How is it almost already the new year again?
That scary thought aside, now’s the time to start thinking about how you’re going to make your email marketing campaigns even more awesome in 2018.
Email is the cornerstone of any effective marketing campaign. That’s why 58% of professionals planned to increase their email marketing budgets this year. But if you want to stay competitive in the new year, as well as build your customer base and rake in some serious dough, you need to keep up with the latest trends and technologies.
We know, we know. It can be overwhelming to read Wired, Forbes, Entrepreneur, and all those marketing blogs every single day. There’s only so much content one person can take in.
To relieve some of that brain drain, we’ve tapped several experts to get their key marketing predictions/tactics for 2018. Here’s what they told us:
Emails will need personalization
When you get an email, isn’t it better when it seems like it’s coming from a close friend or loved one rather than a company?
We all generate tons of data and marketers are using it to personalize their messages. In 2018, that personalization will continue to grow.
“Using information that is known about customers to add or provide value through the email channel is the most important thing,” says VP of CXM and data management at CMI Media, LLC Jose Ferreira. “You don’t want to waste your efforts on people who don’t want to hear from you via email.”
To gain access to this amazing customer data for personalization purposes, says Alisa Nemova, digital marketing and SEO specialist for Eastside Co, marketers can look at purchase and behavioral data from Google Analytics. That way they can analyze email open and engagement data, as well as demographic information.
Marketing consultant, Chris Bintliff of Not Really Rocket Science likes Drip, which lets marketers “create sophisticated email marketing workflows that can and must ‘learn’ from a customer’s behavior according to tags, custom fields, and custom events that are triggered from behavior and engagement.”
Another useful technology is RightMessage, which allows marketers to personalize websites and learn more about their visitors. That information could be utilized in email messages, too.
One way of utilizing website behavior to personalize email offers is through dynamic product ads. Dynamic product ads optimize the customer experience by using interest expressed on your website to automatically personalize creatives that promote relevant products right within the emails you send.
Just remember, says Bintliff, that “Personalization should never feel ‘creepy‘ but instead help a customer, prospect or user feel well understood and delighted.”
Email will become the new home page
“Today’s attention-deficient consumers don’t have time for websites,” says Adam Pyett, manager of programmatic at LiveIntent. “Instead, we rely on publishers to filter the news avalanche through curated email newsletters. They feature condensed stories and don’t always drive traffic back to owned media sites because they are now an extension of the properties they represent.”
In 2018, marketers will increasingly view the inbox as the new home page and thus look into programmatic opportunities in email as another way to reach and engage consumers.
Ad offerings like native advertising which was more prevalent on websites, will have a new home in email. Consumers are more receptive to this type of advertising because these ads are less intrusive and quite targeted.
More emails will be automated
When customers abandon a cart you can always send them an automated message to pretty please complete their purchases. Well, you can do the same if they click on a specific page on a company website.
In 2018, automation will dominate the email marketing space. “Emails should be smart and should reach customers at the right times,” says Nemova. “There should be automated sequences, triggered by clicks on specific links or based on the time after the purchase.”
Subscribers will crave simplicity
Do you check your email on your laptop more often throughout the day or on your mobile phone? We’re going to guess your phone.
Increasingly, everyone is accessing email on their mobile devices. Currently, 34% of people only use mobile devices to check emails.
But email subscribers don’t want to waste time loading fancy emails on their phones, smart watches and tablets. Mike Catania, chief technology officer at PromotionCode, says that, in 2018, marketers will revert to using plaintext and less design-heavy messages.
“With the myriad of devices on the market that require a dedicated layout, even the best tools for previewing HTML-driven email can’t cover all the options.”
Subscribers want a natural conversation
Marketers can no longer be stiff, detached and boring in their emails. They need to sound like real live people, according to Anthony Kane, senior email marketing strategist at 1SEO.
“You’re going to see companies adopt a more conversational tone in 2018,” he says. “Marketers need to come across as human and sculpt emails that encourage readers to take action.”
Email marketing is changing fast and, in the wise words of Ferris Bueller, “If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
Are you ready to make your campaigns incredible in 2018?