With 2023 here, it’s time to start planning your next campaign strategies. Email marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing trends, with 89% of marketers using email as the primary channel for generating leads. The reason? Email marketing reaches its audience in a direct way, unlike other channels such as social media that may be impacted by algorithms. Depending on your company’s goals, there are several email marketing trends you can lean into to redefine your strategy and reach your target audience. Let’s take a look.

1. Interactivity

Interactivity makes users part of the game. It’s a trend that’s been around for quite a few years, with 91% of users wanting interactive content, but here’s the most interesting part - only 17% of marketers provide it. Interactive emails can prove a real source of conversion and profitability, with minimum effort. So, what exactly is interactive content? In simple terms, it’s any content that your customers can tap, click, swipe, or interact with. Interactive emails allow you to add a variety of elements to your message, easily manipulated without having to visit another page. These elements include:

  • Videos
  • Image carousels  
  • Sliders
  • Games
  • Survey & polls
  • Quizzes 

While interactive elements make your emails more enticing and help you stand out from your competition, remember to use them wisely. The more interactivity you use, the more you impact the weight and deliverability of your message. 

2. Storytelling

Everybody loves stories. From childrens’ favorite bedtime storybooks to grown-ups spending hours recounting past times with their friends, stories build human connections. And when it comes to turning visitors into loyal customers, nothing beats a good storytelling strategy. Storytelling not only has the power to persuade your audience to take action, but also builds meaningful relationships with them. Robert McKee, the world's foremost educator on story form and brand storytelling, says: “Story is the most effective way to get attention because what attracts human attention is change. As long as things are moving on an even keel, you pay attention to whatever you're doing. But if something around you changes—if the temperature around you changes, if the phone rings—that gets your attention.”

So how do you apply storytelling in email marketing?  

  • Origin stories: Origin stories are perfect for welcoming new subscribers to your newsletter.  Through these stories, you can tell your audience how your company came to be, with details on when it was started, what inspired the creation of the company, milestones, and more.  
  • Product launches: Using the power of storytelling to explain what inspired you to create a product is a very popular and effective strategy that helps a product launch highlight its uniqueness. For an even more impressive product launch, you can use case studies and user-generated content to help your customers understand what they should expect.  
  • Success stories: Sometimes talking about your product is not enough. You have to show people how great it is using it, or how well it works in real life. Use success stories to show how other customers were able to solve a problem using your products and the exact way they achieved it, so your target audience can relate.

3. Personalization

You’ve probably heard it a million times already, but I can’t stress this enough, consumers demand personalization - 62% of customers say they not only want, but expect personalization, and that a brand that doesn’t offer tailored experiences could lose their business. By implementing a strong personalization email marketing strategy you catch your subscribers’ attention and get them to interact with your emails more, increasing open rates and driving more revenue. So why do highly personalized emails act like customer magnets?

  • They make the buying process a seamless customer experience 
  • They don’t overwhelm customers with an extreme range of options 
    (which usually leads to cart abandonment) 
  • They help customers save time 

However, many brands don’t realize the difference between personalization and good personalization.  So, what exactly does good personalization mean in email marketing? When creating your email marketing campaigns you should keep in mind the following:  

  • Your campaigns should always be and feel highly relevant  
  • Your emails should always be timely
  • You should always respect privacy legislation
  • Your emails should provide useful experiences for your customer
  • Your campaigns’ aim must be to provide personalized email experiences that make things easier for your customers 

4. Artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence continues to build a strong presence in email marketing since it can enhance your marketing efforts in various ways. For example, it can improve your segmentation, or help you optimize your email content to deliver better experiences for your subscribers. AI is vital in measuring the success of your marketing reach. It allows you to pull out meaningful insights to analyze customer patterns and help you to shape your email marketing strategy. Forget experimentation. By analyzing certain data points, AI allows you to determine which emails you sent were the most successful based on the time frame in which you sent them, so the next time you will know the best time to schedule your campaign. And let’s not forget about email list hygiene. Who wants their email to get blacklisted? With AI tools like email verification, you can say goodbye to spammy emails and inactive addresses and look forward to the bright days of high deliverability and sender scores.

5. Mobile-first design

It’s official - mobile has surpassed desktop and 46% of all email opens now occur on mobile. Without the right design, your campaign may land in spam folders, so it’s essential to ensure your emails adapt perfectly to every device. Here are some key tips for responsive emails in 2023:

  • Increase text size for better legibility: Use 13- or 14-pt font for the body 
    text and no smaller than 20-pt for the titles. 
  • Position the important information prominently: Users scroll when there is a reason to. Make sure you place your most important call to action or your most important information “above the fold”. 
  • Convert links into clickable buttons: Avoid using hyperlinks and especially avoid cluttering several hyperlinks together. Use big, tappable buttons instead. 
  • Stick to a single-column layout: The one-column format is easily legible whereas two or more columns crowd the small screen.  
  • Use interactive images such as GIFs. They grab the audience’s attention and communicate exact meanings, which in turn improves your email marketing performance and email metrics. 

Sophie Krokida is a Product Marketing Manager at Sitecore. Connect with her on LinkedIn