With 2018 at a close, marketers can sit back and take a good look at every email campaign they sent over the past year. Chances are, some tactics you tried worked while others might have flopped. A new year brings new opportunities along with a fresh start to get things right. And while that new gym membership might go unused after January, there’s no reason your New Year’s resolutions for your 2019 email marketing should suffer the same fate.
Email and digital marketing, in general, are both extremely dynamic so it’s crucial for marketers to stay on top of what trends are coming in and moving out.
In this post, we’ll look at some of the biggest email trends for this upcoming year and provide some achievable resolutions for nailing your email marketing in 2019. Cheers!
7 New Year’s resolutions for your email marketing in 2019
We looked into some of the top upcoming trends of 2019 and then provided actionable advice with examples for you to take home. As always, remember to focus on using these tips to provide your subscribers with valuable and relatable content. Only then will every email campaign deliver the results you want.
1. Be smart and responsible with consumer data
You should, of course, be using data to send targeted, relevant information to your subscribers who want it most. And remember, consumers expect companies to put their needs first—so if you’re selling their information to make money, with little thought to how it will affect your consumers, expect them to make a clean break of your company.
However, people have become increasingly frustrated with how companies handle and manage their data. Trust in Facebook dropped 66% following the Cambridge Analytica scandal. That’s why it’s more important now than ever for companies to make good use of consumer data.
Not only is misusing data bad for building trust with your customers, but governments have started cracking down on how companies can collect information, what they do with it, and what they must disclose to consumers.
Early in 2018, for example, the European Union passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), setting an important precedent and other regulations will likely follow. Failure to meet compliance could leave you and the brands you represent facing massive legal fines and a reputation damaged beyond repair.
However, GDPR isn’t all doom and gloom for email marketers. Staying up to date on consumer data protection is just good for building trust with your subscribers.
2. Personalize every email campaign
77% of people from all age groups prefer email marketing for their permission-based advertising. For this reason, email marketing has a shockingly better ROI than social media advertising: $39.40 for every dollar spent on email compared to $12.90 for the same amount spent on social media.
People like email because it has the capacity to be more relevant to them than social media advertising. Plus, your subscribers are at least somewhat in control of their data and which advertisements end up in their inbox. If someone doesn’t want to hear from you anymore, they can simply click “unsubscribe” at the bottom of each email campaign you send.
Additionally, email service providers have made it extremely easy to add personalized merge tags to your campaigns. This allows you to use your subscribers’ real names in the subject line and throughout the body text.
In fact, personalized emails are essential for retaining customers you already have.
This email from Uber is super personalized based on consumer data collected throughout the year. It’s interesting and unique without delving into the creepy category because users already understand that Uber collects this type of data.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
3. Use artificial intelligence
Personalizing your subject line for your email campaigns is only half the battle. You also need to deliver hyper-relevant and valuable content to your subscribers.
Segmentation makes this possible without you even breaking a sweat. In fact, sending relevant emails through methods like segmentation can boost your revenue by a whopping 760%.
Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t going to take your job but it will make your job easier. Future AI will help you micro-segment every email campaign because it will pick up on subtle behavioral cues that humans miss. For marketers, this means more relevant content for every subscriber and better ROI for your brands.
It’s a win-win-win for everyone.
This email from Ugg appears to be segmented based on products the subscriber has viewed in the past to provide her with relevant products. AI will likely improve your ability to send hyper-relevant emails in the future.
Image Source: Milled
4. Utilize interactive email campaigns
Interactive emails serve two important purposes: collecting valuable data about your subscribers and boosting engagement. They’re just fun for subscribers to play around with.
You don’t need to send an interactive email campaign every week, but once every now and then for showcasing new products or services can make a huge impact on your subscribers.
Plus, this interactive email from Tom Raffield has a nice simple layout that encourages the subscriber to interact without providing too much copy to read.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
5. Incorporate some text-only emails, too
Meanwhile, some marketers still swear by old-school text-only emails.
And they have a point. Text-only emails have serious benefits when most emails your subscribers receive are busy and packed: Email clients are more likely to label your emails as spam or send them to the promotion folder if you include a ton of code. Plus, subscribers often claim they prefer text-only emails (although your analytics might tell a different story).
The point is to try different approaches with your subscribers and see what works for different segments of your audience. Test text-only emails along with interactive emails to see which delivers better results for different messages.
For instance, a text-only email containing a note from your CEO will probably perform better than a busy interactive email, depending on the type of message. Similarly, interactive emails probably work better for product announcements than simple plain-text.
Your subscribers will appreciate the variety.
6. Prepare for savvy spam filters
As AI takes off and email service providers boost the technology available to their clients, your subscribers’ email clients have to constantly improve their spam filters to ensure they’re blocking malicious emails.
Unfortunately, no one can predict how spam algorithms will change over the next year. Marketers can, however, do our best to send emails that comply with today’s email marketing best practices to avoid current spam filters and improve your deliverability.
One of the most important things you can do is enlist the help of a reputable email service provider. This will ensure that you’re sending emails from a trusted IP address and abiding by international anti-spam laws.
Stick with these other simple tips to keep your email marketing in 2019 clean:
- Never buy email lists or pay for subscribers.
- Include an unsubscribe link and physical address in every email.
- Avoid email campaigns that only consist of one large graphic without text.
- Test every email campaign before sending it to your entire list.
This email from the Royal Children’s Hospital Foundation contains a good balance of copy and images to avoid getting flagged by spam filters. Although it isn’t personalized, it makes an attempt to form a one-on-one conversation with the subscriber.
Image Source: Campaign Monitor
7. Always keep mobile users in mind
Over half of all emails are opened on mobile devices and that number will likely increase throughout 2019 and beyond. Not only that but these days, subscribers are opening emails multiple times before they finally decide whether or not to click-through and take action.
If your emails aren’t optimized for various mobile devices, you might as well not even bother sending them. People spend the equivalent of a full day on their phone each week. Some users might decide to re-open the email on a laptop or desktop but let’s face it: Mobile reigns supreme.
When in doubt, optimize and design your emails for mobile devices. Plain-text emails, for example, might be a better choice if you’re targeting subscribers reading emails on wearable devices because they can’t view the photos.
This email from Ringly contains plenty of graphics and links but appears to render well on any mobile device.
Image Source: Campaign Monitor
As always, the key to nailing email marketing in 2019 is to put your audience first. Use tools at your disposal like AI and other technology to send the best email campaign possible every time.
Trust us: Focusing on using your email marketing to build trust with your audience and deliver value straight to their inboxes will produce better results than simply focusing on your bottom line.
Address these resolutions this year and you can plan for a successful 2019!