Email Marketing in 2018: Predictions from Industry Experts

Category : Email Marketing

While 2017 was a splendid year for the Email Marketing industry, 2018 is expected to be nothing less trendy. With interactivity, smart personalization, machine learning, and gamification to be more prominent in the coming year, there are no doubts that emails will engage customers in a smarter way and drive conversions for businesses.

We asked a few experts from the email marketing industry about the trends and Email Marketing predictions for 2018 and here’s what they have to say!

Christopher Donald – President of Operations and Managing Partner | INBOXARMY

“Interactivity and Gamification with the right use of data will help in driving conversions.”



“I see more use of interactive emails and gamification to drive engagement and conversions.

Hopefully, email marketers and companies will focus on really using data better, increasing use of testing and automation based on data and subscriber digital body language to help deliver the best content that’s valuable and relevant. Big data is only good if you can turn it into small actionable data at the persona group or even individual level.”

Dennis Dayman – Chief Privacy Officer | RETURNPATH

“Email isn’t dead! It is becoming a personal identifier across digital channels.”



“I can still safely say that email isn’t dead. In fact, based on several studies like Adestra’s 2017 Consumer Digital Usage & Behavior Study we learned that consumers have, on average, 3.2 personal email addresses and 1.8 business addresses. Further, 4 in 10 say they use at least one of their addresses for email they’ll seldom or never open.

The primary address, then – the one they use for email they don’t want to miss – is becoming a personal identifier across digital channels. This is being solved by companies like AirDXP who already understand how this will become important as we branch out further in tracking users behaviors, wants, and needs not just in the email itself, but across brands that share users identification like an email address, creating a seamless consumer intent data platform.”

Kara Trivunovic – VP/GM Client Services, Global Industry Evangelist | EPSILON

“Harnessing data in real-time will aid in creating meaningful and relevant emails.”



“While creative treatments and coding practices continue to involve within the inbox, the real evolution for email will come from harnessing data to create and deliver meaningful, relevant email to the customer. Data sources will be considered and applied differently (think customer service centers or even image and content metadata) and in a real-time capacity keeping content and timing on pace with customer expectations. Through this we will also see an evolution of roles for email marketers, introducing a greater need for content curators and digital librarians (of sorts) to facilitate and feed “the machine.””


“Technology + Data-driven content and decisions = Great Email Strategy”



“Email marketers will lead with strategy and not technology. They will use the technology, combined with data and content, to deliver their strategy. Personalisation, automation, data-driven decisions managed and delivered by machine learning will influence design and copy immensely.

Email marketers will be less focused on shiny toys and tactics and be more focused on delivering conversions through understanding what motivates their customers and delivering products/services/offers/content accordingly.

Email marketing will become more recognized for the valuable channel that it is, and email marketers will realize their remit goes beyond simply designing and sending emails, and that they should be focusing on the entire customer journey, as email plays one of the most important roles in this journey.”

Lauren Gentile – VP Creative, Digital Solutions | EPSILON

“Subscribers will have more control over the emails and how they engage within their inbox.”



“The wider adoption of CSS support and interactivity in the inbox will make interactive elements more widely used by email designers and developers. This coding technique will continue to blend website and email technology, giving subscribers more control of the content and how they engage within their inbox.”

Ryan Phelan – Vice President, Marketing Insights | ADESTRA

“More and more marketers begin to adopt first-person, data-driven marketing.”



“We will see more marketers adopting First-Person Marketing: using the email address to identify their customers across channels and incorporating data in their targeting and messaging. The more marketers who do this, the better off we all will be.

Data will become a great divide between successful and less-successful marketers. The pressure is growing on marketers who don’t adopt data-driven marketing, who are content to rely on batch-and-blast messages for their email revenue. These marketers will become digital orphans, falling behind their more successful competitors.

If you’re not a First-Person Marketer, you’re going to find it much harder to send messages that resonate with your customers.”

Shanon Strahl – Senior Digital Marketing Leader | SHAW+SCOTT

“Increased use of technology and personalization to drive more relevant content.”



“Continued use of technology to increase personalization is going to be the trend. I think more retailers that have retail stores will invest in beacons to track customers’ activity in their stores and use that data to drive more relevant content to them online, in an email, and other digital channels.”

Tink Taylor – Founder and President | DOTMAILER

“Businesses begin to follow the best-of-breed system for email marketing.”



“I think we’ll see that more and more businesses continue to migrate back from the single marketing suite to a best-of-breed marketing stack. Not only is the martech landscape constantly changing, no business is a ‘one size fits all’. I think companies are beginning to realize that best-of-breed suppliers – especially in the email marketing space – are a much more cost-effective and stable option. For instance, at Dotmailer, all our time and resources go into making the platform the best it can be. We’re constantly growing our integrations, too, with the launch of Commerce Flow – enabling e-commerce businesses to easily connect to new innovative platforms such as Shopify and WooCommerce.

Wrapping Up:

Use these predictions and trends as guidelines to plan your strategies for your upcoming email marketing campaigns. Need help with designing and coding emails and newsletters for your campaigns? Drop in your requirements at hello(at)emailmonks(dot)com and Monks will be happy to help.

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Kevin is the Head of Marketing at EmailMonks, one of the fastest-growing email design and coding companies. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and breathes ‘email marketing’. He is a brand magician who loves to engage, share insights with fellow marketers, and enjoys sharing his thoughts on the latest email marketing best practices at EmailMonks Blog.

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