Posted on March 1, 2019 by Kristen Traynor
Businesses continue to create inbound campaigns around e-mail marketing. It’s important to understand and take advantage of e-mail marketing trends in 2019 if you want to keep your inbound campaigns fresh and your marketing messages relevant.
Is the time-tested tactic still as successful as it was a decade ago, or should you rethink your company’s e-mail marketing strategy?
E-mail Marketing Tactics Change, But Goals Stay the Same
Marketers have utilized e-mail messages to promote products, advertise services, and attract customers almost as long as people have been able to send them. These underlying goals for successful e-mail marketing campaigns (promote, advertise, and attract) still hold true, even if tactics to reach them continue to evolve.
The number of worldwide e-mail users is expected to grow to 2.9 billion by the end of 2019, and one in five companies report an e-mail marketing ROI of 70:1. It’s only natural that marketers support e-mail marketing as a viable inbound strategy for the last fifty years.
E-mail Marketing Trends and Tactics for 2019
Today, users are tech savvy and quick to catch on to brand intentions. A colorful e-mail template and a discount sales promotion don’t carry the marketing weight they used to. Fortunately, e-mail marketing tactics that can help your brand in 2019 are easy to implement. Here’s what you should be doing with your campaigns.
1. Automated Segmentation and Targeting
Targeted segmentation has long been the bread and butter of reaching different customers, and segmentation is more intricate than ever. Blanket e-mails are old news, and it’s in your best interests to dial in your segmentation as finely as possible.
Automating your segmentation and targeting is a great way to put the right message in front of the right set of eyes at the right time.
Modern e-mail marketing tools make segmenting and targeting customers easy, whether it’s sending a promotional message to a segmented group at a certain time of day or a follow-up e-mail to a website visitor. Smart targeting and automated segmentation are also useful when A/B testing different design features or promotional messages and can help you focus on what works and what doesn’t for future campaigns.
2. Storytelling and Personalization
Remember, blanket e-mail campaigns just don’t work like they used to. Instead, e-mail marketers use segmentation and targeting to send personalized messages that connect with customers on a more human level.
What sells today is honesty and brand authenticity, which means that storytelling and personalization are the new “on sale” promotions you should adapt. Have fun with your brand voice, mention the reader’s first name in your message, and tailor e-mail content to appeal to emotions.
You don’t want one-and-done customers who buy something and never return. You want customers who tune in to every e-mail to learn more about company culture and who are genuinely invested in your brand’s success. You can earn this kind of loyal customers over time with quality content and through strong e-mail marketing.
3: Artificial Intelligence
Brand leaders are learning to utilize artificial intelligence in ways that help save time, limit resource waste, and optimize business practices. Hand in hand with automated segmentation/targeting and personalization is the use of AI in e-mail marketing.
E-mail marketing is primed for AI implementation, with e-mail marketing automation expected to reach $2.9 billion globally by 2025. Why? Because AI is getting better at doing what e-mail marketers do—personalization and segmentation.
Artificial intelligence algorithms are quick to pick up on trends and patterns in user behavior, and AI-influenced programs can help marketers take advantage of these trends and patterns to tailor content and e-mail marketing campaigns.
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Interactive e-mail design promotes engagement and helps guide readers toward desired actions. You don’t have to use flashy or graphic-heavy design templates to coax customers to convert if your e-mail campaigns are crafted with interactivity.
Interactive e-mail design elements could include:
Interactivity isn’t necessarily a new tactic, but it’s one that will see a boost in e-mail marketing in 2019. It’s an effective way to personalize content while gathering valuable user data.
6: Plain-Text over HTML
Promotional, graphic-heavy e-mails look too much like spam to marketing-savvy customers. Your messages are more likely to be deleted by readers without a second glance if you rely too heavily on these kinds of traditional templates this year.
Smart marketers are reverting back to plain-text e-mails over HTML-driven templates because they look and feel more personal (notice a theme here). Customers have been exposed to colorful, highly-designed e-mail templates long enough to feel the fatigue.
Simple, personal, plain-text e-mails are your best bet if you want your marketing messages read this year.
7: Mobile Optimization
Mobile, mobile, mobile—it’s a mantra that you need to adopt. Mobile phone usage is expected to cross the 5 billion user mark in 2019, which means your e-mail messaging needs to be readable on mobile devices. Period.
You instantly lose readers and potential customers if your marketing message is lost in translation because your e-mails aren’t displaying properly on mobile devices.
The less you leave to chance as far as template design and mobile optimization is concerned, the better. This is another reason marketers are shifting from HTML-heavy e-mails to plain-text.
Teaching an Old E-mail Marketing Strategy New Tricks
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel for your e-mail marketing campaigns to succeed, but it’s crucial you re-evaluate your tactics moving forward in 2019. There’s no reason your e-mail marketing campaigns shouldn’t help promote, advertise, and attract this year if you take the time to learn what works, what doesn’t, and why.