Email Marketing in 2023

Email Marketing in 2023

Email Marketing in 2023

Bex Osborn

Marketing Strategist

4 Jan 2023

The festive period is now over, the decks are down, and Cadbury’s Mini Eggs are already on the supermarket shelves. We're preparing ourselves for yet another year of seeing some incredible emails in our inboxes (creating and receiving them!).

Before we dive head first into 2023, we want to take a minute to think about what we'd like to see happen within the email channel this year. With less of a focus on predictions and more about what we, as an agency, would love to see brands do more of.

So without further ado…

Email Strategy

🤖 Increased use of AI & AR

2022 saw a huge increase of AI being utilised throughout many mainstream digital channels. We already know the current benefits of AI when it comes to email. Such as helping to produce on-brand marketing messages with tools such as Phrasee. And identifying the best times to deliver email to a recipient, with tools like Mailgun’s clever Send-Time Optimization.

As AI technology improves, becoming more accessible, we’d love to see it embraced even more this year with a bigger focus on email integration. It would be great to see more brands take advantage of it throughout the creation of their automated emails. Helping to reduce production resource, pull in pre-written content, graphics, links, and even experiment with voice search. A higher adoption of augmented reality (AR) would also be very exciting for email. We're now seeing a lot of "try it on" experiences on retail websites, and would be keen to see this explored in the inbox.

💬 Omni-Channel enhancements

As social media and digital footprints are constantly evolving, different platforms are being developed (and disappearing!). It’s imperative that brands keep up with this and expand their reach to wherever their customers may be. We are seeing brands begin to understand the benefits of this omni-channel marketing approach. Centring their efforts around the customer, using all available media channels to create a seamless two-way experience. Delivering the right message on the right channel at the right time will satisfy customer needs and increase brand loyalty. We know email is a great tool for pointing customers where you want them to go. Let’s see more of this!

✔️ More use of email preference centres

With open rates and third-party cookies being a big topic of conversation in 2022. Customers have become more weary of the data they are sharing with brands and what is being done with it. Preference centre’s can help with this. Allowing brands to deliver authentic and personalised content, that customers genuinely want to receive.

If executed properly, preference centres can help brands build first-party-data. This can then be used to create authentic and more personalised emails. Rewarding brands with higher engagement, ROI, and more satisfied customers.

Email design

🖼️ More use of gradients

Throughout the latter of 2022 we saw a rise in soft gradients being used throughout assets and backgrounds. These blends are made up of pastel tones or “Candy” colours – adding a bold enhancement to copy extracts or as an overarching colour scheme. Gradients also tie into an ever popular theme of retro fashion and ideals. Sparked by the 90s and moving organically through to the year 2000 (Y2K) trend – matching bright colour themes with creative and expressive typography.

Background gradients have the ability to really bring an email to life. A good example of this is Stylist Live’s email below. The hero of this email is filled with Y2K themed illustrations and quirky squiggles, almost like an early ‘noughties’ scrapbook. Accompanied with the bright gradient background, which is then repeated again lower down the email within the CTAs.

🔤 Big, bold and creative typography

Another trend we are big fans of is the use of bold typography. We hope to see this sit alongside beautiful imagery, even sometimes to replace it. An example of a brand who uses bold and creative typography well is a client of ours, Henkel.

Having had a creative rebrand in 2022, Henkel introduced a great variety of new custom fonts (99!). These included a multitude of weights and styles that had been designed just for them. The vibrant rebrand paired with the new fonts allowed for numerous creative combinations to be used within their emails. We love the bold composition within the headline making it appear as an image in its own right, this is a trend we hope to see more of in 2023.

💥 Vivid Minimalism

Minimalist approaches to design are not a new concept. But as we enter 2023 we can see an addition of bold colours paired with basic shapes creating a whole new dynamic. A fresh example of this is through the branding of Spotify and more specifically Spotify Wrapped. Here we see a limited colour palette across a series of simple shapes - leaving space for minimal copy and short messaging. This addition of colours moves the minimalist movement into a bolder direction. Playing on the loudness of the Y2K trend, and the new development of bright optimistic design.

Email Development

📖 Web Developer workflows

There’s been a big jump in email specific developer tooling and education. Driven by the need to be more efficient and EmailGeeks like Avi Goldman, Tony Zupancic amongst others are creating tools that showcase how it can be done. Megan Boshuyzen recently shared how creating a component driven email design system, populated with data from JSON files can make creating a large number of emails with six different brands possible by one email developer. 

Internally we have used a number of different tools, from SASS and LESS for CSS, to nunjucks templating and creating components to build large email design systems.

✅ Better email standards

The Email Markup Consortium have come together in the past year to, as a community, create a set of standards that all email clients could work from for rendering and compiling HTML emails - to stop the difficulties of having some elements supported in one email client but not another. With a large amount of time dedicated to improving accessibility across all emails being built as well as contacting email clients to ask for accessibility to be improved, it’s a big step in the right direction.

🤝 Increased user trust with BIMI

BIMI is a new email verification standard that allows marketers to verify their brand with their logo displayed in the user’s inbox. Both Google and Apple now support this new standard, putting it into the majority of consumer inboxes. BIMI can help build your brand identity and trust with your subscribers, so it has a big part to play over the next year. 

Wrapping up

There we have it, all the things we hope to see more of in our inboxes this year. Remember to keep an eye on other digital channels, be where your customers are. Implement verification efforts where possible to increase customer trust. Use clever design tactics to stand out, and send some awesome emails.

You’ve got this! But if you haven’t, and you need a hand, we’re more than happy to help. Send us a message and we can make sure 2023 is your year for email!




Got a project or want to know more about what we do? Drop us a message here, and we'll get back to you.




Got a project or want to know more about what we do? Drop us a message here, and we'll get back to you.

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