If you’re a marketer today, you know that everything digital is in a constant state of flux—always updating and changing. As we gather more data, technology, and insights into how different nuances impact our strategies concerning everything from the tools we use to conduct business to the ways we communicate information to our target audiences, our plan evolves.
One such communications platform that has been growing in popularity over the decades is email. Approximately 2.8 billion people worldwide use email as a digital communications tool.
Since everything is always changing and moving forward, it’s important to stay on top of the latest marketing trends. With the popularity of email, it’s no surprise to see that it’s the highest ROI earning marketing tools for small to large businesses today.
Email marketing typically has an ROI potential of 4400 percent, with each resource invested bringing in an average return of $44.
Since email marketing is the most preferred channel for marketers looking to increase ROI, here are seven of the most prominent email marketing trends for marketers and customer engagement specialists to look out for, and maximize on.
More Segmenting and Targeting in Automation
As email marketing becomes a growing force used by marketers and business owners to increase ROI, the process of targeting and segmenting contacts is becoming more intricate, with more data, and smarter strategies being used to maximize profits.
According to HubSpot,
emails that are segmented and targeted account for 58 percent of all earnings. Furthermore, when segmenting and targeting relevantly, these emails increase profits up to 18 times more. Such stats mean that as marketers and entrepreneurs, we are likely going to be relying more heavily on these practices when creating our email marketing strategies.
Email marketing is becoming smarter, and the trends are shifting more toward delivering content to the audiences who engage with and find value in it. For example, if a contact hasn’t opened an email for an extended period, they should no longer receive correspondence. On the other hand, if a lead has visited a web page on several occasions, or opened an email more than once, smart targeting and segmenting will follow up with this person, and nurture further engagement through relevant automated emails prompting him/her to take action.
More Text-Only And Interactive Emails
Segmenting and targeting email contacts is only one significant trend that will be impacting email marketing ROI this year. The way marketers format and design emails will experience a general shift regarding strategy this year as well. Where trends of the past included sending promotions and sales-oriented messaging filled with graphics, this year marketers will be opting for plain-text and interactive emails instead. The popularity of email marketing and inboxes filling with a plethora of advertisements are likely the cause of such a shift.
Gone are the days of audiences wanting to open emails containing detailed graphics. While this may seem entertaining, a majority of email users shy from reading or interacting with such emails, as advertisements feel bombarding, and this can create undue pressure, or come across as spam.
Since spam is the last thing marketers want their audiences to think upon reading their emails, text-only messaging is becoming more popular. Experts have found that email users prefer plain text over HTML style emails that are heavy in graphics because plain text emails resemble a personal message that would be more likely to be sent by a family member or friend. When companies send plain-text emails, they feel more personable, sincere, and less sales-oriented.
When marketers are not composing emails in plain-text style, another trend is sending emails that are interactive. To promote engagement, and keep audiences entertained and anticipating more content, many marketers are opting for interactive emails that entice viewers and encourage involvement through quizzes, surveys, games, contests, GIFs, etc. Call-to-action messaging is also an essential part of interactive messaging, as viewers can engage with the email to shop, edit an order, update a wish list, send a shipping confirmation etc.
More Artificial Intelligence
Companies are using artificial intelligence (AI) for making their email marketing strategies a bit stronger, and more personalized. AI is now being used for helping email marketers from anything from coming up with the most effective subject lines and images to predicting how a potential lead will interact with an email, how to make it more personal, and estimate when a viewer may unsubscribe from an email list. AI for marketing automation is growing demand, to the point that global automated email marketing alone is expected to account for USD 2.7 billion by 2025. That is just seven years away.
Adobe recently developed an AI technology with a series of sophisticated algorithms based upon data and research from email campaigns, and audience behaviors that they would like to introduce to email marketers. Studies conducted by Adobe found that email users opened nearly 80% of all work and 60% of all personal emails, and consumers prefer to be contacted by brands this way. As time continues on, AI is only going to grow in intelligence, and make email marketing more effective, and easier to execute for all businesses.
From utilizing smarter tools and strategies to reaching audiences through personalized, sincere messaging and storytelling, email marketers improving their efforts, and email marketing efforts are becoming more powerful and effective.
Now that you’re caught up to speed on the seven most prominent trends hitting email marketing strategies this year, it’s time to apply these trends to your strategies.
How does your email marketing strategy measure up in comparison to this year’s emerging trends? Are there ways that you can use this information to improve upon your current email marketing campaigns?
In developing a more effective strategy for your email marketing efforts, I recommend taking an in-depth look at what is working, and what isn’t working for your campaigns regarding ROI, click-through rates, open rates, and engagement—finding opportunities to maximize on what is working, and modifying what isn’t. You may also reach out with comments or questions below.