The Future of Email Marketing in 2023: Trends and Best Practices
- In 2023, brands will need to meet customers at all touchpoints through an omnichannel approach and invest in accessibility to show a commitment to inclusivity.
- The 2023 consumer wants to see user-generated content and receive hyper-personalised messages – which could transform your ROI if done correctly.
- Email marketers will need to embrace the multiple abilities of AI and beware of phishing attacks.
7 email marketing trends to know for 2023
1. Omnichannel communications
With the rise of social media, mobile devices, and other digital platforms, customers are interacting with brands through a large variety of channels. Surprisingly, many businesses haven’t yet adapted to this trend, but they’ll need to if they want to keep up.
Brands can remain competitive by providing a consistent and personalised experience across all touchpoints.
Moreover, in a post-pandemic world, customers are seeking more flexibility and convenience in their shopping experiences. They may prefer to interact with brands through different channels at different times, depending on their preferences and needs. By providing an omnichannel experience, businesses can meet these changing expectations and stay relevant in a competitive marketplace.
Omnichannel communication in email marketing refers to the practice of using multiple communication channels alongside email, such as social media, SMS, push notifications, apps, and others, to deliver a consistent and cohesive message to customers.
The goal is to provide a seamless and personalised experience across all touchpoints, which can improve customer engagement, experience, and loyalty and achieve a greater return on investment (ROI) for email campaigns.
H&M’s app is an example of an omnichannel approach. Through the app, H&M can send push notifications, deliver personalised offers and promotions, and allow customers to shop on their mobile devices.
By integrating the app with other communication channels, such as email and social media, H&M can create a consistent message across all its touchpoints and gain access to valuable data on customer behaviour and preferences. The business can harness this data to create more targeted and relevant messaging in email campaigns.
An omnichannel approach will be essential in 2023 to meet evolving customer needs, stay competitive, and understand audiences more deeply. Businesses might opt to develop an app this year or create social media campaigns that complement their email efforts, both of which will be valuable practices.
2. Improved accessibility
Currently, 90% of websites are inaccessible to people with disabilities who rely on assistive technologies. It’s unsurprising, then, that email marketing campaigns are, more often than not, inaccessible too.
For optimised accessibility, emails should be designed and structured to make them easy to read and understand for all recipients, whether they have visual, hearing, motor, or cognitive impairments.
There are several things to keep in mind when designing accessible emails:
- Use a simple layout with clear headings, bullet points, and short paragraphs.
- Avoid using too many images and animations that may distract or confuse the reader.
- Avoid using fonts that are too small, decorative, or difficult to read.
- Include alternative text for images that can be read by screen readers.
- Provide accurate transcripts or captions for videos that are correctly synchronised.
- Use high colour contrast.
- Make sure links are clearly identified by underlines or bold text.
- Use simple language.
Making emails accessible simply makes good business sense. In 2021, 22% of the UK population was recognised as disabled, representing over one-fifth of consumers to whom businesses can market products and services. Without accessible email campaigns, this group is difficult to reach.
As well as broadening their audience reach, businesses can avoid legal issues by making their emails and websites more accessible. Moreover, it’s the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. Ethics are more important than ever, and in 2023 businesses will be under even more scrutiny to be inclusive.
By investing in accessibility, businesses can tap into a significant market segment, avoid legal issues, and demonstrate their commitment to inclusivity and accessibility.
3. User-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content, such as reviews, testimonials, social media posts, or images, that is created and shared by customers. It can play an important role in email marketing campaigns, providing social proof and building customer trust.
It shows potential customers that real people have had positive experiences with a product or service, increasing the likelihood of a purchase. Moreover, it can make emails more engaging and personalised. Emails featuring customer reviews or images can be tailored to the individual recipient, making them more likely to engage with the content and take action.
Additionally, UGC can help to increase brand awareness and loyalty. Customers who see their content featured in emails or on social media are likelier to feel connected and committed to the brand.
Including UGC in email campaigns will become increasingly important in 2023 because customers are now seeking more authentic and personalised brand content. Plus, with the growth of social media and influencer marketing, customers are becoming more accustomed to seeing content created by real people and buying products they use.
Including UGC in email campaigns can help businesses tap into this trend and boost the ROI they’re currently making.
It will be crucial for your brand to integrate UGC in its emails this year, so do begin asking for reviews and testimonials if you haven’t already. This practice can help you stand out in a crowded digital marketplace and make your messaging more memorable.
Personalisation is crucial to email campaigns because it helps to create stronger connections with recipients. By addressing the recipient by name and tailoring the email content to their interests and needs, businesses are more likely to grab their attention and make them feel valued.
This can lead to higher open and click-through rates, as well as increased brand engagement. Personalisation can also help to reduce the likelihood of your emails being marked as spam since the content is targeted and relevant to the recipient.
