You can either be smart or you can be first, and it’s a lot easier to be first.
In the fast-paced world of marketing, staying ahead of the game is essential. And one of the most volatile areas right now is email marketing. It remains a crucial tool for reaching customers and driving sales, but trends come and go. To succeed, you must know the latest.
We make it our business to be first in most aspects of digital marketing. In this post, we’ll explore the most impactful email marketing trends of the year. So sharpen your pen and take notes – it’s time to dive in.
Automation in Email Marketing
Email marketing automation efficiently sends timely, relevant information to your subscribers based on their actions and interests. This could include automated welcome emails, birthday and anniversary emails, newsletters or blog updates, or event and webinar promotion emails.
With automated emails, you’ll save time by communicating relevant information to your subscribers at the right time. Plus, you’ll be able to deliver the same great experience to each and every one of your subscribers, no matter how big your list grows.
But, what’s the big deal?
Automation has been around for years. You’re probably automating most of your emails right now.
Well, you’ll find that automated emails are going to play an even bigger role in 2023.
The simple fact is that the goalposts are moving very quickly and the secret is out about email marketing. Most marketers are already exploiting the heck out of it, so you’ve got to be clever about how you automate.
The machine learning training that the models go through with the data gathered from data annotation make automation so effective and current.
Here’s what will not work:
Obvious templated emails that don’t provide any value other than to clutter up an inbox. Automated emails feel low-effort.
Here’s what will work:
Automation with a ‘dash’ of personalization. Build out comprehensive customer personas and automation sequences for each.
Then, be creative about how you can effectively place your subscribers into the right persona and make them feel like they’re getting an email meant just for them.
Lastly, consider security to protect sensitive information by implementing an SPF record checker and maintain the trust of your recipients.
Use The Right Tools For The Job
Whether you’re creating e-commerce campaigns, newsletters, or anything in between, there are tools that will help you automate your email marketing efforts.
For example, MailChimp offers a powerful automation tool that allows you to create automated campaigns based on user actions or preferences.
Plus, Hubspot and ActiveCampaign offer popular automation tools that allow you to create custom, triggered emails based on user behavior. The key is to find the tools that best fit your needs and budget.
Take the time to explore all the options available. Some tools are jam-packed with features that aren’t obvious. We highly recommend reaching out to your chosen email marketing tool’s creators for tips and guidance about how to use it.
The Hyper-Personalization Email Marketing Trend
If you’re looking to step up your email marketing game, then hyper-personalization is the way to go.
This involves three basic steps: data collection, data analysis, and data application.
To put it simply, it’s finding those who are looking for your products or services, learning more about them, and then approaching them on a more individual level. Plus, they can reduce your bounce rates, too.
In email marketing, hyper-personalization means taking things up a notch by not only collecting demographic information but also gathering data in real time about how your leads are interacting with your business.
Of course, this method and the way it’s implemented can vary from one industry to another and from one specific goal to another. But it should always involve those three steps.
Collecting Data for Hyper-Personalization
This means doing some research into your potential customers, such as their pain points, values, goals, interests, growth strategy, and how they interact with your brand.
You can collect this information manually using forms and surveys, or you can track their website activity with Google Analytics to get an even better picture of their interests and preferences.
Then, go one step further and use tools like Hotjar, Smartlook, and data enrichment platforms to find out exactly what each user is doing and which parts of their journey can be enhanced with email marketing.
Segmenting your data can be easily done when dividing them by demographics such as gender, age, income level, occupation, location, education, and generation.
Yet, determining their interest in a specific product or service page on your website can be trickier and will require a review of the time spent there (user activity).
Similarly, splitting them up into the various stages of the buyer’s journey won’t be a simple feat.
When you’re sending out emails, it pays to pay attention to how people are responding. Group them together based on how they’re interacting with your emails. For example, you could create two distinct cohorts – one who opened the email, and one who didn’t. Then, you can tailor your next action accordingly.
That’s why the previous step of data collection is so important. The more data points you have, the more you can segment your list.
Implementation – Simple Ways to Personalize Emails
After you’ve collected and segmented your data, you can begin to personalize emails for each recipient. By using dynamic text, images, videos, and even landing pages, you can create email templates that are tailored to each individual.
