Email provides a direct line of communication to potential customers. It also facilitates personalized interaction and delivers high returns on investment. But is it as impactful as it used to be? What should you be doing to ensure successful email campaigns for 2024 and onward?
Average email open rates are relatively low, at around 21.33%. However, smart marketers can use the latest best practices to boost open rates and conversions.
Let’s take a look at the latest email trends.
Latest Trends in Email Marketing
Email marketing trends are always evolving and transforming. Primary drivers include:
- New technologies
- Changing customer expectations
- The ways that people interact with their email
Here are the latest email marketing trends:
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI has absolutely exploded in popularity over the past year, and savvy email marketers are starting to harness its power. In particular, 2024 will see continued expansion of AI in two key areas:
- Content creation
- Strategic planning
In 2022, just 2% of outbound marketing messages were generated by AI. By 2025, that’s expected to climb to a stunning 30%. AI won’t take over email writing altogether, as it’s unable to fully replicate the human touch. But it’s an excellent choice for first drafts as well as short, concrete messages.
In the strategic planning arena, AI is very good at analyzing and deciphering large amounts of customer data. It can find patterns that are difficult to spot and then react based on those patterns.
In addition, you can offload a lot of basic, repetitive tasks to AI, freeing up more of your time.
- Optimizing delivery times for each email
- Personalizing each subject line
- Tailoring specific content to every customer based on their own unique past behaviors
Predictive analytics is a subset of AI. It predicts future outcomes based on algorithms and machine learning techniques.
Predictive analytics is useful in email marketing because it can help you predict what a recipient might do with the email.
Will they open it? Click a link? What are the odds of them making a purchase?
Understanding what will likely happen can help you better optimize your email campaigns. This means better open rates, click-through rates, and conversions.
Personalization and Segmentation
Personalization and segmentation remain extremely important as we move into 2024. According to a recent Campaign Monitor survey, segmented campaigns increase revenue by as much as 760%. Personalizing each email further tailors the content to the individual recipient. This can drive revenue even higher.
You must first understand each customer’s needs and wants to make this happen. You’ll also have to understand exactly how your product or service fits into their lives and solves a problem for them. Remember, personalization aims to make the recipient feel seen and valued.
Here are some steps you can take to help segment and personalize your emails:
- Track and analyze customer data
- Monitor user behavior and purchasing habits
- Customize email content
Artificial intelligence is playing an important role in hyper-personalization. Sophisticated AI tools can run complicated data analyses on your existing subscriber base. AI is very good at identifying patterns and commonalities and how they relate to open rates, click-throughs, and conversions. It can also identify user behaviors to see how specific email marketing techniques resonate with them and suggest ways to customize content for each person.
Automated Email Campaigns
Another trend that is transforming email marketing is automation.
Automated email campaigns allow businesses to set predefined email triggers. This ensures that all customer emails are timely, relevant, and personalized.
- Welcome emails to new subscribers
- Cart abandonment reminders
- Re-engagement prompts
- Follow-ups to recent purchases
Automation streamlines the email marketing process. This frees up time and resources while also ensuring consistency and precision in customer communication.
According to Salesforce, automation can increase sales productivity by 14.5% and reduce marketing overhead by 12.2%.
A new and exciting trend for 2024 is the return of email newsletters. But today’s newsletters are light years away from the simplistic version of the 1990s and early 2000s. Instead, they’re carefully curated and highly personalized based on AI analysis of user behavior and location data. And they’re not just text. Embedded videos allow content creators to reach newsletter subscribers in a whole new way.
Case Study: Successful Use of AI in Email Marketing
The American Marketing Association recently launched its new AI-curated and hyper-personalized daily newsletter.
Each of the more than 100,000 subscribers now receives content that is individually relevant to them. As a result, the organization is experiencing an unprecedented 42% monthly subscriber engagement rate.
Interactive and AMP Emails
Interactive emails are an email marketing trend worth noting. They increase user engagement by integrating interactive elements — for example, quizzes, surveys, GIFs, countdown timers, or collapsible menus.
Google AMP (accelerated mobile pages) got its start as a way to boost loading speeds for mobile web pages. Today, it also features technologies that take email interactivity a step further.