Personalisation isn’t new – we’re all used to being named personally in email subject lines. So, why are we talking about personalisation as a trend for 2023?
Well, this year, the bar is being raised. Hyper-personalisation aims to provide genuinely relevant content and experiences for email subscribers because that’s what consumers are asking for. In fact, in 2022, 73% of consumers said they “expect companies to understand my unique needs and expectations”.
So, how are businesses responding to this demand?
- Understanding audiences with zero-party (freely shared) data.
- Requesting data in mailing sign-up forms.
- Segmenting audience by the best time of day/week to receive emails.
- Use purchase and browsing history to make product recommendations.
- Send promotional emails around birthdays and anniversaries.
The shift from personalisation to hyper-personalisation requires businesses to consider data that isn’t being used. Exact techniques will vary between companies and industries, so there aren’t strict guidelines for this trend.
Nevertheless, know that consumers in 2023 will engage more with highly personalised messaging, and there is a wide range of ways brands can tap into this.
The rise of digital technologies has led to a massive increase in online communication and shopping, making email marketing a fundamental channel for businesses to reach their target audiences. The COVID-19 pandemic has only bolstered this trend, pushing more people to make the shift towards online shopping.
Furthermore, numerous tools are available to businesses that help create, design, and distribute email campaigns. As a result of these factors, people are getting dozens of emails every day (at least), resulting in email marketing becoming more competitive than ever before.
One strategy that can set brands apart from their competitors is interactivity, which continues to advance and develop as the years go by.
In 2023, however, email interactivity is set to reach new heights. With some brands allowing subscribers to complete actions without ever leaving their inbox, they’re serving user experience as well as providing an engaging feature. This is crucial to increasing ROI, as engagement actions are made easier for subscribers.
Unfortunately, some interactive elements aren’t currently supported by every email server – so they’ll need to catch up before this trend can gather speed.
However, it’s worth knowing the direction email’s headed in – plus, you can still get involved in the interactive hype in the meantime. For now, you can implement any of the following elements to grab users’ attention:
- Add products to cart
- Sign up to lists
- Book an appointment
- Countdown timers
6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Chatbots and AI have gained popularity in recent years due to their ability to streamline customer service operations and enhance the overall user experience. In 2023 the AI market is predicted to increase by 38%, and it’s already being used for far more tasks than just customer service.
In particular, AI can help marketers with their email campaigns, in ways outlined below:
AI can help personalise email campaigns by analysing user data and creating tailored messages that resonate with individual recipients. It can also help to segment email lists based on user behaviour, preferences, and demographics, ensuring that messages are sent to the right people at the right time.
AI can analyse email campaign data and identify patterns that can help to optimise future campaigns. For example, it can determine the best time to send emails, the optimal subject lines, and the most effective CTAs.
AI can automate many aspects of email marketing campaigns, such as list management, message creation, and sending. This can help to save time and resources while ensuring that emails are sent consistently and at the best times.
AI can use predictive analytics to forecast user behaviour and identify potential opportunities for conversion. This can help to create more targeted and effective email campaigns.
AI can help to automate A/B testing, allowing marketers to test different email designs, content, and CTAs. This can help to optimise email campaigns for better results.
If they are to adapt to this new trend and get the most out of these tools, email marketers will have to learn how to influence and guide AI tools properly. In contrast to fears that AI will take everyone’s jobs, it will only enhance them. Professionals willing to embrace this trend will no doubt get ahead of their competition.
7. A rise in phishing threats
Businesses are at greater risk of phishing threats than ever before. With the increase in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic, employees may be using personal devices or networks that are less secure than those used in offices, creating new opportunities for phishing attacks.
Attackers are continually developing new and more sophisticated phishing techniques and have benefited from the increased online activity we see today. Furthermore, the dark web now offers ready-made phishing kits, increasing access to these techniques for inexperienced attackers.
The combination of these factors has meant that phishing attacks have been on the rise in recent years. By sending fraudulent emails that look like they are from legitimate sources, such as banks, government agencies, or businesses, companies can have issues with legitimising their email campaigns and healing relationships with their customer base.
If a recipient receives a fraudulent email that looks like it is from a business, they may become suspicious of all emails that they receive from that business, including legitimate marketing emails. This can lead to a decrease in open and click-through rates and may even cause recipients to unsubscribe from the business’s email list.
To prevent this from happening to your business, there are several things you can do:
- Use anti-phishing software and keep it updated to protect against the latest threats.
- Implement multi-factor authentication (MFA).
- Implement email filters.
- Regularly update software and systems.
- Monitor networks for suspicious activity, such as unusual logins or access attempts.
So, those are the trends you can expect to see in 2023, and the best practices you can implement to keep up.
If you would like support for optimising your email marketing campaigns, do get in touch via the button below. Our team will be happy to help.