12 ways to level-up your email marketing game in 2019

Technology and the Internet culture we live in changes rapidly every minute of every day.

It may sound pretentious to use the term “Internet culture” but let’s be honest, people spend the equivalent of an entire day on their smartphones each week. A global and regional online culture certainly exists because that’s where we’re spending the majority of our time.

As a marketer, this puts a lot of weight on your shoulders. You need to stay on top of both technological advances and changing cultural trends.

Oh, and you need to wrap those up into nice email campaign packages and send them out to your subscribers on a regular basis—phew.

In this post, we’ll go over some tips and strategies to help you stay on top of your email marketing game throughout 2019.  

To be honest, some things on this list might sound almost outdated by the time you read them—but that’s kind of the whole point. We’d be lying if we told you anything is set-in-stone in terms of marketing or the Internet in general.

As a marketer, you want to adopt the tips and technology below to suit your specific subscribers at just the right time (so please don’t make fun of our outdated meme references, just switch them up to fit the current climate).

1. Include interactive content.

Interactive content can improve your click-to-open rate by a sweet 73%. The logic behind that figure is pretty simple: we’re more likely to complete an action if we can do everything within the email, right? Plus, it’s just fun. Here are a few examples of interactive content to spark your inspiration:

  • Quizzes

  • Games

  • Product purchases

  • Surveys and forms

  • Reviews

  • Image carousels

This Amazon email makes it easy to leave a review without leaving the email.

This Amazon email makes it easy to leave a review without leaving the email.

Source: self

2. Take customer privacy seriously.

Marketers have a predicament: customers want personalized content but they also value privacy. According to a recent survey, most people are OK with sharing data for personalization purposes or to expedite customer services. However, 31% are not comfortable sharing data for just any reason whatsoever.

The best thing you can do is let your subscribers know upfront exactly what type of data you collect, how you collect it, how you use it, and where you share it. Let them know how you protect their data from hacks or misuse as well.

The best thing you can do is let your subscribers know upfront exactly what type of data you collect, how you collect it, how you use it, and where you share it.

Source: Marketing Land (original image found at 247.ai)

3. You’re not in control anymore.

Eighty-four percent of millennials don’t like or trust traditional marketing. As marketers, we need to admit that we’re not in control anymore: your customers have total control over their experience.

That’s likely why 61% of people prefer that brands communicate with them through email—it's completely permission-based and if they don’t like your content, they can just remove themselves from your mailing list.

Keep this in mind as you design and write your email campaigns. Remembering that your audience is in control will help you create content that enriches their lives.

4. Aesthetics are paramount.

As people spend more time online, it’s important to create a visual environment for them to “feel” an experience. You can easily accomplish this with beautiful, high-quality, and interesting images. Flyer-style emails work well.

As Nielsen-Norman Group points out, while images are important, you shouldn’t sacrifice usability. Don’t let your subscribers scroll through multiple pages of negative space. Make sure your images aren’t vague serve a specific purpose.

This email from Airbnb uses beautiful images to transport the reader to specific locations.

This email from Airbnb uses beautiful images to transport the reader to specific locations.

Source: Pinterest

5. Segmentation and personalization aren’t just “nice to have” anymore.

Sixty-seven percent of people expect personalized content from brands they love while 42% of customers get annoyed when brands only provide generic content. Personalized content and segmentation are crucial in 2019 for providing relevant content to your audience.

Don’t stress: you have plenty of options for segmenting and personalizing content. Break up your subscriber list into groups based on different demographics like age or location. Check their browsing data and curate unique content based on their interests.

This email from UNIQLO is personalized based on a product the subscriber viewed while it was out of stock.

This email from UNIQLO is personalized based on a product the subscriber viewed while it was out of stock.

Source: Milled

6. Integrate live video or chats.

Live video makes it easy for you to connect with your customers in real-time. Why not a host a Q&A or AMA (ask me anything) directly in your email newsletter?

About 74% of millennials would rather text than talk on the phone. Marketers can take advantage of this by setting up a WhatsApp business account to communicate with their audience through text or incorporating a live chat into their email campaigns to answer any questions.

