advice would be to keep it minimalist. In 2019, less is indeed more.
Since text-only emails are getting immensely popular, you should avoid unnecessary graphics as much as you can. However, you can feel free while designing interactive emails, keeping minimalism as the mantra you swear by.
Wrapping up – Email marketing is indeed here to stay
As I said before, email is far from dead. 2019 is the year when email marketing has actually hit the right note. It’s a powerful tool to generate leads and get them to convert. So don’t give up on it just because your mail lists’ inbox is congested. You can stand out and turn the game in your favor by keeping abreast of and adopting the latest trends in the world of email marketing.