5 Email Marketing Trends Every Marketer Must Know in 2024

Email marketing remains a vital tool for engaging directly with your audience, but are you keeping pace with its evolution? 

As of recently, the landscape of email marketing is shifting, bringing fresh opportunities to boost your sales and strengthen your brand presence

Staying ahead of these changes isn’t just beneficial—it’s crucial. 

In this article, we uncover the top email marketing trends that are defining the industry. 

Don’t miss out on mastering these strategies to ensure your marketing efforts resonate more powerfully with your customers than ever before.

What Is Email Marketing?

Email marketing is a customer and lead engagement strategy that uses collected email addresses. 

Brands use the email addresses to build marketing campaigns designed to:

Email marketing can be broad, sending the same message to every member of the mailing list. Increasingly, however, data collection tools and mass-emailing technologies have advanced. 

That means more personalization and targeted emails, designed to reach specific users with information that’s relevant to their relationship with the brand.

What is Email Marketing
What is Email Marketing

Today, brands across industries in B2B, B2C or B2BC all use email marketing. Whether your company has a physical location, virtual presence or both, email marketing is an affordable, clear way to drive customers to your business.

Effective email marketers use the latest technologies and opportunities to deepen their connections with readers. It’s a way to connect in unique and innovative ways.

Your email strategy needs to be foundationally connected to a clear understanding of who your customers are and what they need. It will also be essential that your email marketing strategy is aligned with your other marketing outreach in other channels.

The best brands also focus on a predictable email cadence, sending emails on a schedule that’s relevant and valuable to readers. Emailing too little risks losing brand recognition. Too much emailing can be seen as a nuisance and lead to unsubscribes or blocks.

As email marketers consider how to best deliver their content, it’s important to be aware of some of the key trends shaping the practice. Here is a closer look at top email marketing trends this year.

1. More Focus on Data Protection and Privacy

Data protection and privacy have become more important to consumers than ever. A recent study conducted in the US shows that 64% of online consumers have quit doing business or working with an organization for asking for too much personal information

Furthermore, it is also found that there is a shift in consumer preference for security over convenience.

Therefore, there are significant new opportunities and guidelines concerning data protection and privacy affecting email marketing strategy this year.

Americans and Data Privacy
Americans and Data Privacy

BIMI Standard

Have you started to see brand logos appear next to emails you receive in the past few months? That’s due to the Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) standard.

This guidance allows businesses to include a logo next to emails they send from their domain.

BIMI launched in 2021 but it’s taken a while for more brands to take advantage of the marketing opportunity.

BIMI has multiple benefits for brands, including more awareness, visual recognition and a still-new visual for your emails. Research has shown that using BIMI results in higher open rates, higher likelihood to purchase and increased brand recognition.

One of the benefits of BIMI is it’s a way to build trust and reduce fraud. It can help customers be confident that the message is from your brand and not someone trying to spoof your domain.

To set up, BIMI, companies must:

Once it’s set up, your logo will show in mailboxes in supported email platforms, which as of publication include Gmail, Yahoo, Apple Mail, Fastmail, La Poste and Cloudmark. 

Microsoft (Outlook and Hotmail) does not support the BIMI protocol to date.

Before and After BIMI
Before and After BIMI

Validation

DMARC validation is becoming increasingly necessary for brands. In the fall of 2023, Google and Yahoo! Announced they would tighten the guidelines for sending messages to users’ inboxes.

Previously, email senders simply needed to verify that subscribers gave their permission to send users an email. Today, the validation mandates have gotten more complex.

Senders today to Gmail and Yahoo! Mail users must authenticate sender IP addresses and domains with DMARC, SPF and DKIM.

The three-pronged validation is important. The email providers only require DMARC to have a p=none policy, which has email providers deliver the email even if SPF and DKIM verification fails.

However, security experts are advising senders to set DMARC policy to p=reject, which would have providers block email that does not have SPF and DKIM verification.

Gmail and Yahoo! Mail have made another important change. They now require brands to use list-unsubscribe headers, which allows users to unsubscribe by clicking on a link at the top of the email message.

In addition, senders must stay below spam-rate thresholds.

Reducing Liability

Email marketing can expose your brand to cyberattacks that can cause major problems. Marketers need to be diligent and always committed to securing information, while not leaving others exposed to cyberthreats via marketing materials.

By protecting your readers and your business, you reduce your vulnerability to cyberattacks that can be financially and reputationally damaging.

