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2023 email marketing trends and predictions

email marketing trends

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays… New Year’s is still to come so plan those resolutions🙄. 

Today’s edition of Inbox Hacking chews on a pile of email marketing trends for 2023. Are some of them encouraging? Yep. A few ridiculous? How could they not be… they are predictions. Sorta like resolutions.

We’re gonna dive right in, I’ve got Christmas shopping to do at the lottery stand. Great last-minute gift idea, big upside.

Social Media Letdown

These predictions were compiled by AWeber and they began by bashing social media.👏🏼

“Marketers will wake up from the dream of social being their main channel in 2023.” ~ Mor Mester, Head of Content Marketing at EmailVendorSelection.

Backing up the idea: People freaked out over IG’s algorithm pivot. TikTok could be banned in the USA🙏🏼. Lastly, Twitter uproar lately (it was no meditation retreat before Elon wrote a fat check).

Creators are seeing the light of email since they own that channel instead of social owning them and their content. You don’t have to spout fringe ideas to be banned from social. A bot could just hit the wrong button – good luck pleading your case to Scott the Chatbot.

Clean Email Authentication + Brand Authority

BIMI and DMARC will be used more.

We broke down how BIMI can make your emails stand out, plus build trust in inboxes. The more authentication tools the better, since they can separate your email campaigns from those of lowly spammers.

However, the brand authority promise concerns me because of this quote from AWeber’s article:

“Set up BIMI for your email domain and stand out from the crowd before this becomes commonplace.”

Commonplace is the opposite of stand out, folks – I looked it up. Is the increased authentication worth the BIMI set-up? Yes, play the endless acronym game.

Email Marketing Trends & Old Metrics

Since Apple turned over the metric cart with MPP, experts predict email marketers will lean into new metrics.

Open rates are seductive but not as reliable or believable now. Thanks Steve Jobs.


What types of analytics are we supposed to focus on now? 

  • Email replies
  • Clicks
  • Logins prompted by email
  • Purchase timelines related to email series
  • Time between opens

*Saw this webinar tip – Test a few emails at 3 a.m. to see how many “auto-opens” you get. 

AMP for Email Marketing

AMP expert Dave Stys has high hopes for interactive emails in 2023.

“The first place you’ll see them is in transactional emails like real-time order tracking and shipping statuses, product ratings and reviews, appointment scheduling, and subscription and account confirmation.”

My two cents: #1 Product reviews are the best use for AMP right now. #2 Appointment scheduling, a close second. 

I don’t get the need for AMP interactivity on order tracking. If I order socks, just mail my $%^& socks! Don’t care how or when, long as I get them before I forget I ordered them.

See ESPs and Email Clients that support AMP.

Bot-Brain Content Creation

Everyone is plum giddy to have AI take over marketing 🙄. Control your gid. My takedown of ChatGPT in last week’s newsletter shows how unremarkable the World’s Greatest Chatbot is. 

However, one of our readers feels AI will take over email writing. And believes Google will use AI to rid the world of agencies. See Justin’s take.

Another expert prediction:

“2023 might be a turning point for AI-assisted content creation. Canva’s release of Magic Write, based on OpenAI’s GPT-3, is a strong first step and a clear signal in that direction.” ~Massimo Arrigoni, CEO at BEE

Notice the word after 2023? “Might” is weak. Muhammad Ali didn’t use “Might” in knockout predictions. 

Hey, I love Canva. But even their AI art generator is 87% useless. Despite having the entire internet archive of drawings and photos to work with.

Increased Optimization for Dark Mode

email marketing trends

Why do I like this prediction? Making your email campaigns look sharp in dark mode is an easy improvement you can make asap. Lazy marketers may not bother. Advantage you and your organization.

BEE’s Massimo Arrigoni says dark mode compliant emails will boost sender reputation too.

Is extra design effort needed for dark mode emails? Yep, Atlassian Email Strategist Emily McGuire advises:

  • Outlining transparent PNG images in white
  • Dark-mode-friendly colors for text / backgrounds

The Look of 2023 

Keeping up with design trends is worse than keeping up with The Kard… a talentless family’s meaningless reality show.

It’s hard to even trust what experts say will be trendy in email designs for 2023. Especially when they use words like “Neo-brutalism.” Does it describe a horribly unnecessary 4th Matrix film? No…

According to AWeber – “Neo-brutalism is characterized by strong angles and geometric shapes to create an atmosphere of certain strength and resilience.” 🥱

I’m skeptical, so hit reply and tell me what design trends you think will stick in 2023.

BTW, here’s what Canva’s AI produced with the Neo-brutalism prompt:

email marketing trends

Ok, not bad, now just 84% useless.

Slowing Economy and Email Marketing

“Coming recession.” Not as scary a phrase as, “Honey I invested in crypto.” 

But recessions can be tough. My advice is to sell your tv because 24-hr financial doom and gloom news won’t help.

Also, this from Lauren Meyer, CMO at Socketlabs: “It’s a year for doubling down on what is working, to the tune of better segmentation and optimizing inbox placement.”

