10 Exciting Email Trends That Will Dominate 2023

As email continues to fuel the rise of digital shopping, marketing strategists and creatives look forward to embracing new ways to reshape this endlessly malleable medium in 2023. To inspire your approach in the coming year, the Theorem Team rounded up the emerging email trends that excite us most. 

Must-Try Email Trends to Boost Customer Engagement In the New Year

Seeking ways to shake up your email strategy in 2023? Check out these trends designed to help your brand standout in the most crowded of inboxes. 

1. Engaging Interactive Elements

To reach Gen Z and millennial consumers mesmerized by the kinetic energy of TikTok videos, email marketers must move beyond flat, static imagery of standard email designs that often come off as one-way conversations. This has resulted in the rise of kinetic emails, emails that offer the kind of interactivity and user-friendly experiences that had been reserved for websites until now. 

There are lots of ways to add interactivity to your brand’s emails, including:
  • Show-stopping image carousels
  • Embedded video content
  • Short and sweet quizzes
  • Fun and clever games 
To understand what works for your customer base, try a variety of interactive elements and measure engagement. You should also consider where and how you leverage interactivity. For example, a quiz might be a great way to reach out to a new email subscriber, as their responses enable you to send them more targeted products and messages.

2. Hyper-Personalization via Dynamic Content

Content that’s all about the consumer is becoming more and more common, as brands see the sky-high engagement they receive by delivering messaging, stats, recommendations, and promotions that are as tailored to the customer as possible. Not convinced? Just consider the inescapable end-of-year buzz around Spotify Wrapped, with many brands joining in the fun with their own versions.
Consider what your customers will want to see:
  • Personal metrics to help them save money or to encourage sharing on social media
  • Recommendations based on browsing and purchases
  • Price-drop alerts for viewed or saved items
  • Content based on previous engagement
As customers receive these types of emails from your brand, watch your open rates to see if they garner a boost. 

3. Mobile-Minded Email Design

Gone are the days of desktop dominance as 41 percent of emails are read on a mobile device, followed by desktop at 39 percent. That means responsive design reigns supreme, commanding emails with minimal clutter, concise but punchy copy, and the ability for users to scroll the length of the email in a much shorter amount of time than it would take them to peruse the desktop version of your monthly newsletter. 

4. Time-Based Automated Email Campaigns

With Apple’s new privacy initiatives, email marketers will no longer be able to rely on open-rates to trigger automated email sends. That means you’ll need to pivot your automated email campaign to shoot off follow-up messages with time-based triggers. 
Trigger-based emails that don’t rely on open rates include:
  • Sending celebratory messages on customers’ birthdays and anniversaries
  • Nudging on-the-fence customers who left items in their cart 
  • Alerting website visitors who engaged with low-inventory products
  • Welcoming new email subscribers with a special discount 

5. AI Magic for Analytics & More

AI marketing tools pair machine-learning with data to comb through your brand’s email analytics in real time. This sophisticated tech gives your team actionable, up-to-the-moment insights without requiring them to dig through a host of fragmented metrics. 
In addition to data and analytics, we’re keeping a close eye on AI-assisted communication technology. While it can’t cultivate the emotion and brand personality needed to connect with customers, AI-writing tools can churn out effective subject line options, product descriptions, and feature benefits at an impressive speed. At the very least, these tools can serve as a solid starting point for your busy content team. 

6. Instantly Influential User-Generated Content

Instead of relying solely on models or solo product shots, harness the power of customers who can show your products in action in fresh and compelling ways. Comb Instagram to see where your brand has been tagged by customers and collect the best of the bunch to share in your emails. Not seeing what you’re looking for? Consider asking customers to share their favorites as part of a contest. 
This Urban Outfitters email is just a snippet of user-generated images, so feel free to pack in as many as you like as long as you follow Urban’s lead and include your CTA at the top. 

7. Eye-Catching Animated GIFs

In the spirit of ditching static emails, design can go a long way. Tap your creative team to incorporate animated GIFs into your email messages to give them that something extra that can catch eyes and boost engagement. 
  • Create custom GIFs that celebrate your brand 
  • Ask customers to spin a wheel GIF to reveal a discount 
  • Include a countdown for your sale to advertise urgency 
  • Add movement to your product promotions

8. Big, Bold Typography

2023 will be all about making your message pop with oversize fonts, technicolor letters, and stand-out typography. Encourage your creative team to experiment with brand-minded type that puts your clever headlines at center stage. 

9. Emotionally-Intelligent Messaging

It’s been a long three years, and brands have become more savvy at leaning into an empathetic voice that comforts and encourages customers. When customers feel like your brand speaks directly to them, “gets them,” and appreciates who they are, they’re more likely to engage with your content and stay loyal to your company. Check out the intro to this content roundup from meditation app Headspace. 
  • Tap into your customers’ challenges, fears, goals and motivations
  • Incorporate “you” language whenever possible
  • Send out occasional surveys to learn more about them as consumers and people

10. Dark Mode-Compatibility

More and more of your customers are embracing the dark side — of mobile, that is. Dark mode has become a fast favorite of mobile users, and it’s important to ensure that your emails are readable and look good in this format. This is about more than maintaining your brand’s reputation. Passing on prepping your emails for dark mode can affect your emails’ deliverability by triggering SPAM alerts, not to mention negatively affect the user experience of your emails overall. 

Which Email Trends Will You Try First?

While this list may make you feel like you’ve got a lot of work to do in 2023, don’t feel like you need to incorporate every trend at once. We recommend staples like automation and dark-mode compatibility as a starting point, but how and when you layer in user-generated content, show-stealing GIFs, and interactive elements all depends on your customer. Your customers will tell you what they prefer by your engagement metrics and conversions. 

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