Ecommerce email trends for 2024 you can't afford to ignore
Email marketing surfaced nearly three decades ago and it’s still kicking.
Better than kicking: email marketing remains a powerhouse for marketers, thanks to its constant evolution to meet consumer expectations. Brands that keep pace with changes boost their relevance amid a crowded landscape.
So, what’s in store for email as we move into the new year?
Seven email marketing trends in 2024 stand out as must-dos for reaching and connecting with your audience. While only one is relatively new to the email marketing scene, the others have proven that they’re more than just a fad.
Stay ahead with 7 email marketing trends
Each of the following email marketing trends is vital to sharpening your Shopify store’s competitive edge. Embrace them in 2024 if you want to cut through the choppy waters of ecommerce, not just tread water.
1. Personalization and segmentation
Consumers want you to recognize them as individuals and not a number. One study found that 77% are willing to share their email address in exchange for a personalized experience and incentives.
Email automations that respond to subscriber actions with pertinent messaging are one form of personalization. But any Shopify merchant that takes email marketing seriously should already have those in place.
Go a level deeper with segmentation by categorizing customers based on characteristics they have in common and tailoring messages just for them. In essence, personalizing emails through segmentation equals more precise targeting, which means relevant messages that resonate.
Depending on the data you have for subscribers, you could hyper-personalize and segment by:
- Demographics (age, gender, location)
- Interests (products browsed or purchased)
- Email engagement (opens, clicks, subscriber tenure)
- Purchase behavior (spending, recency, frequency)
- Sign-up source (popup, form, ad, referral)
- Brand relationship (loyalty members, ambassadors)
For example, Death Wish Coffee entices customers with the subject line “It's basically your birthday, but better,” and rewards them on their first anniversary.
Brands that personalize shopping experiences — and do it very well — generate 40% more revenue than those with average effort.
2. Artificial intelligence
If anything has dominated 2023, artificial intelligence (AI) is the winner. It’s seeped into all areas of marketing, email marketing included.
Marketers use generative AI to streamline everything from writing subject lines and copy to designing images. Ultimately, anyone who knows how to use AI tools effectively is quickening the creative process.
On top of that, practitioners who leverage AI at an advanced level are escalating their strategy for improved targeting and engagement.
The number of AI apps and email marketing capabilities is immense and growing daily. If you’re starting to dabble in AI, we recommend beginning with two for email marketing:
- ChatGPT or a similar chatbot for written content. AI rapidly drafts copy for the taking. For the best output, feed it a detailed prompt with precise instructions that describe your brand and tone, as well as goals. Often, copy requires some massaging — whether from direct edits or feeding it back to ChatGPT with directions — to align correctly. Or, input a draft and ask the AI to recommend optimizations.
- Canva Magic Studio for images. We love the accessibility of Canva. That’s why we built it into Seguno email marketing. Add the Magic Studio, and you’re raising your design capabilities to a new level. Type in your vision or upload media, and AI handles the transformation.
If you’re not already experimenting with AI, start. We’re only in the infant stages. Begin harnessing its power now so that you’re ready for forthcoming revolutions.
3. User-generated content
Influencers are out. Endorsements from customers are in.
That’s according to one report, which found 90% of survey respondents prefer content from customers versus influencers. Furthermore, 81% said influencers didn’t sway their purchases.
People trust real customers. They look to them for reassurance before parting with their money. Think about it: How often do you read reviews when online shopping, especially if you’re new to the brand?
Customers’ words and photos can go a long way in convincing hesitant shoppers to take the plunge.
If you’ve got a stash of social proof scattered about — from reviews on product pages to tags on social posts — they’re begging for greater exposure. Espouse the email marketing trend of inserting user-generated content (UGC) in your newsletters and automations.
Slide UGC in from time to time. Are you embarking on a new product launch and have testimonials from early adopters? Feature them. Does your welcome email series include spotlighting a best-selling product line? Sprinkle it with social proof that speaks to its value propositions.
If your repository of UGC is low, build it up by asking customers for a review through a post-purchase email.
4. Mobile optimization
According to one global survey, 61% of people usually check their emails using a mobile device.
If more subscribers than not use phones to view your emails, they should be at the forefront of your mind during the design process.
The mobile-first preference will only grow, so get into the habit of optimizing for mobile. Otherwise, you’re at risk of producing a poor user experience that alienates and frustrates a large percentage of your audience. Annoyance doesn’t lead to sales.
Most email marketing providers — Seguno included — engineer responsive design so that emails automatically render correctly regardless of device. There is no need for you to worry about the technicalities.
But there are some best practices for enhancing both the mobile and desktop experience alike:
- Keep the copy short and focused on one or two topics. Few people have the time, patience or desire to scroll through paragraphs of text.
- Consider larger fonts, increased line spacing, and highly contrasting colors for improved readability.
- Make your call-to-action buttons (CTAs) large and easy to find. Placement “above the fold” — near the top quarter of the email — is ideal.
