Top 10 Innovative Email Marketing Trends of 2019


Last year, email marketing turned 40.

But you wouldn’t know it to look at it.

This is one digital channel that’s aging with grace. Just getting cooler as it gets older. With the reach of organic social media going bust last year, email marketing has proven itself the most reliable marketing channel out there. We’ll fill you in on which email marketing trends in 2019 to watch for and how to leverage these for your marketing.

1️⃣ Marketers Will Send Fewer Emails in 2019, but They’ll Be Higher Quality

Over the past few years, quality has won out in content marketing. The days of Google rewarding sloppy keyword stuffing are long gone. Thanks to Google’s refined algorithms, SEO has become a quality game.

“OK, but what do Google’s search engine algorithms have to do with the future of email marketing?” you ask.

Spam filters have undergone a similar transformation as Google’s AI technology. If you’re wondering how spam filters work, they’ve changed a lot. In the old days, they used to search for a high concentration of trigger words (such as “free,” “cash,” “viagra”) to determine if an email was spam or not. Now they’re running much more sophisticated AI in the background, which collects data from all users interacting with an email.

Today, more than ever, the best guarantee for successful email deliverability is writing emails people actually want to read. Click To Tweet

This means that today, more than ever, the best guarantee for successful email deliverability is writing emails people actually want to read. If you want to get through the spam filter and have your emails land in your customers’ inbox every time, focus on the quality of your mailings.

💡 Tips for Writing High-Quality Emails

  • Investing time and creative energy into writing a well-crafted subject line will generate more email opens.
  • Ensure your campaigns include value-added content for your subscribers and not just promotional messages.
  • Never buy an email list. Purchased email addresses will land you in a spam filter quicker than you can say “General Data Protection Regulation.”

2️⃣ Options for Personalized Email Campaigns Will Level Up

The goal of every digital marketer should be to deliver the perfect message at the perfect time for each particular customer. While you could do this manually, you and every other marketer on the planet don’t have time for that.

Email personalization is how you make this happen. It’s customization through the application of big data. It lets you send a unique email to every single recipient.

This goes way beyond a personalized greeting. It includes upselling based on purchase habits, such as products viewed or previously purchased. Personalization also means segmenting your contacts based on well-documented attributes. You can collect these through loyalty programs, interactive games, questionnaires or email subscription profiles.

Keep your eyes open in 2018 for big strides in this area.

💡 Tips for Getting Personal

  • The two keys to implementing personalized email campaigns are accurate data and timeliness.
  • Sending the wrong product recommendation can be a waste of time. Sending the right recommendation too late is ineffective.
  • Integrate your CRM with your email marketing tool for easy data sync.
  • 50% of consumers prefer to receive promotional offers via email over any other channel. So give the people exactly what they want!

3️⃣ Average Order Value (AOV) on Mobile Will Outperform Desktop

E-commerce is finally witnessing the end to the trend of “browse on mobile, buy on desktop.” Consumers trust the mobile sales process today and want to complete their purchases quickly.

But what does this have to do with planning your email marketing strategy?

Email habits have been skewing more and more towards mobile for years. In fact, we’ve reached the point where 43% of consumers are checking their work email primarily on their smartphones. The percentage is even higher for personal email.

Let’s make this clear: To reach these users, you have to go mobile. Emails should not “also” be readable on mobile devices – they should be readable especially on mobile devices.

Emails should not “also” be readable on mobile devices – they should be readable especially on mobile devices. Click To Tweet

What’s more, in 2019 customers are not only using their mobile devices to check out the links you send them, they’re also completing purchases from these links. This means your emails need to be massively optimized for mobile conversions. And your products or services need to be front and center.

This means more than using responsive design email templates, although you do need to be using responsive design templates. It means you need to pay attention to readability, ease of use, and content.

💡 Design Tips for Mobile Email Marketing

  • Lots of readable photos and/or graphics
  • Appropriate font size and legible fonts. Use web fonts with a minimum of 12 pt.
  • Plenty of white space (empty space) to visually distinguish items from one another
  • Call-to-Actions (CTAs) are clear, large and easily clickable. Should be able to be clicked with the thumb and should link to an optimized mobile landing page

Need more? Additional mobile email marketing strategies here.

4️⃣ Interactive Content Is on the Rise

Typically we think of email as having two format options: HTML or plain text. But now there’s a third format option. They’re still HTML emails, but they’re the cutting edge of HTML emails: interactive emails.

Interactive emails are just what they say on the tin. These emails allow users to interact with content within the email itself without having to follow a link to an external website. A great e-commerce example is being able to choose size and color of a product within the email itself and completing the purchase in the same manner.

5️⃣ Loyalty Programs Are Feeding More Sophisticated Data Into Marketers’ Databases

Loyalty programs have always served as an effective method for collecting consumer data. These days, they’re growing in sophistication.

Because these programs encourage the consumer to sign in for access to rewards points, information or materials, they offer a wealth of tracked on-page behavior. When collated with data points collected from consumer email engagement, this gives marketers an even clearer picture of their audience. This, in turn, opens up powerful segmentation opportunities.

The takeaway for email marketers? First of all, if you don’t have a loyalty program for your e-commerce, then it’s time to start one. Secondly, make sure you’ve integrated the KPIs from your loyalty program with your email marketing. This is information you do not want siloed.

💡 Tips for Starting the Right Kind of Loyalty Program for Your E-Commerce

There are many types of loyalty programs. You need to make sure you choose one right for you. Follow these 5 steps when starting out.

