Email marketing remains an essential tool to inform your customers about your offers, new products, or special promotions. Technical developments and changes in user behavior require constant adaptation and regular adjustment of strategy. Many email marketing trends may be familiar to you as they gain momentum in marketing. Other methods, such as A/B testing or optimizations for smartphones, in particular, have become so common that it is no longer necessary to explain them here.
Generally speaking, this year's new email marketing trends are often aimed at inspiring readers and introducing them to new ideas. The main objective of newsletters is to constantly provide informative content and original, attractive offers. But more and more challenges arise in terms of data protection.
- Omnichannel strategy
- User-generated content
- Interactive content
- Plain text emails
- Artificial intelligence
- Data protection and privacy
- New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Email marketing trends: explanation and examples
Your customers are various, and your newsletter must take this into account. So design emails so that all recipients feel concerned and can perceive the content. This includes people with visual impairments. Therefore, favor a strong contrast in terms of colors. It helps both visually impaired and color-blind people. Sufficient white spaces (i.e., empty spaces) visually structure the text and make it even easier to read.
Also, assume that blind people are subscribed to your newsletter. Blind people often use screen readers. This software collects the content on the screen and reads it aloud. Thus, the content of your newsletter must also be perceived as text to be well captured. Therefore, do not place content exclusively in graphics. For newsletters in HTML format, use additional alt texts that translate the content of the image into words.
For newsletters, you can follow the same advice as for accessible websites:
- Clear text with lots of spaces
- High contrast and subdued colors
- Correct HTML formatting
- Alt texts relevant to images
- Recognizable buttons and links
Accessibility can also refer to editorial style. Not all email recipients feel comfortable with complex sentences and foreign words. You will actively encourage inclusion by also offering a simplified version. These are important email marketing trends today.
Businesses are increasingly adopting an omnichannel strategy. Your newsletters are no longer an isolated means of communication but one of the pieces of an overall marketing strategy covering all relevant channels (digital, analog, and physical).
Concretely, email marketing is undoubtedly the main constant of an omnichannel strategy. Newsletters are an effective way to build customer loyalty and offer a high return on investment (ROI). You get valuable insights into your target group, which can be directly applied to actions taken on other channels. In addition, you benefit from great flexibility in the design of your campaign; you can test different strategies and adapt the objectives quickly and easily.
Although automation is not a new trend in email marketing, it continues and is growing in importance. Now, it is no longer enough to send a weekly message on a well-planned schedule. Good automation should adjust to user behavior. You can thus support the various visitors to your website in their purchasing decisions.
Good newsletter automation also works through triggers. Customer actions serve as triggers. You send an automatic marketing email prepared according to the behavior of your customers. Simple triggers can be a registration or a purchase, for example, following which you send a confirmation. However, it can be more complex if you build chains and let them branch. For example, with well-tuned automation, you can send different messages to people who have read your last newsletter and those who have not. A/B testing can also be perfectly managed with email automation.
Thanks to automation, you can kill two birds with one stone: on the one hand, you have the means to react quickly to user behavior individually. Depending on how they browse online, you can set the most appropriate email and send it in real time. On the other hand, you save resources because automation processes require less time and people to implement effective email marketing trends.
No matter how ingenious you are in designing your newsletter to build long-term customer loyalty, you won't be able to match the persuasiveness and reliability of other users' reviews. User-generated content can therefore be a real asset for marketing. That's why it's important to incorporate this trend into your email marketing strategy in 2023.
The easiest method is to place prominent customer reviews in emails. A glowing comment about your products or services directly at the beginning of the newsletter creates a positive mood among readers and piques their interest. More detailed testimonials are also welcomed because they take the readers' point of view and are therefore more credible than traditional advertising messages. Unboxing videos (if relevant to your business) can also be helpful.
Another way to integrate user-generated content into email marketing trends is through surveys. They allow you to engage your users and collect interesting data. To do this, simply include a call to vote in the first email. You can then present the results in the following newsletter. For an even more personal approach, you can organize challenges, for example, on social networks and present the winners in your newsletter.
Interactive content (gamification)
Another trend in newsletters is interactive content. This means that users can influence the content of the email. The idea of “gamification” (or gamification) is at the heart of this strategy: typical elements of the game are inserted into the email to appeal to your readership and challenge it. It works if the user feels like they can complete the game, even if they get nothing but the feeling of having mastered a task. However, you can create additional rewards by handing out small wins and rewards such as coupons.
