Email marketing has become one of the most effective ways, in terms of cost and engagement, for businesses to reach their target audience. With the rise of email marketing automation, brands can now send highly targeted and personalized emails to their subscribers without having to customize and send each one manually.
Email marketing automation refers to the process of using software to automate the sending of emails to a particular set of subscribers. The software can help businesses create email campaigns, segment their subscriber lists, and automate the sending of emails based on the subscriber’s behavior and other considerations.
In this blog, we talk about the top eight trends in email marketing automation and share performance insights from different studies and reports. We also quickly examine what the future holds for email marketing automation.
Top trends in email marketing automation
1. AI-powered personalization of messaging
One of the biggest trends in email marketing automation is personalization. Personalization can help businesses build a better relationship with their subscribers, increase engagement, and ultimately drive more conversions. With the help of AI, email marketers can create highly personalized messages tailored to each recipient’s location, past purchases, preferences, interests, and behaviors.
AI-powered personalization uses machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data, such as browsing history, purchase behavior, and engagement level, to deliver personalized content. By leveraging AI, email marketers can create customized subject lines, dynamic content, and product recommendations that resonate with their audience.
According to a study by Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Furthermore, emails with customized content have a higher click-through rate than those without.
2. Triggered emails along the customer journey
Triggered emails are another trend in email marketing automation. They are automated emails sent in response to a specific event or activity, such as a purchase, a sign-up, an abandoned cart, or a subscription.
Triggered emails are typically sent in real-time, so they are more likely to be opened and read than standard emails. They can also be personalized, which is essential for creating an engaging customer experience. In addition, they can be highly targeted based on customer segmentation and have higher click rates and better interaction.
AI and machine learning are being used to create predictive algorithms that trigger emails based on customer behavior. As the technologies evolve, marketers will be able to fully achieve 1:1 recommendations in their emails to individual customers. Businesses can use triggered emails for various purposes, including welcome emails, cart recovery emails, post-purchase follow-ups, and more.
According to a study by Epsilon, triggered emails have a 152% higher open rate and a 70.5% higher click-through rate than traditional emails.
3. Interactive AMP emails with auto-updating content
Interactive AMP emails are a game-changer in the world of email marketing. They enable subscribers to interact with the content within the email, leading to a more engaging experience. Examples of interactive email elements include games, quizzes, surveys, polls, GIFs, bookings, tracking, and animations.
AMP emails are dynamic, too: every time a user opens the AMP email, the prices, stock levels, promotions, bookings, delivery status, alerts, and even content personalization, get updated live automatically. Such interactive emails can help increase engagement, click-through rates, and conversions.
According to Experian, interactive emails generate 2x higher click-to-open rates than non-interactive ones. Moreover, they provide valuable data and insights into the subscribers’ preferences and behaviors.
4. Smart segmentation of audience for intelligent targeting
Segmentation is the process of dividing the subscriber list into smaller groups based on specific criteria. Automated, AI-powered smart segmentation can help businesses send better-targeted emails to their subscribers, leading to higher engagement and conversions. Machine learning assists in segmenting the email list to target more granular audiences and tailor emails to their individual needs and interests.
When segmenting the list, algorithms consider various factors such as demographics, location, purchase history, interests, and preferences. This information helps create more effective campaigns tailored to individual audiences.
Segmentation is a prerequisite to sending automated emails to customers based on their behavior. For example, if a customer has made multiple purchases, a segment can be created for them, and a personalized email sent to offer an exclusive discount or related products.
Smart segmentation also helps identify high-value customers, target them with more engaging emails, and maximize the ROI of email marketing campaigns.
According to a study, segmented campaigns have a 14.31% higher open rate and a 100.95% higher click-through rate than non-segmented campaigns.
5. Automation workflows for optimized communication
Automation workflows have been around for a while; now, they are becoming more sophisticated and versatile. Automation workflows enable email marketers to send targeted and relevant messages based on triggers such as sign-ups, purchases, abandoned carts, and re-engagement.
