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Every year, trends pieces erupt like mushrooms across the internet, informing readers with everything from what clothes to buy to what wall colours they should choose for their businesses. Every facet of our lives, it seems, is driven by trends — and email marketing is no exception.
Unfortunately, however, far too many of us read these trends pieces, get excited, share them on social media, and then just keep doing things the way we always have.
A part of the problem is that a lot of these pieces talk about trends that will be a big deal in the next five years, or by a specific date, sometime in the near future.
Because we’re human, those kinds of projections make us feel like we’ve got plenty time to implement the trends they talk about. And so we kick the can down the road until it’s too late.
This isn’t one of those articles. Rather than trying to predict the trends that will impact email marketing in the near future, I’d like to take you through the ones you need to implement right now.
The power of email
Before delving into those trends, it’s worth reminding ourselves how powerful email still is as a marketing tool.
When it comes to reach, for instance, email can’t be beaten. Approximately 2.8-billion people around the globe use email, with about 245-billion emails sent daily. Email also provides incredible return on investment (ROI), bringing in $44 for every $1 spent.
Factor in email’s capacity for relationship-building and it’s clear that email has defied every naysayer over the years. It has always been, and continues to be, one of the most powerful weapons in any marketer’s arsenal.
As with any other digital technology, however, email is evolving. And just as is the case with other digital technologies, it’s imperative that its practitioners keep up with that evolution.
With that in mind, these are the email marketing trends you need to know about right now.
Personalisation, hyper-personalisation, and automation
Personalisation is one of the things that email has always had in its favour. It’s what has separated it from so many other forms of marketing, which are aimed at broad, general audiences. It’s also come a long way from the days when it just meant addressing someone by their name. Today, we can use real-time data, database segmentation, and dynamic content to ensure that customers only receive emails that are relevant to them and at the right times.
These tools have taken personalisation into the realm of hyper-personalisation. The fact that many of them are now automated only makes them more powerful, allowing email marketers to break through the clutter, ultimately improving their conversion rates and ROI.
Triggered emails and AI
Another powerful tool that automation has given marketers is the triggered email. According to Campaign Monitor, over 75% of email revenue is generated by triggered campaigns.
Triggered emails are fired by specific actions taken by website visitors – the most obvious example is a welcome email when someone subscribes to your service or newsletter. But just because these emails are automated, doesn’t mean you can pay less attention to them. Email first impressions count just as much as they do in real life.
Additionally, they should be executed based on your customers’ behaviours and interactions. Here, artificial intelligence really comes into play, allowing customers to access the right offer and message at the right time, when the customer expects it.
Text and authenticity
The final trend I’d like to talk about is less an evolution and more a move back to a simpler way of doing things. Over the past few years, email has become increasingly visual, with graphics and even video a part of the new norm. While that’s great in principle, it can sometimes feel overly slick and produced.
As organisations look to forge more authentic relationships with their customers, we may see a step back from that. Instead, brands may revert to more text-based messages that feel personalised and less “salesy”.
Of course, this doesn’t apply to all emails. There are instances where games, competitions, GIFs, and VUE GIFS (think 3D) will drive more engagement and, ultimately, conversions.
Implement, implement, implement
Ultimately, while it’s important to know about these trends, it’s far more important to implement them and do so immediately. Get it right and you’ll reap serious rewards, fail to do so and all you’ve done is read another trends piece.
Feature image: jaymantri via Pexels (CC0)