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Five of our email marketing predictions for 2018

Email marketing is continuely evolving and it’s our job to stay at the forefront of what comes next. So, what do we think 2018 has in store for email?

Our top 5 email marketing predictions for 2018

We blinked and it’s somehow already December. This year has absolutely flown by, as it always seems to do. The silver lining is that it also means it’s time to look at email marketing predictions for the year to come.

2017 saw the rise of personalisation with highly-segmented email sends, along with an increasing use of emojis in subject lines and advanced marketing automation for email sends. What a year to be an inbox.

So, what does next year have in store for us? Here are our top five email marketing predictions to look out for in 2018…

General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR)

GDPR isn’t so much a prediction as an unstoppable force of data law changes coming into play on 25 May 2018. GDPR will have the greatest impact on email marketing – and indeed, all marketing – in 2018 and will affect all businesses, no matter their size.

It all sounds very scary, but our GDPR-accredited CEO, Andrew, has been sharing his knowledge far and wide to make sure you feel as ready for the changes as we do. If you’re interested in getting prepared this side of Christmas, you’ll find everything you need to know on our GDPR hub.

Customers will expect personalised emails

Email subscriber segmentation will continue to grow in importance, seen as one of the main solutions in countering declining email engagement across the industry. With segmentation – meaning that email content is personalised based on demographics and interests etc. – some businesses have seen email open rates of over 14%, followed by 100% higher click-through rates than non-segmented sends (Source: MailChimp). This time, it’s personal.

Customers are also beginning to expect a “what’s next” approach. Netflix and Spotify are great examples of this, giving their audiences recommended lists of what you watch or listen to next. It’s useful to the consumer, and most of all, it’s personalised.

A segmented approach will nurture your customers, keeping the brand at the front of their mind with personalised content that builds loyalty and drives engagement from one email to the next. One-size-fits-all emails no longer work for your audience, which means they’re not working for your marketing strategy, either. A little while back, we wrote about how a modular email template may be the solution.

Multi-channel experiences

In 2018, more than ever before, we will have the tools at our disposal to own the entire customer lifecycle. Creating a marketing strategy that allows all of your marketing channels to work together and deliver consistent messages at the right time will be key, reaching individuals throughout their customer journey at each of their different touchpoints.

A brand that is great at multi-channel marketing is ASOS, utilising retargeting tactics to keep showing you that top or pair of shoes you clicked through to after spying them in their latest brand email. Seeing your potential purchases appearing at the side of different websites you visit or while you’re browsing Facebook on the way home can be very persuasive, increasing brand and product recall and driving consumers towards a purchase. It certainly works on us, anyway…

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine-learning technologies are definitely the future, which is expected to make life easier for marketers by suggesting segmentation of sends, helping with product recommendations for consumers, and overall aid us in the pursuit of the more personal customer journey we’re striving for.

Spotify is a great example of how AI can be used effectively. Throughout the week they offer their users a personalised “Discover weekly” playlist containing music that they haven’t listened to before.

With tens of millions of people listening to music on Spotify every minute of the day, they are able to collect huge amounts of data that make the weekly playlist something the individual is likely to enjoy.

For users who opt in to additional emails, Spotify also sends an email every two weeks with nearby concert recommendations. This is AI at its finest, delivering personalised, useful content direct to its consumers.

Gamification of email and interactive content

For 2017, 27% of marketers predicted that interactive emails would make a big impact on email marketing, so we’d expect to see even more of this heading into 2018 (Source: Litmus).

Depending on the target audience, adding a little gamification to the inbox – in the form of polls, quizzes, or games – can signficantly increase the engagement (and enjoyment) of your brand messaging. Not only will it increase brand recall, but can be a great way of engaging subscribers on the verge on being unengaged or even lapsed. It’s all fun and games until someone unsubscribes, after all.

There are our top five predictions for email marketing as we head into a new year of digital marketing. Do you see something else on the horizon? We’d love to hear about it. That way we can bring it up at our next client meeting and look really, really smart.

If you’d like to talk about any of these predictions in further detail so that we can do the same for you, why not give us a call?

Steph Wetton – email campaign manager

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