Automation is not only a fantastic solution for saving time and money; it has also emerged as the latest trend in email marketing.
The power of automation lies in its ability to engage with customers in a highly targeted and personalized manner, ultimately driving more sales and enhancing the overall customer experience.
Email automation is widely recognized as one of the most effective strategies to connect with your audience and deliver tailored content.
By leveraging automation tools, you can create and deploy email campaigns that dynamically adapt to each customer’s preferences and behaviors. For instance, you can send personalized recommendations for specific products or services based on their past purchases, ensuring that your messages are relevant and valuable to each individual.
The time-saving benefits of automation are undeniable. Instead of manually sending out emails one by one, automation allows you to set up predefined triggers and schedules.
Once the automation is in place, emails are sent automatically at predetermined times, such as during seasonal sales like Black Friday or on the anniversary of a customer’s first purchase.
In 2023, an average of 347.3 billion emails are sent and received per day—a 4.3% increase from the previous year, and it’s forecasted to increase further by a similar margin in 2024, hitting 361.6 billion. (Oberlo)
This not only saves you precious time but also ensures that your messages reach the right audience at the most opportune moments.
In this article, we delve into the latest and most effective email marketing trends that are driving remarkable results. We explore the power of email automation, which enables personalized communication at scale, resulting in increased engagement and conversions.
Additionally, we cover conversion rate optimization techniques, helping you optimize your email marketing campaigns to maximize conversions and revenue.
Furthermore, we discuss the growing importance of user-generated content marketing, where leveraging authentic content created by your customers can foster trust, social proof, and brand advocacy.
Additionally, we touch upon the significance of interactive emails, visual storytelling, and mobile optimization, as these trends are shaping the way customers interact with emails and consume information.
By staying abreast of these email marketing trends, you can elevate your campaigns, drive better results, and strengthen your customer relationships. So, let’s delve into these exciting trends and unlock the potential of your email marketing strategy.
Table of Contents
What is Email Automation?
If you, as a business, want to send an email to 100 people, the idea of typing it out and sending it 100 times is daunting. Thankfully, technology has made it easy.
By using email automation software, you can create an audience list, type out one email, and schedule it to send. You don’t have to sit in front of your computer and hit send 100 times.
As part of the bigger email marketing trends, automation is one of the newer ones. Email automation helps you take the shortest path to your customers’ inboxes. It helps you streamline the communication process – so you can free up valuable time and focus on other tasks.
There are several benefits to this form of automation. You can send the kinds of emails your audience needs to see when they need to see them. If they abandon their cart, you can automate an email to send instantly.
That email might try to incentivize them to come back with a discount or coupon. When a lead signs up for your newsletter, you can automate your welcome email so it goes out right away.
With the best email marketing automation, you can also automate confirmation emails after a customer places an order.
What Does the Future of Email Marketing Look Like?
The channel of email marketing is always evolving. While there’s no way to answer this question with complete confidence, we can use trends and stats to predict what may happen.
Understanding these predictions can help marketers and businesses finetune their marketing strategies to prepare for the future of email marketing and evaluate the ongoing email marketing trends.
1. Hyper-personalization is the key
Your customer’s inbox, at any given moment, is full of emails out of which you’re just another subject line. To make them click on your email, you have to personalize it – make it so that the email is tailored to their interests.
While you can achieve basic personalization by collecting information like demographic and location data, hyper-personalization takes it one step ahead. You can combine collected information with real-time data that adapts to every action your customer takes.
For example, if a lead lands on your products page but moves on without making a purchase, you can send them an email or trigger a notification that nudges them to revisit that page.
Email automation software can help you set up trigger-based campaigns that reach your customers at the right time. You can also use customer segmentation to identify leads at different points in the user journey and personalize emails that way.
You could also personalize the email body itself by adding buttons that link to social media profiles.
In all that automation, sometimes it gets easy to forget that we are human beings, not machines. While your company may be primarily run by marketing and email automation, the human touch cannot go away in the process.
2. CRO is an important metric to follow
We’re talking about conversion rate optimization. This is a means of boosting website visitors who will then buy and/or convert.
You can absolutely use email automation to drive your CRO, as a good email marketing campaign will lead to more conversions. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Interactivity matters, as does the overall experience of your website. This is about more than landing pages and sales pages, but the look and feel of your site as a whole. We’ll get back to this later.
