Email continues to be the primary means of getting a product or service known by as large an audience as possible. With 4 billion daily email users around the world, it’s easy to see why.
An email marketing strategy should remain a key part of your marketing portfolio. Indeed, it continues to develop as a tool, as the email marketing trends for 2023 explored here will demonstrate.
- Email marketing trend #1. Get interactive
- Email marketing trend #2. Don’t sweat the open rate
- Email marketing trend #3. Adapt and advance with AI
- Email marketing trend #4. Get personal
- Email marketing trend #5. Meet customers on mobile
- Email marketing trend #6. Trigger relationships with automation
- Email marketing trend #7. A/B test based on feedback
- Email marketing trend #8. Let your customers speak with user-generated content
- Email marketing trend #9. Actively pursue perfect content
Email marketing trend #1. Get interactive
Email marketers know that sending out material to be passively consumed is to be avoided nowadays. Customer engagement is what’s needed, and interactive emails deliver. In a world featuring a mess of different stimuli, all tussling for supremacy, the more you can do to attract and retain a customer’s attention via interactive content, the more your marketing emails will benefit.
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A key component of interactive emails is a feature in the email that users can manipulate without having to open another window. This might include a video or game that can be activated within the existing window. A great example of this is to have video testimonials embedded in your email.
People like to feel involved and to have an element of perceived control. Take advantage of this by giving them something fun to do in your email design. The more enjoyable your interactive elements are, the longer they stay on your email. And the more eager they will be to open the next one. Your engagement rate will benefit hugely.
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Email marketing trend #2. Don’t sweat the open rate
Tracking open rates was a widely accepted method of assessing campaign success until now. Apple has introduced new privacy settings which render the open rate figure comparatively meaningless. This is because emails now appear opened regardless of whether the user opens them or not.
Moreover, you can no longer divine information like where and when an email was opened and what device it was opened on. If one considers the dominance that Apple has on mobile devices, it becomes clear that this change has profoundly impacted the ability to track email data.
Explore what effect Apple privacy-protection features will have on email marketing.
Other metrics will need to be considered. These might include conversion rates or other ways to measure the immediate success rate of your campaign. To ensure comparative data validity, this same metric will need to be applied to android and PC users too.
Email marketing trend #3. Adapt and advance with AI
AI is making its presence felt in a multitude of business activities, especially if you manage small business marketing campaigns. AI is employed to help marketers with many activities, including decision making, especially over the provision of optimal UX.
The fact is, AI is rapidly becoming indispensable. This is mainly down to the sheer volume of data out there. Most marketers don’t have the time or resources to wade through information regarding customer behavior, demographics, psychographic segmentation, etc. This, however, is AI’s meat and drink.
When trying to sell through a product retargeting email campaign, having as much historical data as possible can really hit home. AI will accumulate data from a wealth of sources and quickly cultivate insights that can be put into action in the next email campaign and, in time, monetized. All the while, some marketers are still stirring sugar into their first coffee of the day. This will result in a marketing campaign that is implemented more quickly hence will be more relevant.
Email marketing trend #4. Get personal
People love personal things. 90% of US consumers find it appealing. It’s the flipside of disliking the one-size-fits-all wall of marketing that used to be dished out. Technology has advanced to the stage now where personalized emails are within reach. What forms can it take?
The simplest is just to use the recipient’s name. In a sea of anonymous-looking emails that could have been sent to anyone by anyone, an email with your name on it will stand out. It’s basic psychology. We love to see our names. We can’t help it. The majority of consumers will know that it’s just a marketing strategy, but they’ll still like it.
Another way is to tailor content and the all-important subject line to the user. If you have information relating to their previous purchases or their interests and activities, you have a great basis for building promotional emails. You’ll be able to give relevant content that will really register with the recipient.
Finally, try adding a note of gentle urgency. It’s always a good CTA.
Email marketing trend #5. Meet customers on mobile
Most emails are now opened on mobiles. So, for your email content to hit home, it needs to be designed with all formats, including mobiles, in mind.
