Is your company using the latest email marketing strategies?

Long gone are the days where email marketing was a new and innovative concept in customer communications.  Today, emails are generally the first choice for communication by customers but not without complications.  With more than 200 billion emails sent globally every single day throughout the world, it has never been more challenging to let your voice be heard. But if you want to ramp up your advertising this year, or want to stay on top of the latest trends, here are 10 tips to know in 2018.

1. Automation has modernized the marketing funnel.

During the average customer lifecycle, it has been long thought that customers move from awareness, to engagement, to discovery, to purchase, to retention.  However, that is no longer the case.  The new marketing funnel relies on a multiple channel, multi-touch customer, and multi-path customer experience. The customer journey these days can be a unique experience based on how they engage with your brand. So be prepared to be flexible and agile with your email marketing efforts.

2. Integrated marketing has become commonplace.

In 2018, it’s important that you understand not only your customers’ pain points and journey, but how best to reach them.  And these days – while email marketing is great – it’s simply not enough anymore.  Your customers need and expect to be communicated with through a website, through numerous social media networks, and even on mobile devices like tablets and phones.  While email marketing might remain the most popular marketing channel, success with that channel is dependent on having strong communication on other channels as well.

3. Email automation allows you to communicate more effectively.

Does your business utilize the power of marketing automation?  If not, do yourself a favor and Google it sometime, you will be blown away.  Email marketing that utilizes automation capabilities empowers your advertising to deploy content marketing quicker to a more relevant customer segment.  Instead of having to deploy dozens of email campaigns manually, they can be set-up to run automatically when a contact meets your criteria. This allows them to get only the content they want, but also allows you to get them that contact faster.

4. Content automation gives the customers the content they want.

That brings me to the next great innovation with marketing automation, content automation. Marketing automation not just makes the ending of emails easier. It also allows you to track the customer’s behaviors and preferences.  This allows you to send them less sales promotions if you notice they aren’t reading those emails or clicking on those web pages.  Perhaps instead they favor case studies, white papers, and fact sheets.  Find out what your customers want and then send them the content they want, but allow them to skip out on being sent the content they won’t read anyway. In the end, you will be sending your content to the right people, every time.  How cool is that?

5. Personalization helps your emails to get noticed.

While email marketing that is personalized has been around for a while, these days are becoming more sophisticated with how they leverage it.  Personalization is more than just customizing the subject line or salutation with the contact’s first name.  Today companies are using their marketing automation systems to collect preferences and then customizing the content, and even the email deployment workflow, based on the emails and web pages visited.  The ways you can personalize emails these days are nearly endless with the right platform.

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6. Predictive marketing will be the sweet spot for marketers.

Marketers have long made the success of the campaign reliant on what the open rates are for the email, or if the brand was really clever, how did the campaign increase our website traffic or increase sales for that product we promoted.  New technology now makes the calculations of predictive customer lifetime value (CLV) based on actions taken by the customer instead of historical guesswork.  This will allow marketers to make better and smarter marketing decisions.

7. AI technology will make your campaigns smarter.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology has been a topic of growing interest among marketers lately. While what AI might mean for the future of advertising remains to be seen, be prepared more on how companies are experimenting on how to leverage technology to make their automated campaigns smarter and more intuitive.

8. Brands will need to be ready for mobile purchasers.

Consumers are changing their buying preferences and electing to do more and more of their shopping with their mobile phones and tablets.  Many brands through are still struggling with optimizing their eCommerce sites for mobile, which makes this growing trend tricky.  So if you have an online retail presence and it is not mobile-friendly, you definitely need to make getting it optimized on your priority list for this year.

9. Keeping passive customers from opting-out remains a challenge.

It is always challenging to keep customers engaged.  But that is even more challenging among customers who you feel would benefit from the content you have to share, but remain unengaged. Many companies are using something new called kinetic email to leverage cascading style sheets (CSS) to make the email more interactive. Look for more kinetic emails in your inbox throughout 2018.

10. GDPR will leave many marketers in Europe unprepared.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a legislative group from Europe that enforces rules and regulations upon businesses to protect the privacy and data of citizens from the European Union.  As you may now, Canada has a very strict anti-spam law that left many companies in the North America reeling when it was enacted.  This law will have a very similar impact.  When dealing with email marketing, you have a responsibility to stay on top of the latest legal ramifications.  Because even though impacts only businesses in Europe, it may just be a matter of time before similar regulations reach the United States. For more help understanding the GDPR, check out the Ultimate Beginners Guide to GDPR Compliance in 2019. The guide contains a helpful checklist for small businesses that you can use to ensure your company is compliant.

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Every business has their own methods for implementing successful email marketing at their companies and we welcome your feedback. What has worked and what hasn’t? Please share your thoughts with our audience by commenting below!