7 email marketing trends to look forward to in 2018

Email marketing is evolving, getting smarter, more complex, allowing for more opportunities to achieve success.

The content being delivered into people’s inboxes is more engaging than ever, and marketers are needing to work harder to make sure they keep up with the competition.

It’s clear that there are a few trends which should be considered by businesses to make their own marketing successful in the next year. Take a read so you don’t get left behind…

1.   The rise of the video

Emails which include high quality visual content, such as gifs and video, are set to do better than those without. GIFs (or JIFs if you’re that kind of a person) have a 6.6% higher click-through rate than usual average, and most email clients (except for a couple of older Outlook versions) support them.

Facebook now sees 8 billion average daily video views from 500 million users. Their popularity means you should consider including more engaging visuals in your email campaigns. Video is set to soar in the future.

Could you make your email campaigns more engaging by using HTML5 videos? Not all email clients, or platforms, support playback. For example, ever since iOS 10 the native email client has supported HTML 5 video embeds. Meaning users can watch video without any issues.

Even if you can’t integrate videos natively into your campaigns, you can insert a screenshot image (or a short gif preview) of your video and link to the landing page the video is embedded on.

2.   Include multichannel integration

If you reach your consumers through a variety of channels, you’ll maximise your engagement.

Email is one of the best ways to actually engage with the consumer directly. Emails which include multichannel integration yield better results than campaigns conducted via individual channels.

Studies have proven that multichannel campaigns improve email marketing performance by improving clicks and conversion rates. 60% of the mature multichannel marketers achieve more than a 10% increase in ROI and 40% seeing a 15% increase.

Here are a few ways that that you could combine your social media, blog content and email:

  • Write a blog post and promote it by email. Let your subscribers know that you’ve just uploaded some great new content that they could be interested in
  • Target users with relevant to their buying stage content
  • Host a competition on Facebook and promote it over email

Using all your marketing channels will engage your consumer at a whole other level. Just having social icons isn’t enough anymore!

3.   Consider buyer journeys

67% of the buyer’s journey is now completed digitally. It’s therefore important to segment and target the right people with the right message, at the right time.

Email campaigns must educate, inform and most importantly, persuade your prospects into taking action. Generally speaking, there are three stages to the buyer’s journey, all offering the opportunity for automated engagement:

1 – The awareness stage

Email sends can be triggered based on users’ actions (or inaction) taken on your site. You have the opportunity to push them into the buying journey.

A trigger can be when a new user visits your site and creates an account, or subscribes to your newsletter. 72% of buyers use search engine through the awareness stage – so capturing those new users is essential.

2 – The consideration stage

When the consumer has clearly defined, and given a name to their problem and is committed to researching and understanding all of the available methods for solving it.

This when your emails should encourage further engagement by offering educational content. For example, targeting someone who’s looking to buy a new car but has no idea how car finance works.

To help, you can create an email campaign based around the topic and educate people which will help them progress into the next stage.

3 – The decision stage

When the consumer has found their solution, and is deciding who to go with. Reading reviews is a big thing here. They want to know they’ll have a good experience choosing your company.

Consider targeting these users with reviews, testimonials or other content that can serve as social proof. Alternatively, you can consider simple add-ons such as free shipping (if applicable of course)

By focusing on targeting and segmentation, and sending the right emails at the right time, your emails will work harder throughout the buyer’s journey.

What can emails be triggered by?

  • Emails triggered by demographical changes (user gets married and needs a bigger car).
  • Website actions – users visiting specific pages
  • Website inactivity (e.g. abandoned baskets) – Dynamic content is HTML within your email that changes based on the end user and their interactions.
  • Weather-depended triggers (not available with most email marketing software) – if a user lived in a city where it rains, they will get a different email to those who live in the sun. They will serve different images, copy and content.

So, super personalised (but not creepy) emails are sent.

4.   Improving email automation

This trend goes hand-in-hand with the previous.

Did you know that automated emails have 70.5% higher open rates and 152% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” marketing messages.

For your automatic email, you need to establish the trigger. You can then set up your email workflow, a series of emails which will keep a conversation going with the consumer.

You could include a welcome email, discounts or blog content. These will remind the customer of their value to you, and the other way around – you adding value to their experience.

For example, we worked with our client Welsh Bifolds to develop an automated email process which educated consumers up to the point they were ready to make an enquiry. This nurtured their users, bringing them closer to the buying stage.

The combination of personalisation and user segmentation, assisted and generated numerous conversions every month. Happy days.

5.    Email is shrinking – quality content is more important than ever

Most emails are now being opened on a mobile device. With such few words, it’s crucial that every word has a purpose. So, no waffle please.

Your email content needs to be compelling and exciting. If your product or service has a story, then it’s much more engaging. Your brand’s personality should shine through the content of your email.

92% of consumers want brands to make their ads story-like. Therefore, every business should be doing it as both a direct and indirect way of marketing.

Also, quality content doesn’t equate success unless it actually engages with the target audience on an emotional level.

Quality over quantity certainly applies here. Studies have proven that the emails which have the best response rate are only 50 to 125 words.


6.   Spending as much time on the subject line as the email itself

It’s reported that 1.9 billion non-spam emails are sent every day. Of course, not all of these are going to be read.

You need to make sure your subject line is going grab your audience so your email gets opened. It needs to be personal and compelling.


Depending on your audience, some keywords are going to do better than others. Performing a split test will give you results to what words in your subject line work the best to entice people to open your email.

Not sure how to carry out a split test?

Usually, it’s important to only change one variable and test for one outcome. Then, analyse how many times each one won, and what the average open rate was.

Build an ‘email marketing knowledge base’ to use for the future. You will be one step closer to better performing emails in the future.

7. Increasing regulation with GDPR

Regulation will become an even bigger concern for marketers next year.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is the new legislation which will be enforced from the 25th May 2018. It requires businesses to protect the personal data and privacy of citizens for transactions that occur within the EU.

Read more about how GDPR affects marketing in our blog here.

So, you could suffer a hefty fine if businesses do not comply with GDPR throughout their email marketing.


In relation to email marketing campaigns, the solution could be to use double opt-ins. This would ensure that you are only communicating with those who want to hear from you.

Contact us

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