Jonas from MailerLite

Jonas7 min readTips & resourcesJanuary 3, 2019

5 ways to win in 2019: Email marketing trends that matter to you

5 ways to win in 2019: Email marketing trends that matter to you

Instead of trying to predict the future of email marketing, we think it’s more productive to share the ways you can win in 2019.

The good news is that we are in an email marketing renaissance. While social media and online advertising continue to struggle, email marketing is having a rebirth.

People want to connect with you directly. They are tired of algorithms and pay-to-play advertising strategies that affect which content they see. They want control back.

At the same time, email technology is advancing. It’s more engaging and dynamic than ever before, allowing subscribers to interact directly with your emails.

Email has evolved from just promoting content to being the destination. Email is the content!

We've watched companies like The Hustle and The Skimm build successful business models solely on email marketing. They have direct relationships with their subscribers and deliver what their subscribers want.

Ready to do the same? Let’s take a look at five ways you can win in 2019 with email marketing.

Email marketing has gotten a technology makeover, allowing you to create dynamic emails that people interact with.

“2019 will have an increased focus on interactivity in emails. These interactive options help to keep our ever bulging inboxes exciting and engaging as brands look to differentiate themselves.”

Joolz Joseph, The Virtual Marketeer

Previously, the purpose of email marketing was to send people to other places, such as your website, blog or social media page.

Newsletters are no longer static. You now have all the engagement capabilities to deliver a great experience within your email. Why is this a HUGE deal?

Most click-through rates average 2%-4% while open rates are around 20%-30%. If you deliver the content experience in your email, you will reach way more people.

Some of the features you now have at your fingertips include:

Dynamic Content: Target certain sections of your email to a distinct audience.

Social Media Posts: Integrate FB, Twitter or Instagram directly into your email.

Embedded Surveys: Subscribers can take surveys without leaving an email.

Schedule Events: Automate RSVPs and event follow-ups in your email.

Video in Video in email:: Embedded videos can give you a 20% increase in open rates.

Email has become content. If your subscribers want to hear from you, email is the place to deliver the experience.

Email marketing tools have become more intuitive and easier to use, enabling people of all skill levels to automate and segment their emails.

“We see more people using advanced email marketing techniques that were unavailable to them a few years ago. The tools are easier to use, opening up a whole new world for small businesses to improve their campaigns.”

Ilma Nausedaite, CMO of MailerLite

When you create automated email sequences and target smaller segments, you enhance the level of personalization and relevance in your messages. You’ll connect in a more meaningful way and your business will grow.

For example, MailerLite recently launched dynamic content blocks that enable you to target one section of the newsletter to specific subscribers. It raises the level of personalization by giving your readers pieces of content within the newsletter that speak directly to them. 

Best of all, it’s simple and available for anyone to use.

We constantly hear that attention spans are shrinking. But when people find high-quality content that tells a story, they spend time with it and want more.

Storytelling has long been a proven approach in content marketing, and in 2019 those same techniques will be used in email. Email content will contain more text and tell a story to keep readers entertained.

storytelling email example

Like this example above from The Hustle, you’ll start to see more humor and even slang used in email. The conversational tone makes a personal connection with the reader, which is the goal of storytelling.

Businesses will use email to build relationships on a human-to-human level. Storytelling and informal language are how people connect in real life, so it makes sense that email content will move in this direction as well.

Conventional wisdom tells us that photos and flashy designs in your emails will attract people and draw them in. But the new reality is that people are tired of too much flash with not enough substance.

In 2019, quality content wins over flashy emails. Straight text that adds value will help you build relationships, and that’s the key to successful marketing.

Mindy Rowen, Digital Marketer

As email marketing focuses on storytelling, email designs will become more minimalist. The design mantra for 2019 is ‘less is more.’

Text-only emails are gaining popularity, allowing your message to be the focal point of the email. Plain text emails resemble a personal message sent by a friend. Simplicity and sincerity are the keys. Moreover, you will reach the primary inbox more often with plain text.

When you are not using plain text, avoid unnecessary graphics. Your email will look more modern with fewer design elements and images. Here’s an example from a MailerLite template:

minimalist design template

Leave a lot of white space to give your newsletter a clean look while helping your main message stand out. Use less than three colors and the images should complement those colors. 

GDPR was a big deal for the EU, and it will influence the rest of the world in 2019. In fact, California recently passed its own digital privacy law inspired by GDPR.

The major markets beyond the EU are moving toward GDPR-type rules. That means you’ll need to prepare ahead to comply.

Marta Poliakova, Legal Counsel at MailerLite

Your subscribers are aware of these regulations, and they are expecting businesses to go above and beyond to protect their privacy. Respect your readers and be super clear about how you use their data.

Adding an unsubscribe link is no longer enough. You’ll have to show your subscribers that you are using updated opt-in practices

Make your subscribers feel comfortable by keeping them informed about all your email marketing security updates. We created this checklist to help you stay on top of GDPR.

gdpr checklist

More transparency leads to better email marketing. Your subscribers will trust you and this will strengthen your relationship.

Email marketing has found its sweet spot. Not only do advanced features give you the power to use email as a content destination, but the user-friendly nature of your email tools allows anyone to benefit.

How will you turn your emails into an amazing content experience in 2019?

  1. Try using more tools that will help drive interactivity within the email.
  2. Use segmentation and automation to target specific audiences.
  3. Incorporate stories that build rapport and show your human side.
  4. Let the story shine with simple design approaches. Less is more. 
  5. Continue to build trust through transparency about subscriber privacy.

Giving your business a big boost through email marketing is now attainable.

What new email ideas will you try in 2019? Please share in the comments below.

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