  1. Decide what the goal of your program is. Increase customer lifetime value? Turn new customers into repeat buyers? Transform leads into customers?
  2. Choose a loyalty program that fits your purpose. Cash back? Points? Tiered rewards? Fee-based VIP access?
  3. Brainstorm the messaging and branding around your loyalty program.
  4. Set up your initial marketing collateral for pitching the loyalty program.
  5. Design an automated email series for enticing new members and retaining existing ones.

6️⃣ Data-Driven Marketing Continues to Stand Out as the Best Way to Guarantee Relevance

In case you haven’t gotten the message yet, as Adobe recently boldly stated in their 2019 Digital Marketing report:

“Data is everything.”

Data should be the motor powering your email planning for 2019 and beyond.

It’s no longer enough to guess your customers’ needs. You win when you know why they’re visiting your webpage, why they’re opening your emails and how you can use this information for your next successful email marketing campaign.

This calls for a segmented email list that you can use to direct your offers to the right people at the right time.

Data should be the motor powering your email planning for 2019 and beyond. Click To Tweet

It also calls for email marketing automation. If you aren’t sending automated emails (welcome emails, abandoned cart emails and, most importantly, customer lifecycle campaigns), then you’re losing potential revenue. Automated workflows for your email campaigns will make things easier for you. You’ll be more effective with lead generation, boost your customer lifetime value and ultimately make your sales team happy because you’re saving them time.

Data-driven marketing enables powerful automation.

7️⃣ Predictive Email Marketing Will Grow

As discussed in the first trend, as artificial intelligence evolves, it creates opportunities for email marketers.

Of course, this isn’t anything new. AI has played a role in email marketing for some time, for example, in A/B testing. Machine learning tools find the “winner” mailing in an A/B test by carrying out a weighting analysis of two versions of one email. Email marketers have long relied on A/B testing to help them choose the best CTAs, links, subject lines and images.

In 2019, AI tools will go beyond the A/B test to become more predictive and proactive. Machine-learning tools can assist with writing more effective copy, segmenting more quickly and optimizing email send time. Machine learning tools are being programmed to predict which people on your email list are in danger of unsubscribing.

8️⃣ Email Touchpoints Will Make Marketing Automation Across Platforms More Scalable

Scalability remains a huge difficulty when dealing with big data. Thanks to online marketing, we now have millions of data points, but how do we harness their power? How do we reach out to 100 customers in a personalized, yet time-efficient and automated, way? And how about 1,000? 1 million?

Integrating your data is the biggest factor in successfully scaling your marketing automation. This means making sure you’re collecting and viewing all your data in one place – for example, as attributes in your email marketing software or in your CRM.

To do this you have to get those integrations set up. Ain’t nobody got time for manual data imports.

Integrating your data is the biggest factor in successfully scaling your marketing automation. Click To Tweet

Scalability also means using AI to detect patterns across all marketing platforms as a way to improve targeting. This can help you make adjustments in your marketing campaigns, sometimes even in real time. In short, your email touchpoints need to be considered within the broader picture of all marketing touchpoints. And you need to be drawing actionable conclusions from your data analysis.

9️⃣ Content Will Be Pulled From Existing Sources

One key to creating high-quality content efficiently is to repurpose your content. Otherwise, you’ll be spending too much time on creating content for various channels. Time that you, as a busy digital marketer, don’t have.

So what’s a marketer to do?

Use what you’ve got. And automate it.

Some platforms are even able to automatically pull popular content from social media into email campaigns.

💡 Tips for Pulling Content Into Your Mailings With Your Newsletter2Go Account

🔟 Data Privacy Will Continue Being a Contentious Topic

Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) caused a lot of uproar (and memes) last year. But the implementation of GDPR was just the beginning of privacy concerns.

Now the first GDPR fines have been levied. Other countries and regions are also enacting similar legislation. See, for example, the law passed by the California legislature. What’s more, consumers have become even more worried about data privacy thanks to the huge media fallout from the Cambridge Analytica/Facebook scandal.

But here’s the rub. As concerned as people are about their data privacy, consumers expect to receive the benefits of big data marketing. People are busy. They already wade through enough offers they’re bored by. They don’t want to spend any more time than they have to doing this. And this is an underlying tension that isn’t going away any time soon.

But here’s the rub. As concerned as people are about their data privacy, consumers expect to receive the benefits of big data marketing. Click To Tweet

For example, in an Adobe consumer study on email habits, one-third of consumers reported that recommendations that didn’t match their interests were the most frustrating failure of personalized email marketing. This polarity between wanting personalized offers and being wary of big data’s power will continue to pull focus in 2019.

In Sum …

2019 will be a big year with a lot of exciting email marketing trends. Data-driven marketing will take off. Interactive emails will become the norm. Personalization will become easier. Throughout all this, big data will continue to affect digital marketing strategies across the board. It fosters new opportunities but also new struggles.

Email marketers have a lot to look forward to.

Did you know that Newsletter2Go rewards good marketing? We’re on a mission – to improve the quality of email marketing globally. For starters, we’ve got a free resource center to educate you on how to grow your business with email marketing. Not only that – we put our money where our mouth is. When you use our email marketing software, you get money back for emails that perform well!

Learn how to earn money back for good email marketing.

About the Author

Mara Taylor
Online Marketing Manager at Newsletter2Go

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