Come forth and step into our time machine to the future of email marketing and Marketing Automation with our 8th annual review of all email marketing trends and predictions.

When we want to future-proof our digital marketing strategy, it is important to understand where we are and anticipate where email marketing is going. Especially where these changes impact the day-to-day business.

What does 2019 and beyond hold in store for the inbox? What tactics and best practices do you need to survive and thrive? And how will email marketers deal with the ever evolving marketing landscape? Lastly, what about those pesky customers, leads, subscribers and their behavior?

Note: The overview is “Trendslated” – Translating the trends and predictions spotted by experts inside and outside the email marketing automation industry. Capture the essence, summarize in different words and added an observation and joke here and there, all for your trends overview reading pleasure.

So let’s jump in and see what email industry today has to say about email marketing automation tomorrow…

– your host, Jordie van Rijn

What will Email Marketing look like in 5 years?

Econsultancy asked marketers how email marketing will evolve. “Looking ahead five years, what do you think the single biggest change to email marketing will be?”
The Big Topics for the coming 5 years are: …Drumroll please… AI, Data, Personalisation, Content, GDPR and Automation. Just have a look at this Word Cloud created from their predictions. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the hottest topic of all, as brand marketers look 5 years into the future of email marketing.

Looking at the 5 year trends in email and automation, what will be the biggest change?
Interesting snippets from brand marketers answers:

“AI, meaning a lot of decisions and campaign planning will become automated.”
“Brand distinction. While I saw a 23% increase in conversion using AI subject line testing, as the providers gained more clients we all began to sound alike. The increase was robust at first and began to flatline; lost momentum but not a downturn.”
“Far more automated and intelligent email marketing. Content will be pulled from existing sources and there will be less pressure on marketers to do it manually.”
“Email will become almost a ‘luxury’ channel – customers’ email addresses will be reserved for highly relevant, highly personalised content and brands which fail to deliver will rarely get a second chance. It will be one of the channels with the highest and fastest growing ROI.”
“Voice-based interaction. As people move away from using screens, emails copy needs to work equally well for someone reading it, or having it read to them.”
“Web-like experience within the email (shopping, purchasing, etc.) without the need to launch into a browser.”

The No Bullsh*t 2019 Email Marketing Predictions

2019 email marketing predictions

Kickbox asked 6 email experts to weigh in on expected changes and new opportunities in email marketing – while cutting the male cow excrement. Here is their view on email marketing trends and how they can help your email marketing strategy.

2019 Will Be the Year of Customer Experience Email Marketing

Kath Pay: Marketers will begin to carry the same principles that make the lifecycle messages work i.e: helpfulness, personalised and customer-focused, into their regular Business As Usual / promotional emails.

This is called Customer Experience Email Marketing. Consumers expect brands to deliver upon the original promise they signed up to when they subscribed to your email program.

Predictive Automation For the Win

Dennis Dayman: With massive amounts of data collected, increasing use of automation systems and automated emails are to expect. But instead of a strategy of email programs to look back to that data, it will be about what they will NEED and want to buy next.

If presented right, predictive email it is not creepy. No one gets creeped out when Amazon suggests something based on your purchases and profile.

Brand Authenticity & Customer-Centric Marketing Will Shine

Andy Shore: With lower entry barriers for marketing automation and email marketing tools, more and more companies will use them.

When creating an automation, it’s important to look at it from your subscriber’s point of view. Make sure that the sequence serves their needs and the sales will follow.
A customer-centric approach is a part of your email marketing strategy, but it needs a to be paired with other emails that show brand authenticity and care about your relationship with your subscribers.

For instance ask if the email content appeals to them or what new products or services they might want. Put a face to your brand and give it some personality.

AI: New Marketing Opportunities But Low Adoption

Anthony Chiulli: AI will continue to grow in all aspects of email. AI will go on to provide new ways for email marketers to increase the scale, creation, personalization, and delivery of emails in 2019. Expect email marketing AI push the boundaries of automation. But adoption will remain low because of relative complexity of implementing and managing it.

Big Privacy thing, Automation Consolidation & Smarter Marketers

Ryan Phelan: Privacy will be the big thing. It all comes down to how marketers use and protect personal data that allows to deliver better messaging to customers.

In the marketing automation space, we will see more consolidation. One concern is the degradation of core marketing automation software offerings after acquisitions.

Marketers will keep getting smarter because the industry is flush with additional technologies to jumpstart the continuing need for relevance.

Email Gets R.E.S.P.E.C.T, but does it?

Jen Capstraw: Yes: Email is getting newfound respect, which will continue into 2019 and beyond. The tech industry is getting more serious about the email game because CMOs are recognizing it’s essential to holistic strategies and the all-important LTV (lifetime value) metric.

This move toward LifeTimeValue as the ultimate KPI means the focus on short-term conversions is waning.
No: Email is still getting small slivers of marketing budgets, despite the incredible ROI of email. Some are even dropping low engaged subscribers from their list to save money. Like clipping coupons to buy a Maserati. Wanna drive a Maserati? Gotta make mo money—not save a few pennies.

