Fellow email marketers, hold on to your inboxes! As email turns 41 years old this year, it’s our chance to reboot our email programs and refocus our efforts on 21st century innovation and speed to keep pace with increasingly demanding customers. That’s why it’s so important to know the newest trends and what’s reaching the tipping point in email marketing this year.
“In 2019, we can expect consumer expectations for quality content to increase—it’s become an annual tradition,” according to MarketingLand. “Marketers will need to leverage new technologies and disciplines to continue to push the boundaries. Email programs will become even more personalized and more interactive, and as a result, more effective at driving revenue and brand loyalty.”
Here are our eleven electrifying email trends for 2019…
Personalization will put the right content in front of the right customer at the right time.
Automation can figure out the right timing for email messages, and make them hyper-segmented. There’s no need to cherry-pick every hot lead or categorize them manually. Software can do that job for us. Marketers have no excuse not to personalize email content based on the plethora of data they capture from browsing, purchase histories and email preferences.
Note: While marketing and email automation run the programs, we cannot forget the human touch in the process, or emails can become creepy (like we’re stalking customers instead of enticing them).
Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to push the boundaries.
Artificial intelligence really took off in 2017 and hasn’t lost much steam since. AI can be used for boosting collaborations, customer personalization, gaining insights, and voice commands. This will be the year that AI augments automation and can become a marketer’s best friend.
In 2019, marketers will continue to test AI platforms, while pushing vendors to handle their AI needs and automate on a larger scale. This innovation in technology should enable emailers to identify content combinations that perform better, faster and more efficiently.
AI is getting smarter, but mostly on the back end of the email marketing campaigns. Software won’t be writing our email marketing campaigns yet! We will be able to thank AI for smarter tools, highly responsive templates, and better reporting and use of statistics.
There will be a continued rise in interactive content.
Emails that contain games, quizzes, image carousels, or simply “fun’” clickables allow users to interact with the brand without leaving the email itself. The more often brands allow subscribers to engage within emails in new ways, whether it’s a personality quiz or the ability to book an appointment with a counselor without leaving email, the more engaged and ready to purchase subscribers will be with the brand.
The use of interactive content can help boost sales or simply educate and entertain. Interactive tools and games are a great way to get subscribers in the habit of opening your emails. The ability to actually make purchases within email makes the buying process even faster, and will boost sales for the brands that embrace interactivity.
So be creative. Make sure your emails are captivating, involving and fun.
Authentic storytelling is back with a vengeance.
There has been a lot more intelligent, daring email content lately, and that can often include telling an intriguing story. It’s part and parcel of the effort going into the brand voice.
Long, long ago humans invented campfires and once-upon-a-time, and in 2019 storytelling is back and here to stay. So, you can expect a rise in the number of stories you read in your email, which will result in increased clicks, shares and conversions. Why not join in the trend?
Adopting a more casual email voice and tone.
Decision makers and consumers from the millennial generation prefer a relatively less formal and more laid back approach to email communication as compared to their baby boomer predecessors. As millennials take over the lion’s share of consumer purchasing power, marketers will need to adapt how to “speak” to their audience through email campaigns. Not only will marketers get more playful, but they will also include some humor in their emails. In essence, the voice and tone of marketing emails are becoming more informal and casual.
Mobile ordering is growing by leaps and bounds…even on big-ticket items.
In the past, mobile average order value (AOV) lagged behind desktop orders because customers were less likely to make big-ticket purchases on-the-go. In 2019, we’ll see this gap close.
In the year ahead, it will become more common for people to purchase larger orders on mobile devices as the user experience improves. To take advantage of this trend, emails designed for mobile use will need to gain trust by offering detailed product content, more images and videos, or customer testimonials to push prospects into buyers.
People are more comfortable with chatbots.
More and more people have invited voice tech (also called smart devices) such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple’s Siri into their homes. If your website chatbots can hit even some of the potential use cases, then they’re worth having. They can also be used to encourage leads to subscribe to your email list.
“To get (or stay) ahead of the game,“ suggests Forbes, “Write headlines in the form of questions that someone would ask their smart device. Focus heavily on the consumer utility of your product, or craft emails that can help your shopper use or care for their new purchase.”
Automation is king.
Keep ‘em coming back for more with automation in 2019. Focus on bringing customers back before and after they churn or leave the sales process through automation, such as:
- Automated re-engagement campaigns
- Automated cart abandonment email campaigns
- Replenishment emails to refill merchandise before they run out
Become more loyal to loyalty programs using email.
In 2019, loyalty programs will become much more sophisticated. Smart marketers will use loyalty programs to collect customer data and better understand customer behavior, allowing them to reach loyal customers with better personalization and acquire new customers with the same characteristics. This combination will lead to greater engagement in the inbox and more revenue for brands who tap into this loyalty trend.
Blending social media with email marketing is becoming commonplace.
Social media requires that a user seek out information, whereas emails are delivered directly to the user. By combining the two, you can capitalize on both of their strengths and grow your audience. This create a unified experience and get the most out of all the channels.
You can start by adding a CTA to subscribe to your newsletter or emails on your official company Facebook and Twitter Pages. This lets you connect with your social media followers on a more intimate level and provide them more value through your email communications, as well. Conversely, you can boost your presence on social media via email by including social media icons in your emails. Then, customers and prospects alike can ‘like’ your promotion, then go share it with friends online or tweet it and so on. You can also grow your following with subscribers who are already interested in your business and show off more of your brand personality on social media.
There’s an increased focus on privacy and data security.
With hacking and misuse of personal data happening more and more, governments around the world are placing more aggressive measures for data privacy. In light of this, marketers should be more careful with their new campaigns, especially if they want to continue gaining leads from all around the world.
What do these trends mean to your business?
There are around 3.7 billion email users in the world today, with the figure likely to grow to 4.3 billion by 2022. This makes email marketing a viable strategy, especially since the ROI for it is around 3,800%. However, to tap into this highly profitable medium, you need to stay on top of the changing and evolving trends.