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What are the objectives of your email marketing program?
Are you curious which marketing trends and tactics are the most effective to reach these objectives?
We have predictions from 12 leaders of email marketing space to help you set the foundation for your marketing in 2018.
Check the infographic and tweet and shout from the queens and kings of the email world!
For more detailed insights read through.
Email Marketing Trends Insights
Seamless customer experience, GDPR regulations and machine learning are not just some buzzwords but your ticket to stay ahead in a busy digital space. Dig in and get inspired by email marketing experts’ unique takes on what 2018 has to offer.
My prediction for 2018 is filter changes at the ISPs will drive senders away from email blasts and towards more segmented and personalized emails. These filtering changes are going to rewrite the deliverability rules as we know them.
Many of the deliverability ‘rules’ were written almost a decade ago: low complaints, low bounces, and high engagement were built into the infrastructure of the mid-‘00s. We’re now seeing major changes at ISPs. In 2017 Microsoft finished replacing the Outlook.com and Office 365 infrastructures with a new system incorporating features of both previous systems. OATH started the process of migrating AOL and Yahoo onto a common infrastructure. Both of these migrations, as well as the others that are less public, give ISPs the opportunity to rebuild their filters from the ground up using the lessons learned from 2 decades of email filtering.
The changes in deliverability ‘rules’ will make it harder for senders to monitor and address effectively across their whole mailing list. Smaller, more personalized segments will not only reach the inbox better, but will provide clearer metrics about what works and what doesn’t.
Filter changes at the ISPs will drive senders away from email blasts and towards more segmented and personalized emails. These filtering changes are going to rewrite the deliverability rules as we know them. @wise_laura #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
My top trend prediction for 2018 is that we email marketers will start to focus on customer experience. For far too long, we have had it easy - just being able to utilise the powerful push channel of email marketing to deliver our valuable information on services products the convenient way of buying online was enough - but not for much longer. It is now dawning on brand marketers that they will soon be competing, not only on price and customer service but also on customer experience, from start to finish. Email plays a crucial role in customer experience, as it often kick starts their journey.
An essential ingredient to success is the ability to embrace customer-centricity as being a core basis of our strategy, and look at the big picture, rather than being campaign-driven and focused, as most of us currently are. Whilst being campaign-focused enables us to easily track, measure and calculate ROI on a campaign by campaign basis, it can lead to delivering a disconnected and unsatisfying experience for the customer. We will begin to focus on the customer and their journey (customer-centric approach) rather than trying to connect the channels (brand-centric approach) to ‘make them work together’.
The future lies in us creating a robust strategy that allows for both approaches to work together. Encompassed within this move towards enhancing the customer experience is personalisation. I believe that moving forward, 1:1 personalisation using AI/machine learning will become commonplace and necessary for a brand, in order to be able to not only deliver the customer experience that the consumers are beginning to demand, but also so they’re not lagging in offering this experience, when their competitors are steps (and €€) ahead of them.
Consumers can not only be fickle, but they are also beginning to know what they like, and they like experiences that are easy, relevant and convenient. If your competitor offers an easier and more pleasant customer journey, and therefore an enhanced customer experience - you’ll be forced to compete drastically on price to gain your share of your customer’s wallet. It’s much easier (and cheaper) to compete on customer experience than on price.
We email marketers will start to focus on customer experience. An essential ingredient to success is the ability to embrace customer-centricity as being a core basis of our strategy. @kathpay #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
We have been witness of the up and coming of on-site interactions. When I say interactions, think about functionalities like guided tours, chatbots and slide-ins to promote the next best action. You know, those little boxes and circles as lay overs on your site to click on. It is pretty logical these are becoming more popular. You want action from your site visitors, right? On-site interactions are inevitably moving up from being a one-time help or chat with a site visitor, to become the starting point for a longer relationship. Companies are for instance using them to collect email opt-in, or promote their Facebook bot.
Afterward they are made to strengthen the relationship. Instead of trying to squeeze email in at every twist and turn of the customer journey, we will be more effective if deepening the marketing at high intent moments. After a click through in your email, continue the flow on the site by highlighting best next actions. These on-site interaction often come as plugins or part of marketing automation tool. Therefor are way easier to implement than building a complete personalised website. Both your site and email are telling a story. And it better be interactive.
Expect the combo of email and on-site interactions to take off. After a click through in your email, continue the flow on the site by highlighting best next actions. @jvanrijn #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
List Bombing was the new and nefarious way for bad actors to influence email delivery last year, temporarily shutting down some major ESPs. What will the hackers and pranksters be up to this year? I am not sure what the next tactic will be, but you can bet deliverability threats will continue in 2018.