In the words of Stewart Brand, “The fast-moving trends get most of the attention. The slow-moving trends have most of the power.” To read the all-full-no-bull post, head over to Kickbox here.

Email marketing trends Meta-view

What happens if you read all “Top email trends for 2019”, the “2019 email marketing predictions” and “Where is email headed in the years to come?” articles out there trying to find what are the hottest topics? No need. Gerald Marshall from did the heavy lifting for you and categorized 195 email marketing trends and predictions.

email marketing predictions 2019

Category number one: Content
Brand made content should be(come) more authentic and humanized is the prediction. To keep the subscribers engaged, we need to throw in some Storytelling and interactive content in 2019. The content firehose can only be tamed by a wish for quality over quantity.

Category number two: Email and ESPs
The email channel is predicted to see strong use as the trust of social media effectiveness going down. Email will be a main engagement channel for customer engagement in ecommerce and amazingly…. grow sales.

For Email Service Providers marketers that know their customers demand (pre-built) segmentation. The winners in the ESP category will allow for easy interactions with direct-to-consumer subscription models, video consumption and account-based marketing tools. ESPs with CRM, advanced segmentation and cross-channel deployment is the new normal.
You can find the full meta-article and all the categories here

The data shift: 2019 Email Marketing Trendbook

data email marketing trendsbook

In their Email marketing trendbook 2019, Krzysztof Jarecki, Dominik Krześlak and Adam Ambrożewicz from ExpertSender discuss what they believe are the trends to look out for in the not too distant future. Email Marketing trends that’ll find their way into the marketing cosmos.

The story is told through StoryTelling Emails

We want to listen to captivating stories, about what happened, what is happening and the future. (meta-alert!) Hey, stories are an effective way to grabbing your audience’s attention by the… eyeballs. With the whole trend around STE (StoryTelling Emails) , expect Brands to jump on and storytelling to be a type of email marinated content in the inbox.

End-to-end encryption and Blockchain for identity safe email

With consumer awareness growing and new laws end-to-end encryption (E2EE) is something we will start seeing more. E2EE lets you send emails and nobody can sneakily peek in the content of your message. A blockchain-based email solution keeps even more secrets.

Shhhh, users want to keep ownership of their personal data and information. Not only because of those funny or embarrassing emails, Krzysztof. People demand control over their data. It will be only a matter of time until there will be a (popular) blockchain-based coded email solution.

Emails start behaving like the World Wide Web.

The sign is on the wall. Email will behave more like we know from the web. Apple and Google AMP are foreshadowing it. We have been waiting for it, but soonish customers can complete eCommerce transactions directly from their email. Rejoice! .

Email – key to access the customer’s journey

You get a great amount of behavioural and transactional data from different channels and sources. Snippets of data, catch them if you can. This data can be used to send the most appropriate content at the most appropriate time in email. How appropriate! Your customer’s email is the key to your customer’s journey in other channels. The email will allow you to merge first-party data with third-party data.

Data science that email!

Data science can help marketers engage and retain customers. Using customer behavioral data, their profiles, the products they browsed and bought. Put it in the blender, turn on the smart button and presto: Smart use of data will help marketers pinpoint the best time, place, offer, frequency and recommendations – because a happy customer is a purchasing customer.

Read the rest in the beautifully designed 2019 Email Marketing Trendbook here at ExpertSender.

These 14 Email Marketing Automation Trends will Power 2019

email marketing automation power trendsWith a real email marketing automation machine, what fuels the work-horse? Well, that is not really what marketing automation trends do of course, but still. Nicole Malczan over at Engagebay listed the following power trends.

The Personal Touch Reigns Supreme

Automation can figure out the “right time” for our messages. No need to cherry-pick every hot lead, or categorize them by hand. Software can do that job for us.
But we human beings are. Bleep. Not machines, yes? While marketing and email automation runs the program, don’t forget the human touch in the process.

CRO Becomes an Important Metric to Follow for your 2020 agenda

Conversion is cool. Optimized conversion is cooler. A Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) strategy should on every marketer’s agenda. Include email and marketing automation in your 2020 CRO plan. So what makes the future-ism in this? Optimising interactivity, more advanced CRO tools. Virtual reality and augmented reality experiences could be conversion optimised as well. Cool.

Artificial Intelligence Continues to Push the Boundaries

So we need to push back? A trend for automation in email marketing is artificial intelligence. AI is about a lot of things. It really took off in 2017 and hasn’t lost much steam since. AI can be used for boosting collaborations, customer personalization, gaining insights and voice commands. Let say that 2019 will be the year that AI augments automation and becomes a marketer’s best friend. If you look at the AI100 chart below, you’ll see it’s already happening.

startups AI email marketing automation

Automated Email List Pruning and categorization

Another trend regarding automation in email marketing is automated email list pruning. Think about it as “Set it to forget them. “ 😀 The email marketing software can just as granularly categorize contacts or move them into more general buckets depending on campaign- scope. High qualified and segmented leads could even mean higher conversions and sales.

