I created the original of this slide deck for a POV presentation I gave to the marketing team at American Greetings. This version is updated as of August 2019 to remove AG specific content and branding.

5 Key trends impacting email marketing

  • Email and Omni-channel Marketing
  • Smartphones and Engagement
  • Personalization and Hyper-personalization
  • Mobile Driven Design (and Interactivity)
  • Voice Technology

Trend 1: Email and Omnichannel Marketing

Email’s role is growing in broader marketing strategies.

It’s now all about multi-channel alignment: using email in coordination with other channels to build awareness, engagement, and acquisitions.

Omnichannel is viewing the experience through the eyes of your customer, orchestrating the customer experience across all channels so that it is seamless, integrated, and consistent.

Opportunity: Omni-channel customers spend more

While email plus other channels can help reinforce a message and extend reach, using the data available to evolve the messages between email and other channels based on customer behavior or actions can give an even bigger impact.

Omnichannel customers spend an average of 4 percent more in a bricks-and-mortar store and 10 percent more online than single-channel customers do, and there’s a high chance that email influenced the final decision to buy.

In a recent survey, 38% reported buying a product they had first seen or read about in a marketing email on their mobile phone. 45% of those purchases were in-store.

Trend 2: Smartphones and Email Addiction Engagement.

People are addicted to email, and mobile users check their email three times more than non-mobile users.

  • 65% of people check email more than 3 times a day. 28% check it more than 10 times a day.
  • 3 in 5 check their email on the go (mobile) and 75% say they use their smartphones most often to check email.
  • 69% of recipients view marketing mails on mobile 2-3 days per week. 

Opportunity: Unengaged Customers

Over 50% of unengaged are not unengaged; they are waiting for the right moment.

Reasons they don’t open a brand’s email:

  • 59% say they don’t currently need the brand’s products
  • 44% say they are too busy

Why they don’t unsubscribe from emails they opted-in for but mostly ignore:

  • 37% are waiting for the right offer
  • 24% say they expect to buy from the brand again in the future.

Trend 3: Personalization and Hyper-personalization

People want timely, relevant personalized content and offers.

  • 38% of consumers want emails to include product ratings
  • 35% want offers based on their past purchases.
  • 24% want to be able to buy a product in an email, without going to the brand website.
  • 15% want their inbox to identify the most interesting marketing emails for them
  • 52 percent of customers will take their search elsewhere if an email is not personalized.

Opportunity: Predictive Automation and Email

35% of consumers want offers based on their past purchases.

Predictive Marketing and Automation means using the data to identify and offer what people 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.

*If presented right.

Twitter post screenshot demonstrating why you need to carefully evaluate how you use your data in email marketing personalization.

(Use your data wisely.)

Opportunity: Location and events.

31% want location-based offers in email.

I love this Bonefish Grill email dated Monday, Jan 21st, 2019. (The day after a major winter storm ended). The offer was valid only in states affected by the winter storm Harvey.

Bonefish Grill email with personalized location based offer

Opportunity: engaged customers

15% of consumers want their inbox to identify the most interesting marketing offers for them, personally.

Gmail App Promotions Cards: Introduced December 2018

The updated Gmail mobile app chooses two “Most Valuable Email Messages” (MVE) and features these messages at the very top of the promotions tab within the app. Even better: emails with an offer that has an expiration date have the chance of appearing multiple times in this position, with the email resurfacing shortly before the offer expires.

Impact? 75% of the almost-billion Gmail users access their email on mobile.

*Their algorithm evaluates opens, clicks, search, and conversion for that brands emails.

Trend 4: Mobile-Driven / Mobile First Design

  • Minimalism, Simplified Design
  • Snackable Content
  • Animation and Video
  • Interactivity

“With the increase in mobile usage and advances in usability on mobile devices, mobile-only design just makes sense. Keep emails concise and drive customers to ‘Learn More’ on a landing page.” – Matthew Smith – reallygoodemails

Simplified design and a minimalistic approach makes email easier to consume even with a short attention span or on mobile.

Color, animation and interactivity make an email stand out.

Video: 14% want video that plays in the email, without having to click through to a website.

Video only works in Apple Mail on mobile and desktop (about 49% market share). Everybody else gets a fallback experience (usually a still image).

For video, the standard is still to host the video on a landing page and embed a screenshot of the video with a play button in the email.

If the goal of the email is informational or to have a positive brand touch, have the video play in the email. (Welcome emails, Ecard from Brand)

If you want the recipient to take an action after watching the video, it’s probably best to send them to a landing page or your website.

Interactivity

“Brands are now in a place where they have to integrate voice into their overall strategy,” – Colin Morris, director of Adobe Analytics Cloud at Adobe

41 percent of US households now own a smart speaker. (This wasn’t expected to happen until 2020).

Amazon’s Alexa devices hold a 66 percent market share. 

There are now more than 100 million Alexa devices in use throughout the United States. 

