Trends in email marketing - what's happeningWhat comes, what remains? You should know these topics!
Especially in online marketing you always have to stay on the ball in order not to oversleep trends and pant afterwards. Even with the dinosaur of online marketing – email marketing – things are happening and the channel is constantly evolving. It doesn’t matter whether it’s about design, new technical possibilities or better data protection, there are many new trends. However, we would also like to take up developments that have not yet become widely accepted here. To keep you informed about the most important e-mail marketing trends and developments, we have summarized them for you.
That will come...New developments and trends
Data security and trust - BIMI
Data security and data protection are as important in email marketing as the recipients. But not only data protection is essential, the trust of the recipients also plays an important role in ensuring that the emails are opened at all. Especially industries at risk of phishing and senders such as banking institutions need a way to show the recipient that the content is trustworthy.
In addition to the common encryption methods, BIMI is another protection method. The Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is an initiative of the most important email clients, which is intended to make it easier for the recipient to recognize fraudulent phishing emails. With BIMI, the sender’s brand logo is displayed directly in the recipient’s inbox. If a mailing without a logo reaches the recipient from a sender who otherwise uses BIMI, the recipient can see at a glance that this is a scam.
In addition to protecting the recipient, senders who use BIMI have two other advantages: Firstly, it has a positive effect on their reputation. Email providers now regard them as trustworthy senders, which in turn improves the delivery rate in the long term. And secondly, as long as the standard is not established across the board, these senders will stand out in the inbox with their logo.
Let night fall - Dark Mode
The so-called Dark Mode has been known to us for a long time, e.g. from mobile phone operating systems. But does this also exist in email marketing? Yes, it does, even if it is not yet so widespread. However, this trend is important, the reason: Apple now releases its desktop version with Dark Mode as standard and most people quickly get used to new standard versions without changing them. For mobile devices with a particularly strong younger user group, Dark Mode is not a standard setting, but it is considered stylish and is often switched to.
Why Dark Mode? Battery consumption plays an important role in the mobile sector and Dark Mode uses less power. In addition, light writing on a dark background is easier to read for many people and the strain on the eyes is less – especially at night. Of course, the design also plays a role because it looks modern and fresh.
However, the display of conventional HTML mails in dark mode is not optimal, so adjustments are necessary. Even if it requires some effort to adapt the newsletter design for dark mode, this can lead to better results in your own target group. The best way to test which design appeals more to your recipients is with a simpler mailing.
Anticipating demand - AI and Predictive Analytics
The basis of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the predictions about purchasing behavior derived from it is a large amount of collected customer and user data. Because in order to make forecasts about customer/user behavior, you first need to know your recipients really well. The possibilities offered by AI range from determining the perfect delivery time for individual recipients, to the appropriate subject line, to individualized content. This goes so far that the AI can determine how successfully a certain image will work in a mailing and automatically make the best selection based on these calculations. Another example are products that are offered to a recipient exclusively on the basis of his or her purchasing behaviour and the latest product searches. AI is thus increasingly taking over the communication between companies and recipients and ideally optimising it towards increasingly user-friendly processes and solutions.
There is still some room for manoeuvre and possibilities in the field of artificial intelligence. However, email marketing is also becoming much more complex as a result, which can lead to a situation in which fewer email marketing experts will be responsible for newsletter creation in the future, but rather developers and data analysts.
Subsequently adapt contents - Dynamic Content
The real-time reference plays a role not only in the dispatch of mailings. The content itself is also moving closer and closer to the here and now. Although a text once it has left the dispatch server cannot be changed afterwards, image content and link targets can still be changed after the mailing has been sent. This is due to the fact that images are usually not sent embedded, but are only retrieved by a Content Delivery Network (CDN) when the email is opened. And links are usually redirects so that the link click can be measured. The target path can thus be changed at will even after sending. For this reason, another email marketing trend is Dynamic Content.
One can go so far that each recipient is shown individual content, which is additionally influenced by temporal or local factors. Examples of dynamic content are: Weather, countdowns, availability, product recommendations, directions, horoscopes.
In most cases, the generic term Dynamic Content covers all content that is subsequently influenced by external factors and is therefore not static. For example, demographic, geographic or behavioral characteristics can influence the content, but also internal company factors such as stock levels or market prices.
That remains...Issues that continue to concern us
How mobile-optimized should it be?
It should be clear to most people that user habits are increasingly moving towards mobile applications. Many senders already use a newsletter template that has been adapted accordingly. But often there is still room for improvement. With new devices and further developments in apps and e-mail clients, you should regularly check your responsive email design to see if it still achieves the effect you intend. The design should of course be optimized for the most important devices and applications of your recipients to achieve a positive experience for the majority. Exotic and outdated clients can be neglected.