Agreed. But don’t wait for economic emergencies to double down on what’s working. Also, segmentation should be tweaked constantly. As for inbox placement → avoid looking like a spammer in any way and avoid mass email deletion by using Inbox Mailers for vastly improved inboxing.

inbox mailers demo

Best advice for marketing, whether in a recession or if money starts growing on trees. Pay attention to your audience.

“It’s important to understand how a crisis may be impacting our customers’ needs and how we can address those needs in our marketing messaging and campaigning.” ~ Komal Helyer, Fractional CMO

Alright, heading into the last turn on 2023 email marketing predictions…

Tech and Customer Journeys

“In 2023, technology and aggregated data will give us a much better understanding of our customers and our relationships with them.” ~Radek Kaczynski, Founder and CEO at Bouncer

Will it? Or will we be overwhelmed with data and the 312 places from which it flies at us? Then melt down and pitch a hissy fit…

email marketing trends

Easy, folks! Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.

Look at one data point at a time. 

  • Notice what gets zero clicks
  • What gets the most clicks
  • See how many emails your buyers received in the past month
  • Review replies your subscribers took time to email you

What if you are overwhelmed with too much tech? Cut out tools that don’t deliver much value. If a tech tool isn’t easy to implement and doesn’t make a big impact, how is it better than an annoying intern from, I dunno, San Francisco or Fort Worth? 

Seamless tools: Radek Kaczynski, Founder / CEO at Bouncer. “For example, email marketing or marketing automation solutions might integrate with the best email verification API… and provide powerful email verification functionalities inside.” 

2023 Email Prediction Wrap Up

AWeber also talks about Yahoo’s top-of-inbox feature rolling out.

The Big 3 predictions to me → economy / interactive email / metrics.

  • Your audience’s money situation matters
  • Subscribers want to interact IF it’s easy
  • Even fantasy football meatheads like me are smart enough to use metrics

The biggest takeaway though? Email marketing tops social media marketing, yet we can learn from how social platforms constantly evolve to give audiences what they want.

Knowledge Base 

Knowledge isn’t power without motivation so here’s Santa’s pep talk.

Is there really a Crisis of Disconnection and is it limiting your organization? 

Strainer Danger! → When subscribers are straining to view your emails on their phones. Can’t see, won’t engage. 

2022’s Five Most Clickable Email Campaigns (including Wendy’s opt-in example)

Don’t wanna worry about your automated campaigns while you’re unwrapping presents? See Benchmark’s 9 tips.

Self  Help 

I read a stat about youngsters on the West Coast of the U.S., a stat too disturbing to share.

Ah, what the hell…

40% of them aspire to be social media influencers.

Nevermind that horror. There is value in working with micro-influencers, according to HubSpot:

  1. 33% of marketers reported the most success with micro-influencers vs. nano, macro, mega-influencers
  2. Engagement rates fall when follower count rises
  3. Micro-influencers charge as little as $73 per post

Don’t limit yourself to social media influencers though. People are still influencing others in the physical world. 

Example. Your company provides courses. Small business owners with no time for social media could still use your course and you can use their influence on other business owners.

Whether partnering with influencers online or offline, remember this story.

A young man ran a highly-profitable side hustle selling autographed baseballs. How’d he get big names to sign for him? He got to the players in high school. On their way up, not when they’d already hit the big leagues.

*Shout-out to Inbox Hacking Subscribers → Elizabeth @ Zeus&Blu (pup stuff) and Emma @ WorkClub (co-working)

Facts & Stats  

  • 53% of marketers plan on working with micro-influencers in 2023. (HubSpot)
  • 81.9% of smartphone users use dark mode, only 5% of emails are optimized for dark mode (AWeber)
  • 50+% of consumers want to receive promotions/service reminders via SMS, just 20% of companies do so (Validity)

*Pre Inbox Mailers Quote Circa 2008… “It takes perfect timing to avoid hitting deer on the highways. Two reasons. Drivers are distracted. And .0001% of deer have red lights on their nose.” ~ Veteran Insurance Adjuster, Tom “Claim” Deenyer

Demo Inbox Mailers for triggered emails with perfect inbox timing 50% – 70% open rates.📧

Marketing Musings

I’m torn.

Salad or fries? That decision was cemented long ago.

We’re talking SMS marketing. To text or not to text customers?

I am all ears. What do you think about adding text messages to your email marketing? 

Here’s an intro and guide on use cases for SMS campaigns, by the way.

My opinion, entities should not text me unless:

  • I’m a regular at their restaurant 
  • 70%-off sale happens & I’ve shopped there before
  • The text is the most important commercial message I’ll receive all week

In short. My text inbox isn’t open for business unless it’s a local business or I am 100% committed to the organization (ie. Lions Club). But let me know your thoughts? 📩

Get Hacking

Simplest way to jab your deliverability with positive signals to your ISP? Ask your subscribers to reply to your next email. Make it quick and painless. But most of all, think hard about what they care about enough to answer you.

No. Think harder. You’ll know you’ve thought about it long enough when you have an ah-ha moment. Likely also, you’ll have to send more than one email to get answers. Because each segment will be moved by different questions. Get after it – and thanks for reading – we hope you and yours have the best holiday week in history.🎅🏼

📝Please click on the quick survey below. I’m not allowed to bribe anyone btw 😔

email marketing survey