(Voice technology and email marketing is fairly new, but so was email on mobile, just a few years ago).

Opportunity: Double Duty Footers for Gathering Feedback

63 percent of Millennials, 58 percent of Gen Xers, and 46 percent of Baby Boomers are willing to share personal information with companies as a result of personalized emails or discounts.

Asking For feedback In the same email allows customers to instantly provide their thoughts and encourages engagement while helping you provide more relevant content.

This can be an email reply, a short quiz, or a simple question.

Opportunity: Live Shopping Carts in email

24% of People want to be able to complete a purchase INSIDE THE EMAIL.

And Salesforce recently bought Rebel Mail, which provides the “under the hood” capabilities to support this and other exciting features.

Think Abandon Cart emails, just to get started.

Trend 5: Voice Technology.

41 percent of US households now own a smart speaker. (This wasn’t expected to happen until 2020).

Amazon’s Alexa devices hold a 66 percent market share. 

There are now more than 100 million Alexa devices in use throughout the United States.

(Voice technology and email marketing is fairly new, but so was email on mobile, just a few years ago).

“Brands are now in a place where they have to integrate voice into their overall strategy,” – Colin Morris, director of Adobe Analytics Cloud at Adobe

Impact: 13% want a computer assistant to read their email aloud to them.

Brand voice becomes critical: A listener needs to know that the email is from the brand, not from Alexa.

Put important information as text at the top of an email.

Some of the standard practices for accessibility also support Alexa, but not all.

*Voice-activated email is still new and will likely have low adoption compared to standard email clients and apps. Currently it is available with Alexa for Gmail and Outlook and with Siri for iOs.

Additional Reading

Omnichannel Marketing

Salesforce – State of Marketing Report
https://litmus.com/blog/3-mega-trends-from-litmus-live-2018
https://www.salesforceben.com/salesforce-acquires-rebel/
https://www.smartinsights.com/advice/digital-marketing-megatrends/
https://squareup.com/townsquare/why-you-need-to-go-omnichannel-now

Smartphone Engagement

https://www.communicatorcorp.com/blog/trends-are-set-walk-email-marketing-catwalk-2019
https://www.emailmonday.com/email-addiction-email-marketing-research/
https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics
https://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics
https://www.smartinsights.com/mobile-marketing/mobile-marketing-analytics/mobile-marketing-statistics/
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2018/04/7-stats-that-will-make-you-rethink-mobile-email/
https://www.emailmonday.com/mobile-email-usage-statistics/

Voice Technology

https://www.chiefmarketer.com/future-email-voice-technology-world/
https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/05/marc-andreessen-audio-will-be-titanically-important-and-vr-will-be-1000-times-bigger-than-ar/
https://www.kevinmandeville.com/blog/how-alexa-reads-your-emails-and-impacts-email-marketing
https://www.cmo.com/features/articles/2018/9/7/adobe-2018-consumer-voice-survey.html
https://marketingland.com/what-email-marketers-should-know-about-alexas-latest-feature-253436
https://www.emailonacid.com/blog/article/email-marketing/siri-and-email-how-digital-assistants-can-play-a-role-in-email-marketing/
https://www.techrepublic.com/article/cortana-will-now-read-your-email-and-let-you-verbally-compose-a-response/
https://www.cnbc.com/2018/12/10/how-to-check-your-email-with-amazon-alexa.html

Interactivity

https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2017/12/5-ways-integrate-interactive-content-email-marketing/
https://emailmonks.com/interactive-email-advancement.html
https://litmus.com/blog/interactive-email-for-beginners-6-interactive-elements-you-can-add-to-your-emails-today

Design

https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2018/11/5-email-design-trends-to-watch-for-in-2019/
https://www.designhill.com/design-blog/effective-email-design-trends/
https://stripo.email/blog/email-footer-design-best-practices/
https://litmus.com/blog/understanding-retina-images-in-html-email
https://www.macworld.co.uk/feature/apple/retina-display-3466732/
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/consumers-would-rather-watch-video-product-than-read-peter-bowen/
https://www.whatcounts.com/2018/12/animated-gifs-in-email-marketing/
https://250ok.com/email-deliverability/seven-design-tips-and-trends-email-marketers-should-keep-in-mind/

Personalization

https://www.neboagency.com/blog/2019-the-year-to-make-your-email-strategy-stand-out/
https://www.communicatorcorp.com/blog/trends-are-set-walk-email-marketing-catwalk-2019
https://www.emailmonday.com/email-marketing-automation-trends-predictions/
https://fulcrumtech.net/resources/using-predictive-analytics-in-email-marketing/
https://www.perzonalization.com/blog/autoresponder-email-marketing-ecommerce/
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2018/11/5-email-design-trends-to-watch-for-in-2019/
https://smallbiztrends.com/2018/08/email-personalization-statistics.html

Last modified: August 19, 2019