- CRO tools will continue to become more advanced to make it easier to implement effective marketing campaigns.
- Virtual reality and augmented reality have a place in CRO as well, especially as the technologies continue to evolve and become more widespread. We’ll come back to these technologies later in the article.
3. Email automation will now help maintain list hygiene
Every email marketer wants qualified leads or those who are ready to buy almost right out of the gate. These qualified leads don’t just materialize out of thin air, of course.
Through segmentation, you choose candidates who are more likely to be at that point. Then, through nurturing, you boost the relationship until the lead is eager to make a purchase.
Another great email marketing trend gaining traction is automated email list pruning. If you’re doing this pruning yourself (or someone else is in your company), you might want to change that.
Automation can comb through every contact, even those we accidentally miss. You can set your software to hyper-categorize contacts or move them into more general buckets depending on the scope of your automated email campaign.
Pruning your email list with automation means you’re only spending time reaching out to leads who are actually interested in what you have to sell. Those leads become more qualified, which means higher conversions and often sales as well.
4. Visual automation workflow is more important than ever
Visual automation workflow builders are ideal for those who are more visual learners. These builders are also good for those who fear letting tasks—even small ones—slip through the cracks.
As you can see in the above example, this email flow is very apparent. You’d write the message for the new registration email and then program the email automation to send it. Then the automation would send out the welcome email, which you also wrote.
After waiting 15 minutes, the automation would determine the distribution switch. Depending on how leads behaved, they’d receive various discounts, some as little as five percent off the first order and others as generous as $50 off if the lead spent $400.
Not only does it save time, but it also simplifies a complex process – you understand your email marketing campaign better and have fewer chances of making mistakes.
Creating visual workflow builders will also help you draft interactive emails with a consistent email design and tone. This type of communication is an example of drip campaigns.
These drip email marketing campaigns tend to perform better because the message is sent out periodically rather than all at once. It builds up a more organic relationship between a customer and the brand.
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5. Chatbots and conversational marketing
Chatbots can get kind of a bad rap. For many, the constant pop-ups and ambiguity in answers are a negative experience, especially on a website.
Thankfully, with evolving tech, chatbots are now more optimized than ever. In fact, many of them are now programmed to respond to common queries, as well as, increase customer engagement.
When it comes to email marketing automation, chatbots are great lead generation tools. If you use ungated content, you can program your chatbot to nudge website visitors to receive email updates and further company communication.
Those that sign up through a chatbot can be segmented into a different user list to send targeted emails.
6. Lean into user-generated content
One of the bigger email marketing trends reaching its full potential is user-generated content. We’ve discussed the importance of customer-centricity in marketing in earlier blogs, but nowhere is it more important than in email marketing.
Customer testimonials are the most effective marketing tactic. Centering your customers when promoting your brand is useful because it humanizes your company and builds credibility.
A lot of businesses are focusing on building emails that use content generated by their customers.
7. Recommended blocks will become more popular
As a customer, when you find a good product you’ll immediately want to find others like it. Especially if you trust the brand or business. This is where recommender blocks come in.
Recommender blocks are product blocks that go into your emails that predict future purchases based on past shopping behavior. Think of them like Amazon’s “customers who bought this item also bought” recommendation bar.
They should showcase product images in thumbnail format, as seen above, as well as the price and the name of the product. These recommender blocks can be implemented in the website itself, or as part of weekly email newsletters.
8. Transactional emails continue to be important
Transactional emails are immune to the shifting nature of email marketing trends. You probably already send these as part of your automated email campaigns.
These are password reset emails, digital receipts after a customer purchases a product, purchase confirmations, shipping notices, and delivery confirmations.
Essentially, they’re all the emails a customer would expect to feel secure doing repeat business with a company. They want to know that their order went through.
They also want to know when it will get here and be able to track the order themselves. If they make changes to their account, they want to get confirmation of that. You know, just in case they themselves didn’t do it.
If you slip in some sales announcements, a recommender block, and discounts, then you’re gearing these emails more towards your marketing goals.
9. Interactivity is crucial
Interactivity can include unique add-to-cart buttons, video, surveys, quizzes, games, moving banners or other website elements, email searching, GIFs, and animations.
