How often are emails deleted or even pushed to the side to be marked as spam? There are so many key points that separate the average, from spam sale emails to exceptional and interesting marketing emails that you’d be intrigued to open when it lands in your inbox, and even purchase products from.

Worldwide, the estimated number of email users is around 4 billion, and according to recent data; the average amount of emails sent and received each day is 319.6 billion. But how many times have you had an email that you actually look forward to opening with a product that you enjoy? Email marketing can seem a waste of time – based on your own bad experiences, such as archiving, swiping left, and endlessly marking as spam. But think of those companies whose emails never get lost in your inbox and get opened every time. There are many differences that set these emails aside from the standard marketing emails that just get shoved into the bin or archived folder.

Email marketing is an important part of any overall marketing strategy with it being a cost-effective way to promote your products, communicate with your customers and reach your business goals. So, done correctly, it remains an important tactic for businesses.

We recently came across an email marketing report from Ascend2, which explores the current landscape of email marketing and what we can expect to see in 2023.

Challenges of Email Marketing

According to the Ascend2 report, more than 8 in 10 marketers agree that executing an effective email marketing program will be critical to the success of their overall marketing strategy in the coming year. They reported that the greatest challenge marketers are seeing today with email marketing is engagement, with nearly two-thirds (63%) of those surveyed viewing it as their biggest challenge. So, what can you do to increase engagement?

There are many tactics that have been tested to increase the engagement of marketing emails – such as a catchy subject line, prioritising a clear and precise CTA, and even including a friendly welcome message. But the most important tactic that has been found to separate a high-quality marketing email from the rest is by making it as personal to the targeted reader as possible. Here are five ways marketing emails can become more personal:

  • Personalize the subject line to target the reader – A personalised, catchy subject line can greatly increase the engagement of emails and catch the attention of potential customers.
  • Take a conversational tone – This is a great way of connecting with your audience. It allows you to earn trust and leave a stronger, more memorable message.
  • Use humour in emails to attract attention – Occasional humour can draw the subscriber’s attention and even inspire people to forward your emails to other people.
  • Segment email lists – This allows you to cater specifically to each different target audience list down to independent interests, rather than creating one mass message for all.
  • Use automation to send the right message at the right time. – Email marketing can be more effective if used to support the customer journey. Certain emails can be sent at specific times to help prospects move through the customer journey.

Email Marketing Trends

Improving engagement is difficult in a time of increased inbox competition, and there are indications that people are spending less time reading emails. To try to face these obstacles, marketers will be deploying a variety of trends in the year ahead. Not surprisingly, a majority will use mobile-friendly design, particularly as marketers tend to see higher response rates on mobiles than desktops.

Other trends include deploying a higher level of personalisation, with half of the respondents to the Ascend2 report sharing that they will look to employ personalisation (beyond the name) and automation in their email marketing. Marketers will be using marketing automation tools such as Mailchimp, Sharpspring, HubSpot and Marketo to deploy their email marketing campaigns in 2023.

Measuring Performance

The results from the Ascend2 report show that measuring performance is another challenge of email marketing, according to 44% of respondents, and with nearly half of brands not tracking email interactions right down to conversions. It has been found that email subscribers feel most appreciated when their needs are addressed through segmentation and personalisation, so this gives brands the opportunity to learn more about their existing and potential clients with each email interaction, highlighting the power of analytics.

Organisations need to focus on the following to measure performance and optimise campaigns:

  • Analyse what drives clicks and conversions within the most impactful email campaigns, and replicate areas that work
  • Understand which devices audiences use most so that emails can be optimised to suit these devices.
  • Consider how email influences other marketing channels and how the analysis of your campaigns can drive more success in the future


The Ascend2 report covers several areas of the email marketing landscape and suggests that increasing engagement will be a top priority for marketers going forward and that emails should be created to target users more personally to achieve this.

We also noted that roughly 4 in 10 (39%) marketing respondents reported that they will include interactive content in their email program. Interactive content is a key tool for digital engagement among both B2C and B2B marketers and is certainly a tactic which could gain momentum in 2023. Privacy features and accessible design (which marketers are trying to improve) will also be on the agenda for some.

Not surprisingly, email marketing continues to be an activity that marketers should invest time in, and we look forward to seeing how the landscape changes in the upcoming year.

To read the full Ascend2 report, please click here.