This column is authored by Amberlynn Adam, Blogger, Content Developer & Editor at DataCaptive
Have you ever wondered why people still question the potential of Email Marketing? There has been more than enough proof with the progress of time that Email Marketing is here to stay and is ever evolving. With Marketing Automation gaining ground, emails have become the most sought-after digital marketing tactic.
THE EMERGENCE OF EMAIL MARKETING
Imagine how it would be to be stuck with post mail marketing. Every single day would be a challenge for a Marketer, as small customizations in marketing flyers would mean extra expenditure and any change in marketing trends would mean starting all over each time. As cumbersome as it seems, marketers would have carried on with postal marketing had it not been for the emergence of the internet at first and then Emails as a form of communication. With the advent of Hotmail in 1996, people were now free to communicate with anyone, anytime across the globe and what’s more this email service could be accessed with an internet connection from any computer. Emails thus emerged as a cost-effective and fast medium not only for communication but also for marketing. From then on, Marketers have learned to customize emails based on new trends and techniques for better marketing and to achieve their goals.
EMAIL MARKETING TRENDS ARE GUIDELINES TO SUCCESS
Being acquainted with the happenings in the current market is an essential attribute of a B2B marketer. Every aspect of email marketing from content to automation is evolving, and it is important to track these changes and relevantly innovate marketing tactics and campaign design. Let’s now examine 7 major email marketing trends that can be utilized to revolutionize business progress:
TREND #1- CREATIVE EMAIL DESIGN
“53% of emails are opened on mobile devices.” – Campaign Monitor
With these statistics, there’s an added emphasis on the role of mobile responsiveness in the success of email marketing. But email design isn’t restricted to mobile optimization alone, email design plays a pivotal role in pushing email marketing forward on webmail as well as desktop platforms. Designing robust emails that are responsive to different screen types and platforms can fairly increase the chances of accomplishing the goals with which the emails have been sent and can also aid marketers in collecting customer specific data in the process.
TREND #2 – EMAIL INTERACTIVITY
Emails are primarily, a medium of communication between individuals. So when we utilize emails as a form of marketing, it is important to keep in mind that emails should be created so as to promote interactions with prospects and customers. With over 205 billion emails being sent each day, interactive email content could open a plethora of opportunities for marketers to increase their lead volume, expand their market reach and qualify leads effectively. For making your email campaigns more interactive following are some tools that you could incorporate:
- Offer Reveals can be a really good way to capture and hold the reader’s interest. Sending relevant offers to prospects can greatly increase the chances of taking the email conversation from marketing to the buying stage.
- Carousel images and sliders not only aid you in showcasing a number of products in a single email but also add dynamism to your emails.
- Adding countdown timer or limited period details relevant to promotions can aid in creating a sense of urgency among your prospects and most of the time can lead to conversions.
- Integrating forms in your emails could be yet another way of supercharging your email marketing campaign.
- Interactive polls & surveys could serve as important tools to acquire specific customer data.
TREND #3 – EMAIL AUTOMATION
With marketing automation and its immense applications facilitating marketers to create more effective campaigns, email marketing definitely needs to be a part of this revolution in order to maintain its position as the preferred medium of business communication. Although most people are of the view that email automation takes away the personalization advantage from emails. But statistics suggest that Automated Emails get 119% higher click rates as compared to broadcast emails (Epsilon). The crux of the matter is that email automation needs to be implemented so that emails stay in line with other marketing mediums in terms of acquiring leads and achieving sales.
TREND #4 – AI & MACHINE LEARNING
Advancements in technology such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of things etc, have added to anticipation among most entrepreneurs and marketers for more sophisticated marketing and better results. Although these technologies come at a high price presently but when they will be made more affordable their application and advantages will be overwhelming for existing marketing methods such as email marketing, social media marketing etc.
TREND #5 – ANALYSIS & PERSONALIZATION OF BIG DATA
With the recent springing up of cloud solution providers everywhere, data storage has become more of a commodity. Although now it is fairly easy to launch a new server anywhere globally, yet what remains the most cumbersome task is to analyze the customer data and narrow down to actionable insights from this data collected during various interactions at different stages across the customer’s journey.
Thus Big data analysis will predominantly contribute to better email marketing campaigns and what’s even better is emails can be personalized to a better extent due to the invaluable insights acquired from the voluminous customer data.
