As we ring in the New Year, it’s important to stay informed and ahead of the changing market and today’s top trends. Why? Because we live and work in a competitive world. For marketers, it’s a constant challenge to rise above the noise and figure out how to stand out in the email inbox and continue to capture the attention of prospects and customers.
Increasing your knowledge of trends, technologies, resources and tools will give you the best chances for email success in 2019. With that in mind, here are five email marketing trends I’m seeing that should have an impact on your strategies in the year ahead:
- Less graphics, more text: As the popularity of simple text and messaging apps explodes, I am seeing more marketers follow suit and opt for text-only email campaigns. While graphics and visuals can help explain a product’s value proposition, they can just as easily be a turn off for those who want to get right to the facts. In addition, graphics-intensive messages can be larger in file size and are more likely to be flagged as spam by Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Finally, text-only emails seem more like messages we would receive from a friend or colleague -- shorter plain text messages appear more sincere and personal, and less like a sales call – provided they provide actual value.
- More ongoing, interactive campaigns: As prospects often do not take action based on a single email message, ongoing multi-touch campaigns generally deliver more results for email marketers. In the year ahead, campaigns that are connected as part of an ongoing story should deliver more value to prospects, as will those that are more interactive than simply “click here” messages. To promote engagement and get audiences to anticipate additional content, email marketers are turning to quizzes, surveys, contests, games or even graphics used as part of puzzles or “reveals.” Creativity and uniqueness are essential here, while at the same time supporting your overall brand, message and value proposition.
- Mobile design first: These days, over half of emails are opened at least initially on a mobile device. Of the 900 million users of Gmail, three-fourths of them access their accounts via their mobile devices. That means marketers must create, design and test their messages for the mobile device first (the laptop screen second), and ensure all text, headlines, graphics and calls-to-action render perfectly on myriad mobile device platforms.
- Increased personalization: Studies show that personalized emails have 29% higher open rates, 41% higher unique click rates and six times higher transaction rates compared to non-personalized emails. Personalization has moved well beyond simply including the recipient’s name. It is incumbent upon today’s marketers to take it a quantum leap further with strategies such as hyper-personalization.
- Artificial intelligence (AI) gaining adoption: The advancement of AI technology is enabling marketers to better target prospects and increase engagement. For example, AI can help marketers identify the best subject lines, include more personalized content and predict how leads will respond to a certain message. AI can also help optimize lead nurturing, such as suggesting the best time for follow-up. While vendors are pioneering capabilities around AI, marketers can get ready to launch their initiatives by building a business case, preparing their infrastructures, starting small and testing constantly.
What trends are you seeing in the year ahead? Let us know!
Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can enable you to achieve better email marketing ROI by targeting your best prospects – including top-level executives -- and, ultimately, converting more prospects into customers. Take a look at our case studies to find out more.