While social media seems to be the new favorite of the marketing world, email is still quietly working away in the background to consistently deliver new customers and increase sales. Year after year, email continues to provide an impressive ROI for your marketing dollar.

Why You Shouldn’t Overlook Email Marketing

  • In terms of acquiring new customers, email is approximately 40 times more effective than social media channels.
  • The median ROI of email is 122 percent, which is four times higher than any other digital marketing format.

Just because email has been providing steady, effective results for decades, doesn’t mean that it’s stopped evolving. In 2019 and beyond, email marketing is expected to undergo profound changes, ranging from the way consumers receive and consume messages, to the platforms used to develop and power email campaigns.

To ensure that your email marketing strategy remains relevant in 2019, it’s imperative that you be aware of the innovations and changes that are likely to dominate this year. Following are the key email trends we at MDG Advertising believe deserve your attention:

Make Design A Priority

Although email began as a primarily text-based channel, a truly effective campaign will now go beyond the words and incorporate visuals to attract attention and promote consumer engagement. While good copy is still important, the headers, images, and other elements of your email deserve attention. In the coming year, marketers should focus on icons, illustrations, and color schemes that reflect the identity and values of their company or brand.

Become Mobile-First

The majority of emails are no longer read on desktop or laptop computers. With the increased presence and capability of mobile devices, we’re fast becoming a mobile-first culture. Since 2012, the number of emails opened on mobile devices rose from 29 percent to 55 percent, and the number is expected to grow in the coming years. The design of marketing emails, ranging from their length to how they’re displayed, should reflect a mobile-first philosophy.

Use Video In Email To Increase Interest

Video is another digital trend likely to drive email marketing in the coming year. By the end of 2019, video is expected to account for 80 percent of all Internet traffic. The fact that more than half of all consumers want to see more video content reflects the affinity that consumers have for video messaging. In addition to the fact that today’s email platforms make it easier than ever to incorporate visual pieces into your content, studies show that these messages are more likely to be retained and acted upon by consumers.

Create Highly Personalized Content

Only a few years ago, creating a personalized email message involved something as one-dimensional as simply incorporating the recipient’s name. With the advent of more powerful marketing platforms, it’s now possible for companies to increase the relevance of their content and offers based on the individual’s past or predicted behaviors. Approximately 82 percent of marketers utilizing highly personalized email report increased open rates. The ability to tailor email content to the individual is likely to become even easier over the next year as marketing platforms and tools become more sophisticated.

The Role Of Artificial Intelligence

The implementation of artificial intelligence in email marketing isn’t just the stuff of science fiction. AI has widespread applications in the field of marketing, and its use is likely to increase in the year ahead. Even now, AI is used by marketers to improve the effectiveness of their content, predict audience reactions to specific campaigns, and optimize the frequency and timing of messages.

The Argument For Triggered Emails

Triggered emails are those email messages you receive after registering with a website, subscribing to a newsletter, or abandoning items in your shopping cart. Because these emails are based on an individual having taken a specific action, they have a 71 percent higher open rate and 102 percent higher click-through rate than general emails and newsletters. Overall, consumers find triggered emails less annoying than generic emails since the content is more relevant to their intent, needs, or wants.

Make Emails More Interactive

Today’s technology and marketing platforms make it possible to create dynamic rather than static email content. Something as simple as adding a “reply” or “share” button can increase the level of consumer engagement. To make your 2019 email strategy more engaging, consider adding interactive elements, such as hamburger menus, navigational anchor tags, image carousels, and clickable hotspots.

Consider The Privacy And Data Rights Of Consumers

One of the biggest changes to marketing this past year came with the passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by the EU. These regulations provide consumers with more control over their personal information and drastically change how companies and brands use and collect consumer data. Even traditional approaches, such as buying email lists, are now questionable. Consumer concern over data privacy is not limited to European countries. In the U.S., the California Consumer Privacy Act is scheduled to go into effect in 2020 and has provisions similar to the GDPR.

Make Your Voice Stand Out

With nearly 300 billion emails delivered daily, it’s essential that yours stand out from the crowd. While the techniques mentioned above can increase the chances of your message being read, it’s also important to create a unique voice that resonates with consumers. Your voice is the look and tone of your emails, which makes them immediately recognizable to your audience. This may seem like an old-school concept, but it remains just as relevant as ever, even with today’s digital marketing techniques.