However, this does not have to be a game. All the buttons and links the user can click on will increase their curiosity. For example, it is possible to integrate several tabs within an email to allow users to navigate through the offer. It has also been shown that surveys that can be completed directly in the email give very good results, very much in the spirit of user-generated content. They provide a double benefit: on the one hand, you collect interesting data from the survey, and on the other hand, your email manages to capture more of their attention.
Plain text emails
Even though rich, interactive content is one of the top email marketing trends of 2023 and offers new possibilities, a counter-movement can be observed: some marketers are returning to plain text emails. This way, they want to make sure that all users will be able to read all of their newsletter content as intended. For example, users must not accept the download or display of graphics (external content).
However, if you lack the main design possibilities to attract attention, you have to convince others otherwise. Write a good text that fascinates and captivates readers to encourage them to click, in the best case, on a call-to-action. For such a newsletter, keep it short. Large blocks of text tend to discourage readers. In addition, you can integrate lists, which makes it possible to lighten the reading and writing a little.
The benefits of a plain text email don't end with ensuring proper presentation. This type of newsletter is also cheap and easy to create. If you eventually need to hire designers or photographers for emails with more elaborate graphics, simple texts are also easy to write. Your emails may even stand out from the crowd, as most newsletters follow a set pattern. Then you are sure to attract attention.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is increasingly extending into areas beyond computing. Like global players such as Google, small businesses are now using artificial intelligence and machine learning. Therefore, using artificial intelligence in the creation and distribution of newsletters is one of the email marketing trends. This trend is still in its beginnings, but it's important to get in on the game quickly and not sit on the sidelines. We will especially note the importance of optimization and forecasting.
For example, artificial intelligence can determine through precise calculations when the best time is to send its newsletter. The machine can not only establish these calculations for large groups but also for each user. The same goes for the subject of the email; if it is not attractive enough, the email will not be opened. AI can help you. But artificial intelligence goes even further: thanks to the huge amounts of data it can process, it is also possible to make predictions. In this way, the computer can estimate in advance whether a certain image will be received well or not.
The possibilities of artificial intelligence and new email marketing trends in newsletters raise questions about data protection. Of course, this subject is not new. Data protection is, was, and will remain a priority for marketers. The large amount of personal data collected on both sides facilitates the placement of advertisements on the Internet, but it is essential to comply with the law. In addition to legal problems, you may also lose the trust of your (future) customers. The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides strict rules for the processing of personal data by companies.
From now on, customers must give their permission for their data to be collected, and the information can only be used for the purposes for which they have given their permission. In other words, it is not possible to immediately use customer data for advertising purposes after processing a purchase. This requires additional approval. You must also ensure that this data does not fall into the hands of unauthorized persons.
In addition, there are numerous documentation and information obligations: it is necessary to document exactly what data is stored and for what purposes, to provide information to the user, and to possibly erase all data at his request. Another important point for many companies is probably known as "privacy by default": the technical measures for the collection of personal data must always be as restrictive as possible. Personal data can only be transmitted with the explicit permission of the users. For email marketing trends, this means handling user data more transparently and responsibly.
New Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Software makers are also looking to further strengthen the protection of their users' data. Apple, for example, has integrated a feature into its Mail Privacy Protection that makes it impossible to track the open rate of emails. As the iPhone is among the most popular devices for receiving and reading emails, this could have become a source of concern for marketers, but many saw it as an opportunity to find other indicators to determine the success of a newsletter campaign.
That's why you need to focus on the click-through rate: you certainly want to inform with your newsletter (that's why the opening rate was so important until now), but you also want to redirect readers to your website. If users switch from email client to browser, this indicates that your newsletter is effective. The conversion rate is also a strong indicator: the more newsletter recipients make a purchase, the more successful the email is.
Conclusion: email marketing trends
Email marketing trends for 2023 are very diverse. First, automation, email personalization, and data protection will continue to be important in the future. In addition, the advances made in artificial intelligence open up possibilities that are still not fully exploited.
It also appears that the content of newsletters is now more targeted; customers are no longer looking for superficiality but for authenticity. You need to win them over with compelling stories that convey your company's values. To score points for authenticity, you can incorporate user-generated content into your newsletters. This also applies to content published on all other channels, as a consistent omnichannel strategy is becoming increasingly important. If you still have some prejudice about the effectivness of email marketing, click here to read more about emailing and start using this powerful marketing tool right now!