No matter how many times email marketing has been proclaimed outdated and even gone for good, it is still a key communication channel for many users. According to the Hubspot statistics:
- 86% of marketers state they prefer using email as means of business communication.
- 86% of users are willing to receive monthly commercial and advertising messages from the companies they have business relationships with, and 15% are willing to receive such messages daily.
- 58% of businesses’ revenue is generated through segmented email marketing campaigns.
- 54% of marketers say that increasing engagement rates is their top email marketing priority. It is the email marketing professionals who communicate with customers, retain them, and increase the chances of repeat purchases.
At the same time, email marketing is in a continuous state of development. Here’s some data on how the email marketing industry has been doing this year.
What Are the Most Popular Practices Among Email Marketers?
According to the the Email Marketing Industry Census 2017, 80% of marketers set the highest priority for the basic segmentation. It was the most widely used practice in the marketing campaigns during the recent years.
Here is the whole list from the survey:
- Basic segmentation;
- Email optimization email for mobile devices;
- Regular list cleaning;
- Encouragement of content sharing on social networks;
- Use of transactional emails for marketing;
- Use of video content;
- Multichannel triggers (e.g. sales call);
- Content personalization (beyond just name);
- Advanced segmentation;
- Location-based email content;
- Lead nurturing;
- Lifecycle programs;
- Promotion of customer ratings and reviews;
- Dynamic email content (live listings / availability);
- Behavioral targeting (based on web activity);
- Lead scoring;
- Dynamic social feeds.
In 2019 (same as previous years), famous brands have been the trendsetters in the email marketing industry. They send out millions of emails daily, which makes their insights the most valuable. The funny thing, though, is that small and medium-sized enterprises are actually the most active users of email marketing services.
Therefore, it’s important how small and medium-sized businesses can finally get into the email marketing game. Over the last few years, these marketers seem to have learned the many benefits this channel offers, including a significantly increased ROI. That understanding has, in its turn, led to the awareness that only then it becomes a highly effective solution when it is used the right way. Spam is not profitable, and emails sent to each subscriber are to be as personalized and relevant as possible. In 2019, small businesses have started implementing the solutions previously widely used by bigger market players: A/B testing, multichannel triggers, automation, etc.
We have assessed numerous email marketing ideas popular within the industry and drawn up several conclusions. You are most welcome to check them out.
What to Pay Attention to in Email Marketing Trends of 2019?
1. AMP Technology
In 2019, the term AMP has been a buzz word across the marketing world. Announced by Google and currently supported by Gmail and Mail.ru, Accelerated Mobile Page is a technology aimed to equip emails with app functionality and convenience. AMP-powered campaigns will include more digital content, which means more interactive options could be available in an email. At the moment, several ESPs support this technology, eSputnik, Stripo, Amazon, and SparkPost, to name a few. However, their number will grow, as AMP technology holds great possibilities for the whole ecommerce market.
For recipients, the main advantage of AMP emails is the convenience and straight access to numerous options: now it’s possible to make an order, fill in a questionnaire form, or book a room straight in the email body, without loading new pages.
Where Can Be Useful
The possibilities AMP-supported emails open for you:
- Integrated surveys and forms to fill without having to follow any external links or switch to Google forms. For one, this makes it easier to get a comment or review on a purchase a customer has made.
- Embedding navigation panels/tabs into your newsletter can help increase clicks to the website and, consequently, grow up the conversion rate.
- Item cards that the recipient can flip through without going to your website will save your customers some time and will make the selection process easier.
- Rollover images make it possible to see the items you offer front and back by just hovering the cursor over it. Another +1 to your karma from the customer’s point of view.
- Carousel images provide the possibility to show your subscribers a bunch of pictures without overloading the email. They also make the visuals more interesting and allow customers to pick several good shots instead of a single one.
- Microsites. These emails do not just look like websites, they actually have the functionality of one, you can select an item there, check it out, and buy it.
Look at this: B&Q has found a fascinating way to showcase their products and engage their customers. The user can choose the interior they like and then proceed with buying an item they like on the picture.
2. Advanced Segmentation
In 2019, automated email series are no longer a novelty. As customers’ inboxes get stuffed with tons of emails from every company they get in touch with, the need to stand out becomes a top priority.
Automation plays a major role in this. When you create a workflow for subscribers with certain needs, interests, and traits, you get the increase in clicks. The more segmented the subscribe base is, the bigger the response. This will not only take your open and click rates to a new level but will also bring you some profit. We have already talked about the standard triggers, now let’s get a little deeper.
Where to Start
Let the subscribers choose the content they want to receive. This approach will allow you to engage with them, and you will further sell your products to users truly interested in what you offer. By showing your customers that they are the ones making all the decisions you get to a new level of marketing.
Look at this bakery. Right after subscribing to the newsletter, with the very first email, their clients get a question: what kind of recipes do they want to receive?
Depending on their choice, the client’s email is placed into one of the two segments - mailing lists which contain information that will be uniquely relevant to them. They also get an email with a thanks and a discount on a cookbook about their chosen type of pastry.
This example is a good one to demonstrate automatization for even basic segmentation. Now imagine what more complex workflows and segments can do!
How Many Segments Should I Make?
There is no single right answer to this, of course, everything depends on your business specifics. Sometimes, the simplest segmentation is enough, sometimes something more complex is necessary. It’s all about the details and how it will affect the company’s communication policies.
The Truity company offers professional tests. Their first email asks you to go through the MBTI test and determine your type; the second one suggests you update your profile according to this type. They have 16 workflows, one for each type. This way, the company shows its interest in creating quality content specifically for their users, and this will result in increased engagement.
