“A rolling stone gathers no moss!”
This age-old adage holds true even in email marketing, which is around forty years old. Yet, it has survived the vicissitudes of ever-evolving marketing styles and preferences, simply because the trends were spotted and adopted before the channel became redundant.
Email marketing shows no sign of abating and is thriving, with a projected revenue increase of USD 17.9 billion by 2027. Thus, if you are wondering which horse to place your bets on, this is still the best option for all marketing stalwarts.
The only catch here is that you need to stay updated with the latest trends. In the following blog, we will shed light on some of the hottest trends of the current year. So grab your drink of choice, kick back on your favorite beanie, and prepare for some email marketing trends and best practices!
Table of Contents:
- Trend 1: Stick to Privacy Compliance
- Trend 2: Focus on Email Accessibility
- Trend 3: Hyper-personalized Email Content for the Win
- Trend 4: Shun Email Open Rates as a Reliable Email Marketing KPI
- Trend 5: Consider Placing Sentiment Polls At the End of the Email
- Trend 6: Focus on Creating Mobile Responsive Emails
- Trend 7: Using Artificial Intelligence to Analyze and Deep Dive Into Consumer Data
- Trend 8: Email Marketing Automation is Here to Stay
- Trend 9: Add Interactive Elements to Email
- Trend 10: Reinvent Your Email Design
Trend 1: Stick to Privacy Compliance
More of a legal obligation than a trend, per se. Ever since the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) changed the email marketing scenario in 2018, marketers have got to tighten the reins on how to impact an increasingly data-sensitive and smart audience.
With the clear and loud CAN-SPAM Act guidelines, marketers have to be increasingly mindful of staying relevant, giving the option to unsubscribe and reveal that the email is an ad.
Consumer expectations have risen, and trust in brands is at an all-time low, as “only 8% of consumers trust brands to keep their personal information safe.”
Also, note that people are generally hard-pressed for time and avoid filling out lengthy questionnaires. So keep it concise, preferably in a welcome email, where you can ask them specifically about the content they’d like to read and receive from the brand, the choice to unsubscribe, and set the frequency of receiving emails from the brand. This may seem like the exact antithesis of every marketer’s plan, but hear us out.
Here’s why the above suggestion works for both parties:
- Better consumer segmentation – on the basis of their preferences
- A cleaner email list devoid of uninterested subscribers
- Greater ROIs and customer engagement, because they get exactly what they asked for
So how cool is that?!
Trend 2: Focus on Email Accessibility
When you make your email campaign consumer-centric, you automatically veer towards a more empathetic approach.
Disabilities, like visual impairment, color blindness, a fractured arm or an inability to juggle multiple items at one time may affect a person’s ability to read emails.
When you send an email to a valued customer, make them feel special and cared for in spite of the disabilities, whether temporary or permanent, that they might be battling. Here’s how you can do that:
- A concise copy is easily accessible
Try delivering the intended message in shorter sentences, devoid of unnecessary jargon that might hamper readability. Also, remember that most of your subscribers skim through your email content, which means that you have a small window of two to eight seconds to make an impact. This is how you can do that – maintain a strong hierarchy with text placement, color, and text size; you could also try maintaining a high contrast with a minimum font size of 14px. Also consider justifying your copy towards the left if its length is greater than two lines.
- Employ email code that is screen-reader friendly, by using real text with alt text for enhanced readability, while staying true to the design.
- Use a combination of colors and texts that work out best for majorly everyone. For example, most people relate to a red X mark and a green check mark more than a red and green button.
Trend 3: Hyper-personalized Email Content for the Win
Email personalization is one of the biggest trends in email marketing, and most of us follow that in our email marketing campaigns. However, if you are wondering about the meaning of hyper-personalization – we can help you with that too!
When you combine real-time data from multiple consumer touchpoints, along with a lot of AI-powered finds, you can provide tailor-made, highly contextualized content for your valuable reader base.
Here are some actionable tips for you to create killer hyper-personalized emails:
- Before collecting data, have a solid plan in place. Have a clear idea about who your target audiences are and precisely what you’d like them to do. Once you are clear with your goals, you may proceed toward data collection. Otherwise, it’s like walking in the dark without a torch.
- Test your email before you press send. In order to make every email sent count, it is essential to carry out comprehensive and automated QA tests, especially when you incorporate new creative elements.
Trend 4: Shun Email Open Rates as a Reliable Email Marketing KPI
2023 has upset quite a few pre-existing tables, one such instance being email open rates as a reliable KPI for email marketing campaigns. Let’s see why that is.
In a statement released by Apple, “In the Mail app, Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) stops senders from using invisible pixels to collect information about the user. The new feature helps users prevent senders from knowing when they open an email and masks their IP address, so it can’t be linked to other online activity or used to determine their location.”
Email tracking softwares rely on the pixels that begin to “fire” or load when the user clicks on an email. However, with its latest release, Apple makes the pixels preload, therefore every email appears opened or read, hence it is no longer a trustable KPI.
One might counter this by saying people also use Android devices. However, it is important to note that the majority of users access emails on a mobile device, half of which being on an Apple device.