Imagine a picture of a beautifully wrapped gift with the recipient’s name on it, followed by a free e-book about the product they were just looking at on your website. The possibilities are truly endless!
To make this magic happen, you’ll need to use variables. Variables are pieces of data that you’ve gathered and segmented into specific categories. Anything from someone’s name to the amount they spent on their last purchase can be a variable.
This is the part where you’ll need to get creative with how you use your data and how to create variables that will truly push the envelope in terms of personalization.
Add the variables to your email template and you’re ready to go!
Mobile Optimization is On The Rise
For years now, we’ve had solid data that a majority of people check their email on their mobile devices rather than on a desktop.
And that proportion will likely continue to rise into the future. Take a look at these statistics aggregated by Statista:
85% of people surveyed said they regularly check their email on their smartphone.
What does that mean for email marketing?
Simple. If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’re leaving money on the table. Conversion rates are notoriously low for mobile email marketing compared to desktop.
That means you’ll have to work a lot harder to win those mobile users over.
How To Optimize You Email Marketing For Mobile
It is critical to pay attention to your pre-header text, which is just as important as your subject line when it comes to email marketing. The pre-header is the first line of text visible in a user’s email client next to the subject line. However, due to the varying lengths of pre-header text based on email clients and devices, it is essential to keep it very short and impactful for mobile users.
We highly recommend spending time on split-testing pre-header text. It can end up massively improving your open rates.
Optimize CTAs with buttons.
Maximize your button CTAs and make the most of mobile-friendly marketing emails.
Bring Calls-To-Action up within the copy and limit text for better mobile performance. Utilize buttons instead of links for a more distinctive, easy-to-click experience.
Leave enough white space around the button to enhance mobile UX. When crafting your button CTAs, use action verbs and limit words to create an incentive.
Offering phrases like ‘download now’ or ‘get exclusive access’ helps guide users to the next step without being too directive.
Utilizing words like ‘immediately’ or ‘now’ can add a sense of urgency, letting users know that availability is limited.
Video Content in Email Marketing
As manufacturers continue to push the performance boundaries with mobile devices, video content is quickly becoming the most sought-after format by users.
So, give your email subscribers what they want by including video content in your emails.
Oh, and did we mention that video content skyrockets both click-through rate and conversion rate?
Some Basic Guidelines for Email Video Content
Every video should have a goal. And the goal can’t be to just get someone to watch it.
Your videos need to encourage whoever watches them to take the next step in their journey toward becoming a valued customer or a repeat customer.
So, start by working out what you want to achieve before you decide on how to create the video or which video can help you accomplish that.
Don’t embed videos in your emails.
This is a bad idea because it’s not conducive to a mobile-friendly experience. Make it obvious that someone is about to watch a video by linking to it from a static image.
Overlay a play button on the static image, and presto: you’re mobile-friendly and you’ve let readers know they can play the video by tapping the image.
As an added bonus, the static image provides a mini-preview of what they’re about to watch.
(Even) Less is More in 2023
Here’s a prediction, your inbox is crowded right now.
Wanna know how we know? Because the same is true for everyone’s inboxes.
Most people doing email marketing are still stuck in the outdated mode of thinking that more emails will produce better results. In fact, the opposite is true.
In an excellent study by the American Marketing Association, researchers showed that sending ten emails instead of their predicted optimal number of seven for their cohort reduces lifetime profit per customer by 32%.
What does that mean in practice?
Well, for one it means you’re probably sending too many emails.
It’s impossible to make generalized guidelines about the ‘correct’ number of emails for a campaign, but it’s an area that deserves a lot of testing.
In our experience, email readers are much more excited to read an email that arrives a few times a month than a daily email.
Conclusion – Implement These Email Marketing Trends
The only bad email marketing strategy is the one you don’t try.
Email marketing is an ever-evolving field that requires constant experimentation and testing. The trends we’ve outlined here are only the tip of the iceberg.
So, invest the time and effort to explore these trends and implement them in your email marketing strategy.
By leveraging automation, personalization, optimization for mobile devices, video content, and being mindful of the number of emails you send, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the game and build a successful email marketing strategy for 2023.