...Because emails and email design[er]s need love too

5 Trends in Email Marketing for 2013

Posted: April 18th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on 5 Trends in Email Marketing for 2013


You say its urgent/So urgent, so oh oh urgent – “Urgent” by Foreigner (1981)

We’re already a quarter of the way through 2013 and so much as happened in the email world.

Companies and organizations are using things like Big Data and software tools to make email even more relevant to consumers.

With email still one of the top activities of Internet users it’s no doubt important to understand what the best brands in the world are doing this year.

Take these trends into account as you make your ongoing email plans for 2013.

1. Increased Personalization

Old Navy Email Design

Here is a snapshot from a recent Old Navy email.

Personalization is not new. Brands have been using it for years. It’s common to make sure you use the subscriber’s first name in the opening of the email, but brands that rely heavily on images in their email have always had to find more unique ways to make emails more personal.

Old Navy went ahead and included the first name in the subject line. They also want to make sure I add them as a priority in my Gmail inbox.

As software capabilities improve, brands will get even more personalized. It isn’t just about names. It’s about specific items consumers want to purchase. Maybe preference centers will finally take off because subscribers won’t have to list preferences. Companies will be able to figure it out.

2. Custom Photography

JC Penny Email Design

Photography is something consumers demand. Think of the technology that has taken off in the last year: Instagram and Pinterest.

People love beautiful photography. It’s not enough anymore for brands to use basic photography. Consumers want to see what apparel looks like on someone like them. They want to see the product being used and they want to see other amazing photography.

JCP has been getting ripped on lately, but this last email stood out in my inbox.

3. Minimalist Design

Amazon Email Design
It’s always good to pay attention to Amazon when it comes to any type of online marketing strategy. Amazon has a great email marketing program. They are the best when it comes to personalization and really specific email.

Here is an example of something a little different from the biggest online retailer. It’s an extremely minimalist design. They’ve taken away all the elements and put focus solely on the product.

I’m a big fan of minimalist design so maybe I noticed this more than most, but it’s something I’ve seen in a few places.

4. Single Focus

Fossil Email Design

It’s really hard to minimize focus in online marketing. We want to give consumers everything they could possibly want. We want to think of every possible objection someone might have and then provide an option or an answer.

What seems to happen when we give too many options or too many elements is that it confuses the consumer.

In email, the result is the person can’t decide and they just delete the message.

That’s why I really like what Fossil did with this email. There is a single focus. It’s on this new style of watch and you really only have one place to click to find out more information.

5. Focus on Content Marketing

FreshBooks Email Design

More companies are using things like blogs to grow their business.

The example above is from FreshBooks. The company wants to provide additional value to their subscribers so they put together some great resources on their blog and promote the content to their email subscribers.

There is no selling going on in this email message. It’s all about providing more value to the subscriber, which makes the company’s service even more appealing (and worth more than the competition).

What other trends are you noticing in email this year?

Share your observations in the comments.

Dayne Shuda is a contributing blogger for Fluttermail. He writes about the latest trends in email marketing on the Fluttermail blog. Fluttermail is an email provider for small businesses.

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