The Rise of Visual Automation Workflow Builders

Visual automation workflow builders are ideal to keep an overview of your email flows and automations. More email service providers are showing off with those visual automation builders, thus more marketers have access. Just watch how these builders simplify building automated flows. They are drag-and-drop and that saves you time. Can you see the benefits?

Chatbots Are “Okay, Google.”

More and more people invite voice tech such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa into their homes. Will that make people more chatty? 15 percent of consumers relied on a company’s chatbot in 2017. If your website chatbots can hit even some of the potential use cases, then they’re worth having. Now, what do chatbots have to do with email marketing automation? When used to encourage leads to subscribe to your email list. For instance.

Finding more (automated) ways to keep ‘em coming back

New leads, fresh leads, acquisition. Great. But what about the customers that try to run off? Focus on bringing customers back before / after they churn or leave the sales process automation can take some of those tasks.
* Automated Re-engagement campaigns
* Automated cart abandonment email campaigns
* Replenishment emails (to refill their stock)

So we had those for a while, simple versions at least. The step to the future is the intelligence (artificial you ask?) that helps identifying these churn instances, resolve identities and time and optimise them better.

More marketing automation trends can be seen to power 2019.

Think about the unstoppable need for Killer Content, Recommender Blocks that gain Popularity, Transactional Emails – don’t stop sending those and some more best practices for email marketing testing.

6 email best practices and trends in 2019 that we can’t hear enough about.

email best practices and trends 2019
As we go through 2019, brands are improving their emails to grab attention and eyeballs in all sorts of ways. Using Gifs? Yes. Using subject lines that “pop”? Obviously, yes. But what are other best practice trends in email marketing we should give a bit more credit and love?

Bryce Boyle Hoban of Hook agency sits down behind the good old office desk and, in real-time, wrote these down for you:

Implementing Artificial Intelligence in email

No “I robots”-like shenanigans yet, but email marketing is good feeding ground for AI.

Expect AI to be involved with email in 2019 for:
Creating and suggesting subject lines and images
Content customization on individual level based on past interactions with other emails
When will users unsubscribe? AI gives you an estimate “unsub date”
More email engagement insights

The cross-pollination of Automation and segmentation

Emails that are segmented and targeted account for roughly 58 percent of all the revenues. Email marketing is becoming more sophisticated, but does that come at a cost of more work? You can bet your Lambo we will see more companies automating their segmentation.

and for email automation in 2019, that means:
Engagement based follow ups. Keep track of open rates and optimize the actions for those who don’t engage in with emails.
Find out which content popularly leads to sitetraffic from emails (and then…. take action)
Nurture email flows that automatically adapt to slighted towards engagement.

Less Hard Selling

Nobody really like to Live fast, Sell hard. So this is reflecting in email the coming year. Expecting the marketing tactics to be more less hard (that sentence DOES make sense, don’t interrupt my trend-writing flow please!). So think about value added emails, where the content and relationship comes first sales second (but at least it comes).

More Storytelling in Content

Plot hole detector going off! What will we do if our mails aren’t just sales mails anymore? Less hard sell content on emails, we need some strong storytelling content to fill that hole. Storytelling grabs your customer’s attention by engaging them, no matter what kind of marketer you are, connect emotionally.

Storytelling content will improve emails:
Offer meaning and powerful stories focused on customer pain points
Build out the relationship between consumer and brand
Become a premium value provider for the reader
Be the Ham, where other brands feel like spam.

Writing in Conversational Tones

More brands will work to massage personality and humor into their email copy. That feels gooooddd, and helps to create a quite close connection with their audience. Added benefit: it gets them them to read the copy completely rather than being distracted and go off and do an office bouncey-ball session immediately after they open your email.

You want more – because one of the trends is missing – and read that original piece. You can, read the full article at the Benchmark email blog.

5 exciting email design trends in 2019

email design trends

In 2019 the emails are big, bright, bold, and more beautiful! Email design trends are inspiring and Kelly Shetron from the team at the Bee Email Design Blog is keeping an eye on email design and found the following email marketing design trends especially exciting:

Better Accessibility

Email accessibility has increasingly become part of email design. With emails become more accessible in 2019, all readers can enjoy what we designers make. For instance be mindful to have enough contrast, keep fonts legible, underline links and don’t forget ALT tekst and keep it left-aligned for easier reading.

More Marvelous Minimalism

People are getting rid of clutter in their designs and cleaning up. And who says we can’t Marie Kondo our emails! If a design element doesn’t spark joy, say goodbye! Email design simplicity trend isn’t expected to slow down this year.

Here is an example: Grammarly uses bold colors, to-the-point tekst, and a clear clickable CTA button.

consise email writing

It’s minimal.