Preemptively vetting a mailing list before sending can mitigate this risk and any other attempt to add bad, permission-less emails to your list. On-going monitoring of the customer email list should be the order of the day.
Email deliverability is a multi-faceted and layered process which has working parts that are the responsibility of the sender, the ISP and the ESP. So, what is the ESP doing to help you the sender get to the customer’s inbox? What is the ESP doing behind the scenes to make sure the platform stays free of bad actors?
This all matters for your message getting to the customer's inbox and positively influencing your bottom line.
List Bombing was the new and nefarious way for bad actors to influence email delivery last year, temporarily shutting down some major ESPs. Deliverability threats will continue in 2018. @gerald_marshall #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
The future is exciting for email marketers. Due to better marketing practices, better software, and better use of data, email is becoming more automated, more personalized, and more relevant. And with interactive features working their way into the inbox, the use of artificial intelligence taking off, as well as predictive marketing becoming more common, email's value will only continue to increase both for marketers and subscribers.
With interactive features working their way into the inbox, the use of artificial intelligence taking off, as well as predictive marketing becoming more common, email's value will only continue to increase. @AdamHoldenBache #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
Campaign orchestration, automation, and subscriber insight remain major MarTech drivers. At the same time, marketers have high expectations of artificial intelligence, which turns the ever-growing data collections efficiently into one-to-one personalization. Product recommendations and send time optimizations are just two widespread manifestations.
But collecting data has its price. And the price will go up next year. A challenge for 2018 is to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). After a two year transition period, the new legislation will become effective on 25 May 2018 to protect the personal data of about half a billion people in the European Union (EU). Many GDPR aspects are still open to interpretation: opt-ins from children, the validity of existing consents, how to provide sufficient proof etc. So companies have and will make mistakes.
For example in October, one well known ESP made single opt-in the default for all forms. Not only EU customers reacted with incomprehension. After all the region accounts for about one-fifth of the service provider’s mail volume. The outcry was particularly strong in Germany because courts only accept double opt-in as proof of consent. The service provider rowed back. Nevertheless, it indicates that the regulation is still far from being part of our flesh and blood.
I am excited to see how the tension between collecting and protecting data will be resolved in the next years.
Campaign orchestration, automation, and subscriber insight remain major MarTech drivers. At the same time a challenge for 2018 is to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). @lukeAnker #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
Creating and optimizing automated emails will be a major trend in 2018. Already, nearly 13% of brands already generate the majority of their email marketing revenue from automated emails, according to our 2017 State of Email Survey.
That number will only grow going forward because the timing and content of automated emails are hyper-relevant. If you’re not adding new triggered emails and expanding, updating, and A/B testing your existing ones, now is the time to dedicate more time to doing that.
Creating and optimizing automated emails will be a major trend in 2018. Already, nearly 13% of brands generate the majority of their email revenue from automated emails and that number will only grow. @chadswhite #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
Rapid rise in advanced triggered emails and (in-app, on-site or FB) messages to re-engage customers or prospects.
Besides being a SaaS entrepreneur I'm an online shopping addict too. No matter if I try a new B2B software or want to buy a trendy gadget online, I see the common traits clearly.
Every online business is trying to get a slice of my personal data and send me targeted emails, browser push-notifications, on-site/in-app messages or contact me through Facebook messenger to be able to re-engage with me in some way.
If I decide not to opt-in to any messaging they target me using Google or Facebook ads. There's just no escape from the funnel, right?
Since retargeting and event/time triggered campaigns are becoming a more integrated part of every marketing strategy I expect to be buzzed with 2-5x more emails and other targeted messages that aim to re-engage me in some way or another.
But when is it too much? When will people start fighting for their right to opt-out?
Since retargeting and event/time triggered campaigns are becoming a more integrated part of every marketing strategy I expect to be buzzed with 2-5x more emails that aim to re-engage. @chamaileon_io: #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
2018 will be witness to a phenomenal change with email marketing pushing towards machine learning and automated tools. With more and more email marketers mining data revolving around Market & Customer insights along with predictive analysis based on customer behavior, it is important that data is processed in a quick manner and implemented in an efficient way.
Integrating machine learning into your email marketing strategy means improved personalization, better list segmentation, and better email designs based on analysis of previous email metrics. With more and more email marketers adopting interactive elements such as navigation menu, collapsible carousel, fixed CTA and click-based keyframe animations to increase user engagement, machine learning can help you identify the percentage of subscribers who were able to see the interactivity.
