Top Email Marketing Trends to Watch For in 2021

Spam isn't cool, but video emails are

As data and interactivity take center stage, email marketing is slated to become more personalized and engaging.

Having survived the rise of Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok and other social media platforms, email marketing still has huge marketing potential. More than 4.4 billion people worldwide are expected to be using email by 2024. Such a massive user base makes it a powerful platform for businesses to directly reach out to their target audiences.

But a cookie-cutter approach isn’t enough. Gone are the days when you could randomly send out mass emails to promote your latest offers. As the way people interact online changes with new devices and technologies, it’s important that your email marketing strategy keeps up with the evolving times.

Look back upon some email marketing trends that caught our attention in 2020. Some of them are still effective, so you can leverage them again.

Videos in emails are a hit

Video email marketing can be a great way to convey a lot of information without making your emails text-heavy. For tutorials and how-to videos, it’s a great platform. What’s more, 91% of consumers revealed that they watch an explainer video to learn more about a service or product.

It’s also important to prioritize concise content over wordiness. Long paragraphs can look cluttered and make your email harder to read. 

Responsive design is important

Forty-six percent of all email opens come from mobile devices. With such a large number of mobile users, responsiveness proved to be a crucial factor to create successful email campaigns. Mobile-friendly templates enabled users to read and view emails seamlessly, even on smaller screens.

Spamming is not cool

For the past couple years, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has tightened restrictions on spam emails. Now the majority of users only receive emails that they have actually opted for. As privacy becomes more important for users, email marketers are beginning to open up to the idea of adding an unsubscribe button to give them the option to opt out as well. 

If recipients are unable to find an option to unsubscribe, they can mark your email as spam. Being identified as a spammer can affect your spam score and overall sender reputation. This, in turn, can further affect your email deliverability. To avoid this, you should always add an unsubscribe button that is easily visible.

Spamming can also be detrimental to your brand’s reputation. According to Adam Robinson, CEO of GetEmails, an email marketing platform, you should “pull unengaged people (off your email list) after three days to protect your reputation.”

Data is everything

With dwindling attention spans, users quickly want to know what’s in it for them with every brand interaction. If you want them to engage with your emails, you need to provide relevant experiences to them based on their preferences. 

In fact, 72% of consumers engage only with those marketing messages that are tailored to their interests. With advances in machine learning, personalization isn’t just restricted to adding a subscriber’s name in the subject line. You can store user data and send them celebratory emails on birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions. Chipotle uses this strategy to engage their subscribers and even offer them a special gift.

Through predictive analysis, you can also find the most optimal times to send your emails. All in all, you can control every little detail to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are engaging for your target users.

It’s all about integration

In 2021, the biggest mistake an email marketer can make is to believe that it’s OK to operate in a silo. Even when consumers aren’t checking their inboxes, they are likely to be active on social media channels and visiting other websites. They can reach you through multiple touch points, so you need to take a unified approach to their customer journeys.

To take a more integrated approach, you can add social sharing buttons to your emails. When someone opens your email, it allows them to share your email content on social media platforms. 

Interactivity is most engaging

Interactive elements can instantly make even the most mundane ad copy engaging. When you give people something to play with, they are more likely to be interested. By adding an interactive element, you can get the reader engaged. Interactive maps, polls, quizzes, GIFs, games and other such elements can add some fun to your emails.

You can also tease your product with a cool rollover effect. When a user hovers over a particular element, it can reveal some part of the product. Nike used this effect creatively to showcase product tips and descriptions in their email campaigns.

Looking ahead

As data and interactivity take center stage, email marketing is slated to become more personalized and engaging. Marketers who want to create successful campaigns also need to be cognizant of the fact that unsolicited emails aren’t welcome. If you haven’t started working on your email marketing strategy for the next year, it isn’t too late. Get started now.

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