Other email design trends include the use of Gorgeous Gradients, Pantone’s color of the year (living coral) and Typographic designs with Bold Serif Fonts. See all the design trends and the examples of the inspiring emails in the full article at the BEE Email design blog

Trends to walk the email marketing catwalk in 2019

email marketing automation hot trends
What is more fashionable than an email marketing catwalk? That is what Amy Attle thought at Communicator. Here are her 5 Haute couture email marketing trends and best practice tips that no one is ashamed to wear.

Create hyper-segmented email automation campaigns

Normal segmentation won’t cut it any more. Marketers need to hyper-segment your emails. How? One way is through self-selected email automation, where you give subscribers the option to choose the content they receive.

Surprise personalisation

We want to improve personalisation. So time your email automation to personal events like birthdays. But to really surprise a subscriber, you have to do something more unexpected. Use the first name into the middle of a paragraph for instance. This will make your subscribers feel as though you are speaking to them directly.

Be Sarah from marketing, not Siri from Apple

Just like you can recognise a specific artist on the radio, your subscribers should be able to recognise your emails even if your branding mysteriously disappeared. Your emails need to be distinctive and resonate with your subscribers. People engage more with other people, so sound like one. Let your personality shine through, for instance by “engaging with your inner teenager and push some slang, Yo.” If that is your audience.

Gold star for creativity and interactivity

How shall we stand out in the inbox in 2019? Yes you, person in the back? “Be more creative”. Gold star for you. Make sure your campaign is different than expected, and a captivated audience shall befall you. Just watch those click-through rates climb a mountain.

Don’t use Real Dumbness but Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence is hot. AI can be quite an investment for businesses, but it can pay off, for example use:

AI to unify information from diverse datasets. The AI tells you what questions you should’ve asked, and provides additional insights to the questions you did ask.
AI to customise content for individual users, to be relevantissimo to them. A better email marketing experience is what is promised.
AI to crank up email engagement of audiences. AI emails are more personalised. Find preference trends and predict what customers will want in the future.

Get ahead of the email marketing trends to ensure you see the results you want for your business.
The Latest Trends in B2B Email Marketing

trends b2b emailmarketing

A B2B-butterfly flapped its wings, leading to chain of events that will change B2B email marketing forever….

Chad S. White and the expert services team at Oracle saw that many B2B email marketing trends and best practices are becoming more interconnected. So let’s follow the chain of the B2B email marketing trends….

Automation of compliance and data

Privacy and permission standards are rising quickly, as are potential penalties. All subscriber acquisition sources need to follow the law and function properly.

So structured and correct data will become more important with data standards for key fields in forms, list uploads, third-party apps, and CRM integrations. That is a lot of work; let’s automate the compliance data processes that drive opt-in email automation. This ties into…

Start being proactive with in-actives

Brands should chant ‘less is more’, ‘less is more’! Who cares if you have millions of contacts in your database if they haven’t opened a single email for months? Having inactive subscribers on your email list is bad. A risk to deliverability, and can violate the law. Focus on quality and engaged leads —the 20% that fork over 80% of the revenue.

Get your lead quality up from the start by gathering…

Opt-ins that show off they are pumped with Intent

Active consent means higher value and less risky subscribers. Shift from gobbling up all opt-ins wherever you can find them, to a more selective, exclusive bunch with higher intent. It is a struggle for many organizations to change their mind on this, but the B2B email marketing trend is clear. The dapper tactic is to let customers choose when and why they hear from companies.

So hand-in-hand goes the…

Growing preference to B2B email preference centers

Marketing isn’t advertising, marketing can be much more of a dialogue.What does the customer or prospect want to hear about? This is putting custom preference centers at the top of many B2B email senders to-do lists. Even better is to combine this data with preference from behavior.

This leads to the next trend…

Hyper-personalization of email

If you want a relationship to be on First-name basis, you have to move beyond First name personalization. Personalizing the CEX (customer experience) today, means combining data and behavior across channels and even adding third party data.

You can personalize all pieces of an email with that data – subject lines, email links, banners, calls-to-action, logos, and email footers – now you have a “bento box”–style email.

Timing can also be personalized, meaning …

Email send time becomes personal

Sent time optimization allows brands to send their email when subscribers are most likely to read their email. This has been in the B2C space for a while, and now B2B marketers are looking optimize their send times. Finding the perfect email timing is not just for broadcast and segmented emails.

Automated emails can be improved via…

Smart email triggers in the fast and low lane

The ideal trigger delay of automated emails can vary from person to person, which is where individualized trigger timing comes in.Nurture series are becoming more behavior-driven in content and timing. The B2B email marketing trend is having the prospect engagement drive the pace of the emails—faster or slower.

A smart automated series can also push a prospect to the next buyer stage based on their actions. Creating buyer stage email programs that move based on behavior and interest is a great way to warm a prospect into a sales-ready conversation faster.

Whether it’s personalization, send time optimization, or smart trigger timing…

AI Does it all better

While there are manual, rules-based ways of creating much more relevant emails, AI does it better, scalable and more flexible. AI and machine learning are transforming the marketing automation space. Pushing the boundaries around hyper-personalization and automation.

