The 5 Most Important Email Marketing Trends of 2023
Last updated: September 26, 2023
Email remains one of the most cost-effective, successful and highest-impact marketing channels out there. But that’s only true if you’re keeping up with the digital marketing trends that drive results.
As the new year approaches, we’re stepping back to consider how the email landscape will change in 2023 and they could influence your marketing efforts. Watch out for these trends and prepare accordingly:
Click rate is the new KPI to watch
Are my email results real? This was the biggest question in email marketing in 2022.
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Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection resulted in a significant inflation of email open rates. Since click-through rates are calculated as a percentage of opens, this metric was also affected by MPP. Although both metrics have normalized in recent quarters, the issue remains complicated for marketers looking to clearly assess their results. While it’s now possible to compare open and click-through rate between post-MPP campaigns, neither are reliable metrics of absolute email marketing success in a post-MPP world.
Click rates are now the most accurate way to assess the number of people that have opened and acted on your emails. We recommend centering your analysis around this metric going forward. (Want to see where your click rates stack up against the competition? Check our email benchmark calculator now!)
Continued focus on privacy
Concerns about data privacy are nothing new (after all, that’s what inspired the release of MPP). But several state and national data privacy regulations are set to take effect in 2023, including the California Privacy Rights Act and Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act. (Stay updated on the latest bills with our privacy tracker!)
All these bills give consumers a Right of Access, Deletion, Portability and Right to Opt-out of Sales, as well as to dictate business obligations around Notices & Transparency. Most also require covered businesses to conduct risk assessments, limit processing based on purpose, and ensure that they do not discriminate against customers who exercise their privacy rights.
The burden of responsibility on businesses is higher than ever – and so are the consequences of falling short. Before logging off for the holidays, review your email opt-in forms to ensure that your data use disclosures meet the requirements stated above. And as a rule, always tell people how you’re using their data to enhance their customer experience and give them transparent ways to opt out
Increased emphasis on marketing automation
People are sick of receiving emails they perceive to be useless – and marketers are sick of crafting emails that don’t get meaningful responses. It’s a long running problem, but two years into the remote work revolution, people (and their inboxes) are reaching a breaking point.
There’s one solution to both sides of this problem: Marketing automation.
Through automation, marketers can orchestrate more precise and personalized customer journeys, so they’re less likely to spam subscribers with irrelevant emails. Because they can target specific audiences based on past behaviors, they give recipients the content that will drive them closer to conversion – and nothing more than that. Best of all, this happens automatically, freeing marketers up for higher-impact tasks.
They can also create a series of emails, then program it so that anyone who doesn’t open the first message doesn’t receive the next. This way, the company can react in response to audience feedback, entirely on auto-pilot.
In 2023, companies will need to give customers exactly what they want and nothing that they don’t want, all while having less time and resources to do it. Marketing automation will be the best way to do this at scale. (Learn more about the benefits of marketing automation and how to implement it in your business here.)
A move toward hyper-personalization
Ten years ago, addressing email recipients by their first name was enough to give them the warm fuzzies. Now, content personalization is table stakes for marketing. Customers want communications and promotions tailored specifically to their needs, and actions they’ve taken on the website, email, etc. The more responsive your email strategy, the better your chances of engaging customers in 2023 and beyond. If you’re just getting started with personalization, begin with some of these tactics:
- Segment your audience by interest. (i.e., What eBooks have they downloaded? What events have they attended?)
- Send triggered emails based on user behavior, like website visits, content downloads, event attendance, etc. This meets an already interested customer and encourages them to take the next step, and keeps their momentum going toward a purchase.
- Recommend related products and content based on previous history. This is a great way to increase customer lifetime value – and also connects them with products and resources they’re likely to love. Win-win situation right there.
An increase in user-generated content
In 2022, we saw a rise in user-generated content (UGC – specifically, original content supplied from a user base such as caption contests and reviews) specifically for email. Besides injecting the customer voice into otherwise company-driven emails, UGC frees up internal resources for higher-level creative projects. This makes UGC a high-value tactic for both marketers and their audiences. Expect to see even more UGC in the new year as marketing teams and budgets contract.
Not sure where to start? Try some of the following tactics:
- Highlight customer stories and quotes. Consider incentivizing your audience by offering gift cards for participation – or ask your customer support and sales teams to source interested parties directly.
- Use the question-and-answer portion of your webinars and in-person events to drive email content. It can be as easy as transcribing the question and answer, then designing it into a one-off email. Or turn it into a weekly expert series for maximum impact.
- Incorporate user-submitted reviews into your email. Add them to your welcome emails to give new subscribers a great first impression.
Want to build an email engine that drives deeper engagement? Omeda’s end-to-end email and marketing automation solution helps you build, automate and evaluate mass email marketing campaigns, then connect your data back to an integrated marketing database engine.
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