The primary consequence here is size focus. Even the biggest mobile screen is going to struggle with enormously wordy and overloaded emails. The aim is to make it so that the user doesn’t have to scroll too much — simplicity rules in life and email marketing campaigns.
If you are struggling with this, consider using the available help. For instance, you can access tools like a free HTML email template, which can take some of the stress out of the operation.
Email marketing trend #6. Trigger relationships with automation
Time-based automated activity can be effective and is no trouble for you to put into action. An automatically scheduled follow-up email, for instance, to be sent at a set interval after your initial message can work wonders.
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Create automated email flows that will be triggered by certain user actions: page visits and purchases, search queries, individual milestones, and so on. Use Automation 360 to reinforce your email flows with chatbot auto-replies, web push notifications, and SMS.
Automation can be combined with personalization by sending out birthday emails or emails related to the customer’s activity on your website. And an abandoned cart email can be all it takes for the customer to get hold of that cart again and wheel it straight to check out. Using automation wherever you can is a great email strategy.
Email marketing trend #7. A/B test based on feedback
As with so much in marketing, your email campaigns can benefit from a robust testing regime. All aspects can be tested — content, appearance, or timing.
Try asking your mailing lists for user feedback. It’s interesting how much people like to be asked for their opinion on something. It confers an element of status. So you may find that a request for information on what users like or didn’t like will elicit a good deal of useful data about your operation, from your email’s overall tone to the design of the purchase order template that you ask people to use.
Email marketing trend #8. Let your customers speak with user-generated content
User input can be taken much further than asking them to send feedback. You can actually use their content in your campaigns. This chimes in with the direction that mass culture has taken. YouTube, TikTok (and, to an extent, reality shows), and other entertainment resources exist through the phenomenon of user-generated content. It is enormously popular because of its anti-elitism halo. It’s interactive, so it ticks box one. And the great thing is, it’s cheap.
Find out how to drive user-generated content and conversions with the help of your Instagram bio.
You can employ user-generated content in its simplest sense by getting customers to send footage of themselves using your product and giving reviews. The effect is obviously enhanced if you can solicit the services of an influencer.
You might choose to take it to the next level and actually use creative ideas that your users come up with. Material generated by an enthusiast with an idea but zero budget can be a good deal more impactful than a run-of-the-mill creative put out there by a jaded marketing team.
People love to see mirrors of themselves, and they have a better eye for fakes than ever before. So, if you go down this route, make sure you stay authentic. Nothing offends like a bad copy. Or bad copy, come to that, so make sure that whatever material a user generates is not just super-fresh but grammatically sound.
Email marketing trend #9. Actively pursue perfect content
It’s strangely reassuring to note that, among email marketing trends described here, it is still the case that good writing will make all the difference to your campaign.
Your initial aim is to get people to read what you send out. You will be assisted in this aim by two factors relevant to copy quality:
- How much a reader enjoyed your last piece of work — if they know your material is worth spending some time on, they will make the decision to do so. So, in all your material, make it bright, make it sharp, and make it funny (if appropriate). Avoid dullness like you would a rabid dog.
- How enticing your email looks to a new reader — outbound leads don’t necessarily jump at you out of the bushes. You need to entice. This is where paying attention to email subject lines is of paramount importance. You don’t get long to grab people and turn them into potential customers. Think impact!
Once the reader has opened your email and is frolicking among your words of wonder, try not to outstay your welcome. Get to the point as quickly as possible without seeming rushed. Brevity is best.
Explain why your email is of interest to the reader. And end with a clear call to action that sounds as compelling as it gets.
The modern marketer has a fabulous banquet of techniques at their disposal, and chief among them, in terms of ease of use and ROI, is email. 2023 will see a bunch of new ideas and techniques along with some perennial favorites, such as copy quality.
Why does copy matter more than ever when it comes to the future of email marketing? It’s because of the smorgasbord of competing content out there. More dishes are being added to the spread every day, and you need to get your offering right to the top of the table by making it a feast for the eyes.