Whether we’re marketing for a small business or a Fortune 500 company, we work tirelessly to build positive brand recognition, educate consumers, and drive conversions. To do so, these days, marketers rely on innovative digital marketing options that are successful in creating a solid communication between brands and their audience. One such mode of communication that stands out from the rest is email. Despite the growth in the use of social messaging apps, over 90% of adults and over 74% of teenagers in the U.S. are using email.
With its ability to quickly cross borders and time zones with ease, email communication virtually opens your business to users around the world. In fact, according to HubSpot, over 3.9 billion daily email users, 73% of millennials prefer email as their main source of business communication. Since it is such an important mode of communication, many businesses choose email marketing as a primary means of connecting with their audience, instead of social media.
Why is email marketing effective for businesses?
Being a powerful digital marketing tool, email can help you create more awareness for your brand, expand your customer base, and build customer trust and loyalty. It will showcase your industry expertise quickly and cost-effectively, and, ultimately, grow your revenue too.
Benefits of email marketing include:
- Helps you attract and convert new customers as well as retain your current ones
- Provides an impressive return on investment (ROI)
- Improve customer retention
- Establish authority
- Boost conversions and sales
- Helps identify your customers’ needs
- Deliver targeted messages
- Easy to get started, share and measure
- Offer instant impacts
- Helps to grow your brand
Email Marketing in 2021
Though email marketing is one of the top digital marketing tools for businesses, rumors that email marketing had only one last breath to make were doing the rounds at the beginning of 2020. However, if you look at it now, it seems to have been a false alarm, because over the last year, due to the pandemic, companies have swiftly shifted to digital channels, making email marketing hot again. HubSpot reports that email marketers are sending 27% more emails than they did before the coronavirus struck.
From this statistic, it’s quite clear that any plans and trends can change easily. The global pandemic has really stirred things up in the marketing world; in 2020, we all have seen some big changes and 2021 is likely to bring even more changes. So, as a digital marketer, it’s important to pay attention to all these new trends as it helps you stay on top of changing best practices without disrupting your entire marketing strategy.
Among the many changes in the marketing world last year are changes in email marketing trends too. So, to keep your brand ahead of the curve and your competitors, we draw your attention to 4 top email marketing trends for 2021:
Hyper-Personalization Matters A Lot: Over the last couple of years, marketers have found that one of the best ways to generate more revenue through email marketing is by adopting complete personalization.
Personalization means marketers customizing their consumer data within their email content to make the content feel tailor-made for the receiver. However, in 2021, you won’t sway your consumers by just adding their name in your email subject line and email copy. You need to upgrade your personalized content to hyper-personalized content. That is because consumers are now looking for content that gives information relevant to them, and feels like it was meant only for them.
According to Campaign Monitor, emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Similarly, Experian also found that personalized emails get 6X higher transaction rates.
Lack of personalization in email marketing campaign can result in anything from mailing list degradation to a large failure of the campaign because of increased costs. Therefore, start using hyper-personalized content for email marketing by using segmentation and dynamic content process. The process of segmentation involves grouping email subscribers into smaller segments based on certain criteria – location, purchase history, interests, behavior, and a lot more. Using these segments, marketers can create content that is specifically crafted for each segment instead of sending the same message to everyone. An email marketer can make this process much easier if they have an email marketing service that allows for the use of dynamic content- that is, any personalized part of a marketing email that changes depending on the segment of your audience receiving the email. This content generally changes based on the preferences, interests, and behavior of the recipient.
When creating email marketing campaigns using dynamic content, a marketer can save a great deal of time, as they can create multiple versions of the same email and customize the email to show a specific element only to a specific segment of their audience.
The business world is expected to focus on email marketing hyper-personalization in 2021, as the importance of personalization trend strengthens every day.
NOTE: Email personalization should come across as natural, that is, just because you have information about a consumer, you shouldn’t use it all the time. By personalizing your email, your readers should not feel as if it is forced; instead, it should make it easier to build a personal connection with your readers.
Integrating Artificial Intelligence: Artificial intelligence (AI), that continues to be adopted across several industry verticals, has also been pushing its way into the marketing niche for the past few years. Incorporating AI in email marketing campaigns helps to create content and assets that speak to customers, delivers higher conversions, and increases your ROI. Using customer data and machine learning to anticipate customer needs and improve their experience, AI is capable of dealing with these entire tasks with minimal effort.
The use of Artificial Intelligence also makes it easier to ensure the above discussed trend hyper-personalization, as it helps to acquire more data about your customers. It can outsmart humans in handling tasks such as segmentation, content analysis and effective outreach.
Though AI is still a confusing concept for many businesses, and both marketing newbies and even more experienced marketers are skeptical about the use of AI for email marketing, in the near future, it’s believed that the scope of AI’s abilities is increasing, meaning it’s time to get a grip on how to use Artificial Intelligence to optimize your email marketing campaigns effectively.
Interactive Emails: The holy grail of email marketing, an interactive email provides the functionality necessary for recipients to take actions the senders desire. This email is a great chance to boost user engagement and significantly increase email interaction as it incorporates elements that allow subscribers to add items to their shopping cart, book a room, take a quiz, and watch a video directly in their inbox. This trend which has already been around for a while is going to grow stronger in 2021.
Some interactive email elements that are expected to shine in 2021 are:
- Animated buttons and call-to-actions (CTAs)
- Rollover effects to showcase product and offerings
- Offer reveals
- Hamburger menus and search options
- Countdown timer to promote any sale or event
- Interactive image and product collapsible carousels
- Accordion features designed to make emails more compact
- Add-to-cart functionality
According to a report by Martech Advisor, 73% of increase is witnessed for the click-to-open rate with the interactive email content. Also, according to the report, adding videos to your email content can boost click rates up to 300%.
Email Marketing Automation: Traditionally, in an email marketing campaign, a marketer will decide when and why a specific email is sent to mailing list subscribers. But in 2021, we are going to witness a great change — that is, email marketing is going from manual campaigning to automated email marketing more often.
Email marketing automation, also known drip campaign, refers to an email marketing strategy that uses sequences of trigger-based emails instead of one-time shots. To ensure consistent and organized communication between the subscribers and the company, trigger-based emails play a greater role than regular email campaigns. It also gives the subscriber a sense of control over their inbox.
Some email marketing automation tactics that would work in 2021 are:
- Creating a welcome email series as it is a great way to onboard your new subscribers, set expectations, and increase engagement.
- Send better transactional emails as they have open rates up to 8X higher than any other email and can generate up to 6X more revenue, according to Campaign Monitor.
- Send anniversary or birthday emails and let your customers or subscribers know that you’re thinking about them. If you can, add a special discount as it will help to boost your revenue.
- Send emails based on website activity. For this, you can integrate any email marketing automation tools with your website and trigger email campaigns depending on the actions visitors take on your website.
- Send emails informing your customers of upcoming expirations of their subscription, account, or policy with you.
Though the pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses around the world, it also presented brands an opportunity to try out new digital marketing trends and strategies. Moving into 2021, we can expect businesses to pay even more attention to customers’ needs, and focus on reforming their brands and business models to ensure a human-centered approach with these new email marketing trends.