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A new year brings time to reflect on the past year and plan for even bigger things to come. At Campaign Monitor, that means taking inventory of our email marketing successes and mistakes and digging deep into research while we make goals for 2019.

Since we thought you’re probably in a similar mindset around this time of year, we thought we’d ask some of our team leads to share what they think you can expect in the year ahead. Here’s what they said:

1. Transparency will continue to be important.

“There’s a growing need to provide transparency for privacy concerns. GDPR should not be a cautionary tale, but a wake up call for the entire marketing industry,” says Akerho Oghoghomeh, Campaign Monitor’s VP of Brand Strategy.

If we were choosing the biggest event in email marketing for 2018, GDPR would take the cake. Adopted by the European Union as a means of protecting user privacy, GDPR—Global Data Protection Regulation—took official effect on May 25, 2018, and it will continue to change the way we view permissions and transparency in the email marketing industry.

2. The one thing to set brands apart? Personalization.

Oghoghomeh went on to say, “We need to find a way to celebrate the email’s ability to be more personalized than any other marketing tactic when used to its fullest capability.”

Some of the ways we plan to do this at Campaign Monitor are by looking at behavioral data and sending our customers emails that include dynamic content.

See how Strava sends personalized fitness statistics to users after they workout:

3. Asking for permission is a must.

Our Services Team Lead Elizabeth Duffey is constantly working with customers to improve their email marketing, and we couldn’t write this post without asking what she thinks is on the horizon for 2019.

“Permission is going to be huge. With GDPR and inboxes getting more sophisticated with their algorithms, it’s harder than ever to get in and stay in the inbox. You should never trick people into signing up for your emails or assume they want to be on it, instead, offer a valuable incentive and commit to providing helpful content to people that choose to be on your list,” she said.

“This will go on long way toward maintaining a healthy list and the long-term success of your email program.”

4. Knowing your customers’ needs is invaluable.

“Personalization has long been the holy grail for marketers, email and otherwise,” said Cody Bender, Chief Product Officer for Campaign Monitor.

“Everyone knew that your results improved as you got closer to that 1:1 conversation in market, but the first hurdle was knowing what your customers cared about and engaged with.”

See how Uber Eats uses personalization to include location-specific recommendations:

Image: Really Good Emails

5. Artificial Intelligence will make our lives easier…

Bender continued, “As behavioral data became more accessible and ubiquitous the conversation shifted to ‘I’ve got the data, but I don’t have the time, resources, or knowledge to do everything that I could do with it to engage my customers…

AI changes all that because it can make optimal decisions for marketers in real time and at massive scale. For marketers who are willing to cede some of the control, allowing machine learning to adjust their outreach to match the tastes and needs of customers is the fastest way to account for the bulk of their audience.”

6. …But we’ll still need to be just as creative and strategic.

“There will still be a need for marketers to be creative and test other strategies around the edges, with the outcomes being introduced as options for AI to test to the remainder of the customer base,” Bender added.

Wrap up

From GDPR to Artificial Intelligence, it looks like 2019 is going to be an exciting year for email marketing. As you’re planning ahead for the months to come, keep these key themes and trends in mind as you continue to revamp and improve the messages you send to your customers.

What are your predictions for 2019? Tell us in the comments!

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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