Interactive emails are part of what marketers call the gamification strategy. It’s a way to get customers to engage with your content more; you create quizzes, offer rewards and incentives, and increase engagement.
The above email sent by Bose during Black Friday uses scratch-off as an interactive element. It encourages subscribers to take an action and make a purchase.
Interactivity doesn’t have to mean quizzes if that doesn’t work for your personal company branding. Whatever elements of interactivity resonate most with you, implement them in your email marketing automation, your website, your blog, and elsewhere.
10. AI continues to push the boundaries
Artificial intelligence is another tool that’ll take up more space in an email marketing automation strategy. This is because email, these days, is not only about sending a body of content to an inbox. You have to work on every single aspect of that email to make it worth your customer’s time.
We discussed hyper-personalization before – artificial intelligence is what can make it happen. Businesses are now dealing with several data points and bigger email lists. An email strategy will not work if you can’t use that data to gain insights into customer behavior.
Artificial intelligence can also help in automated list segmentation – a feature that can allow you to segment lists into separate chunks and test different content.
11. A/B testing is here to stay
Email A/B testing and other forms of testing your email and marketing automation will never grow old. It doesn’t matter what year it is. Make sure testing is a regular part of your routine.
Automation, as amazing as it is and will continue to be for years, is not perfect. It can reflect human errors in the way you set up your software. Always test for mistakes.
Also, test several versions of your emails to see which one(s) get the highest conversions. Sometimes conversions are as easy as rewriting a few lines, omitting a paragraph, or moving an image further up in the email.
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12. The focus on mobile-friendly emails grows
Smartphones are responsible for 54% of global internet traffic. A majority of users check their inboxes on their phones. It’s not enough to test your emails on desktop, they should now be mobile-optimized as well.
Not only that, the emails must also be dynamic and be formatted to fit different screen sizes.
From an email design perspective, the trend is also shifting towards increased readability by making the email screen reader-friendly. Implementing an accordion effect in emails is a great way of conveying more information in less space.
Another overlooked aspect is the prevalence of dark mode on mobile devices. It’s becoming more popular to use your phone in a darker theme, which is what almost 80% of users are doing.
If your emails are not adapted to darker color palettes, they’ll become difficult to read; this will affect your open rate in the long run.
You can use email automation software to draft mobile-responsive templates, experiment with color palettes, and test the look before sending it to your email list.
Email marketing trends reflect the dynamic landscape of digital marketing and the ever-evolving behavior of consumers. One prominent trend that has gained significant attention is the focus on data privacy.
With the proliferation of apps and websites that collect user data, consumers have become more conscious of their digital footprint and the protection of their personal information.
As a result, marketers must adjust their strategies to respect and address these privacy concerns, including how they approach email marketing.
In today’s tech-conscious era, it is crucial to adapt your marketing tactics to align with the sensitivity consumers have towards data privacy. This sensitivity extends to email marketing as well.
To build and maintain a meaningful relationship with your customers, an omnichannel email marketing strategy is more important than ever. By seamlessly integrating email communication with other channels such as social media, mobile messaging, and personalized website experiences, you can provide a cohesive and personalized brand experience that resonates with your audience.
While email marketing automation has been a proven tactic for many marketers, it is essential to recognize that customer preferences and expectations evolve over time.
What has worked well in the past may not continue to yield the same results. Customers are often fatigued by repetitive or stagnant marketing approaches.
They crave novelty and appreciate brands that are willing to take risks and try something new, even if the results may not be as successful initially.
Therefore, it is crucial to remain adaptable and open to exploring innovative techniques that can revitalize your email marketing efforts.
The realm of automation in email marketing is continuously evolving, and this trend is likely to persist in the years to come. As marketers, it is important to stay ahead of emerging technologies, tools, and techniques that can shape the future of email marketing.
By embracing and leveraging these advancements, you can proactively plan for the future and stay relevant in an ever-changing digital landscape.
In conclusion, email marketing trends are deeply intertwined with the broader digital marketing landscape and consumer behavior. Adapting to the growing emphasis on data privacy, embracing omnichannel strategies, and remaining open to innovation in email automation are essential steps for marketers to stay ahead and plan for the future of email marketing. By staying informed and incorporating these trends into your strategies, you can foster stronger connections with your audience and achieve long-term success.
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