7. Find your footing with artificial intelligence and automation.

Eighty-percent of marketers using automation saw an increase in leads while 77% enjoyed an improvement in conversions. Automation and AI help you provide hyper-relevant content based on information about your subscribers, so it can’t hurt to take advantage of these new features.

Plus, automated campaigns are extremely easy to set up. Welcome emails can earn you an open rate of about 50% while birthday email campaigns can deliver 481% higher transaction rates.

Pizza Hut knows everyone loves free stuff on their birthday.

Pizza Hut knows everyone loves free stuff on their birthday.

Source: Really Good Emails

8. Add a human touch.

Globally, 64% of customers consider themselves “belief-driven buyers” that like to make purchases with companies that share their values. Highlight the ways your brand contributes to positive social and economic change in the world.

It’s also important for your copy to resonate on a personal level. Identify with your customers and express your shared values, and you’ll have a better chance of gaining their loyalty.

Toms’ values are simple: they give shoes to people who need them. Plus, they revolve around a laid-back comfortable lifestyle.

Toms’ values are simple: they give shoes to people who need them. Plus, they revolve around a laid-back comfortable lifestyle.

Source: Milled

9. Value your subscribers’ time.

Your subscribers are busy. They don’t have time to read walls of text and wait for images to load. A lot of people bring up short attention spans, but in reality, you just have to compete for your subscribers’ attention.

At this point, it’s a good time to bring up that more than half of all emails are opened on mobile devices. If the email doesn’t render properly, more than 70% will delete it within three seconds and plenty will unsubscribe. Responsive email design can help show that you value their attention.

10. Make yourself available.

We live in a world where an exorbitant amount of business transactions and communications take place online. It’s crucial for brands to make themselves available when customers and prospects want to reach out.

Don’t be shy. Write copy with open-ended questions that encourage your subscribers to reply to your emails. It’s also important to actually check your inbox for replies and respond to any subscribers that took the time to message you. This will help you build and keep relationships.

11. Create a customer experience.

No one can deny that online shopping is here to stay. On that note, it’s crucial to create an in-store experience for your subscribers through email. Fortunately, automated customer journeys can create a better experience than any in-store display ever could.

When a new subscriber signs up, send them a welcome email explaining your brand and values. Continue with timed emails that gently guide them through the experience and provide promotions as necessary.

Remember that transactions are also part of the customer experience. Triggered transactional emails deliver 6x more revenue than other types of emails so make sure to optimize the experience in every campaign you send.

Here’s an example of how a customer journey works with Emma. The new subscriber receives a welcome email and premade emails filled with relevant and useful content go out every other day following that.

The new subscriber receives a welcome email and premade emails filled with relevant and useful content go out every other day following that.

Source: Emma

12. Memes are here to stay, so go with the flow.

We couldn’t talk about Internet culture without mentioning memes, could we? We’re not saying that you need to insert literal meme graphics directly into your email campaigns—that might come off as cheap or cheesy.

Instead, incorporate popular phrases into your emails to spark interest. If you run a pet supply website, for example, you could switch your vocabulary to call cats “big chonks.” The point is to use terms that your audience is using because this will help you resonate with them on a personal level.

Wrap up

Marketing expectations and internet culture constantly change. Some key tips and takeaways include:

  • Personalization is mandatory.

  • Respect your subscribers.

  • Present yourself as a human being and not just a brand.

  • Create a customer experience.

  • Integrate, integrate, integrate!

It’s important to remember that as a marketer, you’re not in control anymore: your audience has the power. Once that clicks, you can start to understand their needs and present them with solutions in a whole new light.

Do you need an email service provider that wants to help you send beautiful campaigns and useful content to your subscribers? Check out some of our features to see how Emma can help.

About the Author

Emma Email

Emma is an email marketing platform that gives you all the tools you need to send campaigns that really connect with your subscribers. Unlike other email providers, Emma puts their customers first. It's email marketing that works for you.

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