December 13th, 2017

Top 5 Email Marketing Trends for 2018

Author: Eric Lynch
Eric Lynch
Partner & Director of Business Development

top 5 email marketing trends for 2018

Email marketing has been around for almost as long as email itself. However you feel about getting discounts or blogs in your inbox, we marketers rely on it every day to engage with people who have interacted with our business.

But with an ever increasing number of businesses vying for eyeball in the inbox and ISPs and email providers getting smarter about what is good and bad email, the job is getting harder for marketers everywhere. To stay relevant you need to keep up with the trends and make sure you’re doing what’s right. So we’ve come up with 10 email marketing trends for 2018 that should help you grow your CTR and your sales.

1 – ISPs and Email Providers Will Get Smarter

Ahhh the promotions tab in Gmail. The place where e-blasts go to die. It’s not quite as bad as the SPAM folder, but it’s not helpful if your goal is to get your emails opened and clicked. Because email providers and Internet service providers are getting smarter about what emails are marketing driven and which are individualized, we as marketers also have to get smarter.

Making emails personalized not just in the {FirstName} standard ways, but also in the content of the email can go a long way to getting from the marketing tab to the true inbox.

2 – Customers Will Want a Unique Experience

In keeping with the theme of personalizing emails, customers want to feel that they’re an individual, not just a member of a list. We’ve spoken before on creating specialized lists based on someone’s behavior and this year it will be even more important.

Don’t send a generic email about products or services you’re offering. Use tools that will help you craft emails that are specific to products people view, pages they visit, etc. People will open emails that give them a unique offering.

3 – Email Goes Offline

Brick and mortar isn’t dead, most of us still want to touch an item, or try it on before purchasing it. As Point-of-Sale systems begin to integrate with your marketing lists and e-commerce solutions, they can will take offline sales into digital marketing capabilities.

This year if you have a store, looking into POS systems that can make your sales and marketing smarter. It will help you get more return customers, and drive cross sell opportunities. 

4 – List Buying Dies a Little More

I hope in 2019 I can say List Buying DIES!!!! Sadly, I probably won’t be able to say that next year either. There will always be some company who has the great idea of buying all the C-Suite executive emails from their optimal vertical. They’ll blast 20k people, have a .1% open rate and wonder why this is happening.

If you are reading this and thinking this sounds like a good idea. Please do these two things: Stop reading, this is not the right blog for you. Then, don’t call us.

In all seriousness, this tactic needs to die. If you want to market to an individual company through email, get an email address, create custom content, and get after them to your heart’s content. But for the love of the Internet gods, please don’t buy a list in the hopes of getting any conversions.

5 – Automation Gets Smarter

If you thought automation and machine learning was just killing the manufacturing industry, you’re pretty wrong. Marketing automation is real, and like the auto industry it will destroy all the stupid tasks that you didn’t really want to do anyway.

Want custom emails based on what people do? Automation does it. Need lists built and email trickle campaigns going to specific contacts at specific times? Automation has you covered. If your business, and I mean any business isn’t using marketing automation to mitigate the time it takes to do things, they’re nuts.

In 2018 I see more tasks being handled by machines and less by interns. Probably will be a good time to join them if you haven’t already.

Happy New Year Marketers

Getting more custom and automated with your email marketing is a good thing. Is it more work? Yes, initially. But in the end it will be there doing the work you’d normally have to do yourself so you can get on to more important matters. Your customers will be happier, which in turn will lead to more sales. When that happens, everyone will be happier.

So there are 5 email marketing trends of 2018 that we suggest you adopt for a happy new year.

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