Email remains one of the most effective marketing platforms and has stood the test of time. Like most other mediums in the digital marketing space, it is ever evolving to keep pace with the changing needs of the consumers it intends to serve.

As we countdown to the end of another year, here are some important factors to look out for in planning your email marketing strategy for 2019:

1. Personalization
Your audience stands at the center of the success or not of your email campaigns. They are the sole reason for crafting those wonderful emails in the first place, so it should appeal to their senses. Gone are the days of boring monologues and encyclopedic information. Emails should employ a conversational tone that speaks to the reader like a friend. Apart from inserting the reader’s name, using triggered automation for welcome emails after subscription, thank you’s after a purchase or conversion, birthday messages and other milestones add a personal touch to your communications. Also, ditch the no-reply mails and include real addresses in the ‘from’ field, that can serve as a means of communication between you and your customer.

2. Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning
This traditional marketing three-step process is very effective in digital marketing, especially email. 2019 will continue to see the use of hyper-segmentation techniques to identify various audience groups based on behavior, location, stage in the marketing funnel, or some other metric or demographic. These groups can then be targeted by delivering highly customer-centric content that is tailored to that audience. Proper use of this technique puts businesses in a unique position to fulfill each customer’s needs at that particular time.

3. Uniform Identity
This is the essence of your business as a whole –the brand voice. It is important that this distinct voice is communicated in your email campaigns and consistent across all other marketing platforms to stand you out from others. Use storytelling to project this voice and nurture it till it registers in the mind of your readers, creating a solid emotional attachment in the process.

4. Organic Email Lists
It is important that your mailing list is made up of subscribers that are ethically sourced. Ensure legal compliance by only sending mails to people who have elected to hear from you and opted-in for your email subscription, not a purchased list. Have you read this post on why buying email lists are bad for your marketing goals in the long run? You should constantly do some spring-cleaning to rid your mailing list of unengaged subscribers who do not open your emails, as this affects your delivery rate. And while it may sound counter intuitive, make sure it is easy for a disengaged reader to unsubscribe in one click. There’s no point hanging on to someone who doesn’t want to hear from you.

5. Message Clarity
Communication is achieved only when the recipient of the message understands it as intended by the sender. Are your emails structured in an organized format which ties each piece together in uniform thought? Maintain a strong subject line and include compelling and meaningful calls which leave no doubt as to the action you want the reader to take. Editing and proofreading are essential to rid your mail of avoidable mistakes…. there is only so many apology emails you can send, before you start to look silly.

6. Interactive Content
Your audience consumes content in various mediums, so your email campaigns should reflect this dynamic. Combining content in a few different formats within the same mail can create the difference in engagement rates. Break up text-rich content with quizzes, surveys, videos, GIFs, or infographics to modify the way readers engage with your content. To read more tips on how to integrate blog posts and other content in your email campaigns, click here.

7. Optimization
With the prevalence of smartphones, androids and tablets, more people access digital information on mobile devices, including email. This means that emails must be optimized for mobile viewing with a responsive design. It is preferable to use single column layouts, a bold interface, and well-sized call to action buttons that are easy to click. Ultimately, the design should allow for a fluid user experience, from their inbox to the resulting landing pages.

8. Frequency
Trends show that businesses are sending less emails and instead focusing on the quality of their messages. From sales targeted mails, to weekly newsletters, blog updates and other activities, it is easy to subject the audience to a marketing avalanche. How often you send emails should take factors like your customers’ lifestyles, purchase cycle and the industry average into consideration. While signing up, give your subscribers the option of selecting what sort of content they would like to receive from you. This data will be useful in helping you deliver relevant, customer-centric content.

9. Artificial Intelligence
The future of email marketing is here, replete with advanced analytics, machine learning and algorithms. AI makes use of high end technology in collecting and analyzing data to achieve larger marketing goals and improve ROI. With this, you can leverage audience information to maximum capacity and identify opportunities that are usually overlooked, or impossible to execute mechanically. AI can study metrics and activity patterns to create unique customer segments, or even personal sending times when readers are more likely to open your emails. It could make predictions, such as which subscribers are likely to opt-out from your mailing list!

10. Experimenting
The best marketers are always on the lookout for ways to improve their strategy. There is no magic formula, only periodic revision of existing methods and keeping up with advancements in the industry. Running A/B tests should be a fixed constant in your campaigns. Tweak designs, templates, times of sending, subject lines, call to action buttons and every other component of your email marketing until you find what works. Track opens, clicks and follow-throughs to better understand your audience and keep track of KPIs. Just remember the golden rule of testing one element at a time, to reach accurate conclusions.

Trends will always pop up and it is left for businesses to decide how to assimilate them into their marketing efforts to realize their respective business goals. Or you could just leave it to the experts at Cloudy.Email to help you navigate those tricky waters 😉

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