RAAK_Blog-Header_ 5 email marketing trends we predict for 2018

5 email marketing trends we predict for 2018

Now 2017 draws to an end, we would like to share with you what we think will be en vogue in email marketing next year. So, take note and start thinking about how your business and email marketing strategy for 2018 can benefit from these 5 up and coming trends.

1. Respecting data
This isn’t just a trend. It’s a must. In 2018, we will need to analyse our existing data and change the way we collect data. Simply because the new GDPR rules, set by the European Commission that will become standard in May 2018, will force us to. This is the biggest change that will affect not only the use of data for email marketing, but also the general use of data in 2018. Whichever medium you use.

For many years, obtaining user data such as email addresses, phone numbers and other personal data via competitions, promotions or whitepaper downloads has been a technique to build databases and trigger conversation. This info was afterwards used for various email campaigns that the user may or may not have given their consent for. From May 2018 on, explicit reconsent is compulsory for companies to store and use this personal data. Unless you can prove you have a gained a specific opt-in for this data in the past. With this change, we will see companies tightening their use of personal data.

2. Interactive emails
Making your emails fun and easy to read is a great way to increase engagement from your contacts. It also significantly reduces bounce rates and unsubscribes. But there’s more to it than just fun. You also have to hand your audience a convenient way to get informed or give feedback. Interactive elements in email can help you to do both. According to a poll by Litmus, more than 27% of marketers believe interactive emails will have a major impact on email marketing in 2018. You can let your audience interact or give feedback by providing them image galleries, sliders, quizzes, search bars, surveys, etc. A fun and easy way for them to receive info and maybe even give feedback, all in the same email, without too many clicks. As an email marketer, you’ll tap into valuable info from your audience.

3. AI-powered email marketing
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning technologies were already big in 2017. We expect them to develop at a fast pace in the near future. Tech companies are already investing billions of dollars in ways to send out the most convenient campaigns for their audience with the help of AI.

Adobe is one of those who have invested in AI-powered email marketing. Adobe Campaign already has impressive AI features, for example its ability to suggest users the best subject lines for an email. The company plans to take it even further by suggesting marketers the best images to use in email campaigns. There’s no doubt machine learning will make email marketing easier in the future. It will suggest ways to segment email lists and help you integrate product recommendations in your emails. We can’t wait to see those developments evolve during 2018.

4. Changing marketing funnel
The marketing funnel as we know it today will change completely in 2018. In the past, email marketers have held onto a marketing and sales funnel where leads entered at the top and customers emerged at the bottom. But ever since new digital marketing channels and tactics have become more prominent, this classic funnel crumbled. Luckily for email marketers, a new marketing funnel has entered the picture. It merges pre-purchase and post-purchase stages to present a complete view of the entire customer lifecycle. Multi-channel, multi-touch, multi-path customer journeys are the new marketing funnel.

Marketers should now focus on the complete journey of the customer lifecycle, not just some steps along the way. The final goal is no longer to convert a lead into a customer. It’s about keeping customers loyal and satisfied, and make them return over and over again.

5. Building on the predictions of 2017
Some topics we predicted in our ‘trends for 2017’ blogpost are still highly relevant today. The focus on flawless rendering will still be an important focal point in 2018, for mobile as well as desktop devices. Rendering your emails correctly is important to ensure your emails are viewable across all email clients and/or devices. Creating a great design and engaging copy is a waste of time when your customer cannot see your amazing work due to bad rendering. Therefore, make sure you keep testing your email campaigns thoroughly.

Then there’s segmentation and personalization, two more crucial attention points that were relevant during the past year. And they’ll still be in 2018. Nowadays, we see personalization based on past events. We get to know people after they have given us info or after they have taken action. We predict that in 2018, there will be a shift towards a ‘what’s next’ instead of a ‘what was’ mentality. Also, we hope to see more use of list segmentation, mainly by small businesses. When it comes to sending more effective email campaigns and boosting email open rates, list segmentation has been the strategy that has helped businesses generate more than 14% email opens and get double the amount of clicks from email campaigns. At this moment however, we must conclude that lots of small businesses still aren’t using list segmentation to their advantage. So, there is still room for improvement.


2018 will be the year to pick up on what we started in 2017. We need to keep working on crucial aspects like personalization and segmentation. Additionally, GDPR will have a huge impact on the way email marketers use and treat their data. And be sure to keep your eyes peeled for some interesting new developments like AI-powered email marketing, a new marketing funnel and more ways to make your email campaigns (more) interactive

Posted on
Dec 19, 2017