Email marketing is one of the oldest channels around, and it remains one of the most effective ways to reach your customers. By appearing in their inboxes, you can stay top-of-mind and greet them with your messaging at just the right time — when they’re ready to make a purchase.
But like all of digital marketing, the email game has changed a lot in recent years. We’re taking a look at some of the biggest marketing trends to watch in 2020, so let me walk you through what’s in store for email in 2020 and tell you what you need to know about this digital marketing standby.
1. It’s Time to Get Mobile-Friendly
All of the internet has grown mobile-friendly. That’s because we’re using our phones more often than we use our desktop or laptop computers these days.
In 2019, 80% of people who used the internet accessed it from a mobile device. In the U.S., 63% of all visits to Google came from a mobile device.
And it’s not just internet searches that are happening more frequently on mobile devices. Nearly 42% of all emails opened during the first quarter of 2019 were accessed on a phone or tablet. All this is to say that this mobile trend isn’t going anywhere, and you need to be ready to shine on these smaller screens.
When it comes to email, that means:
- Creating a responsive design that will adjust to be clean and legible on any screen size. Selecting an email platform that allows you to use responsive design is critical.
- And, remember: Send yourself a test email to make sure everything looks great on both your desktop and phone before sending the mailing out to your entire list.
2. Segmented Lists Lead to Greater Personalization
Personalization has been a growing trend in marketing over the past few years. And that’s because it gets results; businesses have seen email clickthrough rates increase when they personalize email subject lines and the content of the email.
When it comes to personalization, you can use tags to address emails to individuals on your mailing list, but segmentation allows you to take things a step further and personalize the content of the emails as well. By grouping your customers by attributes and past behaviors, you can send them targeted messages that are most likely to resonate with them. Personalization is a big asset for emails and an important reason to segment your lists. One study showed that personalized calls to action converted 202% better than a default call to action.
If you have a group of customers who haven’t bought from you in a while, send them an email welcoming them back with 10% off their next purchase. If you have a group of people that are loyal, repeat buyers of a particular product, email them when you have a new related product, providing them with a sneak peek and offering them first dibs on the item. When you segment your lists based on existing data on your customers, you can take your personalization efforts to the next level and catch the eye of consumers.
3. Don’t Just Sell — Add Value
When some people hear the words “email marketing,” they might think “selling.” In reality, though, marketing teams who are focused only on making the sale in their email messages are hurting themselves.
Email shouldn’t be reserved for making offers, announcing sales, or trying to upsell following a recent purchase. It can be a way to build trust and win over prospects early in their journey. It helps you remain top-of-mind with prospects who aren’t ready to make a purchase, and it serves as a way to surprise and delight your existing customers.
How can your emails add value, rather than just sell? Consider putting together an informational email series on a topic that matters to your customers.
Do you run a landscaping business? Create a series of emails that walk readers through how to care for their lawn from month-to-month, from getting it looking great at the start of spring, to keeping it green and lush during the hot summer months, to taking preparatory steps to help it survive a long, cold winter.
When you provide guidance, you establish yourself as an industry expert — and who doesn’t want to do business with a knowledgeable brand? Not only that, but you turn yourself into a sympathetic ear and a caring resource. You understand the trials and tribulations your customer might be facing, and you’re here with free, no-strings solutions to their most pressing issues.
4. Incorporate Video in Your Email
Everyone’s talking about video marketing. It’s been on the rise in all marketing channels for the past few years, and smart marketers are looking for ways to include video anywhere and everywhere.
Email marketing should be no exception. Embedding video content in your emails is a great alternative to long, text-heavy messages. While people are opening emails on-the-go from their mobile devices, they might not have time to read a lengthy email.
Maybe they’re driving or riding the subway on their morning commute. Or perhaps they only have a minute before they hop on a conference call or dash into a meeting. But they do have time to watch a quick, one-minute video message from your brand.
We’re also seeing two trends, personalization and video, come together in the form of personalized video messages to prospects. Sales teams are now able to create videos for individual prospects, address them by name, and answer their specific questions. This is a great way to stand out from other brands who are sending generic videos or replying to prospects’ questions in the traditional way.
5. Interactive Content Wins Attention
As I mentioned above, today’s email readers are on the go, in a rush, and don’t have time to read long missives from any brand. In fact, they often don’t have time to interact with any sort of generic or trite content.
That’s why interactive content can help you stand out and win the day with consumers. Brands are now incorporating polls, surveys, and quizzes directly in their emails. While your audience likely won’t carve out the time to read a long, sales-y email, they might take a moment to engage with a fun, branded quiz.
Marketers are also using interactive content in email to make it easier for existing customers to leave feedback and reviews. While happy customers might not have the time to go searching for your business on Yelp, Google My Business, or Facebook to leave a positive word, if you reach out with a link that makes it easy for them to write a review on their platform of choice, you drive more of them to say something nice about you.
Just because email marketing has been around for a while doesn’t mean it’s any less effective than other marketing channels. In fact, when you apply some of the broader marketing trends to your existing email strategy, you can supercharge your efforts and win new attention for your brand.
Not sure where to start? Check out our targeted email marketing solutions to learn more about how we can help.