Social media might dominate modern life, but that doesn’t mean emails are on their way out. Email marketing, in particular, is still an important tool in ecommerce – partly because it’s the most cost-effective marketing method available. And, like social media, it’s dynamic and ever-changing. It’s essential for businesses to keep up with the latest trends if they want to make the most of their efforts. Read on as we look at what to expect from email marketing in 2018.

Goodbye to bulk emails

In the past, it’s been common practice for businesses to send out large batches of identical emails to their customer database. By now we’ve all come to expect the generic post in our inbox about January sales, summer deals or Black Friday. The result? A lot of traffic without too much effort. The downside, we’re beginning to realise, is that it’s not necessarily the most effective way of generating sales.

In 2018, the focus will shift to exactly that – turning traffic into sales. How? Personalisation. As we’ve seen with websites themselves, emails will be personalised based on individual preferences and purchase history to create a tailored user experience. Embedded “buy now” icons will also offer customers a more direct route to purchase, meaning we can expect to become a much more powerful tool for ecommerce merchants in the future. 

Utilising artificial intelligence 

Artificial intelligence (AI) is making its way into all kinds of sectors. From manufacturing jobs to receptionist roles – it’s improving efficiency and saving businesses time and money. How about email marketing? AI-driven content could be the key to creating truly personalised emails, producing things like customised subject lines without requiring the same time and effort. 

Continuing the shift to mobile 

It’s not just new innovations like AI. 2018 will also see continued efforts to optimise emails for mobile devices. In 2017, mobile traffic overtook that of desktop for the first time on retail websites. We’re also beginning to see sales on mobile devices catch up to desktop, with the two approximately equal on Black Friday 2017. So, it makes sense to ensure marketing emails are mobile friendly. In 2018, merchants will offer fully mobile-friendly emails for quick and convenient consumption.

Switching to two-step subscription 

As well as changes to the emails themselves, 2018 will bring changes to the way businesses acquire customer email addresses. Traditionally, websites have a one step opt-in process. Visitors type an email address into the field and confirm with a sign-up button. With this method, invalid, fake or mistyped email addresses can easily be added to the mailing list, resulting in spam complaints and a clogged-up email database.

A two-step process is similar, but instead of giving customers the email address field straight away, they have to click through to get to this point. Alternatively, visitors might only be offered to sign up after reading a blog post or filling out a survey. While it might seem counterintuitive, it’s actually far less spammy, and can increase the opt-in rate by 60%. A two-step subscription will also give you a mailing list of quality customers, who are more likely to convert into sales.

Unlock the power of email marketing 

Looking for effective email marketing for your business? Look no further. Bing Digital creates email marketing campaigns that are tailored to your business and your audience. With our help, you can unlock the power of email marketing to generate new leads, follow up on abandoned carts, or re-engage with old customers. Quite simply, we help you hit the mark. Get in touch today to talk email marketing with one of our ecommerce experts.

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