You’ve made it through the worst in 2020, business-wise. You deserve two pats on the back.
Now, if you’ve been working with email marketing for some time, you’re already familiar with the little box of surprises that it is. Just like in SEO, you never know what news the next year will bring. The same thing happened all throughout 2020: we didn’t know what would come next. Would we lose our jobs? Would we be logging in and out of Zoom meetings for all eternity? We just didn’t know.
But we adapted. We trusted the predictions. And here we are, safer and sounder.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that we should always be on the lookout for updates and best practices. Otherwise, we’ll be left behind. Your business depends heavily on conversions, and you’re already familiar with the crazy ROI email marketing brings to the table. So, if 2020 wasn’t your year, the time to switch gears and make email marketing a priority starts now.
Let’s make good use of a crystal ball, shall we? But this is by no means mere fortune-telling — it’s evidence. The following predictions are exactly what has been working like mad in the email realm, and what you should focus on for the year. All chewed up for you.
So here we go. Let’s see 5 email marketing predictions for a productive and profitable 2021.
Your Customers Will Love to Interact With Your Emails
Regardless of your age, you love to play around with interactive designs and seeing fun things move. Don’t lie to yourself. Switching colors and patterns is fun, and plus, interactive designs do one thing beautifully: they allow subscribers to get a “feel” for a certain product before purchasing it. That’s gold because it expertly eliminates objections the prospect might have before a purchase, such as “what will it look like when it arrives?”.
Here’s an example: imagine that you’re buying a new pair of sneakers, and you want to see what they’ll look like in your favorite color and a bunch of different patterns without having to open another tab. With an interactive email design, you can. And you’ll love it because you won’t become impatient since it’s all in one place.
And by the way, interactive content makes for fun surveys. For instance, check out this email Harry’s sent to their subscribers about the art of scent-matching:
I don’t know about you, but even people who aren’t really interested in men’s products would want to take this quiz. Because…it’s fun. It’s colorful. There are illustrations. And, most importantly, you never know what you’re going to get in the end. And people are curious, so this will keep them entertained and delighted.
Sometimes, interactive email elements are simply fun GIFs that will have you dying to click on them and play like a child.
Leads Will Read Your Emails—But Only if It Looks Like It’s Written Just for Them
Jeff wants to be the first to know when a new product comes out, whereas Mary loves weekly informational content. Both subscribe to the same email list.
What’s the solution here? Personalization.
We’re not talking about stuff like “Mary, we have a surprise for you” as the subject line. In fact, subscribers are growing used to this personalization tactic. They want more than just someone calling out their name.
What they’re subconsciously claiming for is segmentation. It’s the act of dividing your subscribers into sections–pretty much like customer personas–and delivering exactly what they want right into their inboxes. Discovering each group’s pain points, age group, and preferences will take some work, but what doesn’t?
A dirty little trick that everyone knows about but not everyone employs is creating in-depth customer personas. You have no idea how easier your work will be down the road if you know exactly who your customers are.
Once you’ve sailed through the discovery process and created email content targeted toward each group, you’ll simply use your email marketing tool of choice.
These tools are rockstars and they save you tons of time you’d be spending with pointless guesswork. They’ll let you send segmented lists based on the pages your subscribers visit on your site, who has clicked on your CTAs, their sign-up dates, activity, age, location, and much more.
Nice Templates Will Get Their Undivided Attention
If you’ve been reading email marketing predictions for a while now, you’ve probably read that text-only emails are all the rage. And that’s true to some extent.
Text-only emails are fast, compatible everywhere, and mobile-friendly, which is great. As long as they’re clear, readable, and most of all, scannable, you’re good to go. But of course, sometimes you’ll need to add a little color for a change.
Lucky for you, designing responsive, mobile-friendly, and beautiful email templates takes little to no work on your part. A good email marketing platform (ahem, the ones mentioned in the previous topic) will help you with that. Really, a lot of them come with ready-to-use templates. All you have to do is switch fonts, colors, and hierarchy to your liking, so be sure to do it wisely.
Here’s to emails that look less generic and more engaging. Like this one from Grammarly:
By the way, make sure your template designs are responsive, so they adjust to any screen size without any issues.
GDPR Compliance Will Be Required for Privacy Concerns
Wanna see your number of subscribers shrink?
Take yourself as an example. Have you ever clicked any of those emails, from whatever company? You haven’t. In fact, a lot of subs use those types of emails as gateways to unsubscription.
But hey, don’t blame the marketers. All they’re trying to do is follow GDPR-compliant guidelines. In simple terms, the GDPR is a regulation that aims to protect the privacy and personal data of EU citizens. Not complying could jeopardize European companies, as customers will often blame a company for data that’s been lost or hacked.
But GDPR compliance can go beyond just sending out annoying emails. It can start with a simple step such as giving subscribers the option to unsubscribe from your mailing list and making it crystal clear how to do it, which should have been a no brainer to begin with.
It’s also a good idea to add your complete contact information to the bottom of the email (phone number, direct contact email, company name, and preferably a logo) so it’s easier for subscribers to reach out to you in case they want their data removed from your system.
It’s also smart to let them know why and where they’ve subscribed to you in the first place, otherwise your emails could be mistaken for those spammy ones. They don’t want that, and neither do you. One tiny slip and you could be accidentally losing subs.
Automation Will Save You Hours and Hours in a Day
This is probably one of the most important tips you can get when it comes to email marketing. Email automation makes the process less laborious. It makes you enjoy email, especially when you start reaping the benefits of your work.
Sending individual emails to each of your subs is out of the question, as you’d need at least 5 more hours in your day. The answer is email automation. Automation allows you to interact with all groups of subscribers in a personalized way while wasting much less time.
When automated, your emails reach your audience when they’re more likely to see them. Now, imagine if you had to lie in wait for the perfect time to manually send emails to your subs. That would be brutal. Thanks to automation, you can schedule your emails according to your segments and you’re done.
With automation, there are a lot of ways you can get your leads to finally respond to your CTA:
Creating a welcome series. You want to show subscribers your appreciation. After all, they’ve just added yet one more email list to their already jam-packed inbox. Creating a welcome series is the least you can do to thank them for their time, as well as let them know what to expect from your list and ask what kind of content they like best. And you’ll give it to them.
Sending trigger emails. Trigger emails are sent based on subscriber activity and special occasions such as birthdays. You could program a trigger email when it’s their birthday to show your appreciation, and then send them trigger emails whenever there’s a new product launch, for instance. If they’re active visitors to your website’s product pages, they’ll like that.
Nurturing subs with drip campaigns. Don’t assume subscribers will respond to your CTA in the first opportunity. Bluntly speaking, they have better stuff to do. Your job is to nurture them with content you know they’ll respond to, whether that’s updates, cool information, or a roundup of the most-read blog posts of the week. Keep them entertained, and you just might get the click.
Email automation works perfectly for both the brand new and seasoned subscriber. They all need their daily dose of attention, after all.
The Bottom Line
Not really sure what’s been going on last year, but if, like with everybody else, it wasn’t your most profitable year, then 2021 can change that.
That’s not to say you should ignore all of your marketing endeavors on account of email, but that you should prioritize email, instead. If you can’t do it all by yourself with the help of your tools, it pays to outsource, it really does. A professional content writer will seamlessly adapt your brand’s voice into every email, and write stellar newsletters while you get busy doing something else.
But the marketing automation platforms will help you the most. Without them, you’d have to do everything manually – -segmentation, automation, template design — just like they did in the stone age. So you should be thankful.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
Ours is to help you keep your email lists clean so your campaigns are more profitable.