Email has become a ubiquitous communication platform that marketers have jumped on to reach their target audiences. Most brands understand that an email marketing strategy is crucial. However, many don’t grasp the mindset of today’s savvy buyers, who aren’t impressed by a one-size-fits-all approach.
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As internet technology and email access shift with new devices and standards, businesses must update and optimize their email marketing strategies to keep up.
According to Statista, there will be 4.6 billion global email users by 2025. The communication medium is a no-brainer for brands seeking to reach their target customers directly. However, capturing the attention of qualified leads isn’t easy. Content must strike a delicate balance between sharing valuable information and pointing people toward your brand.
“The key has been properly managing email content that is educational and serves the reader with helpful information and promotional emails that lead to your product or service,” explained Crystal Sheffield-Baird, strategic content storyteller at Crystal Clear Storytelling. “Too much promotion and people will unsubscribe; not enough and people will forget what your business is about, and they won’t become customers.”
Brands need a personalized approach to engage consumers and must adopt technological advances to maximize conversions. Consider the following email marketing trends and predictions to create a successful email marketing strategy that engages consumers, converts leads, and boosts brand awareness.
As in most industries, machine learning, artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing are shifting the email marketing landscape, enabling marketing automation that tailors messages to an intended audience based on customer data.
Whether your email marketing strategy targets individuals or other businesses, one thing remains certain: People want to feel like their specific needs and interests are being met. People are more likely to delete emails that are overly promotional or unrelated to their interests. They may even mark these messages as spam.
Here’s some expert advice on personalizing your email marketing messages:
Today, email services are generally relegated to a specific application or web address. However, email marketing experts believe more interactive emails will take the industry by storm.
For example, we could start seeing emails that look and operate like miniature web experiences. With features like enticing video content, interactive CTAs (calls to action), and in-email instant messaging, email marketing materials could become portals to products or services for customers.
“The more interactive you can make something, the more people look forward to using it,” explained Zarar Ameen, CEO of CANZ Marketing. “There’s tons of space for email marketing to grow in terms of interactivity.”
Interactive emails could increase customer engagement and click-through rates, eventually converting more customers. Combined with AI technology, Lewis said, interactive components could “pull user-generated content into emails dynamically, creating more compelling storytelling and increasing read and engagement rates.”
Everybody loves a good story. If your small business has one, your email marketing should share it. Tasmin Lockwood, tech reporter at Business Insider, says customers want to cement their brand relationships, and email newsletters are an excellent way to do so.
Sending newsletters helps consumers connect to your business. “[Newsletters] give insight to employees, culture, social consciousness and plans for the future,” Lockwood explained. “As a result, the customer feels like they are on a journey alongside the company.”
Lockwood says email newsletters don’t have to be about your business exclusively. They can share industry news, tips and pertinent advice, cementing your brand as an expert source of information. “This keeps existing customers in the funnel, represents value-added content for new prospects, and generally keeps customers engaged without having to go to your site,” Lockwood noted.
Customers are more likely to buy products that other people recommend. When you include user-generated content in your marketing emails, you demonstrate that actual people buy what you sell. More importantly, you show that consumers enjoy your product enough to share it with the world.
To obtain quality user-generated content, set up a system that automatically sends emails after purchases asking customers to leave reviews with photos. You can include these reviews and photos in your emails to leads. You won’t have to pay any extra money for this content, making it a great form of free email marketing.
Data privacy regulations like the GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act reflect increasing customer concerns over data privacy. This trend is sure to gain additional traction moving forward.
Addressing your customers’ privacy concerns can be as straightforward as stating that your emails adhere to Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance and GDPR standards. You should also send emails whenever you change your privacy terms. These updates — and every email — should come with opt-out opportunities. This way, if customers feel uncomfortable with your data practices, they can unsubscribe and safeguard their information.
The best email marketing software can help your business face the future of email marketing. When you’re evaluating email marketing software and services, ensure they provide crucial features like email triggering, segmentation and database maintenance tools. You want to be ready to reach your audience in creative, effective ways that leverage the latest technology.
Consider the following email marketing solutions that leverage personalization and the latest trends:
With the right tools, your business will be prepared for the future of email marketing and reaching your audience in new, creative and effective ways.
Tejas Vemparala and Max Freedman contributed to this article. Source interviews were conducted for a previous version of this article.