“How can you deliver email marketing that the consumer wants to receive, gets past ISP filters, arrives in the Inbox and not just on an ESP deliverability report and still achieve your objectives?”
The answer seems obvious. By helping the consumer to achieve their objective, you the brand, by default achieve yours.
Consumers are continually changing how they use different channels and email is no exception. Read any email report and you’ll see they want and expect email to deliver them offers and information – essentially expecting brands to deliver upon the original transaction they signed up to when they initially subscribed to receive emails.
So let’s look in brief at the key trends for 2019 to improve those all important Open and CTR rates with quality engaged and of course GDPR compliant clicks to your call to action landing pages.
- Predictive Automation
We will see a growing trend where instead of us focusing email campaigns on what came before, meaning what the user bought/clicked/opened in past, the focus will revolve more about what they will NEED and want to open/click/buy next.
Using all that collage of data from web analytics, entry pages to drop off points, combined with user behaviour matched back to the user’s original reason to join the email database, will assist you to focus on a user centric email approach which revolves around the user’s preferences with your brand and could result in multiple email creatives to multiple smaller data segments based on predictive scores so, Yes, the set up of a campaign may take some time but the results will be worth it.
2. You’ll See Brand Authenticity & Customer-Centric Marketing Shine
When creating an automation, it’s important to look at it from your subscriber’s point of view. What is their experience when receiving the emails? Does it make sense? Make sure that the sequence serves their needs. If you accomplish that, the sales will follow.
You have to put in the work to earn the relationship you want to have with your subscribers. The customer-centric approach is a part of that, but it needs a compliment of other emails that work to show some brand authenticity and demonstrate that you genuinely care about your subscribers.
3. AI Will Create New Marketing Opportunities But See Low Adoption
AI will continue to deepen its roots in all aspects of email marketing and reset the boundaries on what automation offers to marketers.
We are seeing evidence of this today in the way machine learning is making content creation, personalization, and send-timing ”smarter” by being able to crunch and analyse data and trends at a pace far beyond the capabilities of man.
2019 predicts AI will continue to provide new ways for email marketers to increase the scale, creation, personalization, and delivery of emails in 2019, but adoption will remain low due to the relative complexity of implementing and managing this technology.
4.Email Gets Respect/Gets No Respect
Email is getting newfound respect, which will continue into 2019 and beyond.Those of us in the email sector have been shouting for eons that it’s one of the top DM channel for ROI. That it’s at the heart of any cross-channel marketing strategy. That it’s the most challenging and interesting and impactful channel. And the world is finally taking note.
This move towards Life time value as the ultimate KPI means the focus on short-term conversions is waning. There’s greater emphasis on building relationships and inviting engagement. Loyalty is a priority. These sentiments drive cleverer, more human strategies across all channels. And they make the work more fun!
Siloes are starting to dissipate. And technology vendors who make it easier for brands to rangle disparate data and empower their marketers to execute complex cross-channel campaigns are growing in popularity.
The pessimistic prediction:
Email still isn’t getting enough respect. Not even from email marketers. And that will continue as well.
Despite the indisputable ROI of email, it’s still getting itty-bitty slivers of marketing budgets. Again and again, brands dump loads of cash into underperforming and less-sophisticated channels, and leave email teams strapped for resources. If they’re doing a great job with so little, why give them more?
For instance, right now there’s a rampant trend of dumping “disengaged” subscribers without much critical thinking. It’s become a widespread best practice for deliverability reasons even when there’s no evidence of deliverability challenges and no evaluation of the long-term bottom-line repercussions. There’s a bit of laziness too: Some brands make no attempt to re-engage. It’s easier to throw those subscribers away than to do the heavy lifting of bringing them back into the fold.
But more alarmingly, I’m hearing that marketers’ top motivation for list-slashing is to SAVE MONEY. On an already underfunded and inexpensive channel. This is counterproductive. It’s like cutting out coupons to save up for a Maserati. You want to drive a Maserati? You got to make more money—not save a few pennies. In fact, you probably need to make some pretty radical changes to get there, radical changes that require investments. And the same goes when it comes to revolutionising your email marketing program.
I’m not saying there’s never a good reason to drop certain subscribers—this practice is rooted in an idea that makes excellent sense—but most email marketers aren’t approaching this issue in a thoughtful way, and this is just a single example of a much larger problem. There’s no prioritisation of what will move the needle to achieve greater success, more buy-in and, ultimately, more resources.
Email marketers are also attracted to shiny objects. They get excited by whiz bang trends and what’s cool. “Can we?” too often outweighs “should we?” And they’re asking for budget for the wrong initiatives.
Although management or budget holders are prioritising the larger customer journey over channel-specific strategies, email marketers are highly specialised and frequently work in a bubble. They’re often spread so thin and so mired in long-engrained procedures, they are blind to efforts that could boost productivity, inspire more meaningful engagement, and integrate campaigns into high-level objectives. There’s a tendency to not see the forest for the trees, to blindly accept “best practices” as gospel, and jump on little bandwagons to nowhere.
And that’s a trend we will, unfortunately, see continue into 2019.
To sum it up in the words of Stewart Brand, “The fast-moving trends get most of the attention. The slow-moving trends have most of the power.”
It’s going to be a long, slow journey to reshape attitudes and practices surrounding email. The good news is, that’s something that comes from the top-down. And that’s a movement that, at last, is now underway and will continue for the next decade. Great things are ahead for email marketing, but change comes slowly, and often, with resistance.
All the best