One way to give yourself some sort of limited liability protection is in the selection of your business entity type. Your business type is the legal structure used for your company.

Many small businesses choose a limited liability company (LLC) structure. An LLC provides owners with more liability than many of the other structures and can ensure you and the company you’ve built are protected.

2. Gamification, Challenges and Interactivity

Gamification entices users to participate in game-like engagements. Part of the driver of this trend is the ability to personalize email experiences, with detailed individualized information and content.
Such personalized email experiences give a more active role to the user, which helps to improve engagement and retention and build a stronger customer relationship. 

If done right, gamified campaigns can lead to more revenue. An interesting example would be Kop & Kande Christmas Calendar email campaign which had a 74.6% conversion rate, 15K new email subscribers, and a 17.85% revenue increase.

Conversion and Customer Engagement
Conversion and Customer Engagement

For example, brands with loyalty programs can indicate where readers are in progress. If they offer points programs to provide rewards, such as discounts or free products, they can share their progress to date.

Gamification can also be used to spur activity and purchases before points or tier levels expire. This sense of urgency often prompts customers to do repeat business for fear of missing out.

Challenges are a subset of gamification and an effective way to drive engagement with your brand. Challenges often involve an opportunity to interact with the brand in some way. For example, your email could highlight buying a certain item on a certain day of the week for double the loyalty points.

Challenges are also a great way to cross-promote across platforms. Many challenges include sharing and tagging a post on social media platforms.

Challenges should keep in mind these guidelines. An effective challenge:

There are other ways to include interactivity in your emails. Collectively, these features make your emails more memorable and dynamic. Consider using the following interactivity features this year:

Technology is adding more dynamic elements to your emails and will continue to evolve and advance.

3. More Use of Artificial Intelligence

We know that personalization in marketing can drastically improve a campaign’s performance. 76% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from brands that personalize.

Digital Marketing Budget is Moving to Personalization
Digital Marketing Budget is Moving to Personalization

Generative artificial intelligence (AI) is dramatically changing business operations. As AI becomes more advanced, its ability to create compelling, readable, actionable and personalized content for your email marketing work will only increase.

For now, AI tools are multiplying at a seemingly exponential rate. There are multiple tools available that can be used in varied ways, including:

Interactivity and engagement are always a priority for email marketers.This year, brands are upping their game, figuratively and literally.

4. Importance of Accessibility

With about 1 billion people worldwide living with a disability, accessibility is becoming increasingly important for brands. Making web and email content accessible for all users allows more people to access your material and easier to purchase what you’re selling.

Why care about email accessibility
Why care about email accessibility

Focusing on accessibility has not always been at the forefront for brands, but there is a decided shift towards inclusivity. In 2023, the Global Accessibility Day Foundation mentioned that we “see companies making progress towards delivering accessible experiences”.

Accessibility goes beyond assisting readers with disabilities. It’s also a good model for improving the content and visuals of your emails and making them more attractive for a general audience.

An accessible approach to your emails means you are creating content that is structured, easy to read and user-friendly.

You can make your communication more accessible by following these tips:

5. Reduced Focus on Open Rates

For years, marketers have looked at open rates as an important measure of engagement. How many are clicking on your email and (you hope) reading the content is a key indicator of how resonant your content is.

Engagement over Open Rates
Engagement over Open Rates

However, that landscape is changing, largely due to Apple’s new Mail Privacy Protection (MPP) rules.

For years, senders inserted invisible email tracking pixels inside their content to gather information about users. MPP stops this practice, which prevents senders from knowing when an email is opened and hides the recipient’s IP address. 

It’s also quite evident that marketers often don’t have the full understanding of how MPP affects their email tracking.

Statements rated true or false among marketers familiar with MPP
Statements rated true or false among marketers familiar with MPP

This latter tool helped tie users to other online activities and target messaging accordingly.

Apple has essentially blinded senders from knowing when and where an email is opened, the device used and what action opens the email. 

The restrictions mean open rate is no longer a viable option for email marketing metrics.

However, all is not lost. Email senders can use other metrics to gauge performance, including:

Key Takeaways from Email Marketing Trends

Email marketing is an ever-changing, critical aspect of your brand strategy. 

By understanding some of the key trends shaping email marketing this year, your brand will be able to reach more readers more effectively and generate more revenue.

Picture of Edgar Abong

Edgar Abong

Edgar is a skilled software developer with a passion for building and evaluating software products. His expertise in software development enables him to provide in-depth evaluations of software products. He can draw out insights about features, functionality and user experience.

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