As New Year approaches, marketers will be working on their strategies for the year ahead. Many email marketing predictions for 2018 are linked to tech and AI, and although AI will feature heavily in email trends next year, customer-centricity should be at the forefront of brand strategies in 2018.Enchant Founder and CEO Philip Storey outlines his 2018 email marketing predictions and trends for the year ahead:
1. Customer lifecycle marketing will be vital in 2018
With consumers expecting more tailored experiences and closer relationships with brands, email marketers should focus more on customer retention rather than acquisition – especially the more established brands.
Marketers will be drilling down into their data and staying on top of each customer touchpoint. This is the key to effective lifecycle marketing. You must effectively engage with customers beyond the first conversion, through to post-purchase nurturing, loyalty and advocacy, and even customer win-back and reengagement.
Your customer lifecycle should go far deeper than seasonal triggers and simple profile-based engagement opportunities. Map out your customer lifecycle and enhance it with behavioural touchpoints, segmentation and automation. Deliver value to prospects and customers at each stage of the customer lifecycle.
2. Marketers will begin to own the multichannel experience
Marketers have an opportunity to truly own the customer lifecycle, and successful lifecycle marketing is driven by multichannel strategies.
Brands in 2018 will explore more intricacy within the customer lifecycle. As consumer expectations continue to change and customers demand more from their favourite brands, marketers must respond with valuable content and communication.
With the great range of tools and technologies available to marketers, more seamless omnichannel experiences for customers is possible, where email marketing campaigns align with and incorporate other key channels, such as paid social and onsite personalisation.
3. Live email content will become the norm in
From countdown timers and dynamic product prices to geotargeting for nearest retail stores, customers will be increasingly targeted with live email content in 2018.
Brands will leverage dynamic content tools and tech that exceeds basic persuasion tactics. Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) will be enhanced by more real-time email content, tailored to profiles, behaviours and the time and date that individual customers open emails. Live email content is going to go big in 2018!
At Enchant, many of the retailers we're working with already use live content in every single campaign, not just in peak seasons like Black Friday and Christmas. It will soon become the norm in
4. You must put customer needs before business goals
A common mistake in marketing is business goals getting in the way of a brand's focus on customer needs and desires. Customers become disengaged if the content they're receiving is too
Brands must remain focused on their target audience and understand their key personas, to give prospects and customers content that's engaging and relevant to them. Put customer needs before your business goals and targets, and success will follow.
A customer-centric approach, where customers are treated as individuals, is so important. Be brave enough to pivot your strategy and remember that your business exists according to the needs of the customer – understanding changing needs and expectations prevents your brand from standing still!
5. There will be more intelligent targeting and personalisation
More advanced personalisation in email has been hyped up for the last few years, but in 2018 we expect email personalisation and targeting take a big step forward, as more brands are using machine learning and artificial intelligence tools to create more tailored emails for subscribers.
There are lots of great email marketing tools and third-party solutions which use data science and AI technology, to add relevancy and personalised content to email. Automation will become essential to drive targeted campaigns and AI will be key to effective personalisation that goes further the usual obvious persuasion tactics, which customers have become blind to.
We hope these email predictions for the year ahead have got you thinking about the key trends to consider and the opportunities to take advantage of, to take your email marketing to the level in 2018!
If you need help planning and prioritising your email strategies, check out our free email marketing strategy planner and get yourself fully prepped for the year ahead!
Enchant Agency is a leading UK digital marketing consultancy, based in London. Specialising in email marketing, inbound marketing, CRM and paid social advertising, our digital marketing consultants help brands reach their full potential with customer lifecycle strategies.