- Refrain from all-image emails. It may load slowly or not at all. Plus, reading text on images fed through the responsive design machine could be a challenge.
- Preview and test your emails to detect if there are rendering issues.
Corkcicle blends images with short text and includes two noticeable CTAs for a pleasurable mobile viewing experience.
Good marketing cultivates trust for your brand. It’s why we endorse storytelling as an email marketing trend for 2024.
We’ve always believed that Shopify merchants should wield storytelling as a powerful advantage. Well-known national retailers have large marketing budgets for making a splash. But how many can match the passion of an entrepreneur who turned a side hustle into their livelihood?
Shopify owners have stories that no one else can tell, whether it’s their business journey, products that are made or sourced uniquely, or employees who provide stellar customer service. Authenticity is there for the taking; 88% of consumers say they like and support brands they consider authentic.
At Home With Ray embraces storytelling with the email below. Opening with the subject line “The story behind the Corn Dancer cashmere neckerchief,” the brand leverages one photo and plain text to share the product’s roots.
Giving a peek behind the curtain is one way to humanize your brand, but it can be simpler than that. Compellingly presenting information — with captivating text and visuals — also qualifies as storytelling.
Here are a few ideas for weaving storytelling into your email marketing:
- Share your shop’s origin story; the welcome email is a prime spot
- Show “before” and “after” to demonstrate a product’s capabilities
- Give subscribers the inside scoop on your operations or product creation process
- Spotlight employees with Q&As or their product recommendations
- Piggyback on cultural events
- Magnify the causes that your brand cares about
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), an estimated 15% of people worldwide live with a disability.
We’re all familiar with the importance of making physical environments accessible to people with handicaps. We need to broaden our thinking to digital creations, too.
A portion of your audience is living with an impairment — visual, cognitive, etc. — that may interfere with their ability to interact with your emails. If you fail to incorporate accessible design principles, you isolate an entire group of people. They’ll gladly find and support a different business mindful of inclusivity.
Following are some tips for designing accessible emails. Many mirror the best practices for creating optimized-for-mobile emails. They all make for better email design, no matter the person viewing it:
- Use contrasting colors between text, background and CTAs for readability
- Include brief alt-text descriptions for all visual media to support screen readers
- Use live text — versus text built into an image — as much as possible
- Incorporate easy-to-read font types (sans serif recommended) that are at least 14 px
- Employ descriptive CTAs like “shop now”; a generic “click here” lacks context when read by a screen reader
- Stick to left-aligned text as much as possible; centered or right-aligned text is more challenging to read, especially for individuals with dyslexia
Bronson Mfg. Co.’s email is a lovely example of accessibility through design — contrast for legibility, product visuals accompanied by their names, a left-justified intro paragraph, and action-oriented CTAs.
7. Ethical and privacy-centric practices
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), in effect since 2018, majorly moved the needle in protecting consumer privacy. It required brands to take more responsibility for using subscriber and customer data.
As technology rapidly evolves, consumers expect companies to take proactive measures against invading their privacy. So, brands must continue with ethical email marketing practices. Not doing so will erase trust and damage your reputation.
Here’s what you must do to stay in good graces:
- Whether you’re using an email popup, form, or some other collection mode, ask for consent; subscribers should fully understand what they’re signing up for
- Don’t purchase lists; you can’t email contacts that don’t give you explicit consent
- Include an easy-to-find unsubscribe link in every marketing email and remove all who opt out
- Don’t share your list with others or use it for other shops you might run — again, subscribers gave consent to your brand only
Taking these actions is critical to your brand’s success. You protect yourself from being labeled as spam, which improves email deliverability and reaching your audience. Upholding ethical email marketing practices and respecting subscriber privacy gains favor from skeptical consumers, too.
Adopt the latest email marketing trends with Seguno
Now that you know the email marketing trends for 2024, it’s time to put them into action.
Ask yourself these questions to stoke your program:
- What segments can I better serve with personalized emails? Which might I create?
- How can AI help me quicken my creative process? What can it assist with to elevate my email marketing game?
- What UGC is collecting dust, and how can I harness it? Do I need to build my library of social proof?
- How am I falling short in making my emails optimized for mobile?
- What stories should I be telling? How can I add intrigue with visuals and text?
- Am I neglecting accessibility in my email designs? How can I improve?
- Are there ways to strengthen my privacy practices?
Choose an email marketing platform — one like Seguno — that allows you to sync with the times. We’re continuously evolving and adapting our technology so that you can jump aboard the email marketing trends with the highest impact potential.
Create, manage, and track your email marketing—without leaving Shopify.
Seguno is the top-rated email solution built exclusively for Shopify. Grow your sales with high-performing newsletters, email automation campaigns, and integrations with Facebook, Instagram, banners, pop-ups and more. Build and send engaging emails in our easy-to-use editor and take email creation to the next level with our Canva integration. Automate your email marketing and drive more revenue with welcome campaigns, checkout abandonment, post-purchase automations, tag triggers and more.
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