99% of email users check their inbox daily, some as often as 20 times a day! So if you’re not optimizing your B2B email marketing strategy, you’re missing out on a crucial channel of communication with your audience.
Email marketing has been driving results since the dawn of digital marketing, but that doesn’t mean marketers don’t have to consistently update their email marketing efforts to keep it fresh. Like content marketing and video marketing, 2023 is bringing some new challenges for marketers when it comes to their email marketing efforts.
We’ve identified some key trends in email marketing that you should be keeping an eye on in 2023.
- Artificial intelligence
- Personalized messaging
- User-generated content
- Responsive emails
- Agile strategies
- Less copy
Now, let's get into them in more detail.
Artificial intelligence (AI)
These days, marketers have more data than they know what to do with. But even the most tech-savvy among us need help navigating and utilizing all this customer data, because, when compared to a computer, most humans just aren’t as good at crunching the numbers.
Enter AI software, which has already proved an invaluable tool for marketers across many different channels. It can sift through millions of data points to make predictions about how your email campaign will fare, and automatically adjust it to give you the very best possible results.
AI can write your email subject lines for you, send out personalized emails, optimize send times, and automatically adjust your email lists. By analyzing large datasets, AI can use insights to make recommendations and decisions to allow for personalized segmentation at every stage of the customer journey.
In the coming years, we can only expect AI to become more prevalent and offer even more benefits than it already does. So if you haven’t already taken advantage of the benefits of AI in your email marketing, make a start in 2023.
People’s attention spans are waning, so static emails that require people to sit there and read your content just don’t cut it anymore. If you want customers to engage with your emails, then making them exciting with things like interactive elements is essential.
Interactive emails mean including elements that users can manipulate without having to visit your website, such as including a carousel of images that can be swiped, embedding videos, using sliders that can be manipulated, or even including games within the email.
By including interactive elements, you not only increase the amount of time people spend looking at your email - thus increasing the likelihood of a click-through - but you can also guide them through the sales funnel from the get-go.
There are limitations, however, as many interactive elements are not supported in all email clients, so you’ll still need code fallbacks for subscribers whose emails won’t support interactivity.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, when it comes to B2B marketing, personalization is where it’s at. Whether content, video, or email, consumers want relevancy, they don’t have time for ads that have nothing to do with their wants and needs.
Targeted personalization in email increases customer engagement, so if you want to stay ahead of the game in 2023, you best be prepared to get personal with your customers.
You’ll need to harness all your data to drive more engaging email content with personalized subject lines, offers and promotions, the content, and even the time of day the email is delivered.
Fortunately, AI software can make this process easier than ever. By collecting all the available data about your customers and their purchasing habits, AI can analyze all of it more quickly and more accurately than a human marketer ever could, producing data-backed recommendations for content that’s far more likely to result in click-throughs. All-in-one CRM products like EngageBay can help you with personalization.
User-generated content is becoming more prevalent across different aspects of digital marketing, from video to social, but it’s also making waves in email marketing. Customers are more likely to trust other customers than a company trying to sell them something.
A company will always say their products and services are amazing, but if lots of happy customers are confirming this as well, then they’re much more likely to take it as gospel.
Showcasing happy customers encourages others to make a purchase. So make sure you’re utilizing customer reviews, photos of customers using your products, and customer case studies in your email marketing. 92% of consumers are more likely to trust non-paid recommendations than any other kind of advertising.
The same is likely true for B2B - so social proof is a great way to improve your click-through rate and encourage conversions.
Customer segmentation is not just smart practice, it’s essential. By segmenting your audience into groups to send individualized emails to, you get a higher ROI and a higher chance of click-throughs. But splitting your audience into broad categories using the likes of their location or industry demographics just won’t cut it anymore. In 2023 we can expect to take this even further.
Your email marketing should embrace microsegments, segmenting your audience into even smaller groups for a far more personalized experience. You’ll need to deep dive into not only your audience’s organizational demographics but their buyer behavior and how they use your site and products.
This is where AI can lend a hand, segmenting your audience for you based on the data it’s collected and analyzed. What makes AI even more handy for this process is that it can update these lists automatically over time as it gathers more and more accurate, up-to-date data, keeping your segmented email lists as accurate as possible.
50% of B2B inquiries are made through smartphones compared to a desktop, yet nearly one in five email campaigns are not optimized for mobile devices. So if mobile-first is set to become standard in 2023, and email marketing needs to catch up.
If you’re not already making sure your emails are offering a user experience suitable for every device, now is the time. Your emails must function correctly on mobile devices and tablets as well as desktops. By using responsive design so they can adapt to whatever device your audience is using.
The design of the email is also important because you’ll want to keep it free of clutter so mobile users don’t have to scroll endlessly to find the relevant content. In 2023, keeping your email campaigns mobile-friendly needs to have equal priority with desktop, rather than just an afterthought.
Agile marketing is making waves in B2B marketing, and email marketing is no exception.
With an agile email marketing strategy, you adopt a trial and error method to everythig you do. When something works, you continue with it, and when something fails, you adjust.
It might sound obvious, but agile is all about doing these continuous experiments over short periods of time so you can make constant, tiny improvements, as opposed to leaving a campaign running to months as a time and only evaluating the results at the end.
For example, let’s you want to increase click-through rate by 5%. So you try out a series of campaigns so you can test different results by tweaking different metrics, like the layout of your emails, or the times of day they’re sent out. If they yield positive results, you’re on the right track.
If not, you can keep adjusting until you get the outcome you’re looking for. Just always remember to stay agile, always ready and willing to make changes as needed.
We’ve already mentioned how attention spans are deteriorating, well that can only mean that marketers need to be more concise with their copy. A well-written, concise email will catch your reader’s attention in the same way an interactive email will. It’s also ideal for people who are prone to glancing at an email on the go, so you can impart your message to them in less time.
Rather than the hard sell, consider using storytelling, a popular marketing tool that has been shown to be much more memorable than simply relaying statistical facts.
Another option is to connect to your audience with a conversational, or even humorous, tone, forging meaningful relationships with the email recipient. Just make sure that the tone of your message is consistent with your brand persona.
In an ever-evolving digital landscape, email remains a powerful and effective medium for B2B marketing, with a majority of users consistently engaging with their inboxes. However, to remain impactful in 2023, you must adapt and innovate.
From the advanced capabilities of AI in segmentation and personalization to the need for mobile optimization and succinct storytelling, the future of email marketing is multifaceted.
Embracing interactivity, personalized messaging, and user-generated content can significantly elevate engagement and conversion rates. As the year unfolds, these key trends serve as a roadmap, urging you to be agile, creative, and ever-responsive to the dynamic needs and preferences of their audience.
Join our Revenue Marketing Alliance Slack community to continue this discussion on trends further.