The digital world is constantly changing and directly impacting email marketing trends. In 2020, we are about to see a number of changes to the way buyers perceive the marketing emails they receive.
But while there are some discernible deviations from the marketing trends of the past, one thing is certain: email marketing isn’t going anywhere. We explain why that is, and how marketers will need to adapt to the 2020 landscape to ensure that their emails continue to convert.
Email marketing will endure
Rumor has it that email marketing won’t last into 2020—users aren’t as invested in emails as they used to be.
There has been a vast and obvious shift towards social media, instead. But to leave email marketing out of your digital strategy for 2020 would be a mistake—because email marketing is going to endure well beyond this year.
This is in contrast to popular belief—with the introduction of GDPR in recent years, many believed that email subscribers would drop drastically.
However, while GDPR makes it compulsory for businesses to give subscribers the option to opt out of receiving emails, it hasn’t meant the death of email marketing. In fact, following GDPR, brands still have strong subscriber bases—a sign that these customers trust the brand enough to continue receiving their emails.
If brands can repay that trust with quality content in 2020, their email marketing strategy will be a bigger success than before.
Emails may not be the primary channel of communication for millennials and Gen Z, but the ROI brands can achieve through email marketing is still far ahead of its competitors.
Accessibility comes to the fore
Accessibility hasn’t been a priority for the corporate world, but that is finally set to change in 2020.
Brands are beginning to realize that their current methods of creating and distributing content are not universal—they have been leaving out a huge community of people. Impairments of sight, hearing, and mobility impact the way people can access content from brands—adapting your email content accordingly can improve your audience base.
The way brands design their content has to be changed to keep a wider audience in mind—for instance, shorter paragraphs with enough spacing makes for better readability. Establishing visual hierarchies through headers, and clear calls-to-action also make emails and newsletters more accessible. When using images, like email headers and infographics, the filename and alt text should be optimized for screen readers—this is also a good practice for boosting image SEO.
Colors are another key area that email designers need to focus on—high contrast colors should be paired together to be legible to people with visual impairments like color-blindness.
These changes are not difficult to implement whether marketing is being handled in-house or via an email marketing agency—and the payoff will be an increase in quality email subscriptions.
Data driven emails and automation
Data is going to be a driving force in email marketing strategies of 2020—the kind of data you collect and analyze will help you determine market segments and how to reach them. You should already be collecting data to boost email deliverability, or to learn how many email follow-ups are required per campaign to achieve set email marketing goals. But you also need data on the behaviors of customers, as well as their personalities—which you can gather through surveys or questionnaires created using these Jotform alternatives. It isn’t just the kind of data being collected that will be changing in 2020—the process for collecting data has seen massive changes with the introduction of AI technology. Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used to run sophisticated data collection software—that not only collects data according to your specifications, but analyzes it for better conversions.
This new technology can be used to run effective tests—though human intervention is definitely necessary.
AI is only as good as the people who have programmed it, after all. AI tech is also being used for email and marketing automation—with a few quick inputs, you can trigger responses within your software to send follow-up emails tailored to market segments. The reason why AI is going to be such an important email marketing trend in 2020 is because of how customer-driven it can make your strategy. Instead of staff having to study email open rates to determine which content to promote, AI can take on the manual work and streamline the process of responding to users.
Email marketing goes omni-channel
Marketers often make the mistake of believing that an omni-channel strategy simply means having a brand presence on multiple channels. This is not true, especially not in 2020. At the start of this new decade, marketers will need to marry the strategies they create for their multiple platforms. It isn’t enough to focus on social media as a separate entity from your email marketing—they need to work in tandem, alongside your website strategy. This means pushing for email subscriptions on your social channels, and incentivising users to subscribe—with exclusive email discounts or content. Similarly, emails should prompt users to follow you on social media or to visit your website. These are some of the basics of email design, but they are going to be important in 2020.
And emails should be tied into your larger referral strategy—your multiple channels should feed into each other, thus improving the number of eyeballs on your brand, and your conversions.
Personalizing makes emails better
There has been so much talk about personalization in the past year, one might be forgiven for thinking that it is no longer a necessary part of marketing strategies. Personalization is crucial to email marketing—it is the one aspect that will help you create targeted and relevant content, thus boosting conversions. To ensure that your personalization strategy works, you should start by analyzing your user personas for 2020.
Understand your primary customer segments so you can create content that they will respond to positively.
With AI-technology, you can further segment your email list, to create targeted content that will feel more personal to users. Making an email strategy that is more personalized can be a little time-consuming but the rewards are impressive because they deliver an improved, interactive experience to users. Personalized email campaigns improve your open and click rates because you are creating targeted content from the welcome message to the checkout page.
The above email marketing trends will define 2020 and, by following them closely, companies will see increased open and conversion rates.
It can be difficult to implement all the trends listed here but if you can tackle one trend at a time, you will be able to overhaul your strategy to make it more effective in the long run.