Automation workflows can also re-engage inactive contacts better. As part of email campaign management, an automated workflow can send out reminders, discounts, and other incentives to contacts who haven’t opened or clicked on a brand’s emails in a while. It helps the brands stay in touch with their contacts and encourages them to interact.
The future of automation workflows lies in better integration of AI and machine learning. Based on customer data and behavior analysis and its insights, AI can identify the optimal time, frequency, and content of each email in the workflow. Result, better engagement and higher conversion rates.
Automation also improves customer retention: An analysis of more than 6.8 million automated emails by Invesp found that automated emails have a 6.03% higher customer retention rate than non-automated emails.
According to a study by Salesforce, automated emails can generate 320% more revenue than non-automated emails.
6. Predictive analytics for specific customer behavior
Predictive analytics is another trend that is transforming email marketing automation. Predictive analytics uses machine learning algorithms to analyze customer data and predict future behavior, such as the likelihood of churn, purchase, or engagement. The results can be used to personalize the messaging, target specific audiences, and increase customer engagement. Components used in the predictive analysis include data mining, statistical analysis, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.
Data mining leads to the creation of customer profiles and their segmentation into various groups. Statistical analysis then identifies correlations between customer behaviors and outcomes. Machine learning further automates the predictive analysis process, making it easier and faster to generate insights. Artificial intelligence finally improves the accuracy of predictions by assimilating data from multiple sources.
By leveraging predictive analytics, email marketers can segment their audience more effectively, create personalized content, and optimize their email campaigns. For example, predictive analytics can identify the subscribers who are most likely to convert and send them highly relevant offers or incentives.
According to a 2019 Experian report, the average click-through rate (CTR) for emails sent using predictive analytics is 3.95% – an increase of 23% over emails sent without predictive analytics.
7. Automated A/B testing of marketing emails
A/B testing is the process of testing two versions of an email to see which one performs better. Email marketers typically deploy it to compare the impact of two different subject lines and/or email content.
Automated A/B testing takes this process a step further by automating the testing process and sending the winning version to the remaining subscribers. A/B testing is crucial for email marketers because it allows them to fine-tune their campaigns for maximum impact. By testing different approaches, marketers can determine the most effective strategies and use the information to refine their campaigns. They can create more effective emails that will have a greater impact on their target audience.
Automated A/B testing helps businesses improve their email performance and achieve higher conversions without having to manually test different versions of the email.
According to a Salesforce report, businesses that used automated A/B testing for email marketing saw an 11% increase in click-through rates, and a 16% increase in revenue per email.
Chatbots to offer automated, instant customer support
Chatbots are becoming increasingly popular in customer service and support. They can help automate customer interactions, such as answering common questions, providing product recommendations, or resolving issues. As chatbots can provide answers in real-time, they reduce wait times and customer frustration. For businesses, this can result in increased customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Businesses can also use them in email marketing automation. Chatbots can automate customer-centric activities such as sending promotional emails for sharing offers and sales, and providing product updates. For example, a chatbot could be programmed to send promotional emails to customers when a new product is released, or a sale is about to begin. Such timely communication leads to increased customer engagement and conversion.
Moreover, chatbots can personalize the customer experience by providing tailored responses based on the customer’s behavior and preferences. For example, a chatbot can send a follow-up email after a purchase, asking for feedback or suggesting related products.
A study by Drift and SurveyMonkey found that almost half (45%) of consumers prefer to use chatbots over other contact methods when interacting with businesses. According to a survey by Oracle, 58% of consumers said they would be more likely to purchase from a business that uses chatbots.
Future of email marketing automation
The future of email marketing automation is promising, as new technologies and AI innovations are constantly emerging. Automation can also track email marketing performance in real-time, quickly identifying opportunities for improvement. Findings by Campaign Monitor conclude that automated emails create 320% more revenue than non-automated emails.
AI-powered personalization, interactive emails, self-driven workflows, predictive analytics, mobile optimization, and chatbots are just some of the key automation trends that will take center stage in transforming email marketing.
Recent predictions project email marketing automation to become a $5.5 billion industry by 2025. The increasing demand for better customer experience and personalized emails will largely fuel this growth.
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