We will witness a phenomenal change with email marketing pushing towards machine learning and automated tools. This means improved personalization, better list segmentation, and better email designs. @emailmonks #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
The upcoming GDPR regulations will completely change the approach to personal data protection. It will encourage marketers to look carefully at their own activities. In my opinion, many of them will realise how many issues they probably have and how much still has to be done. In practice, this forces brands and publishers to switch from email bulk to better email list segmentation. The purpose of good segmentation is not only to adjust the content of the messages, but above all the intensity of communication. Unfortunately, although we talk about it in FreshMail in a simple and clear manner, I still have the impression that many marketers think that it does not matter.
The strict legal regulations will also force marketers to change their approach to KPIs. In my opinion, the size of the email list is no longer important but its reactivity is crucial. Therefore, the content we send to recipients will become even more important. I believe that in the coming year, to achieve relevance, marketers will focus on machine learning, which will allow them to predict what the recipients of email marketing communication expect. Fortunately, the possibility of leveraging data currently processed by email marketing systems, as well as those stored in other places, is generally available and (hopefully) used. Already last year I spoke about this trend, and it continues. Thanks to the relatively lower prices of big data technology, we will be able to see complete ecosystems with data flow between webtracking, social media, BI, CRM or ERP systems and email marketing tools.
Upcoming GDPR regulations will push towards better segmentation. We will also continue to witness complete ecosystems with data flow between marketing tools due to lowering costs of big data. @pawelsala #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning aren’t new in the digital marketing world, but they are technologies that have finally started to make head way in 2017 within email marketing. Providing a new era of sophisticated email marketing – such technologies can analyse and interpret consumers behaviour and then provide alternative recommendations whilst aligning to an organisations brand values.
Email marketing can form the basis of a digital footprint by supplying a vast amount of behavioural data about a subscriber. However, being able to put that data to work remains a hurdle for 53% of email marketers who state that a ‘lack of data’ and ‘data silos’ remains a big challenge in providing a personalised experience (DMA Marketer Tracker Report, 2017). AI and machine learning can remove this hurdle and take the guess work out by analysing an unlimited amount of data that would take several years for a human to analyse and provide recommendations. Delivering the right content in the right context remains king in the digital experience, with 75% consumers more likely to buy from retailers that provide personalisation (Accenture: Personalisation Pulse Check Survey 2016).
The sophisticated AI and machine learning tools available will determine the subject lines, copy and calls-to- action recipients are most likely to respond to. As a result, the email doesn’t only have improved marketing performance, but also relevant and intelligently personalised experience for the subscriber. When reviewing your email marketing strategy, ensure your activity is focused on the customer by understanding what they are and are not responding to in your current campaigns.
Define the ‘why’ in your email strategy and then determine how you are going to achieve the objective. Ensure that the technology will help you fulfil your subscribers needs, rather than focusing on what the technology can achieve. These are the foundations of creating a successful email strategy.
A great example of a brand that is reaping rewards from utilising AI within their email marketing strategy is Domino’s. Although Domino’s is a global brand, they still face fierce competition in the inbox. As a result, the marketing team wanted to increase their email performance whilst maintaining relevancy for the subscriber. They used Phrasee’s AI tool to hone in on what makes their audience tick and after 2 months of calibration, they are already achieving fantastic results:
- 26% uplift in opens
- 57% uplift in clicks
- 753% uplift in ROI
Brands that continue to struggle to provide any form of personalisation are going to switch consumers off with irrelevant messaging and the brands that can enhance the customer’s experience by utilising both AI and machine learning will be the one’s to win in 2018.
Let the machine do the talking! AI and machine learning tools will analyse and interpret consumers behaviour and then provide alternative recommendations whilst aligning to an organisations brand values. @JennaTiffany #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
Email will continue to evolve with interactive elements, like Live Content, AI, HTML5, and great coding hacks (from the likes of awesome developers such as Mark Robbins, Elliot Ross, Jaina Mistry, et. al.)
This will be the catalyst for more personal email allowing deeper and more frequent data collection to evolve. This methodology creates a foundation for a more holistic email approach that considers all consumer experiences, from the web, brick & mortor, through social, etc., creating a symbiotic relationship that integrates learning across channels to make email dynamic, nimble, but above all else, personally relevant.
Previously, this may have been enveloped in that over and mis-used term "omnichannel", but, let's take the confusion out of it and think holistic email marketing. Also to note, the term "personalized" is no where to be found. That was so 7 years (or more!) ago :)
Email will continue to evolve with interactive elements, like Live Content, AI, HTML5, and great coding hacks. This will be the catalyst for more personal email allowing better data collection to evolve. @e_Maven #emailmarketing trend 2018 Click to Tweet
Tweet & Shout Email Marketing Trends
Leaders of #emailmarketing space share their #2018trend @wise_laura @kathpay @jvanrijn @gerald_marshall @adamholdenbache @lukeAnker @chadswhite @chamaileon_io @emailmonks @pawelsala @jennatiffany @e_maven Click to Tweet