AI needs access to lots of data, so more B2B brands are integrating data warehouses and embracing B2C strategies & sools because the overlap between the B2C and B2B email marketing worlds is growing.

All these trends are chained together in B2B email marketing. From now on we might need to relabel B2B to mean Butterfly-to-Butterfly-effect. Read the full article here and get to know the the Oracle Expert Services team.

Writing the future: Email Marketing Trends in 2019

With everything digital constantly changing including the humans, the future is more challenging to predict than ever. But we crave innovation, so Adam Ward takes a shot over at Mailingmanager. And “retro” and nostalgia have their place, don’t you love it?

Blurring the personal lines

Personalisation has improved over the past years. Segmentation and targeting are as much a part of this process as custom fields have ever been. 2019 will almost certainly see better use of targeting and segmentation and personalisation together to create that personal experience.

The Visual Prizefight in the inbox

Marketers and thought leaders struggle to agree if the inbox will be more visual or more text-only heavy. The clever technique is to use both types together. Your subscriber opens up a glittery and engaging email. Three days later, they receive a text-only email following up. This might become standard practice.

The nurturing email marketing trend

Each email glows a little brighter now it is in a smaller mailing list. The death of the claustrophobic hard e-sell. Send little “jabs“, non-intrusive emails that keep a business top-of-mind. Building relationships makes for better customer retention.

2019 – year of the story

There has been a lot more intelligent, daring, content lately. More effort is going into that all important brand voice. Humans invented campfires, and
storytelling is back dear friends, and to stay. Expect a rise in the amount of stories you read in your email 2019.

Thank god it’s AI

AI AI is getting smarter, but mostly on the back end of the email marketing campaigns. Software won’t be writing our email marketing campaigns yet. We will be able thank AI for smarter tools, highly responsive templates, and better reporting and use of statistics.

Email marketing trends in 2019 promise to be very interesting, because 2018 was very interesting. The trends are beginning to be defined by humans again, not technology. Creativity and intelligence are making a comeback. Email marketing is putting the fun back in the marketing industry.

The Top 5 Email Trends Shaping the Future of Email Marketing

email future interaction
What are the top five email trends that are shaping email marketing as we speak according to Etan Zeng, hustler-man?

Email becomes paid media

Email remains free of media cost – but according to Ethan this won’t be the case forever.
ISPs such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo! Mail would establish a paid model for advertisers in the long term. Monetisation of the inbox.

I seriously doubt if there will be a (priority) inbox-tax. But advertising certainly. Gmail is already showing ads formatted like email. In the meanwhile use email marketing today before it becomes a marketing expense.

Imagine the visual Inbox

We’re all visual animals. Visual communication helps us to learn faster and more effectively, Social is becoming more visual. Naturally the traditional email inbox is also growing increasingly visual.

The personal inbox is becoming increasingly personalised, interactive and programmable.
We can then expect this trend to continue growing where inboxes be more visual. Video will become far more prevalent within emails.

Completely Personalised email combined with real-time Automation

Currently, automation is often focused on a straight funnel approach. Previous action(s) such as purchasing tripwire content or entering a competition triggers the next. There is some personalisation but it’s all very linear.
With the advent of AI and personalised video, we could see real-time experiences take over the nurture flow in a seamless and automated experience. Emails could be sent in normal or video format, dynamically rendered based on location and weather. Discounts and offers would be shown on these completely personalised variables, which in turn increases conversion.

Your Email Inbox gets an intelligent layer for Voice Platforms

The rise of voice with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Apple HomePod makes it to the inbox. Emails won’t just be read on the voice platforms of the future. Our emails will have an intelligent layer over them meaning you’ll be able to respond, delete and dynamically sort your emails through voice.

This also sits hand in hand with paid email marketing as a prediction, which could see a centralised demand-side platform for email placements. And real-time-bidding could take place – similar to the Google Display Network for example.

GDPR and Data Protection

The recent impact of GDPR has been far-reaching. With users that are reluctant to share all their personal details, Customers will grow control over their personal data and email addresses. But if done correctly, the enforcement of the new regulations will help them trust marketing from brands again and build healthy relationships.
Expect stricter data regulation in regions beyond the EU. This will shape the way businesses capture emails leads. Marketers need consent for their data activities and transparency will be a bigger part of the lead capture landscape moving forward.

Top Email Design Trends for 2019

top email design trends
What are the email design trends for 2019? This year, expect more personalized and interactive emails. Litmus did a survey and these trends stood out above all others on marketers’ priority list for 2019. What do they and a host of excellent commentators have to say? These are the most email design trends most likely to

1. Focusing on Personalization and Dynamic content
Personalization has always been a popular email design trends. The focus on dynamic content is part because of the rise of AI-driven personalization. This allows marketers to add tailored email content at scale and with granularity that would otherwise be impossible. More about that in trend 3.

