More valuable tools and technologies are to come for marketers this 2019, but it will only serve you well if you understand what lies in the future for email marketing
There are around 3.7 billion email users in the world today, with the figure likely to grow to 4.3 billion by 2022. This makes email marketing a viable strategy to put your efforts into, especially as the ROI for it is around 3,800%. It also remains an important source of information for B2B companies.
No matter how useful email marketing is for your digital outreach, it still doesn’t warrant unwanted emails. According to a survey by DMA Insights, 53% of consumers say that they receive too many irrelevant emails from companies.
More valuable tools and technologies are to come for marketers this 2019, but it will only serve you well if you understand what lies in the future for email marketing.
The non-linear funnel
Advancements in technology have given birth to new marketing tools, changing the buyer’s journey forever. Before, we believed that prospects go through a cone - they start at the top where they either learn more about the product and service or opt out, moving down to the slimmer bottom half where they then close the deal.
Today, technology has created multiple touchpoints, allowing us to gather leads at any point in the journey. Email became and will continue to be an excellent tool for nurturing leads at any stage.
Nurturing over selling
Speaking of leads, you now understand that they can come in at any point of their purchasing process, but the fact remains that they need to be nurtured. It’s long been proven that aggressive email marketing does not help - in fact, you will start being a nuisance and your emails will likely be ignored.
However, it’s also true that leads can grow cold if you use bad tactics. Find a balance between being informative and moving them to the purchasing stage. Instead of hard-selling, focus on sending out helpful content so customers have more reasons to trust you. In 2019, email marketing should be a tool to nurture leads and maintain strong relationships.
Automation isn’t just about making tasks easier to handle. For instance, automated email campaigns are helping marketers create personalized messages for specific and targeted audiences.
This is done by creating targeted workflows that are triggered by user engagement or behavior and are not dependent on marketers choosing a time to send out messages. This means that your prospects and clients only get messages that are relevant or of interest to them, at the right time.
A recent survey reported that targeted emails might likely generate half of a company’s email marketing revenue, as opposed to non-targeted ones. In addition, HubSpot said that targeted emails could account for 58% of earnings and increase profits up to 18% more.
With these numbers, expect targeted campaigns to be even more targeted, as email marketing continues to become smarter, engaging only with audiences who find value in it.
The pitfall of automation is that your message may come across as robotic. If it does, people won’t read it, no matter how informative you think it is for them. That’s where the human touch - personalization - comes in; your audience still wants authentic connections with brands.
Personalization is not just about knowing your audience by name or having an over-the-top design: it’s about providing solutions before they even know about it. It’s about making your customers feel like you know them personally.
When reaching out to your audience, use location information, purchase history or any other data that can clue you in on their next actions. Take advantage of predictive analysis, as well.
Integrating with other marketing channels
Much like the different departments in your agency, your digital marketing channels should be incorporated to work on shared goals. For your future campaigns, use email marketing to link to your blogs and social media accounts that may contain relevant images, videos and content. Recognize it as a channel to maximize your business goals.
Interactive and text-only emails
The days of plain-text emails may be long gone but marketers are seeing a shift in consumer preference when it comes to emails. Experts have found that most users appreciate text-only emails that do not overuse HTML styles because they better "resemble a personal message that comes from a family member or friend," and seem less sales-oriented.
This shift may likely be the result of email marketing filling inboxes with advertisements that look spammy.
Text-only emails are starting to become popular, but so is interactive content. This could include image galleries, quizzes and GIFs. Aside from giving information, some users find the design exciting. Plus, interactive content fosters engagement.
A focus on privacy and data security
With controversies surrounding hacking and misuse of personal data, governments around the world are placing more aggressive measures for data privacy, most notably the European Union passing the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) law. GPDR also affects the "gathering and sharing of third-party info for anyone whose email content reaches a member of the EU."
In light of this, marketers should be more careful with their new campaigns, especially if they want to continue gaining leads from all around the world.
A few statistics to prove that the future is mobile (including email marketing):
- 55% of emails are opened on mobile devices as opposed to laptops.
- People use mobile three-quarters of their time to email.
- 75% of the almost-billion Gmail users access their email on mobile.
It seems like it’s not enough to simply send emails - you need to create designs that can be retrieved and read on mobile devices. It’s also important to note how, when and where your emails are being opened, as it can drastically affect your campaigns.
Email is still one of the best channels you can utilize to nurture leads and get the sale, but it would only work if you study the data and have the right strategies for your business. It also helps to have an open mind about any upcoming trends, including artificial intelligence, robotic process automation and content intelligence.
Find out more about the email marketing's emerging trends you need to survive with Connext Digital's infographic:
Jess Andriani works as a Marketing Manager at Connext Digital
. She believes that every day is a chance to learn something new. On her free time, she writes about Digital Marketing.