Kevin George is Head of Marketing at Email Uplers, one of the fastest-growing custom email design and coding companies, and specializes in crafting professional email templates, PSD to HTML email conversion, and free responsive HTML email templates in addition to providing email automation, campaign management, and data integration & migration services. He loves gadgets, bikes, jazz, and eats and breathes email marketing. He enjoys sharing his insights and thoughts on email marketing best practices on his blog.
Are you abreast with the latest trends that are picking up pace in the world of email? This article will enlighten you about all the tactics marketers are looking forward to, in 2021 and beyond.
The field of email marketing has been continuously evolving. Tech geeks are adding newer technologies to make emails more impactful for the readers. These advancements also help to streamline the execution of email operations.
Litmus has revealed that 2021 will also be a year of an email just like 2020 was. Marketers will continue to use it to promote their offers, nurture prospective clients, send out important updates to the customers, implement occasion-based marketing, and drive conversions.
While the purpose of email marketing will remain the same, the way in which you approach it will change according to the pattern of customer behaviors.
With that being said, let’s delve deeper into the email marketing trends that will reign supreme in 2021 and beyond.
1. Agile Email Marketing
The problem with executing email marketing is that it unnecessarily takes too much time. One of the reasons for this delay is that there are too many inefficiencies in the entire process. With the help of agile email marketing, you can optimize the implementation of your email marketing strategy.
There was a time when marketers used to rely on bulk emails that may or may not be relevant for the subscribers. However, agile marketing allows the marketers to educate the subscribers and send out targeted emails that will be more useful to the recipients.
For example, Real estate companies must use dynamic content blocks to send out relevant deals according to the geographical location of the reader.
The agile methodology takes into consideration three ‘I’s— information, innovation, and inclusivity. The basic principle of agile email marketing is that you have to take small steps if you want to achieve great results. More and more marketers will implement this tactic in their strategy in 2021 and in the years to come.
2. Machine Learning and Email Automation
With the advent of advanced CRM tools such as Marketo and Salesforce Marketing Cloud, it has become a breeze to employ Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in your email automation game. These tools work on predictive models that can guess the future behavior of the subscribers and send them emails accordingly.
As an instance, Consider Amazon sending product recommendations through email or receiving suggestions from Netflix based on the shows you have already watched.
Both these brands use the power of AI to impart the best customer experience to their users.
Here is an example of a product recommendation email by Amazon:
3. Visual Email Marketing
Instead of plain text emails, brands are using visually rich emails to boost subscriber engagement and yield higher conversions. Apart from static images, email professionals are trying their hand at GIFs, cinemagraphs, embedded videos in emails to take the customer experience to the next level.
They are even using animated illustrations to demonstrate the usage of their product. Email marketers are riding the wave of trends like gradients, monochrome layout, and minimalistic designs to make the most of their strategy.
The need of the hour is to think out-of-the-box and get your creative juices flowing if you want to cut through the noise and draw the subscriber’s attention. Unless you do so, your email might go unnoticed in that heap of unread emails.
4. AMP in Emails
AMP is the newest kid on the block of email marketing. Using this technology, you can create emails that emulate microsites and allow the users to take action from the email itself. This means that your subscribers can RSVP to an event, book a ticket, or fill a contact form without being redirected to the landing page. This will increase the likelihood of conversion as it will facilitate easy navigation and eliminate the need for any unnecessary clicks.
Here’s an AMP email created by the developers at Email Uplers. It includes a slider, accordion, subscription form, and contact form, all created with the help of AMP technology.
Another beautiful example of AMP email is that of Pinterest. It emulates an app-like experience for the subscribers.
The user can browse through the images from the email itself without opening the app or website.
Imagine being able to access Tinder in the same way and swipe through the matches. It will take speed dating to the next level.
5. BIMI in Email Inbox
Brand Indicators for Message Identification (BIMI) is a new technique that enables marketers to create better brand identification.
Take a look at this image that demonstrates how BIMI works. It allows the brands to display their logo along with their message in the email inbox.
In 2021, several brands will start using this feature to build brand credibility and boost visibility. Besides, BIMI also helps to build trust and protects your brand from fraudulent emails. It is a great initiative in the direction of cybersecurity.
There’s a catch to implementing BIMI. You should have an optimum email deliverability rate for that. Once you employ BIMI, you will be able to bypass the spam filters by creating one more security layer. As a result, your emails will stand a brighter chance to land in the subscriber’s inbox.
6. Omnichannel Marketing Approach
Although email is, undoubtedly, one of the most effective marketing channels, you cannot overlook the importance of social media marketing, text messages, push notifications, and chatbots.
Marketers will strive to create an omnichannel marketing experience for the readers. This means that all your marketing channels must be in sync and consistently aligned with your branding guidelines and offers.
7. A/B Testing
With the changing customer behavior, A/B testing will become all the more important. It will help you to understand what kind of emails resonate the most with your subscribers. What was working till the last year, in the pre-COVID era may not work anymore.
Therefore, you must send two variants of emails to your subscriber list. Based on the results, you must then send out the winning version to the remaining set of your subscribers. This helps you do away with any guesswork and gives you data-driven insights into how to optimize the email campaigns.
8. Stricter Anti-spam Guidelines
There was a time when there were hardly any anti-spam guidelines except CAN-SPAM. However, with the implementation of GDPR in May 2018 and CCPA in 2020, marketers will have to be extra vigilant about their target audience and the kind of emails they are sending out.
The double opt-in method for email list building will become more important than ever. It will not only help you to maintain a healthy list but also allow you to reach out to subscribers who are actually interested in hearing from you.
9. Empathetic tone
2020 changed the entire perspective of marketing as a whole. Email marketing is no exception. Empathy and consideration will be the two crucial elements of writing any email copy. Apart from that, visual elements will also reflect the principle of emotional messaging.
Take a look at this example by Charity: Water.
See how the hero image, as well as the email copy, reflects a sense of optimism, achievement, and gratitude for the people who donated.
It will surely bring a smile to the face of the readers and encourage them to donate again in the future too.
10. Micro-segmentation and Hyper-personalization
Having discussed all the newest trends, how can we leave the basics behind? Segmentation and personalization form the basis of an effective email marketing strategy. Marketers have gone a step ahead and started using micro-segmentation and hyper-personalization to make their emails even more impressive.
Traditionally, segmentation included basic parameters like age, gender, geographical location, and professional details. However, with the latest data management features in the CRM tools, you can go a step ahead and micro-segment your subscribers based on their past purchases, resources downloaded, and the kind of products searched for.
Some Additional Points to Remember
- If you are an eCommerce company planning to promote any clearance sales, deals, or discounts to liquidate the old stock, you must segment your customers and create a list of subscribers who are looking forward to discounting shopping. This will increase the likelihood of driving conversions for your business.
- Many marketers bank only on tools rather than focusing on a solid strategy. Without a well-thought-out plan, your tools will not be able to give you the results you wish to achieve.
- Your messages ought to leave a profound impact on the subscriber’s mind if you want them to buy from you. Simple cliched headlines should be replaced with something that reflects the benefits of your product. Your copy must make the subscriber feel that your product will change their lives for the better. Adding a few emojis here and there will not work.
The bottom line is that your emails must be more dynamic and interactive so that your subscribers are tempted to take action. Your email copy, design, and call-to-action must be drafted in such a way that it draws the subscriber’s attention and helps you get the maximum conversions.
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