Email marketing may seem old-fashioned in the current digital marketing landscape, but it’s still a top marketing channel for businesses. Here’s why email marketing still matters in 2023 and how it aligns with current digital marketing trends.
Why Is Email Marketing Still Relevant in 2023?
Email marketing remains one of the top marketing channels because of the stability, control, and affordability it offers businesses. As an owned media channel, email marketing gives marketers more control over their messaging and the scope of their reach.
While buzzy marketing trends like gamification and influencer marketing can be effective for engaging your customers online, you may have to stretch your budget to incorporate these into your digital marketing strategy—and there’s no guarantee that you’ll reach enough people to see significant conversions. These strategies are also forms of earned and paid media, which offer less control for businesses and more time and testing in order to see positive ROI.
With 4 billion daily email users, email marketing provides more opportunities to connect and engage with customers at a lower cost. Most customers even prefer email to other forms of business communication, with weekly emails being the sweet spot in terms of frequency. Additionally, email marketing has continued to deliver one of the highest ROIs of all marketing channels, and modern automation abilities have made creating email campaigns more efficient.
What Trends Are Impacting Email Marketing in 2023?
If you’re using email marketing campaigns in 2023 to connect with your customers and drive more sales, you’ll want to be aware of how current marketing trends can have an impact.
In 2023, there are more mobile device users than ever, and the internet is changing to reflect that reality. A majority of email activity comes from mobile devices, and 70% of customers will delete emails that don’t display correctly on their phones. Some customers may even unsubscribe due to poor email user experience, meaning mobile email optimization in 2023 could be the difference between retaining or losing your audience.
Customers Prioritize Social Responsibility
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become increasingly important for businesses, as half of Gen Z and 41% of Millennials now prefer companies to take a stance on social issues. Email communication can be used as an in-depth way to lay out your company’s CSR initiatives, including brand values and positions on social issues. While social media is limited by short-form writing, an email newsletter can offer more long-form explanations—plus, it’ll go directly to your customers, giving these messages a greater chance of being seen.
Sales & Marketing Alignment
54% of marketers currently report struggling to align their sales and marketing teams, but only 19% are planning to focus on improving this alignment in 2023. A disconnect between these teams can lead to discrepancies in messaging and branding, so making sales and marketing alignment a priority in 2023 could put you a step above your competition. Email is a great way to address this, as it can be used as both a sales and marketing platform. Sales can use email marketing for targeted content, deals, and direct product sales, while marketing teams will find it useful for brand building. A channel where both teams can collaborate can help ensure your business is delivering consistent messaging to all customers.
Perhaps one of the best parts of email marketing for businesses is that signing up for an email list is voluntary. Most traditional marketing is outbound marketing, which can interrupt a customer’s media experience and contribute to ad fatigue. The constant onslaught of advertising in today’s digital landscape leads many internet users to block or avoid ads, making it harder to reach those individuals with outbound marketing efforts. While email can be used for outbound marketing, collecting sign-ups for email lists and email newsletters are a form of inbound email marketing, where the customer is the one to initiate engagement with the brand. Because of this, email allows you to communicate with a willing audience that’s actively requesting content. Plus, offering content tailored to their needs can help you build trust and brand loyalty over time.
Focus on Customer Service
If a company offers good customer service, 89% of consumers are likely to make another purchase, and 78% will continue to do business with that company even after a mistake has been made. Email marketing is an important channel for customer service since it allows you to continuously stay in contact with customers throughout the buyer’s journey. Improve the customer service experience by segmenting your audience and providing real-time, personalized communications—like product launches, limited-time offers, and birthday messages. Use dynamic emails and retargeting emails take personalized communication a step further, directly addressing customers to quickly resolve any issues and making them feel more valued in the process.
With the digital sphere becoming more interactive, augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and digital games have entered the modern marketing world as unique ways to engage consumers. However, these aren’t the only avenues for businesses looking to incorporate interactivity. When it comes to email, 91% of consumers now prefer interactive content, but most aren’t receiving it. Providing interactive content not only sets you apart from competition, but significantly boost engagement and website traffic as well. Consider embedding podcast episodes or video marketing content in emails to engage your audience, add buttons that allow them to find related content, or incorporate interactive images and infographics to showcase curated content.
Tighter Privacy Laws for Customers
With personal data like card information and identity documentation being uploaded online, data privacy has become more of a priority. Changes like Apple’s recent mail privacy iOS update are putting customer control and privacy at the forefront by allowing customers to mask their IP addresses and email addresses and block companies from tracking email open rates. As privacy aids across marketing channels become more popular, customers are trusting and accepting email as a marketing tactic more than social media ads and banner ads by as much as 108%. While this new update does affect your ability to track open rates, you’ll still be able to see the success of your email marketing campaigns based on other benchmarks, including website traffic and conversions from email, click-through rates, and unsubscribe vs. subscribe rates.
In 2023, internet users are constantly being flooded with content, with new information being uploaded online every second. Not only does this make it harder for businesses to stand out, but it can also be difficult to keep up with this pace of content creation. Curated content is a simple and efficient way to stand out above the noise by collecting information that already exists and presenting it in a meaningful way. Email is a great channel for distributing curated content. Featuring and recommending blog posts, industry news, third-party research, videos, and even podcasts in emails can help improve your brand authority and educate your audience on topics related to your business. Since email can consist of more long-form content than other marketing channels, you’ll also have more room to dive deeper into this content.
Automation & AI
Artificial Intelligence (AI) development has become incredibly useful for marketers, and email marketing in particular. AI is capable of categorizing email lists, targeting and personalizing your content to proper audiences, and even writing emails for you. Many email automation platforms, like MailChimp, offer their software for little to no cost. This lets you decrease the time you spend on your email marketing efforts, as automation software can take over optimization and organization work that would otherwise slow your marketing efforts down. Automation also lets you optimize your campaigns according to your budget, which can contribute to better ROI.