2. Creating interactive email experiences
Brands use interactivity to engage and removing friction from email experiences. For instance in direct voting (click on them stars!) in review emails, without leaving the email.

Real-time ecommerce isn’t here yet though. Interactive email is will be adopted more often if Email marketers can use them more easily. That will be a trend as the ESPs start offering the design and content features to create interactive email.

3. Allowing AI and machine learning systems to determine more email content
Machine learning makes it possible to optimize send times, show the right product recommendations, pick subject lines and words. Al can now be done because of intelligent AI-amajigs. Totally AI-designed email isn’t here (yet), but the modularity of email and templates make it great medium to include AI-driven elements.

top email design trends of 2019 statistics

4. Using more live content
Live content is loaded at time of the email open, so it is up to date and relevant for subscribers who don’t open the email immediately. Think about real-time countdown clocks (e.g., end of sale), weather information, sports scores, inventory, pricing and product data.

Gamification of email with live content can engage customers and make your messages stand out, for example with live polls and results.

5. Simplifying email designs for easier consumption and creation
Brands are simplifying their emails to be more flexible with changes. It is more about pushing content, not style. Mobile is a big driving force behind simpler email designs. One could even make a case for mobile-only design as more than half of email opens views originate from mobile, mobile email is even more popular with Gen Z.

6. Using more animation, whether gifs or css animation
Use animated .gifs or css, animations make subscribers look. Email animation has attention grabbing properties. Just simple flashing gifs aren’t cutting it anymore though, so you need to put creative brain to work. But don’t overdo it, keep the filesize down please.

7. Coordinating email design and campaigns in other channels
Email marketing is becoming a part of brands’ omnichannel operation. According to Litmus research two-thirds of brands are making the omnichannel transition or have already completed it. Instead of “email only” briefings – these now include every channel, with digital ad packs and social ads.

the Email Design trends long tail
Taking advantage of Google AMP for email is interestingly lowest on the list. What else are email marketers looking at, although more on the low-prio?

Scaling email build systems through templates and modules.
Adding progressive enhancements,
Improve email accessibility,
Crafting more one-off, unique email designs and
Optimizing email for dark mode.

You can find the full article with all experts’ comments at the Litmus blog.

10 Marketing Automation Trends That Will Shape 2019

Nowhere as clear that marketing is driven by data and technology as in marketing automation. Are you ready for the brave new version of the marketing world? Pam Neely put 10 B2B marketing automation trends most likely to have the biggest impact.

Successful marketers must be succesful data managers.

Most of the marketing automation trends are based on smart use of data. Personalization, Multichannel marketing, Improving the Customer Journey, all are data-driven.
Data management is tough and the number of data sources is only increasing. Yikes! Expect marketers who are able to turn their data from cacophony into symphony will do better and better.

B2B marketers will turn multichannel – and use messaging well.

More B2B tools and marketers will go toward multichannel communication this year. Moving “marketing automation” into multiple channels beyond automated email marketing, just think about the impact of real-time channels and personalization.

Personalized communications to include personalized customer journeys.

If you can get personalization right, the rewards are there “High-performing marketers are 9.7x more likely to be completely satisfied with their ability to personalize omni-channel experiences.” According to Salesforce.

More B2B marketers will implement real-time communication.

Strike while the (marketing automation) iron is hot, big chance you’ve heard that. Just look at the delta between real-time and batch mesaging. Real time welcome emails have 10X the results of batched welcome emails on average. Not all Marketing automation tools are not all are as fast as a speeding customer, but this is changing and marketers have no excuse not to act.

Marketing automation is customer experience optimization

Marketing automation will be used more often for the entire customer lifecycle. This makes perfect sense. According to a recent survey of B2B marketers, the single most effective way to optimize marketing automation is Customer experience mapping.
Marketing automation is a way to shape their experience with your company. Drip email campaigns, those are a way to guide a customer’s experience with you.
Marketing automation is customer experience optimization.

Voice will become the new messaging channel in marketing automation.

Voice will accelerate in 2019, and it is going to affect marketing automation. Alexa can for instance now read your emails, have you listened how your automated emails sound? Better check what your customer experience is like via voice.

Marketing automation strategy, Start with a map.

While not numbered, you can imagine what is the biggest of influences for a succesful Marketing Automation program? Would it be that Lead quality beats quantity? The growth of artificial intelligence and machine learning? Nah….

Strategy, and it comes with a Classic story too: Marketers are attracted to cool technology, but lack the strategy to make the most of it. Customer journey mapping, Persona’s and Strategies won’t be perfect from the start. But begin with a “good enough” customer journey map and evolve, it is far better than just diving in without a plan.

Read the full article here.

Deliverability changes that will lead to 2019 excitement

email marketing deliverability trends

2018 was a turning point in the email world. Was it? Well.. some things did happen. The guys and gals at Ongage wondered: ”What was the most significant change in email marketing that should make mailers excited about 2019?” Hmmm interesting question.

