10 trends in e-mail marketing

The latest newsletter developments

Claudia Höckner-Pernkopf

There’s life in the old dog yet: During the past years, e-mail marketing has regularly been declared dead. However, by now it’s probably safe to say: Newsletters are here to stay. Recent developments look to be particularly promising for both businesses and users.

What’s happening in e-mail marketing, and which tools and adaptations are worth having a closer look at? We have listed our Top Ten Newsletter Trends for you.

Trend #1

On the agenda: dark mode

According to a recent survey, 72 per cent of marketers are keeping an eye on the topic of dark mode e-mails. 44 per cent are already creating special dark mode newsletters. Why? Because more and more people are setting their smartphones to dark mode because it’s supposed to be better for your eyes – and the trend keeps increasing.

However, this comes with certain challenges regarding newsletter design. After all, not every logo, image or font is suitable for dark backgrounds. What’s more, more and more smartphones work with automatic colour adjustment. The outcome: not so great.

What we think: It definitely pays off to take dark mode viewing into account when designing your newsletters. It’s also a good idea to have a look at best practice examples such as Die Presse or Nike.

Trend #2

Interaction is key

More and more companies use interactive elements in their newsletters. The advantage:  Users are extremely grateful for the possibility to interact, voice their opinion and actively influence the content. To boost user engagement, it will be increasingly important to work with surveys, reviews and gamification elements in your newsletters.

What we think: This trend is here to stay. For businesses this means: Play around with opportunities to interact!

Trend #3


It may not be new but it’s still one of the major trends in e-mail marketing: automation.

Certain customer actions trigger the creation and distribution of automated e-mails. Ideally, this allows you to accompany your customers along the entire customer journey and to swiftly react to their individual situation – in real time. Nice benefit: This also helps you to save time and resources. Once the automation chains have been set up, it only takes occasional adjustments.

What we think: Whether you work with elaborate newsletter chains or a more simplified setup: Taking the next step in newsletter automation definitely pays off.

Trend #4

Artificial Intelligence is on the rise

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are no longer just for Google or leading IT companies. Smaller companies have started to use certain types of artificial intelligence for creating and distributing their newsletters. AI can be particularly useful when it comes to finding the best distribution time, generating a relevant subject line or predicting certain user actions.

What we think: At this point, Artificial Intelligence in e-mail marketing is still at an early stage. However, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on this trend!

Trend #5

Next-level personalisation

The trend towards newsletter personalisation continues. What started out a couple of years ago has now reached a new level. Personalised newsletters are about more than just addressing the recipient by name.

The next step: real-time personalisation! Dynamic elements adjust to the user’s needs, addressing customers at their respective stage of the customer journey. Static content? No, thank you! It’s time for automation and Artificial Intelligence!

What we think: Personalisation works. The best thing about it: Both companies and customers benefit from personalised offers and content.

Trend #6

Accessible newsletters: e-mails for everyone

More and more marketers want their newsletter to be accessible for every type of customer. For instance, it’s relatively easy to make your newsletters accessible for people with visual impairments. Screen reader options, a clear design and structure and simple language all contribute to making your content more accessible. And don’t forget: It’s an important way for your business to foster inclusion!

What we think: Fostering inclusion is an important part of your brand identity. By enabling accessibility, you make your company values more transparent.

Trend #7

Back to the roots: plain-text e-mails

Plain-text e-mails are something like the countermovement to all of the abovementioned newsletter trends. Whether this trend of going back to the roots of e-mail marketing is really here to stay is yet to be seen.

However, many companies have reverted back to plain-text newsletters, without any integrations, ads or personalisation. Why is that? Many of the latest trends require considerable adjustments. Advanced personalisation and automation can be quite challenging for companies with a limited marketing budget. The alleged solution: going back to the roots.

What we think: Whether users will be happy with plain-text e-mails remains to be seen. What’s evident is that this development requires even more high-quality content to provide users with added value.

Trend #8

BIMI: sender authentication

We’ve all been there: With our inbox overflowing with messages, we tend to delete most newsletters unread. Your customers are likely to do just the same. The reason: Many of the messages we receive are just spam or phishing mails. The Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) can help you to remain visible among the flood of newsletters in your customers’ inbox.

By adding your company logo, your users can immediately identify you as the sender of the e-mail. This leads to more trust and transparency – and, consequently, to better chances of engagement.

What we think: This one’s a top trend – and there’s still a lot to come! Since this year, Google has been supporting BIMI logos, which could give the development a real boost.

Trend #9

Data privacy remains important

Many of the latest e-mail marketing trends require the collection of personal data – in line with the respective data protection regulations. However, keeping up with the latest developments in the field isn’t always easy.

Of course, the most important thing is to get the consent of your customers to process their data. However, the documentation of the collected data and the protection against third-party use can be tricky too. So it’s definitely worth it to be on the safe side and get some professional help.

What we think: A transparent and responsible handling of customer data is governed by law. What’s more, it should be a matter of course for every responsible company.

Trend #10

Authentic: user-generated content

User-generated content: a win-win situation for companies and users. Whether it’s favourable comments or product reviews: Authentic user-generated content is a real trust booster. What’s more, it’s much more helpful for your customers than the same old marketing messages. Like we said earlier, surveys and customer reviews are the perfect content to place prominently in your newsletter.

What we think: A trusting customer relationship is more important than anything. That’s why we’re sure that this trend is here to stay.

Top-class content makes a difference – always!

Successful e-mail marketing is all about added value for your customers. In our opinion, without high-quality content, even the most innovative developments and efforts to gain more reach will be fruitless. No matter which new trends are currently changing the e-mail marketing business – content is still king!

Do you need help implementing newsletter projects with high-quality content? The experts of punkt & komma are happy to assist!

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