Did you know that the time and attention span of newsletters read on a mobile phone is significantly less than on a desktop PC? In addition, newsletters on mobile devices are often only scanned quickly. Therefore, besides design, content also plays an important role. If the newsletter is too long, the recipient may well cancel before it is finished. So the message must be right. It should be short and concise and purposefully call for action.
The degree to which a newsletter must be mobile-optimized also depends on the target group. For a rather younger target group, which is in the consumer sector, an appropriate mobile adaptation is essential. Here the mobile opening rate is quickly over 80 percent. However, if you are in the B2B sector, the mobile usage can also be below 10 percent – depending on the sector. In this case it makes sense to continue to focus on desktop mailings. So take a close look at your mailing statistics to see exactly what terminal device preference your target group has and act accordingly.
Still up-to-date - Automation
Automation in itself is nothing new, but it remains an e-mail marketing trend nonetheless: precisely because automated processes in e-mail marketing are still too little used in many companies and institutions. However, automation offers so many advantages, e.g. that behaviour-dependent communication is possible as well as a significant saving of time and resources. A prime example are trigger mailings that are triggered automatically on the basis of specific user behavior, such as a purchase or an inquiry. Fast response times ensure that the expectations of the recipients are met and contribute to a positive customer experience.
In addition to the implementation of automated campaigns and newsletters, the link to data sources and systems is of course also a basic requirement for automation. This is often the crux of the matter, why more automated mailings are not yet sent. But when this hurdle is overcome, both sender and recipient benefit. It becomes particularly interesting when additionally linked with AI or predictive analytics.
Cross-channel campaigns - 360 degree marketing
The focus in digital 1:1 communication is clearly on email marketing. Nevertheless, it can make sense to include other communication channels for certain topics or processes. Suitable channels can be push messages, SMS, postal mailings and in some cases even the good old fax. In 360-degree marketing, all marketing channels are coordinated and complement each other so that the recipient has a consistent experience everywhere.
For example, the SMS is particularly suitable for appointment reminders, it fulfils its purpose in a short and concise manner. Postal mailings, on the other hand, are suitable if recipients have not yet reacted to your digital mail as desired and/or simply need a little more attention. For a particularly conservative or B2B target group, the fax can be the means of choice to give the appropriate emphasis to a previous newsletter. It is best to integrate these additional channels into automated campaigns for maximum efficiency.
By the way, you will also find these channels in our AGNITAS EMM (E-Marketing Manager). For example, together with our cooperation partner Deutsche Post, you can not only control the next birthday mailing digitally and thus create even more proximity to the customer.
Do you know other important email marketing trends that every expert should know and which we have not yet listed here? Then simply send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add your trend to the article.
Would you like to push your e-mail marketing further? Then take a look at these articles:
Why the world does not need interactive mails with AMP for E-Mail
This is why we do not see interactive mails via AMP as a trend at the moment. Here is a statement from our Managing Director Martin Aschoff:
“Even the most modern e-mail programs, unlike web browsers, only support a subset of the current HTML5 standard. This does not stop Google from propagating a new approach called “AMP for E-Mail”, which is supposed to be an alternative to e-mails in HTML format.
Personally, I hope that AMP for E-Mail is stillborn. AMP for E-Mail is a proprietary extension of Google to make email interactive. This means that the email recipient can already interact with the sender’s offer within the email in a limited way. This saves the recipient the click to go to the sender’s website.
But the saving of this one click is extremely expensive: For the e-mail recipient, new security and data protection risks are added, because code is executed in his or her e-mail program over which he or she has no influence. Not even an e-mail attachment needs to be opened.
And the sender of AMP e-mails must first register and go through an approval process with every mail provider to which he wants to send e-mails in this format. In this way the mail providers want to reduce the aforementioned security and data protection risks for the recipients. Currently, however, the registration effort is manageable, because even two years after the introduction of AMP for E-Mail, it is still only supported productively by Google’s own Gmail and mail.ru.
But not only the organizational, but also the technical effort is considerable for the sender of AMP for E-Mail. So AMP for E-Mail after text mails and HTML mails is a completely new mail type, which has to be handled and implemented separately. In this context the sender also has to comply with numerous technical rules and limitations given by Google. And all this to save the recipients a single click.
Finally, the question is allowed: Which e-mail recipient would like to receive e-mails whose visible content can still change while reading (slogan: “They do not age”)? And how can such e-mails be legally archived?
It seems to me that AMP for E-Mail is an attempt by Google to expand its influence on the medium of e-mail. But instead of putting its energy into technical concepts that nobody needs, Google should better make sure that Gmail finally follows the existing HTML standard better. After all, after Microsoft Outlook, Gmail is the mail provider with the worst HTML support. This repeatedly leads to display problems in the emails and makes the design of professional HTML mails a nightmare for designers. And just this company, which is already failing at the status quo, wants to delight the Internet with what it considers to be a more modern email experience?”