Email Marketing

Top 12 Email Marketing Predictions for 2024

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Every year, our team looks forward to one of our favorite events: the State of Email Live yearly predictions webinar! We recently rounded up our top email strategists and asked them to gaze into their crystal ball to see what email marketers should prepare for in 2024.  

Thank you to Guy Hanson, Laura Christensen, Megan Farquharson, Danielle Gallant, Julie Stuck, and Rafael Viana for sharing their incredible insights.  

There was a lot to cover, so let’s jump right in!  

2023 global email analytics trends 

You can’t look ahead without first reflecting on the previous year. The data from 2023 showed the classic email volume curve with a slow start in the winter months, an uptick in the spring, and a dropdown during the middle of summer while folks are on vacation. After the summer break, email volume had its predicted rise during the fall into the peak selling season (Black Friday 2023 volume was 10% higher than 2022) up until the December holiday dropoff.  

This data shows the importance of maintaining the delicate balance between meeting your sales quotas and following email best practices. Based on this data and their vast knowledge of the email marketing landscape, our email strategists offered their predictions for 2024 ahead of our upcoming 2024 State of Email report.  

Prediction #1: Email value is going up 

That’s right, email is here to stay! The forecast for the value of email will continue to rise. 

  • The worldwide number of email users in 1997 was 55 million. There will be 4.73 billion by 2026 (Statista).  
  • Global daily email volume will grow from 306 billion in 2020 to over 393 billion by 2026 (Radicati) 
  • The value of global email marketing in 2022 was 9.2 billion and will reach 26.7 billion by 2028 (Market Growth Reports) 

The combination of these factors will drive a major revenue increase per email. The forecast shows the average revenue per email will increase from 12.9 cents to 17 cents by 2026!  

But why is that? The answer lies in the recent changes to the email marketing landscape. One factor is the depreciation of third-party cookies. The paid search ad spend will need a new home with a high ROI channel like email.  

And email is continuing to improve. With more privacy laws, sender best practices requirements by email service providers (ESPs), and new technologies that allow for a more personalized experience, subscribers are more likely to trust the email marketing channel. Their best interests are being taken into consideration, which results in more engagement in the things they care about and less frustration in the things they don’t. That’s the value of an effective email marketing program.

Prediction #2: VIP treatment is the new personalization

We’ve come a long way from “Hi (first name)” in the email personalization space. In 2024, it’s going to be crucial to go above and beyond basic personalization to give your subscribers VIP treatment to stand out among the rest.  

Building brand loyalty should be at the forefront of every communication you send. Every brand and audience is different, so take the time to learn why your customers are here and what they would like to see in the future to keep them coming back. Here are a few hyper-personalization ideas you can try to elevate your program:  

  • Creating experiences for your customers in your emails. Maybe a scratch-off program or a game to keep customers invested and following along.  
  • Include a robust preference center to give customers control over what they want to see. You also get quality data about your customers’ needs.  
  • Leverage zero-party data and first-party data to recommend products that already align with your customers’ interests.  
  • Segment your messages by commonality. You wouldn’t send an email about tennis rackets to someone who exclusively buys soccer cleats from your store.  

Walking into your favorite coffee shop and seeing the staff making your usual order is always a special experience. 2024 will be the year of hyper-personalization.  

Prediction #3: Accessibility standards awareness increases 

An audience poll from episode 31 of State of Email revealed only 10 percent of marketers surveyed have a defined accessibility program in place for email.  

In 2024, we expect an increase in accessibility awareness and inclusion in best practices. Companies will be building more robust accessibility measures into their programs by asking their subscribers for feedback on how to better serve their needs. There will also be more investment in tools and testing for better accessibility.  

This concept doesn’t stop at email either. We can also expect to see accessibility measures increase across all marketing channels this year. Be prepared! 

Prediction #4: Email will get political  

2024 is a big election year around the globe. With more political and economic uncertainty, we can expect customers to feel bombarded by political messaging and news updates. This is why it’s important for your messages to be impactful and tactful.  

Tune into your audience and their expectations. Do they look to your company to comment on the political climate? Do they prefer you stay out of the political discourse? 64 percent of Gen Z consumers buy products from companies that reflect their political views, but not all segments are the same. Whatever the answer, you must stay flexible and keep a finger on the pulse of world events to market effectively.  

Don’t forget to plan ahead. The U.S. presidential election is in November 2024. Keep in mind how the election outcome will affect the reception of your holiday marketing campaigns.  

Prediction #5: Bulk senders must prepare for Gmail and Yahoo updates 

The biggest piece of news from 2023 was the new Gmail and Yahoo announcements for updated sender requirements. This included the definition of a “bulk sender,” DMARC requirements, one-click unsubscribe, and a 0.3 percent threshold for spam complaints.  

As senders prepare to comply with these updates, our email strategists predict that these mailbox providers won’t stop after this update. There have been whispers of a new “manage subscriptions” tab allowing for a quicker unsubscribe coming soon to Gmail’s interface. There will also be a “report illegal content” option that will help crack down on phishing.  

