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The Future of Email Marketing: Tips to Stay Ahead of the Curve

posted by Michael Epps Utley Michael Epps Utley
Goepps digital marketing the future of email marketing

Is email marketing on the decline because of the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and other cutting-edge marketing tactics? What about the total lack of engagement with email among members of Gen Z?

In many ways, email seems outdated, but statistics suggest that email’s time isn’t over yet.

A recent survey published by the Content Marketing Institute reports that two out of three businesses use newsletters or other emails to distribute content in 2023. That’s about the same number who said they used it in 2022. The reports of the death of email seem premature.

With email going nowhere any time soon, here are some innovative insights about how to keep your email marketing efforts fresh, creative, and engaging.

Fully Leverage the Control Offered by Email

One of the best things about email is it provides a direct connection to your audience. On other platforms like social media, someone else controls the algorithm that dictates what a person sees or the final results of your targeting.

Owned channels like email are more important than ever, especially because of the instability of certain non-owned platforms like Twitter (now known as “X”) and TikTok. Email lists are a more meaningful resource than ever before. They’re yours, and you know a lot about the people on them. Take advantage of this by creating highly targeted campaigns that speak to the needs of the different consumer segments on your list.

With email, you know exactly who you’re communicating with and what they respond to. Take advantage of its complete capabilities, as long as you don’t spam.

Time Your Emails for Maximum Impact

Some people check their email daily or less. Others do so far more often.

Consider the people on your email list. What are their habits, whether it’s their life, work situation, or engagement with email? Think about when they will most likely open an email and engage with the content.

  • If your consumers are busy moms, sending emails early morning probably isn’t a good idea.

  • If you want to reach busy office workers, emails sent early on Monday will probably get lost in the post-weekend rush.

  • Teachers probably won’t engage with emails sent in the middle of the day.

Always test new email timings with your consumers. You never know when you may find a new winning day, hour, or minute.

Maximize Your Use of Email

Email is cost-effective, and frequency often improves open and engagement rates. For many companies, weekly or biweekly emails earn the best results. Constantly test email frequency, adjusting it up or down, to learn the impact on performance.

React to Unsubscribes, But Don’t Overreact.

The people on your email list invited you into their inboxes. Still, some will unsubscribe every now and then. It’s natural. Maybe they no longer need what you have to sell them. Or they’ve moved beyond the content you offer.

If you get some unsubscribes, look into it. See if there’s a pattern to the themes that result in a significant number of them. Perhaps some email topics or offers turn people off. Make adjustments to address whatever you find. However, don’t overreact, such as stopping sending emails or making massive changes. Rethinking your email content or frequency could seem jarring to the most engaged people on your email list, resulting in an even higher opt-out rate.

Curate Your Content

People are bombarded with too much content on social media, the news, and entertainment platforms. It can be overwhelming. Leverage email’s power to deliver the right messages to the right person to help cut through the clutter and make your brand stand out.

Improve Relevance and Interactivity

Make your email communications personal, relevant, and interactive. Some people are so used to thinking of email as a stodgy platform, they fail to innovate. Take a fresh look at the capabilities of your email provider. They’ve likely added new features, often the result of advancements in artificial intelligence and other technologies.

Find ways to personalize your emails by addressing people and their needs individually. Supply content that’s meaningful to them. Make it engaging by moving beyond the written word and delivering things like videos, graphics, animations, and other types of content that will get people excited.

Go Niche

Is there something unique that your business could supply content about? Consider whether it makes sense to develop an email program about a niche topic. It could help increase your subscriber base and open and engagement rates. The most successful email programs deliver unique content that people love.

Use Your Brand Voice

Many brands that successfully communicate through blogs, websites, and social media, lose their way in email. They often “forget” their brand voices when writing for the channel, with the content taking on a formal, stilted, or newsy tone. Don’t change what your brand voice sounds like when composing emails. Write in the same style as you would for social media or a blog post. Email is a crucial component of your marketing mix, and it should contribute to the overall perception of your brand.

Use Email for All the Right Reasons

Email may never entirely go away. However, the way we use it must evolve. It’s no longer a primary communication channel like it was ten or more years ago. Instead, it is an amplifier to reinforce, remind, and record. Don’t depend on email to deliver key messages. Instead, use it to support your social media, blog, and other more central types of marketing.

Move People

Ensure your emails make people feel something when engaging with the content in them. People will come back time after time if your emails consistently amuse them or provoke them about an issue they are passionate about — or leave them feeling cared for. It’s a mistake to view email as a flat platform when it can be as dynamic and expressive as social media or videos.

Email Marketing Today: The Final Word

Email is still the preferred method of communication for many consumers because it’s the most personalized, persistent, controllable, and searchable. The future of email depends on things we can control, such as relevance, personalization, and restraint, along with others we can’t, like audience preferences.

Leverage the tips in this guide to make the most of your emails for as long as it lasts as a marketing and communication option.

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