Domain reputation will be a bigger factor for deliverability
Nick Shafer from Mailgun notes that Email reputation systems at ISPs have been getting better, and they aren’t looking at just IPs anymore. Domain reputation will be a bigger factor to decide who’s making it to the inbox. That should be something marketers look forward to.

Domain reputation can help you stand out from the pack by sending messages that are fully authenticated with DKIM, SPF, and DMARC. Especially coming off the migration of the mail systems for Microsoft’s freemail services and AOL and Verizon that caused a lot of throttling issues and sending delays.

Getting to the inbox more… if

Josh Nason, Senior Email Deliverability Consultant from Oracle Dyn adds: Emailers can be excited about getting to the inbox more… if they remove unengaged users and send overall better content. Now most companies have been scared into reviewing their database practices. GDPR was big enough to have the question “Are you GDPR compliant?” asked of every email provider at some point in 2018. The key to a better program isn’t to send more, it’s to send more strategically.

The email innovations consumers are most interested in

In our own Email Addiction research we uncovered the consumers use and attitude about email marketing. Because as an email marketer you want to know views and behaviors of consumers that have the greatest impact on your marketing results.

email marketing innovations

One of the questions goes into the email marketing innovations that consumers are most interested in.

38% wants to see emails that include product ratings. 35% wants offers based on their past purchases. This shows that consumers are looking for qualification and relevance to help the decision to click (and convert).

Surprisingly, the enthusiasm for location based email is also high with 31% seemingly no big concern of brands being too intrusive.

Native video in email, with 14%, is generally not thought of as the killer consumer innovation. Email marketers have been raving about video being the upcoming trend. But according to the popular opinion it is not a winner compared to a good relevant offer with supporting information.

Download the full Email Addiction Report here.

Email Marketing Trends for 2019 – boost your email strategy

Bea Redondo Tejedor from Mailjet, in her article likes to focus on how you’re going to boost your email strategy in 2019.

You might already be stepping on the email marketing gas pedal, some things will be recognizable. But fighting for the user’s attention gets harder in 2019. So the trends to effective marketing are:

Targeting contacts with relevant messages, think segmentation, advanced personalization and automating those messages – so they not be anything but reeeeleeevant.
Attractive interactive designs, so start coding those responsive interactive, mobile first emails.
Effective brand storytelling that humanizes the company for a winning email marketing strategy. Creating an emotional connection, share your values and tell your story.
The data protection laws will be key in internal ways companies operate. ePrivacy will add to email as a strategic marketing channel. Not kidding research tells us it is true.

The trend towards distributed teams, and bigger marketing departments and external agencies, means companies need to find tools for team email collaboration.

Full story? Here at Mailjet.

6 Digital Marketing Trends for 2019 (that will influence your email and B2B marketing)

2018 has been the year where Marketing automation moved from utopia to reality. Marketers have thoughts on the possibilities of data and the endlessness of it all. Meanwhile the experts at Apsis office ponder about all the digital 2019 marketing trends. Embrace yourself and brace for their 2019 predictions.

Put your omni-channel quest on hold for qualitative progression

Niklas Jakobsson says: Eager B2B marketers will start looking for new and exciting opportunities to climb the evolutionary ladder of data-driven marketing. When marketing automation hits mainstream, Omni-channel marketing is the natural next quest. But wait, first do some qualitative progression and get the foundation of marketing automation and truly earn your ticket for a seat on the hype-train.

Flow Down; B2B is Back to Basics

Marketing automation has swooned the digital marketing world. Don’t dive head first into advanced automation flows. “Flow down” and walk before you leap. B2B might mean Back the basics. Nail your welcome flows, and ensure that you start right before progressing to next step nurturing.

Don’t Forget Your Salesforce and internalize the Marketing automation Mantra

Internal communications has a substantial impact on the external results. Apparently the marketing and sales people at Apsis dreams about qualitative leads and streamlined marketing and sales processes at night. That sounds a bit overly involved guys. Still, a good idea to internalise the marketing automation mantra and deliver the right upcoming lead generating/ nurturing campaigns information, to the right salesperson, at the right time.

2019 the Year of Transparency and Trust

GDPR arrived and we need to work hard for the data. But not the one-way-flow-of-input-for businesses-to-increase-revenue-in-the-name-of-marketing-and-selling kind. Triple E (E-commerce Expert Extraordinaire) Sofie Bjerkefeldt says: Rather, trust is earned, so focus on building authentic and strong customer relationships. It will earn you the PII (Personal Identifiable Information) you need to personalise.

Maximize your data to make one size fit

Without a cookie-cutter formula, and a one-size-fits-all mode of successful communications. What can we do? View the uniqueness of the customer as an opportunity – not a burden. It brings a way to sharpen segmentation and relevance. Marketers need to identitfy consumers regardless of the device or channel. That require smart technology to put all that data together, such as a customer data platform (CDP).

