Email marketing took a massive leap forward in 2023: It was suddenly possible to use artificial intelligence to create subject lines, CTAs and even automatically send perfectly timed emails to each subscriber.
You won’t be surprised to hear that AI is the driver behind 2 of our biggest 2024 email marketing trends: AI-powered personalization and optimization.
But AI trends aren’t the only email marketing developments we’re excited about. Our list also includes upcoming inbox regulations, a new standard that will help you stand out in the inbox, tips around accessibility, and some lesser-known ways to grow your subscriber list.
AI helps email marketers create content, write subject lines, and design images faster than ever. For some, this will cut the time it takes to create campaigns. Others will use the time savings to create targeted content for different subscriber segments.
This is significant because personalization can drastically improve your campaign results: 76% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands that personalize. While 89% of marketers say they see a positive ROI from personalization.
With the currently available AI tools, you can:
- Generate subject lines targeted at your different subscriber groups or segments
- Create email content focused on the needs of different audiences and show them in your email with dynamic content
- Produce graphics or images to illustrate each version of the email
It’s everything you need to create entire campaigns for multiple segments faster than ever. The image below shows an example of generative AI in action. We created all 5 subject lines in seconds with our subject line generator tool.
In just a couple of minutes, you could also generate similar subject lines for people who have yet to buy, new email signups, or any other customer segment.
Personalization is also going beyond the content subscribers see. For example, we recently released AI-powered Smart sending, a tool that uses AI to decide the best time to send an email to each subscriber on your list.
This means it’s not only easier to tailor email content to your audience, but the time they receive the email will precisely match the time they’re most likely to open it.
Check out MailerLite’s AI-powered personalization tools
MailerLite comes with all you need to personalize your campaigns with AI. Generate AI content and subject lines, create subscriber segments, add dynamic content to your emails, and send campaigns when people are most likely to open them. Sign up below to start.
Most email marketers know that A/B testing and multivariate testing are effective ways to get the best possible results from each part of your email campaign.
These features work by testing different versions of an email on a small portion of your list and then sending the winning combinations to the rest of your subscribers.
The issue is that pre-AI, creating multiple versions of all your content was time-consuming. If you wanted to test a subject line, image, or content block, you’d have to spend time creating each asset individually. It wasn’t always realistic for time-pressed marketing managers or founders to test their campaigns.
However, with AI tools, you can create multiple versions with a click of a button. Setting up a test now takes just minutes. This results in campaigns that perform optimally every time you send them, and you get more data about the types of content your audience responds to.
Moving away from AI, early 2024 will see Gmail and Yahoo make changes to what they require mass senders to do when sending emails. These regulations aim to improve the experience of people who use these inboxes.
As the two inbox providers have such a large share of email addresses, anyone who sends emails will have to adapt.
From February 2024, the two tech giants will require all senders to:
- Authenticate their sending domain
- Allow for one-click unsubscribes
- Stay below a spam-rate threshold
Bulk email senders who send 5,000+ emails in one day will also need to set up an additional authentication protocol called a DMARC record.
We already recommend these practices to all MailerLite customers. But anyone who isn’t currently following these upcoming guidelines will have to take steps to follow them before they come into effect.
Do you send emails from a free domain? ?
The requirement for emails to be sent from an authenticated domain means you won’t be able to send mass emails from free domains like [mybuinsess]@gmail.com or [mybusiness]@yahoo.com.
If you are sending from one of these domains, you must buy a custom domain and authenticate it by the time the regulations come into place. Find out more about authenticating your domain here.
You’ve probably started to notice brand logos next to your emails over the last year or so. This is due to Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI), a new standard that allows businesses to showcase a logo next to emails sent from their domain. See how it looks on Gmail for mobile devices in the screenshot below.
BIMI was introduced in 2021, but as time goes on more organizations are adopting the standard. In 2024, we expect to see an even bigger increase in the number of brands adding their logo to their domain.
Adding BIMI has several benefits. It ensures that every email sent from your domain and opened in inboxes that support the format have the same logo. A study from cybersecurity firm Red Sift found that this increases open rates, brand recall, and even likeness to purchase.
Adding your logo to your domain via BIMI involves the following steps:
- Authenticating your domain with SPF, DKIM and DMARC
- Creating an SVG Tiny PS version of your official logo
- Uploading this logo to your domain’s DNS settings
You can read a complete guide to getting set up on the BIMI group website. Once you’re up and running, your logo will appear next to your messages in supported inboxes, including Gmail, Apple Mail, and Yahoo.
The best news is that a quick look at your inbox shows that plenty of brands still haven’t set up this feature. Getting in ahead of the crowd is a big opportunity to stand out.
Around 1 billion people globally have a disability. This can impact their ability to consume web content that isn’t built with accessibility in mind, including emails.
Designing accessible experiences hasn’t always been front of mind for businesses. But this is changing: In 2023, the Global Accessibility Day Foundation said they “see companies making progress towards delivering accessible experiences,” although prefacing this with the fact that there’s “still a lot of work to be done.”
Email marketers can do their part by using best practices to make their messages more accessible for everyone who opens them.
Consider the following points:
- Send plain text versions: Sending a plain text version of your email alongside the main version makes it easier for screen readers to read the content
- Add alt tags to your images: This provides information about the image to screen readers
- Use contrasting colors in your design: This makes it easier for people to tell apart different email elements, such as backgrounds and text. Your messages will be more readable for a wider variety of people
- Check your fonts: Using clear fonts in a large size is another way to improve the readability of your emails
It’s easy to adopt all these practices if you send emails with MailerLite. Our email editors have plenty of design and font options you can use to add contrast and make your text clear. Adding alt text to images is also easy and we automatically generate plain text versions of your emails that can be read by screen readers.
Creators have more options than ever to grow an audience. Building an audience on X (formally Twitter) and using lead magnets to convert these people into email subscribers has always been one of the most reliable. But in 2023, LinkedIn grew a lot as an audience-building platform and Meta also released its X competitor Threads, which many creators have started exploring.
Creators can also look at ways to grow their subscriber list away from these platforms. For example, email referral programs encourage your existing subscribers to promote your newsletter, which can lead to more subscribers at little (or zero) cost.
The way it works is that you offer an incentive to subscribers to encourage them to promote your brand.
This could be a:
- Free download
- Coupon for your store
- Voucher for a store like Amazon
- Branded merchandise
- Anything else you think would appeal to your audience
We’ve also seen people find success when using growth tools to build their list. These are products like web apps, directories or template libraries that people can sign up for using their email addresses.
They can be more effective than a regular lead magnet because they are highly differentiated and offer a ton of value.
And while it sounds like you’ll need programming skills to create this kind of product, that’s not the case. No-code tools make it possible for anyone to build these tools.
Learn more about creating growth tools ?
Our interview with 100DaysofNoCode founder Max Hainings contains details about how he used a directory of apps built with no-code tools to attract over 3,000 subscribers in just 10 days.
These are the latest trends we expect to shape the email marketing landscape over the next year or so.
Choose the ones that excite you most and start implementing them in your email marketing. By being early to the game, you’ll get a boost above your competitors and create more impactful email marketing campaigns.
Source: mailerlite.com ~ By: Dunkan Elder ~ Image: Canva Pro