With the digital landscape constantly evolving, you might think email has headed the way of the dinosaur. The truth is that email is more popular — and profitable — than ever, bringing in some $44 for every marketing dollar spent.
But even as email remains a constant fixture on the marketing landscape, it also continues to change. By staying on top of the latest developments, you can take advantage of this reliable marketing channel. What are some of the top email marketing trends for 2019, and how can you incorporate them into your current campaigns?
Personalized messages continue to serve as an effective way to engage with your subscribers, and the trend will become even more popular in 2019.
To begin personalizing your email marketing pieces, consider adding subscribers’ names at unique points in your copy rather than only at the beginning. In addition, you can thank customers for their specific purchases and offer product tips. Sending out birthday messages also can get subscribers’ attention.
Telling a Story
A little imagination goes a long way in giving you a leg up on your email marketing competition. Instead of simply encouraging your subscribers to buy your product or service, a compelling story can build connections by providing a window into you and your team as real people. Consider starting your emails with a well-crafted story that gets your point across with flair.
Making Best Use of Mobile
In 2019, it should go without saying that your email marketing campaigns must include optimization for mobile. A majority of your subscribers likely view your emails first on their mobile device of choice, and a smaller percentage will open them again later — either on a mobile device or computer. With so many people relying on their mobile devices as their preferred communication method, mobile optimization is no longer optional.
Automation is driving targeting and segmenting of email marketing campaigns more than ever. The more keenly you can target, the more personalized your emails become — and the higher the return on your investment you can expect. For 2019, consider incorporating self-selected email automation, which allows your subscribers to designate their own preferences and choose the content they want to receive from you.
A Renewed Focus on Privacy
Privacy matters more — to more people — now than ever before. If you’re doing business with EU countries, you should be aware that privacy rules in that region have become extremely strict, and violations can carry significant penalties.
While laws in the United States have not yet followed suit, customers have increasingly high expectations for how companies handle their personal data. Consider working with your marketing agency to ensure that you use best practices for privacy in all communications.
Machine Learning and AI
More companies are making use of artificial intelligence (AI) to personalize and enhance email marketing campaigns. From predicting the most-clickable link text to helping you choose the right images, AI and machine learning have given marketers a new tool in connecting and engaging with customers. New, highly sophisticated algorithms can help you incorporate research and data to improve open rates and other key metrics in your campaigns.
The Full Customer Life Cycle
Speaking of AI and automation, more marketers are using them to predict which content will engage their customers best — and turn that information into a higher ROI. In the past, marketing efforts tended to focus primarily on acquiring customers. Today, smarter email marketing campaigns stick with your audience members as they progress through a variety of stages, including purchase, retention and even winning back lost customers.
With so much focus on automation and new technologies, you may not expect this last trend: Simplicity. While complex, image-filled emails from large brands now dominate inboxes, text-only messages continue to maintain popularity as well. Less-polished messages feel more like a personal note — and not so much like an ad. Not to mention that creating simple messages requires less time and effort than their more-complicated cousins.
Putting Trends into Practice
Now it’s time to decide which of these trends will work best for you, your team, your business and your customers. Creating an email marketing strategy that meets your unique needs requires significant knowledge and experience — along with a healthy dose of ingenuity. As you begin implementing new ways of connecting with your customers, you’ll want to proceed with caution and take time to measure your success.