With AMP emails, users can perform actions such as booking an appointment or completing a purchase directly from the webpage. This innovation enhances user experience and reduces friction. Especially for Gmail users, this can potentially boost conversion rates.
Case Study: Innovative Use of Interactive Emails
Consider the case of Ecwid, an e-commerce platform serving more than one million small businesses.
Shopping cart abandonment is a common issue across all platforms. Approximately 69% of online shopping carts get abandoned before shoppers complete their purchases. Ecwid decided to address this through the use of AMP emails.
Now, the company’s merchants can send cart abandonment emails. They allow customers to view the products in their cart, including close-up images and full descriptions. Then, they can complete the purchase directly through the email.
On average, merchants now report that sales from abandoned shopping carts are up by 82%!
Applying Trends to Boost Sales and Conversions
Email marketing is a powerful tool for driving sales and conversions. However, it requires strategic planning and execution.
Here are some email marketing tips to help you incorporate the latest trends:
Personalization for Better Conversion
Personalization isn’t just the latest trend. It’s a solid email strategy that can help drive conversions.
Personalized emails speak directly to the reader. They are attention-grabbing and engaging. And they can help nudge readers to complete a desired action, such as clicking on a link.
They can increase click-through and conversion rates because they specifically address the reader’s needs and wants.
If you want to personalize your emails, here are a few ways to get started:
- Use the recipient’s name in both the subject line and the body of the email
- Refer to any recent interactions the person had with your company or purchases they made
- Recommend relevant products or services based on what they looked at or purchased on their last visit to your website
Using Automation and AI to Increase Sales
Smart implementation of automation and AI can significantly increase sales.
Automated email sequences help businesses nurture leads. You can then guide them through the sales funnel more efficiently. AI can optimize these sequences, ensuring the right person gets the right message at the right time.
Automated upselling and cross-selling emails can also recommend products based on past purchases. This increases the average order value. Automated cart abandonment emails can remind customers of the products they’ve left behind.
They can even encourage people to complete the purchase, thus recovering lost sales.
Using Email Marketing for Customer Nurturing
Nurturing is the process of turning leads into customers and customers into loyalists.
Developing long-term relationships is always better for any business than simply making one-time sales. Your loyal customers will drive consistent sales as well as new referrals.
But how can email marketing help?
Creating Value through Content
Creating and sharing engaging content is a fundamental aspect of customer nurturing.
Develop an ongoing pipeline of content that educates, informs, or entertains. Over time, this can build trust, establish your brand as a thought leader, and keep your audience engaged.
You can share any type of content by email, such as how-to guides, tips and advice, industry news, or exclusive insights. Providing exclusive offers or discounts can also add value to your emails and encourage customers to purchase.
Building Relationships with Personalized and Interactive Emails
Building relationships with customers is critical to nurturing them and ensuring their loyalty.
Personalized and interactive emails can make your customers feel valued and appreciated. This strengthens your relationship with them.
Examples of relationship-building emails include:
- Personalized birthday or anniversary messages
- Customer appreciation notes
- Interactive surveys and quizzes
Remember, the goal is to foster engagement and help your customers feel connected to your brand.
Case Study: Effective Nurturing through Email Campaigns
Consider the case of Land Café, an online store specializing in artisanal coffee beans.
Their target audience is people who know the difference between mass market and artisanal coffees. Those buyers make conscious choices on what to buy.
The company’s lead nurturing email campaign is simple but effective. They send new prospects a total of six educational emails that explain their coffee beans.
The information they provide includes:
- Where the company sources the beans
- How different regions produce different characteristics
- How single-origin coffees differ from blends
As a result of this nurturing educational strategy, Land Café now has a stunning 54% sales rate among new prospects.
Summing Up Today’s Email Marketing Trends
Email marketing remains a crucial part of businesses’ overall marketing strategy. It continues to offer a direct, personalized, and interactive way to connect with customers.
But the generic emails of yesterday won’t impress today’s customers. They have cluttered inboxes and little time.
Instead, organizations must leverage the latest email marketing trends.
These include personalization, automation, AI, predictive analytics, interactivity, and 21st-century newsletters. These strategies can help businesses boost sales and conversions as part of a comprehensive marketing plan, and they’ll also help to nurture customer relationships.