Privacy Shield Might Dampen Your Data Processing

The Legal Counsel with a large “L”, Sahar Torabi, Warns us. The EU-U.S. Privacy Shield might fall short of the GDPR requirement of “adequate level of protection”. That has the potential of suspending data transfers to and from the U.S. Try to foresee the unforeseeable and be proactive with your data privacy strategies.

You can read the full article here on the Apsis site.

3 Mega-Trends Shaping the Future of Email Marketing industry

The three mega-trends Jason Rodgriguez from Litmus wanted to share, as they kept coming up in presentations at their events. They believe these trends will be instrumental in shaping the future of work in the email industry.

email collaboration trend

Mega Email Marketing Trend 1: Collaboration

Email design systems is a way open the door for cross team collaboration. Email marketers are working with larger teams and with more departments. Hardest is getting alignment and buy-in. Some practical tips is to kick off projects with a clear agenda, set expectations, and creating more human connections with teammate in the coming year.

The email marketing collaboration trend creates a need for better communication between colleagues, departments, tools, and organizations. It can be a lot to manage. An email playbook is handy, a guide to what’s possible in your email marketing program.

Mega Email Marketing Trend 2: Design systems and modularity

A design system creates a complete system of code, documentation, guidelines, and resources for creating nearly any type of email a sender requires. This improves email consistency, and lets teams scale their email production.

Modular design takes each element of your email campaign and makes them into modules (components) to re-use and quickly build a new email. Modular design can massively increase efficiency.

Mega Email Marketing Trend 3: Email and omni-channel marketing

One of the most important trends we saw this year: Email marketing’s role in broader marketing strategies. All marketers should recognise the role of email in successful omni-channel marketing programs. One tip is to repurpose content from other channels in email, with the challenge to align teams across those channels, and keep it all user-focused.

The Year in Email 2018

While most thought leaders are busy making predictions (ahum), Anthony Chiulli of 250ok likes to learn from the past to positively impact the future. Good point. Let’s try if we can summarize the email year 2018 in 18 sentences?

Email Legislation, Security, and Privacy

The GDPR, European privacy regulation dramatically changing how personal data is collected, stored, and used, finally became enforceable on May 25th, 2018.

June brought us the CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act ) which will take effect in January 2020.

All federal entities using .gov domains to have a DMARC p=reject policy in place came due on October 16.

In July Wall Street journal published a piece on the scraping email content and inbox behavior of millions of Gmail, Microsoft, and Yahoo users, and unveiling the significant privacy violations.

In October Google API user data policy changes were announced to prevent scraping and help protect its users – email panel dependant vendor people were like “Oh shit”.

Industry Acquisitions, Consolidations, and Changes

The marketing technology industry saw a steady flow of mergers and acquisitions this past year, with more than $40 billion dollars exchanging hands.

Purchase including Adobe’s acquisition of Marketo , Cheetah Digital acquiring Stellar Loyalty, Salesforce adding Rebel to their Marketing Cloud business, SendGrid acquired by Twilio.

In june Emma and Delivra joined the Campaign Monitor umbrella, and in september Trendline Interactive acquired Inbox Pros.

Mailbox Provider News

Mailbox provider changes and announcements kept marketers and deliverability professionals on their toes all year.

The most notable mailbox providers undergoing significant changes in 2018 were OATH (Yahoo, AOL, and Verizon mail) and Gmail.

In April, “the new Gmail” redesign introduced users to features created to increase productivity and security.

Inbox by Gmail “waved” (remember Google Wave anyone?) goobye in September

Late November Gmail introduced email annotations for the promotions tab, making it easy for brands to highlight key information like deals, expiration dates, and promo codes with images to their promotional emails.

Microsoft announced a new experience to help users more easily identify and interact with brands’ emails in their inbox.

Email’s Growth and Vitality

Email adoption continued to climb in 2018, with the number of email users worldwide eclipsing 3.8 billion, up more than 100 million users year-over-year.

Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is getting here, a visual indicator in email boasting both marketing and security benefits.

Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP for Email) aims to create more engaging and interactive experiences with email.

And one extra for 2019:

If this past year was any sign of the potential future of email, I am ambitious about the opportunities for email in 2019!

You can read the full article here at 250ok.

Back to the Future of email marketing and marketing automation

What is actually interesting about the Future of Email Marketing and Marketing Automation is that some of the trends we could see glimpses of in earlier years are deepening and becoming reality. Part is technology driven, part is creativity, part is changing consumer behavior and the last part is “Why don’t you just start doing the best-practices”. As any philosopher, time traveler, or science fiction aficionado will say, nothing as hard to predict as the future. I think among the digital marketing world, we see ever changes, while email marketing has celebrated her 40th birthday, we are just getting started.

The best predictions come from having a great knowledge of the past. Here are the “future of email marketing” overviews of the last five years. 2018 edition, 2017 edition, 2016 edition, 2015 edition, 2014 edition.

PS: As more and more future of email marketing articles are published, I’ll be updating this post to include all the trends. If you have any additions, comments, questions or just like to say “HI”, post a comment below.

The Future of Email Marketing & Marketing Automation | 2019 edition

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