In their promotional email, TOPSHOP offers to select the category of clothes that fits the taste of the recipient. In the future, the subscribers will receive offers in those categories. Worth making a note.
These are the simplest examples: personalization and segmentation are the top priority if you wish to create relevant and dynamic content for your subscribers.
You can add/distribute customers to different segments based on these criteria:
- Customer flow, from the first encounter to loyalty;
- Activity: purchases, reads, RFM analysis, etc.;
- Marketing tools;
- Product/service they use the most: readers of your blog, clients, sellers, partners, interested in all categories;
- Client parameters: users who require emails in different languages, users by gender.
Such microsegments change frequently and work well to create automated micro funnels (recommendations based on previous purchase, the item is back in stock, etc.). In the end, there might be a number of segments. Your imagination is the only limit for them, but remember to keep them relevant for the customer.
The research by Lyris shows that 39% of companies that segmented their mailing lists ended up with increased open rates, 28% had lower opt-out/unsubscribe rates, and 24% increased their sales leads.
Geomarketing is an approach that uses customer’s location to offer them the most relevant offers at the particular moment and the particular place via mobile push notifications, SMS, Viber, or WhatsApp.
After the user of the app enters a particular area and performs there a certain action (reads an email, opens a mobile push or clicks on the link in the push), their location is registered in the system. Now, these users can receive campaigns relevant at the moment of delivery. Such a strategy allows more advanced segmentation and personalization and enables to set more targeted campaigns. And a wide spread of smartphones has made this technology extra effective, as your gadgets are always aware of your locations. For a customer, it means the reception of only meaningful and relevant offers; for a sender, it means saving on marketing campaigns and ensuring the target audience is reached.
The following are the examples of how different businesses can implement geomarketing in their marketing campaign. Of course, the range of use of this technology is much wider, and each company can employ it in a way that meets their specific needs:
|Gas Station||Send notifications on gas price drops to those drivers who enter the area within 1-2 miles from a particular shop.|
|Coffee Shop||Send notifications on the +1 Cup Offer to the customers who continuously buy coffee at one particular shop, for example, students of the nearby college.|
|Retail Chain||Send notifications on sales available only at the shop located within walking distance from the customer’s location.|
Instead of chanting “buy, buy, buy” throughout the email, tell a story. Sharing stories is a way to build long-lasting relationships, in real life and in email marketing.
In 2019, many companies use storytelling capabilities in email marketing. They start their emails from a short story that catches the subscribers’ attention, and smoothly guide them to the actual goal of the email.
Canva, a service for designing graphics, uses a classic approach of setting a problem and a solution. In many situations, this is the most effective option.
Zapier, in their turn, try to draw attention and appeal to the subscribers by sharing blog entries with relevant info, like lists of useful apps and how to find the true gems in the heaps of averageness on the net. You just need to click on a link to read it.
While some brands make gaudy and beautiful yet quite heavy emails, small businesses still send plain-text ones even in 2019. These emails might indeed look less impressive, but they will still be popular among marketers in the near future, and for good reasons.
- They look more like personal correspondence rather than advertising. People get tired of the constant efforts the marketers make to encourage them to buy things. A plain text email looks like something your family and friends might send you, it is not obtrusive.
- They are simple to make, the only thing you need is a well-written text. You don’t need to spend hours searching for templates, images, etc.
As a result, the email is neat and natural, it looks like a dialog between two people who know each other.
The SPF and DKIM authentication standards have been around for more than 10 years.
SPF (Sender Policy Framework) is an authentication method that limits the list of servers’ IPs which are allowed to send emails from your domain.
DKIM (DomainKeys Identified Mail) is an authentication method that uses a digital signature to verify that the sender is indeed authorized by the domain to send out emails. With a digital signature like this, no scammers will be able to use your name to send out spam emails using your listing.
The DMARC (Domain-Based Message Authentication, Reporting, and Conformance) standards are newer; they are used to identify digital messages received by email servers. These standards are the ones that sort the incoming mail into “good” and “bad” and decide if each one should be delivered to your inbox. For DMARC to work properly, you need your SPF and DKIM to be set correctly.
Some marketers used to ponder the necessity of these features but the 2017 Litmus report on Email Deliverability states the following:
- 69.4% of marketers use SPF,
- 66.6% use DKIM, and
- 46.5% use DMARC.
The use of digital signatures has increased in 2019 due to the launch of the new Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) that will display a brand logo next to the messages that have been deemed authentic. Such additional branding is a good way to push businesses to finally start using SPF, DKIM, and DMARC as well as employ other benefits of the digital signature. For starters, they can enhance the trust to the channel and increase sales.
So do SPF, DKIM, and DMARC guarantee 100% email deliverability? No, they do not. However, ignoring them completely will most certainly result in your emails being put into a spam section more often. The absence of any digital signature is a straight way for your emails to miss the recipient.
In 2019, pay attention to the following strategies and team them up to reach a better result:
- Use interactive elements in email campaigns. Fresh up your emails from time to time to not get your subscribers bored. Interactive elements, responsive design, and animations can help you with that. Alternatively, use plain text to form a personal connection with your client.
- Make segmentation and personalization your top priority. Use the whole scope of information you have on your subscribers. Test out new things and analyze the reaction you get.
- Take advantage of location-based campaigns and make your marketing efforts more targeted.
- Create engaging and personal emails to show there are real people behind them.
- SPF, DKIM, DMARC are what influences deliverability the most. Our goal is to get into that inbox, right? :)