When we talk about mainstays in the marketing toolkit, email is a no-brainer; but the audience is evolving with every passing year and marketers need to evolve along. Let’s take a look at some of the top email marketing trends for 2018:
Times have changed (remarkably) over the past few decades and so have your audience. Gone are the times when sending newsletters could do the job; now customers want to be noticed, they want to be talked to, they want to be felt important. Email automation is often wrongly perceived as spamming people with auto-generated emails that lack personalisation and signify the absence of the human factor, but that’s precisely what email automation is NOT. The fact that email messages dispatched via an automation system average over 152 percent higher click-through rates and 70 percent higher open rates compared to the usual business marketing messages speaks volumes in this regard.
As opposed to newsletters where you just reach out to your clientele once a week/month, email automation allows you to send personalised messages to particular individuals upon the person meeting a specific trigger. For example: You are Google and whenever somebody makes a new Gmail account, you send them an email saying “Hi!” No matter what the size of your company or your email list be, it’s inefficient for a marketer to manually send everybody emails and this is where email automation saves the day. By doing this, you not only flourish your relationship with your customer but you also streamline the sales funnel. By sending the right message at the right moment, you enhance your chances of engagement and transform your customers into potential brand advocates.
Over the past few years, many small and big businesses have harnessed the power of sophisticated email marketing software to automate the sending of emails and 2018 looks set to make the numbers rise even more.
Making emails interact more:
We all are guilty of deleting emails without reading them when they don’t captivate us at first sight. With lives moving so fast, we can’t blame our customers for not wanting to read mediocrely carved emails; however, the designer or the email marketing software can be held accountable.
Interactive emails, as considered by many experts, is no longer a luxury but a necessity. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that during 2017, enhancing email interactivity was a hot topic among the experts. It’s prudent to believe that we will see significant design and interactivity improvements in the realms of email towards the end of the coming year. With a more aesthetically laid out email, you enhance your chances of wowing the subscriber and honestly, what else do you want?
Even the small things can make a difference; the idea is to make the email stand out and speak to the customer’s heart. Here are a few things you can try, come 2018:
- An image carousel is not hard to implement and can add to the dynamic aspects of your email. There is a multitude of benefits you can reap via this including the ability of showcasing multiple products (beautifully). However, keep in mind that the overuse of images can create email deliverability and performance issues. For images to be a successful part of your email, make sure not to send emails that entirely consist of images and to always provide Alt Text and Title Text for your images. Also, image files should be kept small and compressed in order to reduce load times.
- Integrated forms can be experimented with. Customers often hate when an email takes them to another webpage that has to load before they can put in the information. Why not provide them with the ability to take action from the email body itself?
- Add personalisation by collecting information from your customers via surveys and feedback forms as frequently as possible. Getting to know your customers on a personal level will make it easier to tailor your emails to their needs and to engage them with personalised offers and experiences.
Big Data and email personalisation:
Wherever you might be looking at an email marketing best practises list, you will always find personalised emails in the mix. In the current world, it’s not difficult (or expensive) to add a new server anywhere in the world and collect multitudes of data but it’s an uphill task to determine actionable observations from the collected data.
Even though, big data analysis is still a luxury most enjoyed by huge companies, in the future it’s expected to become a more commonly used facility. By using the prowess of big data, a company can find information about customer engagement and preferences that can allow you to personalise the way you communicate with your subscribers. Some companies use advanced technologies to analyse billing data, web logs and social media data to predict when a customer is about to cancel a subscription.
HTML5 videos in emails:
Yes, an image can speak a thousand words, but a video clip can multiply the amount of said words by thousands, if not more. As of now, there aren’t many email clients that give the support for embedded videos but because iOS 10 now supports HTML5 video format, it’s expected that many of its competitors are soon going to follow. So for your email marketing strategy for next year, don’t forget about videos!
Obviously embedded videos will make emails more fun, engaging and attractive. Think about the possibilities: including how-to videos, introducing a new product or just a few words of advertisement can go a long way in boosting customer engagement. Even though animated gifs are used as worthy substitutes for videos, 2018 should welcome the possibility of seeing HTML5 videos embedded in many emails.
Omnichannel email marketing:
Omnichannel marketing allows a business to bring together all of the experiences – from physical stores to online websites, inclusive of everything from in-app and social communications to email – in to one un-seamed, cohesive user experience. When we talk about putting everything in one pot, email is the main ingredient.
It’s safe to say that having a productive omnichannel strategy without email is next to impossible. Email still remains the most important digital communication platform and integrating it with your social media among other modes of user experience will be of paramount importance in the coming years. By knowing user preferences and desires, marketers can send more personalised emails that almost guarantee enhanced user engagement.
How do experts see email marketing evolving in the years to come?
While times are destined to change in 2018, according to email marketing experts they are going to change even more over the coming years. Here are a few things that they expect to see:
- Bulk emails will have become completely obsolete. While many small and large businesses have turned their backs to the bulk email sending routine, it’s believed by many experts that it could pretty much go obsolete.
- Automisation will be improved, better reporting standards will be set and companies will see a huge bump in their sales with seamless CRM integrations becoming a norm. Platforms like Act! Premium and Act! emarketing already provide state-of-the-art customer management and email marketing solutions and it will be exciting to see what the future will hold.
- Most of the businesses will have adapted email automation and personalised email generation. Even though many large enterprises already use automated emails to communicate with their subscribers, it can be foreseen that a vast majority of the small businesses will move along the same lines.
- The strength of email marketing is still not at its fullest but one thing is for sure; it will have exponentially grown from where it stands today.
Email marketing will never stop being the primary digital communication channel for small and large businesses alike; in order to keep up with the changing trends of the e-marketing world, digital marketers need to keep implementing improved strategies to ensure better customer engagement.