Email marketing is experiencing resurgence not only in popularity, but also success. It’s an incredibly powerful tool – when done well. There are an eye-watering 3.7 billion email users worldwide today, with figures looking to grow to a whopping 4.3 billion over the next 3 years. However, even those numbers aren’t the most important. The DMA’s National Client Email Report showed that email marketing has an ROI of 3800%. Yes, you read that correctly.
So what does ‘doing it well’ mean for email marketing now? Here we unveil the top 10 email marketing trends which are proving most powerful in 2019:
1. Goodbye selling, hello nurturing
Email marketing trips up when it goes down the sales route. Your customers receive hundreds of emails a day. Another selling one will be dispatched to the junk folder faster than you can say ‘hello’.
2019 needs to be the year where you make a tangible shift in the approach you take to email marketing campaigns. Move from a sales-y feel to one where you nurture the loyalty of your customers. They need to feel like you want and need them, not an aggressive sell.
Email marketing is ideal for building relationships because it can be a drip feed of loveliness. This keeps leads hot and keeps you fresh in the mind of your customer so that they themselves can make the decision about when to act. Without the aggressive sell they are more likely to make that decision sooner and more frequently.
Email marketing in 2019 is about building trust and the age old saying applies: hard to build, easy to lose.
2. Customer experience email marketing
Closely related to this is the growth of customer experience email marketing. Email newsletters are used throughout the customer experience (or lifecycle) in a highly customer-orientated way.
Your goal here is to use your email newsletters in a way which exceeds the customer’s expectations. To do this you need to think about your customer’s goals and objectives, not yours. In meeting theirs, you’ll find yours get met more easily.
When planning each email campaign, ask yourself repeatedly: how does this support the customer’s experience?
We’ve got to grips with personalisation (names in the subject field, anyone?) but now we need to take it to the next level. Your readers are getting ever savvier and they can feel that your blundering attempts at personalisation still feel a little less than smooth.
Hyper-personalisation isn’t just about name-dropping and remembering their birthday. It’s about understanding your audience and giving them the solution they didn’t even realise they needed. In real terms, it’s about providing the illusion that you know them personally.
There are a number of different ways to do this. Acting on location information is a winner. Purchase history is another juicy titbit of information which you can use. Hyper-segmentation can also help you when it comes to the practicalities.
4. Privacy and data protection
The GDPR was far from a one-hit wonder. It’s here to stay and strongly shapes our approach to email marketing. The trick is to turn this on its head and instead of viewing it as a loss, view it as an opportunity – because it is.
With customers rightly gaining more control over their data, this means that when they do choose to share it with you, it’s really powerful stuff. It’s a declaration of trust and you need to use it well. If you can demonstrate that you take their privacy and data protection seriously, they will become loyal to your brand.
Give them some tangible control through offering self-selection in terms of email campaigns. Don’t just request they sign up but give them options to know what they are signing up for.
5. Content and what it looks like
Content is king in many ways, but certainly so when it comes to email marketing. It’s tempting to throw every snazzy graphic you can at your email newsletters and think you’re doing the right thing. Wrong.
Whilst plain text is dull and uninspiring, you need to strike a balance. Too graphic and image heavy and your reader will quickly view it as generic and impersonal. Instead, use the content of the email carefully to tell a story, craft a message, which doesn’t look like marketing spam.
Another trick is to make things interactive. Embedded videos and questionnaires are becoming more popular.
We have the capacity to collect oodles of data. Assuming you’ve ticked the boxes for consent, your next issue is what you do with all this delicious information.
By choosing Postman email marketing software, you can use juicy data to automate email newsletter campaigns. The result is a more strategic approach to email campaigns. Instead of ‘spamming’ the world, you can tailor emails to the particular needs of a target. This targeted automation can be hugely powerful.
To understand this, think about Amazon for the minute. You make a purchase or two and its algorithms do a pretty good job of predicting what you might like to buy next. That’s automation at work. You may not have the same resources as Amazon, but you do have tools like Postman to use the data you do have. So make use of it.
This is a little like harking back to primary school maths: if this happens then we do this. So Customer Joe Bloggs does action X, you automatically send them email Y. It’s about matching timing and message for a powerful punch.
This matters because targeted emails can increase profits by up to 18% and could account for 58% of earnings.
7. Branding is getting more and more important
We’ve known for a while that branding is immensely powerful in email marketing. However, this trend is continuing with full force. This is because with the increased exposure to email marketing campaigns of all types, customers are becoming more adept at spotting brand authenticity.
The upshot of this in terms of email marketing campaigns is that you need to have absolute crystal clarity regarding your brand when it comes to emails. A customer should look at a new email from you and feel like they are coming home: the look, tone of voice, calls to action, imagery should all feel familiar – they should feel like you.
If something isn’t working, refine it gradually over time. Make changes slowly.
8. Nothing’s linear
It’s not so long ago that we were a little restricted and had to wedge our customers into set profiles or send them off down a linear marketing path. The reality is that it didn’t really work and created copious chances for the customer to leave because they didn’t feel understood.
Fortunately, technology is catching up with what we actually want which means we don’t necessarily have to treat our customers with a one-size-fits-all approach based on one single action. We can have them hop about from campaign to campaign based on real-time information.
This involves us, to some degree, throwing out the imagery of a ‘funnel’. Instead we need to offer the message they want at multiple touchpoints.
9. Artificial intelligence – it’s trying, it’s coming
There have been some pretty big leaps in terms of AI and marketing. However, adoption is still relatively low and there is a whole raft of barriers to entry. 2019 may not be the year we see it takes off by storm in email marketing, but it’s definitely the year we need to make sure it’s on our radar.
AI stands to be the way that many of the shifting trends of email marketing will ultimately be managed on the ground, so it’s important to know it is coming.
10. Integrating your approaches
Email marketing doesn’t sit in a vacuum. It sits alongside every other marketing endeavour you do from social media campaigns to leaflet drops and blog posts. They all need to be singing to the same tune.
It’s therefore really important for the rest of 2019 that you make sure all of your different marketing channels are integrated with one another. Link relevant content, enable the reader to use different touchpoints, yet still convey the same personality and message.
Embrace the email marketing trends 2019 and you’ll find that you scoot ahead in terms of customer relationships and yes, ultimately, sales. This is the way you ‘do’ email marketing right.