In today’s digitally rooted marketing environment, some companies have expressed doubt in the relevance of email marketing campaigns based on their own dropping ROIs. Research shows, however, that email marketing is not only alive and well, but actually growing.

According to the Direct Marketing Association, it continues to yield an estimated 4,300% ROI, and at 33% less cost than other lead-generating mechanisms, emails generate around 50% more sales.

It’s clear that the key to success lies in reinvention. So how are top businesses allowing their email campaigns to thrive? Simple-- by closely watching for changes in the field and not being afraid to experiment with innovative features.

Here are 5 key trends to help you tailor your email strategy for success and avoid falling behind in a fast-paced era of marketing.

This blog post is part of "Your Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing" blog series.




More and more companies are taking the visual content in their emails to the next level with interactive features that mimic elements of their landing pages. These include image galleries, sliders, add-to-cart buttons, carousels and more.

Along with images, video is the favored communication method among most Internet users, who are 10 times more likely to engage with, embed, and share video content than other types of content. Using a video and visual-friendly email platform can make all the difference for your open and clickthrough rates-- don’t forget to optimize for mobile!




Data science is enabling smarter email marketing by improving personalization. Marketers are taking care to focus on data and behaviors that lead to truly valuable insights through preference centers and progressive profiling, no longer depending only on implied preferences. Routine updating of schedules, design, and content of emails is crucial, and A/B testing proves not only more important than ever, but easier to conduct on today’s platforms.





Content gating refers to providing access to certain online materials on the condition that users fill out a form before they can access them. In the case of email marketing, this most often involves presenting a website or blog reader with an offer to subscribe to a mailing list. Proactive marketers can gate content like opt-in offers and content upgrades, creating paywalls for their products and courses.

It should be noted that this tactic is only effective as a means of lead generation if you know how to gate very high-quality, high-value content. The most effective approach is to show you readers a content excerpt that sells the offer; utilizing bundles and templates also boosts value.

Want to know more about grabbing leads with quality content? Check out our article on creating lead magnets.




Marketing automation has steadily grown smarter and shows no signs of slowing down. Functions like advanced segmentation and time-optimized sending continue to increase companies’ control over the what, who, and when of their email campaigns. Forward-thinking businesses are starting to create pre-packaged customer journeys with the use of email provider data.

See how Campaign Creators does this by watching the video below.



Unfortunately, this trend comes at a cost to mailed newsletters, which are being pushed further and further into obsoletion. A lack of personalization in both content and timing makes their perceived value low in the modern marketing world.




Unsurprisingly, the importance of ensuring emails’ compatibility with mobile continues to grow every year. Around 55% of emails are now read on mobile devices! With the increasing complexity of visual and interactive features in email marketing, it’s crucial to invest in a good platform that enables easy modification of your content across devices.

Some marketing analysts also predict that the skyrocketing rate of mobile payments will create a transition to inboxes in the near future. Look for fingerprint-based, 1-click confirmation or payment technology to provide your marketing strategy a competitive edge.

Finally, some companies are beginning to turn their attention untapped potential of SMS. With creativity, tact, and strong analytics, texts can be a powerful complement to email marketing.




By choosing quality over quantity in your strategy and taking the time to stay on top of digital marketing trends as a whole, you will be able to breathe new life into your emails and secure a place in your leads' inboxes for years to come. 

For more help with lead generation, start by downloading our Introduction to Lead Generation guide.

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Originally published June 30, 2017, updated November 26, 2019
Tags: lead generation Email Marketing marketing automation marketing technology lead nurturing video