TREND #6 – VISUAL CONTENT IN EMAILS
It’s hard to ignore statistics that emphasize on the indispensability of visual content especially videos. For instance, A study shows that 51% of marketing professionals find videos as the best medium for boosting their ROI. Businesses are all about winning ROI, so videos coupled with emails would be an ultimate formula for success from any marketer’s point of view. Although the integration of videos in emails is still a tactic that needs to be implemented on a larger scale yet the marketing community seems to be warming up to it due to its immense potential in various activities such as promoting an app, visualizing product features, highlighting service advantages etc. Animated gifs are being currently implemented in emails and are doing fairly well to boost engagement. Having said that videos have an incomparable potential not only to make emails more attractive but also to nurture, convert and retain customers better.
TREND #7 – INTEGRATION OF SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
With billions of people using social media for business, networking, shopping and much more, it’s a widely accepted truth that social media marketing can help boost engagement. Just like a dash of lime can add to the flavor of chicken, similar is the effect of incorporating social media buttons or feeds in your emails. Social media buttons in emails can promote instant responses from emails and thus aid in better engagement. Moreover, social media integrated with emails can add a personal touch to your campaigns as people may recommend your brand or share your product videos on social media.
Another tactic would be to embed social media feeds from sites such as Twitter, Instagram etc. These feeds help in capturing the email recipient’s interest by providing quick insights into what’s trending in the social media world. This email marketing trend is being adopted by many marketers to not only interconnect the two mediums of marketing but also to gain twice the benefits from the combination.
BEST PRACTICES FOR EMAIL MARKETING
Among the most important tactics adopted for better email marketing list segmentation and mobile optimization score the highest. Email List Segmentation not only helps marketers identify their target prospects but also help in tracking their journey across the sales cycle. Hence it is one of the best practices to promote efficient Email Marketing.
THE FUTURE OF EMAIL MARKETING
With so much going on in the ever evolving B2B Marketplace, the email trends we have discussed are just a tip of the iceberg. The future holds a lot more advancements in the field of marketing especially email marketing. Let’s have a quick glance at the future email marketing trends.
AI WILL NAVIGATE EMAIL MARKETING PROGRESS
“By 2020, AI bots will power 85% of customer service interactions”- Gartner
“ 20% of business content will be contributed by AI, by 2018” – Gartner
AI Chat bots will aid in personalization of emails based on chat sessions, thereby simplifying automated email interactions such as abandonment of cart emails, subscription confirmation emails, personalized offer alerts etc.
LESSER EMAIL CONTENT FOR BETTER ENGAGEMENT
With people becoming increasingly tech savvy in the years to come, the attention span of people is bound to shrink thus sending emails with short, to-the-point content would be optimal to boost engagement in the future.
EYE-TRACKING OF EMAILS WILL BE THE NEW TREND
Previously eye tracking has been used to test website efficiency but with emails, eye tracking can be used to map customer behavior in a more focused manner.
REAL TIME CONTEXTUAL EMAILS
Based on various real-time variables such as geographic location, time, stock levels, social media product trends etc. contextual emails will be created and sent. This advancement in email marketing will be a major step towards better personalization of emails.
PREDICTIVE INTELLIGENCE FOR BETTER LEAD SCORING
In the years to come, the integration of AI and machine learning for generating lead scores will be an expected advancement in the field of marketing. For email marketing, this will mean better designed campaigns that can target on leads based on predictive intelligence generated lead scores.
CONVERSATIONAL TONE OF EMAILS WILL BECOME POPULAR
With the growing demand for better customization and personalization of emails, being honest and keeping a conversational tone in the email content can go a long way in building relationships with prospects and customers.
GET A SINGLE VIEW OF CUSTOMER WITH CROSS-CHANNEL DATA
Predicting customer responses will become fairly simple by consolidating cross-channel data such as demographic, behavioral, transactional data etc. This data not only aids in getting a single view of the customer but also in sending personalized and segmented emails that enhance engagement & conversion rates.
With so much going on in the B2B marketing world, Email marketing trends are one of the few ways to keep up with the growing pace of competition and stay well ahead of it. Email marketing is evolving and adding the current knowledge of trends can help in strengthening its position as one of the most utilized form of B2B marketing.