10 Email Marketing Predictions for 2018
Email is one of the most reliable tools for marketers around the world – but just because it’s a mainstay doesn’t mean you don’t need to update your knowledge and understanding of how it works from time to time. Unless your email marketing tactics evolve along with the changing trends, you risk getting left behind by your competitors. It’s important to always think about what changes the future of email marketing might hold so that you can adapt your marketing strategy as needed. Here are 10 changes in the world of email marketing that we predict you’re going to see in 2018.
1. Email Newsletters Will Grow in Popularity
The email newsletter has long been a popular way of reaching consumers. But in 2018, you can expect to see this format grow in popularity even more. People love having snippets of news delivered right to their inbox – it’s an easy way to filter out all the noise of online content and focus in on the good stuff. The challenge is to create a compilation of smart, engaging and relevant information that your audience will want to devour.
2. Real-Time Emails
Micro-moments are already becoming a huge thing on social media – but in 2018, we might see that shift to email as well. Customers are beginning to expect brands to cater to their needs with information delivered to the right place at the right time. We can already see this happening on Facebook and Instagram – you can probably recall a time when you’ve shopped online for a particular item only to see that same brand or item pop up as an ad a few hours later. Imagine the power of transferring that kind of instant advertising to email? Consumers could get a message in their inbox with a 20 percent off code after having done online research for a potential purchase. It’s a great way to connect to customers who are right at the point of purchase. After all, 96 percent of users reach for their smartphones to conduct the required research.
Video is getting huge, and that is starting to apply to emails as well. People love visually rich and interactive elements that tell a story or convey a message. It’s a great way to differentiate your brand and leave a lasting impression on your customers. YouTube has more 18 and above users during peak TV hours than any cable TV network – that means people are consuming videos online. We predict that emails will feature a lot more embedded videos and links to videos rather than written content in 2018.
4. Customer-Centric Content
Emails are going to get even more personalized and customer-centric in the coming year. Gone are the days of the generic form letter and the “Dear Valued Customer” intro. Recipients will expect individualized messages that provide the information that matters to them when they need it. This kind of “smart content” is going to be a big game-changer in 2018.
5. Content Developers on the Rise
Instead of just piecing together emails and newsletters haphazardly, we predict a rise in the use of content developers for email marketing. This means hiring experienced writers who can craft unique and creative content that will strike a chord with your audience. Content developers are well-versed in creating material that facilitates conversation and provides meaningful info – great for conversion rates.
6. Extra Responsive
Responsive design is already pretty much mandatory, with 78 percent of email users accessing their mail on a mobile device. But in 2018, we will see email getting even more responsive. You’ll no longer see emails that look like they were squeezed onto your smartphone screen or messages that are cumbersome to scroll through on mobile. Email marketers are going to get super-savvy when it comes to sending responsive messages that are tailored for the mobile platform.
7. Influencers Emerge
Influencers are already an extremely popular way of getting a brand’s message across on social platforms, but this year we may see them cropping up in email marketing campaigns too. Influencers are thought leaders and established celebrities whose “influence” can help develop a positive word-of-mouth and brand awareness through the organic reach they have with their own audience. Brands could start building alliances with influencers who then use their own email list to recommend products and services in a way that feels natural and not spammy.
8. Putting Data to Work
The right data can mean everything for your email marketing campaigns. We are going to see a big rise in the way companies are using data to make emails even more personalized, timely and just generally smarter. The business world is getting better and better at making sense of the massive amounts of data available to us.
9. More Automation
Marketers are going to get even more obsessed with automated and triggered emails. For many brands, triggered emails such as welcome emails and cart abandonment emails already account for the majority of email marketing revenue, but we’re going to see this trend increase even further. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to better engage subscribers.
Staying timeless is going to be a big trend in 2018. Trends come and go, but it’s important to stay true to quality and style, like the great designers of the past. As Coco Chanel said, “Fashion changes, but style endures.” Brand communication in emails is likely to steer in the direction of timelessness instead of getting carried away with the undercurrent of politics and current events that we saw in 2017.