Gmail and Yahoo are continuing to make the email experience more customizable for recipients. Email marketers need to be ready to adjust their approach to keep up with the new requirements.  

On February 21, we will have another exciting installment of the State of Email webinar series. This episode will feature Ebenezer Anjorin, Lead Product Manager at Google, and we will dive further into the Gmail requirements.

Prediction #6: Minimalist email designs are in

When we look at what’s “in” and “out” on the design front for 2024, minimalist email designs are in, and long scrolling multi-story emails are out. We’ve seen better engagement across the board when emails tell one complete story and point to one call to action. Here are a few of the benefits of a minimalist approach:  

  • Shorter, targeted emails with one CTA make pushing subscribers through to your site smoother. 
  • A/B testing is easier and more definitive with a minimalist approach.  
  • More time can be spent on design optimization (ex. Does your email look good in dark mode, too?).  
  • You’ll have a stronger strategic approach to reach your KPIs when limited to a minimalist email.  
  • Minimalist designs have a major overlap with accessibility best practices.  

Next time you’re building an email, consider a minimalist approach to stay ahead in 2024.  

Prediction #7: Predictions from Europe 

This year, we’re expecting to see some interesting email updates in the U.K and Europe. The Data Protection and Digital Information bill may arrive in the U.K in 2024 which will introduce the concept of “recognized” legitimate interest, the extension of “soft-opt-in” exceptions for charities, expansion of cookie types not requiring consent, and an increase in PECR fines for non-compliance.  

We will also see a rise in digital receipts due to France’s new waste management laws, but we will dive more into that concept in prediction #9 on sustainability. No matter where your customers are, be aware of what is happening around the world in the email marketing space.  

Prediction #8: AI will eat itself 

AI has been the email marketing world’s favorite hot topic, but now that we know more, does it still carry the same weight? AI requires clean, fresh data to operate at a high level. If you set and forget your program, your subscribers will notice when the AI starts outputting based on inaccurate data.  

We also predict that AI and “laziness” will become synonymous. The best course of action in 2024 is to leverage AI for ideas and inspiration but stick to subscriber data and A/B testing when heightening your email personalization and finding new ways to engage.  

Prediction #9: New focus on sustainability in email marketing 

2024 will also be a year where sustainability comes to the forefront of marketing. More companies than ever will be making their commitment to corporate social responsibility known outside of special occasions like Earth Day.  

This year, think about how email marketing affects your company’s overall carbon footprint. You can make your campaigns more efficient to not only help the environment, but also to retain customers and stay competitive with companies that already have these practices in place. Here are a few ways you can add more sustainability to your email programs: 

  • Commit to quality over quantity when sending 
  • Build efficiency into your data centers and invest in clean data 
  • Get involved with eco partnerships and initiatives year-round 
  • Switch from paper receipts to email receipts 

If a customer has a choice, they will rather support a business that is committed to sustainability than one that doesn’t.  

Prediction #10: Time to go back to basics 

Last year, MarTech investments dropped from 13.2 billion in Q1 to 1.9 billion in Q3, revealing that companies are scrutinizing their tech stacks and focusing on working smarter, not harder. 

We will see reduced acquisition budgets, forcing marketers to lean into their loyalty and retention programs powered by zero- and first-party data.  

In 2024, we will also see an increase in responsibilities for email marketers as the expectations to “do more with less” rise. The “email plus” category has become more popular with cross-channel marketing responsibilities like SMS and social media. This will drive marketers to look towards automation and efficiency.

Prediction #11: Where is the next big mailbox provider?  

Is 2024 the year of the next big mailbox provider? Microsoft, AOL, Gmail, and Yahoo all launched between 20-30 years ago…  

With new mailbox providers launching all the time and the bigger providers adapting to the future, we might see a new contender claim the spotlight this year. Gen Z has entered the workforce and since the way they use the email channel differs from other generations, we might see some shake-ups like:  

  • SMS number processing through the MBP 
  • Auto tl;dr summaries  
  • Social media integration  
  • Gamified emails 
  • Privacy focused emails 

…and more.  

Keep your eyes peeled for more movement on this front. 

Prediction #12: The more things change, the more they stay the same! 

Phew! There are a lot of developments we’re tracking for 2024. But after comparing our prediction presentations over the years, we noticed an exciting trajectory.  

In 2014 we predicted that marketers would need to shift their focus to smaller screens and target messages over email blasts. In 2024, mobile email is a part of everyday life and personalization will continue to make improvements every year.  

This look into the past proves that these prediction conversations can become a roadmap to the future. Who knows? Maybe the predictions we made this year will become mainstream a few years down the line too!  

As the email marketing landscape evolves, Validity will be here with thoughtful and timely predictions to keep you prepared for the future.  

For more details on these predictions and how marketers can adapt, watch the full episode of State of Email Live.