Email Marketing Trends to Expect in 2019

Gabriel Nwatarali | 09.01.19 | 0 Comments

Email marketing has served as one of the most effective channels for businesses to reach prospects, existing customers, and acquire new business for many years. In fact, it’s turning 41 on May 3. Clearly, the advent of government regulations like CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR didn’t slow it down. Nor did several predictions by some industry experts who thought email would be replaced. Here are top email marketing trends in 2019 to watch and expect.

Innovations driving the future of email marketing

Email technology has come a long way since Gary Thuerk, a Digital Equipment Corporation marketer, sent the first digital marketing email on May 3, 1978.

email marketing trends
Credit: Marketing Land

That simple text-based email with no personalization whatsoever generated 13 million dollars in sales! It’s no surprise that email is a widely used practice and arguably a necessity for every business.

Sophisticated email marketing tools like Constant Contact or SendinBlue have made CRM (customer relationship management) integrations, marketing automation, and campaign management easier.

Moreover, email service providers (ESPs) have all adopted a culture of continuous innovation in big ways. There are two noteworthy developments in email marketing trends leading the pack:

1. AMP For email

AMP is an initiative from Google to speed up the rendering time of web pages on mobile devices. Currently, it’s being used by 900, 000 domains on the web.

The search giant announced plans to expand AMP to email in 2018. Although AMP for email is now open to the public, it’s currently exclusively available to Gmail users. Considering that Gmail has over 1 billion MAUs (monthly active users), it’s a big deal!

As a marketer, there is tons to be excited about with AMP. It allows you to create website-like experiences in emails such as being able to use carousels, accordions, and accept user input. A person can interact or browse with content straight from their inbox.

In addition, it’s backward compatible with email clients that don’t support the technology. Meaning it would fall back to older Markup language if it were unsupported by an email service/software.

Additionally, unlike its contemporary counterparts, AMP email content can be kept up to date.

Imagine that you were gearing up for a visit to Seattle and visited The Four Seasons Hotel’s website that night. Next morning, the company sends you a list of available hotel rooms. You wondered: how did they know? The next day, you returned to the same email, thinking you would probably have to call the office to double-check availability. However, the content updated itself to the freshest listings available when you reopened it. Email never gets stale!

Dynamic content may be the biggest influencer of email marketing trends in 2019. While some marketers are skeptical, many are trying and succeeding with it. Therefore, it’s plausible that AMP for email would replace standard HTML and Text emails this year if it becomes supported by other ESPs.

Predictive analysis

Predictive analytics is the process of analyzing historical, behavioral, and content data to predict future outcomes. Breakthroughs and market implementations in this area will probably increase and shape the future of email marketing trends.

By using predictive analytic models, businesses can provide more timely and personalized experiences to consumers. Profoundly understanding the behavior patterns of customers will help companies send out the right incentives via email and increase the likelihood of a purchase.

For example, an eCommerce retailer could use their AI-infused CRM to monitor behaviors such as the most viewed categories and average purchase amounts for specific customers. Then AI presents an offering that they’re most probable to purchase. Then, they can track product preferences and brands can use that data to send suitable messages.

No doubt, the ability to increase sales by using data is a proven tactic that works. So we expect this to become more prevalent in CRM systems moving forward.

Top email marketing trends for 2019

This year personalization and interactivity will be cornerstones in email marketing trends. However, the goal will remain the same: increase revenue, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.

1. Quality over quantity

Increased regulations and tightened standards have made email marketing tougher for spammers but slightly affected good marketers as well. Prospect lists have to be filtered more thoroughly and emails need to provide some measure of value to avoid any potential regulatory debacles.

Deliverability is also a major problem. Numerous emails are meeting the spam or junk folder of subscribers because some ESPs like Gmail are filtering emails for their users. We expect that more providers will follow suit since increased standards have proven to be good for users.

email marketing trends

All of the above-mentioned challenges have increased time and money spent on email marketing in general.

That’s why a focus on obtaining high-quality subscribers over quantity will be a huge email marketing trend. Businesses will allocate budgets towards acquiring qualified people on their email lists. They’ll run specific campaigns to attract certain personality or persona types to ensure that emails reach the inbox each time.

2. More scientific email marketing

The use of advanced software like Pinpointe that integrates with CRM to collect and use data will grow. Email marketing and CRM or CMS (content management system) integrations enable marketers to use predictive analysis effectively, which increases positive outcomes with automation.

3. Better average order value on mobile

Mobile AOV (average order value) is rising and it might not be long before we see it overtake desktop devices, as user experience gets better.

Email Marketing Trends
Average order value of desktop or laptop (traditional), Tablet, Smartphones, and others – Statista

To take advantage of this trend, the best email marketing tip we can give is to ensure your emails and web pages are mobile-friendly. That way you’ll swell your chances of securing sales with email communications.

The fact that mobile AOV is going up is an indication that consumers are becoming more comfortable and trusting in how they navigate the web on their mobile devices. We’ll see more brands adopt long-form sales copy that includes a CTA (call-to-action) in emails this year.

4. Dynamic automation

Email marketing today still uses automation. However, when automation is infused with data and AI, it helps us automate dynamically. Emails are based on how an individual user interacts and behaves with your content.

Once your base triggers are all set, AI can take over the rest while you focus on list building. Segment subscribers with set criteria as well as behavioral patterns. The entire system learns from collected data and approaches the consumer with much better enticements. For example, if a person typically opens your emails in the morning, AI can send emails to them around that specific time. This email marketing trend will continue and more features and capabilities will be added.

5. Interactive email content

Engaging consumers via email is more important than ever. Marketers will flock to tools that help them create more interactive email content.

However, since there is currently limited support for the solutions available, animated gifs are returning to inboxes. Being one of the oldest ways to create media on the web, they’re very small in file size and supported by most email clients.

6. Countdown timers

You’ve seen them on web pages before and some marketers use them in emails now. Why? Because they work!

They’re a great tool for building anticipation (i.e. Black Friday sale starts when the timer hits zero) or creating scarcity (i.e. sale ends at midnight). Since the majority of emails are still static, countdown timers can help you encourage the user to take action.

Final thoughts on email marketing trends in 2019

Email marketing is turning 41 years old and it has persevered despite regulatory challenges. It’s clear that it’s not going away anytime soon. It’s still a major marketing and communications channel with promising ROI.

AMP for email support may become available on other ESPs and both predictive analytics and AMP will see more innovations this year. Key email marketing trends that’ll shape the overall industry direction include dynamic automation, interactive content, AOV on mobile, and website-like experiences.

All in all, email marketing is still a force to be reckoned with.

Gabriel Nwatarali
author

Gabriel Nwatarali is a digital marketer and designer. He's the founder of Tech Help Canada, a design and marketing agency. He also regularly contributes his knowledge of tech and digital marketing to online publications.

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