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4 Email Marketing Trends for 2021

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Let’s explore some of the most significant emerging trends in the world of email marketing and how they can keep your business converting on a high level throughout the age of COVID-19 and beyond.

Email marketing trends

2020 certainly felt as though it was a year to remember for all the wrong reasons. Many businesses found themselves having to rebuild their marketing strategies overnight, and this caused the email marketing landscape to undergo a rapid transformation in a short space of time. As we move slowly away from the pandemic and towards the era of the ‘new normal,’ it’s a key time to explore which email marketing trends will develop in the brave new world of 2021.

As the pandemic continues to drive significant changes to the way consumers understand and interact with brands, email marketers need to continue innovating in a way that can help to foster more sales during these unprecedented times.

With this in mind, let’s explore some of the most significant emerging trends in the world of email marketing and how they can keep your business converting on a high level throughout the age of COVID-19 and beyond:

1. Personalization Will Reign Supreme

The biggest trend driving the future of email marketing revolves around personalization. As we continue to come to terms with the widespread global transition towards a life of remote work and more social isolation, adding personal touches to communication methods can pay dividends in resonating with audiences who are craving a little bit of meaningful engagement.

Adam Holden-Bache, director of email marketing at Eventys and published author, believes that over the next decade email will become fully automated with 100% personalized messages being delivered through AI solutions. Today, we can see this gradual change taking place in real-time as we move towards hyper-personalized experiences online. Although fully-fledged artificial intelligence solutions aren’t readily available today, amazing results can be achieved through manual personalization methods.

Personalisation email marketing

(Image: Upland Software)

Using stats provided by your ESP, it’s easy to cater to the needs of your customers and create email content that’s a direct result of the subscriber’s individual behavior, history, preferences and interests.

According to research, personalized messages carry an ROI of 122%, whereas the National client email report states that targeted emails generate 58% of all revenue. As more businesses adapt to an increasingly online marketplace in 2021, these numbers can help your company to thrive in a congested environment.

Recommendations email marketing

(Image: Inuera)

One of the market leaders when it comes to online content is Netflix. Not only do the streaming giants make sure to include hyper-personalized subject lines and conversation starters that get noticed, the platform also taps into its algorithmic insights on user behaviour to create bespoke recommendations that are virtually unignorable for consumers.

Of course, your business may not be blessed with the wildly advanced array of insights that Netflix can tap into to provide automated hyper-personalization. But there are some useful ways in which you can leverage a more personalized approach in your content:

  • Be sure to nail your segmentation
  • Optimize send times according to each user’s historical open patterns
  • Use dynamic content depending on the user that you’re targeting
  • Look to generate a personal brand connection
  • Create individualized destinations

2. Incorporating AI Into Email Practices

Artificial intelligence is still a somewhat baffling concept for a lot of companies. Both those unfamiliar with the world of marketing and hardened marketers are sceptical about the future of AI within email marketing.

However, the reality is that there’s far more data available online than any marketer could ever begin to collect and process - even if they’re using the most advanced technology and cutting-edge software. Additionally, artificial intelligence is capable of tapping into this level of data in a far more competent manner with minimal effort.

Artificial intelligence

(Image: State of Sales Report)

List segmentation, content analysis and optimized outreach are just three examples of tasks AI can already outperform humans on. There’s also evidence that the scope of ability that artificial intelligence possesses will increase throughout 2021. Eventually, the technology will be capable of performing human tasks.

This year, the most adaptive companies will scale faster thanks to AI solutions and the incorporation of them into marketing strategies - including that of email marketing.

3. Champion Authenticity and Wholesome Content

There are two key reasons behind the necessity of establishing authentic and more wholesome content within your email marketing strategy. The first stems from the fact that, in a 2020 where the term ‘doomscrolling’ became the word of the year in New Zealand, consumers have clearly been fed enough negative reinforcement online to crave a reversal and digest more good news.

Trust in companies

(Image: Marketing Charts)

Another reason is that consumers are evidently losing faith in the things that companies say and do. By spending 2021 revamping the kind of content you offer in your newsletters and personalized emails, you can look to rebuild a sense of authenticity surrounding your product and restore faith in your brand.

Authenticity email marketing

Although the example above from Patagonia is clearly a simple automated response to a mailing list conversion, it first discusses the values that Patagonia stands for before relaying the benefits that will come with their decision to sign up. The email also makes sure that it reassures the recipient that their information will never be passed on to third parties - a real bugbear of many consumers.

The better implement more authenticity and wholesomeness into your content, think about how you can help your audience to succeed in achieving their goals. Can you help them to save time? Could you entertain them? Or possibly leave them better connected and involved?

Always look to craft email content that uses your knowledge, personality and community and look to appeal directly to the passions of your audience profile.

4. The Return of The Plain Text Email

The pandemic has heavily influenced how businesses use their time and resources when it comes to marketing. Reassessing outputs and ways of working has led some companies to explore going back to basics when it comes to email.

For instance, is your current email marketing approach as smart as it can be? And are your time-intensive processes delivering a sufficient ROI? Email marketing is a great approach to winning conversions because it can be stripped back accordingly when finances or operations call for it.

Plain emails can do a similar job to that of HTML-laden emails and can be a significant time saver for companies all while maintaining the aforementioned levels of personalization and wholesomeness that 2021 audiences are likely to crave. This approach can also help recipients to feel as though they’re being reached out to directly without any inclusion of gimmicks.

Further contributing to the email marketing trend of authentic one-to-one communications, this form of email can recapture the essence of a company’s message away from the all signing, all dancing HTML-driven norm of today.

In a 2021 landscape that’s set to be dominated by the pursuit of businesses and consumers to find some levels of normality amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, there could be room for companies willing to go back to basics to prosper. Sometimes, there are few more authentic approaches to marketing than those that come from a simple standpoint.

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