4 Email Marketing Trends to Watch in 2018

It’s time to look ahead to 2018 again. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say it’s pretty likely that B2B marketers will be incorporating some automation into their marketing communications strategies. I know what you’re thinking: Steve just can’t quit the data train. But want to know why? One of the quickest ways to implement automation is through customer emails.

Not to mention, email marketing continues to be a vital part of most B2B marketers’ plans and can be very important to keeping up with the competition as well as engaging an audience further in the customer lifecycle. Of course, I also can’t help but suggest that you include direct mail with your campaigns to complement what you already have AND develop a truly integrated approach that will make a bigger impact.

Back to email. With a well thought out plan, a proper email strategy will keep your customers at the top of your sales funnel by increasing repeat purchases and improving engagement.

Believe it or not, email marketing senders are mostly small and medium businesses, and there are millions of them, according to eMail Marketing company Mailify.

What have these small to mid-sized companies learned? Well for one, the message you want to send needs to bring value. Instead of deploying email at every twist and turn, it’s much more effective to focus on a few well-performing campaigns. New trends will involve implementing advanced practices that were once exclusive to big brands, i.e. A/B testing, multi-channel campaigns, and automated communications.

With all that info in hand, here’s a bit more:  four email trends that you can expect to see in 2018.

1)    Interactive Emails

2018 will bring “mailable microsites” to customer inboxes, increasing engagement and retention. It’s basically an interactive email that promises to keep the inbox more interesting and unique. It gives your audience everything they need on a silver platter allowing them to watch a video, or complete a survey right within the email.

2)    Conversational Tone

This type of tone may not be useful in other communication tactics, but for emails, using a conversational tone has proven to give emails a more personal feel and genuine interaction between the customer and the brand. If your brand commands a more formal approach, you can still ask questions and start a conversation to boast engagement. The key is to show you have the customer in mind, feeding their need for answers, etc.

3)    Mobile-friendly Design

It is now more important than ever to make your emails mobile-friendly. I am stunned every time I receive an email with tiny type that can’t be easily read on my phone. Companies investing in email optimization (on mobile devices) is on track to increase to 95% from this year to next, according to Econsultancy. And an earlier 2017 Litmus report consistently shows that mobile has the highest market share, with over 50%. Of course, it’s important to know your audience and how they consume information. It is vital to understand if they prefer a desktop or a mobile experience.

4)    Personalization and Segmentation Will Remain a High Priority

It’s more important than ever to build a personalized experience with relevant communications. This dynamic content changes the offering or experience based on the recipient. The type of content being served should depend on the segmentation that your company has defined.

I’m going to be frank here. It is simply no longer enough just to personalize an email with “Hi {FirstName}.” Customers expect more. Without this type of dynamic content, companies miss the mark on telling customers why they should come back to keep buying, or engaging with them. This will get easier as marketers start to depend on machine learning/Artificial Intelligence to gain accurate information on past events that will ultimately produce higher levels of personalization and segmentation at the same time.

Reach out to me for more conversation on trends and/or personalization. I eat, live, and sleep this stuff.

Here’s to 2018, cheers!