With the introduction of Mail Privacy Protection (MPP), the following aspects and metrics have become redundant for iOS 15 users:
- When and where users open emails
- The IP address of the device used to access emails
- User activity on the device used to open emails
- Audience segmentation activities and creating automated flows which are dependent on the last email open date
- Setting countdown timers and time optimization algorithms based on email opens
- A/B testing of subject lines – based on email opens
You could continue using email open rates as a metric for measuring traction. However, with a larger error margin, we suggest you switch to different KPIs for Apple users and stick to email open rates for Android and PC users.
Here are other KPIs we suggest you prioritize:
- CTR (Click-Through Rate): The number of people clicking on one or more links in your emails
- CVR (Conversion Rate): The number of individuals who completed a transaction, such as making a purchase or filling out a form
- Bounce Rate: The percentage of total sent emails that couldn’t make it to the inbox
Trend 5: Consider Placing Sentiment Polls At the End of the Email
Sentiment polls at the end of an email are one of the main 2023 email marketing trends, and becoming increasingly popular among email marketers as a way to gauge customer satisfaction and gather valuable feedback. These polls typically include a few quick questions that allow subscribers to rate their experience with the email, the company, or the products or services being promoted.
One of the key benefits of sentiment polls is that they provide a quick and easy way for companies to gather feedback and insights from their customers.
By including a simple question like “How likely are you to recommend our products to a friend?” or “Did you find this email helpful?”, companies can gain valuable insights into what their customers think about their products, services, and marketing campaigns. This feedback can then be used to improve future marketing efforts and customer experiences.
Another benefit of sentiment polls is that they can help to improve customer engagement and loyalty. By showing customers that their opinions and feedback are valued, companies can create a more positive relationship with their audience and build trust and loyalty over time. This can lead to higher levels of engagement, more repeat business, and a stronger brand reputation overall.
However, it’s important to note that sentiment polls are only effective if they are used in the right way. If the questions are too long or complicated, or if they are too frequent, customers may become annoyed and unsubscribe from the company’s emails altogether. Additionally, it’s important to follow up on the feedback received and take action where necessary. If customers consistently rate the company poorly on a particular aspect, it’s important to address the issue and make improvements to avoid further negative feedback.
Trend 6: Focus on Creating Mobile Responsive Emails
Smartphones are quite literally our windows to the world.
Sometimes, there is a thin line between an email that catches the intended viewer’s attention and one that stays unopened or, worse, sits in the spam box.
When organizing your email calendar, make sure you’re coding emails for mobile responsiveness, and creating thoughtful preheaders that are catchy and to the point.
These elements can make all the difference and grab the eyeballs your email deserves. Try using single-column layouts, clear CTAs, and concise copy to get your message across, without sounding too salesy.
Trend 7: Using Artificial Intelligence to Analyze and Deep Dive Into Consumer Data
AI usage has many detractors, as well as supporters. However, when used mindfully, it can really help you take your email marketing campaign to the next level. Here’s how you can employ the abilities of AI to abide this current email marketing trend:
- Send hyper-personalized product recommendations and content to each subscriber, based on their unique preferences and browsing history
- Build cleaner and more optimized email lists
- Draft graphic mock-ups for inclusion in creative briefs
- Process large data sets
The thing to remember with AI, is that it isn’t meant to replace you. Instead, it can be used to reduce spadework and manual effort, and thereby enhances campaign effectiveness.
Trend 8: Email Marketing Automation is Here to Stay
To state the facts upfront, “Automated emails are known to generate 320% greater revenue than the non-automated ones.”
They are more well-received simply because they are more personalized and sent at the right time. For instance, if a subscriber signs up for a newsletter, they immediately receive a preordained welcome email.
With a well-thought-out email campaign, you can not only nurture new leads, but also retarget inactive ones. Automated email list scrubbing also helps you get rid of any inadequacy or duplicity in data.
The whole idea is to send the right information, to the right person, at the perfect time. With a well-curated email automation campaign, you can achieve all that and more!
Trend 9: Add Interactive Elements to Email
When you gamify your email content or add rollover images, and GIFs, you will have better chances of catching and holding the subscriber’s attention. The era of chunks of text and simple images is long gone. Here’s what you can consider adding to amp up the cool quotient:
- Introduce the “accordion” feature to concise long-form emails so that people can click on the headers that are relevant to them straight away
- Add rollover effects to highlight new products or hot sellers
- Consider adding animated CTA clickables
Trend 10: Reinvent Your Email Design
First things first, focus on minimalism. Snappy content that cuts straight to the value on offer is what customers crave, so give them that!
Ever since Apple first introduced us to the magic of “Dark Mode” in 2018, to enable users to look at their smartphone screens without feeling the urge to grab a pair of sunglasses, people enjoy emails that can adjust to the brightness level they’d like, without having to manually alter it.
Consistent integration with the dark mode option can make all the difference and enhance user experience.
To sum up, email marketing is constantly evolving, and it is vital for businesses to keep up with the latest trends in order to remain relevant and engage with their target audience effectively.
The current top trends include personalization, automation, and interactive content, which are expected to persist in the near future.
Regardless of the business size, email marketing remains a potent tool, and adapting to the latest trends can help achieve marketing objectives and stay competitive in the market. With the advancement of technology, we can anticipate that email marketing will become more sophisticated and efficient, further increasing its effectiveness in the future.