The world of email marketing remains rather consistent – in comparison to other marketing channels like social media, Search Engine Optimization, and Content Marketing. 

However, what has shifted is how we use email marketing to better support the customer journey and client experience. 

Going into 2024, email marketing is making a dramatic comeback from the old narrative of “email is dead”. As more and more business owners look for opportunities to diversify their lead generation strategies away from the rollercoaster that is the algorithm, you’ll see email lists begin to rise back to the top of priorities for the new year. 

Small business email marketing trends for 2024

Let’s explore the latest email marketing trends for 2024 and how you can embrace them for a most cohesive marketing strategy. 

Email Marketing Trend #1 – A Curated Customer Journey (powered by segmentation & automation) 

We all know that the reason email marketing is so powerful is because we can deliver curated experiences that feel personalized to the subscriber. 

By curating a well-planned customer journey, you are giving your customers a clear (and relevant) path to continue to work with you and move themselves down the customer journey path.

Changing the focus to immediately converting someone into a high-ticket item and instead nurturing them throughout their journey from low-ticket to high ticket. 

This brings up an important metric that tends to get overlooked – Customer Lifetime Value. 

Instead of trying to immediately convert a new subscriber into a high-ticket offer, you can essentially create milestones (frequency of purchases) throughout the customer journey while building trust, increasing client retention, and ultimately making that conversion to high-ticket significantly easier. 

Want to learn more about the customer journey? Listen to these two podcast episodes where I dive into an intentional customer journey. 

Deeply Rooted Business: The power of a customer journey – how to simplify and streamline your business

Easy Scaling: How to create simple product suite and sell with email 

And to bring email marketing into the mix, this means having nurture sequences and automations set up to automatically guide your customers from one step to the next in the customer journey.

Automated nurturing and contact automation is a huge email marketing benefit for small businesses that want to maintain their sales goals by creating a well-oiled machine to maintain customer retention.

However, the customer journey is getting a bit of a makeover with the power of personalization and segmentation to guide the subscriber to their next obvious step with targeted, relevant, and nurture based automation. 

Traditional personalization of your email marketing efforts can look like adding contact data points throughout your message to connect with your contacts in a more relevant way, but it also can look like sending the message at the most relevant time to them.

By taking advantage of link-click logic, purchase behavior, and website visits – you can now deliver an experience that is more relevant and more targeted for the end conversion. 

Email Marketing Trend #2 – Holistic Analytics: Moving Beyond Open and Click Rates

Gone are the days of just reporting on Open Rate and Click Rates. No more vanity engagement. Sorry, open rate.

With platforms focusing more on integrations that close the loop on important data points like purchases, out of platform actions, and conversion metrics – we are now able to create a more holistic view of the customer journey. 

Platforms like ActiveCampaign, Convertkit, and Zapier – you are now able to bridge the data gap and create clarity into your marketing efforts. 

This gives the business owner the ability to refine any gaps in the journey to purchase and the ability to optimize and streamline the successful conversion points to boost conversion rates higher. 

Focusing in on email marketing specifically, we all know that the most valuable action someone can take (outside of actually purchasing) is clicking through via an email. 

Going forward into 2024, a stronger measure to focus on is going to be engagement off the email – our lovely click-through rate. 

This means creating a “next-step” for your reader to connect with AND having the visibility to see through Google Analytics goals or action tracking. 

Whether that means a blog post that expands on your email newsletter or an additional resource that’ll support their interest – we have to start capturing real engagement and clear attribution of conversions. 

Email Marketing Trend #3. Intentional Inbound Flows: Rethinking Welcome Sequences

(yes, I’m talking about your welcome sequence) 

Traditionally if you Google “how to grow your email list”, you’ll hear you need a form, an opt-in page, and a welcome sequence. That’s a bit of old school thinking – we don’t just want an email list filled with any subscribers, we want an email list filled with actual leads that will eventually purchase. 

So if your goal is to “grow email list to 10,000 subscribers” let’s try refining that to be more intentional. 

There are 3 components of your Intentional Inbound Flow: The Strategic Lead Magnet, The Initial Nurture Sequence, The Stage of the Customer Journey. 

The lead magnet is evolving from a traditional guide that serves your general ideal client towards more of a strategic, curated resource for a layer of your ideal clients with a specific problem. 

This allows you to tag & segment specific problems your ideal clients are struggling with and address them head on with those subscribers – creating a relevant and personalized experience. 

The Initial Nurture Sequence (formerly the welcome sequence) is the series of emails that delivers the lead magnet, builds authority & trust, and ultimately guides them to the next step. Traditionally, you’ll see welcome sequences that are a bit more general…endless stories about how they started their business and who they are. 

Instead of making it all about you, we’re making it all about the subscriber and positioning our story throughout the sequence. 

To learn more about the Welcome Sequence and just how important one is in your email marketing strategy – click here

Email Marketing Trend #4 – Artificial Intelligence with Email Marketing Platforms

And it’s important to note that most marketing channels are embracing the power of AI – and email marketing platforms are stepping up their game to do the same. While I hope to see AI making a huge impact in the email marketing space for 2024 with the suggestive nurtures, I still believe that’s a 2025 priority for most popular platforms.

You’ll see platforms like Klayvio, MailChimp, and ActiveCampaign embracing AI for subject line recommendations. MailChimp has also released AI Writing in their email builders – however from my experience there is still a lot of progress to make that feature usable to replace copywriters. 

Final Thoughts: The Evolution of Email Marketing

The customer is continuing to get smarter throughout their evolution in the buying journey. No more scare tactics, full-list blasts to everyone, or fear-based marketing. Our buyers are becoming smarter and desire more transparency from who they purchase from. 

Particularly with email marketing for small business, we want to connect with our audience and prospects on an authentic level – one that delivers the values that your buyers are looking for.

Your email marketing strategy should be an equal exchange of value, insights, and promotions. The email lists that are solely selling 100% of the time will no longer thrive in an environment that requires respect and trust on both sides.

The business owner is continuing to face the challenges of a single-platform marketing strategy. My biggest piece of advice to business owners who have their marketing focused on a single-platform – diversify your lead generation. 

The marketing world will continue to change and you as a business owner must continue to adapt. If you start to implement a few of these email marketing strategies into your marketing, you’ll be ahead of the curve going into the new year.

If you are not quite sure how to move forward with these changes in your marketing, check out all of Gal’s email marketing services and how I can help you today.

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