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Email Marketing Trends to Keep Your Campaign Relevant in 2020

May 20, 2019

Are you up to date with your email campaign?

Despite how many proven email newsletter strategies you’ve put to use in your campaign, any serious email marketing expert still worries how their campaign compares to those of their competitors.

How is your campaign gaining an edge over your competitors’ emails in your subscribers’ inboxes? Are you staying on top of new trends in the industry to make sure your campaign doesn’t look outdated?

We’ll go over the recent industry trends to assess where email marketing campaigns are in 2020 so you feel confident that you are up to speed with your campaigns.

Email marketing trends in 2020

Before we look ahead to see what you can do to improve your email newsletter, let’s examine some recent trends in email marketing and how they’ve impacted the industry.

1. More email targeting

As the use of email automation and AI (such as in a drip campaign) increases, so does email targeting. What does this constitute?

The lines between the emails that are sent to a subscriber and their interactions with your brand on your company’s site, social media, and other non-email platforms are more fluid than ever. Every action an email subscriber takes can be targeted, and thus personalization within emails increases.

Often referred to as the “Spotify model” due to the music streaming service’s curation of personalized playlists based on user activity, email targeting is an opportunity for a marketer to elicit a response from a reader that is driven from addressing the customer’s direct needs and desires instead of blindly searching to fit the customer within a funnel.

From pushing certain products on subscribers to suggesting particular posts or articles from your brand’s blog, email targeting is creating ample opportunity for all subscribers to have a uniquely personal email campaign arrive in their inbox. Marketers can now own the personal journey of the subscriber instead of taking a guess as to what they want to receive in their inboxes, which only increases the odds of engagement from the reader.

2. Segmented customer journeys

There is no longer a one-size-fits-all funnel, journey, or customer experience. As new marketing tactics such as greater automation and personalization are on the rise, the size and scope of the marketing funnel needs to change.

Replacing this funnel are segmented, personalized customer journeys instead of a giant path in which marketers force-feed the same message to all customers. What does this change mean for the email marketer?

The customer journey, not just the ultimate goal of a sale, should be the focus of your emails. Instead of thinking about where your customer is in a funnel, think about their specific needs and wants at the moment. What can attract their attention to your brand?

TIP: Take a sneak peak into the buyer's intent to gather data that can be applied to your next email marketing strategy. 

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The answer doesn’t have to be a special deal or coupon. It can be a relevant article or blog post that relates to their job or interests. It can be an opportunity for them to learn more about your brand’s commitment to service or sustainability.

Your default setting as a marketer is to focus the customer journey on how you will make a sale. In 2020, it’s time to break free from that default setting and remove your customer from a funnel. Think about the complexity of their interests and desires, and see how your email campaign can best address them.

3. More holistic customer journeys

With the advent of easily accessible competition, it has been imperative in recent years that email marketing keeps the end goal in mind when appealing to customers.

Part of focusing on the entire sales funnel and customer journey is making sure that email marketers are working with the other forms of marketing employed by the brand. With countless outlets your brand is able to establish its presence on, it is necessary that all of these messages align and fit together to bring a holistic presentation of your brand to the customer.

This importance on all aspects of the customer journey is necessary for making sure your brand is communicating a consistent and aligned message. It will also help your emails fit nicely into the customer’s path from learning about your company to further engagement and hopefully becoming a reliable customer.

4. Improved customer experience

As the competition increases with email marketing and personalization takes hold of the industry, focus on the customer experience has increased in terms of the main objectives of email marketers. The challenge with keeping customer experience at the center comes with the many new forms of marketing and brand awareness that have come about in recent years due to an explosion of different media outlets where your brand can establish itself.

Think about every experience that a customer has with a business. This can range from website visits, targeted advertisements, emails, and other browsing such as on the company’s social media accounts. With all of these different channels for customers to engage with a brand in recent years, marketers have had to ensure that every platform a customer might interact with communicates the brand’s value.

As one of the primary ways that customers interact with your brand, your email campaign needs to align with all of the experiences your customers have on other platforms.

5. The rise of interactive emails

Manageable “microsites” are going to be all the rage in 2020 when it comes to email marketing. These are essentially a type of interactive email that allows people to actually interact with the email interface without having to click on a different link. These emails can feature integrated surveys, social sharing, videos, menu options and so much more.

All in all, these “microsites” will help to keep the email recipient more engaged than ever and help to retain more customers than the simple and somewhat boring standard emails. These emails hand customers all they need to see and know, right in the inbox, without having to go anywhere else.

6. Stronger data protection

For years, companies of all kinds have been carelessly selling and collecting customer information, and with privacy more important than ever, this needs to be addressed. While customers know you likely collect data and use this data to create a better experience, they don’t want this information used to harass or bother them.

In order for email marketing to be successful, the customers might trust you and believe that you will honor their protection and not give their data away without letting them know. If they don’t trust you, they are unlikely to give you their email at all.

7. Increased use of a conversational tone

The tone that you utilize in an email is incredibly important when it comes to how your customers respond and understand your email. Some emails sound like they were written by a robot, and others will sound like a real and actual person put time into them.

While using a conversational tone won’t always work in different industries or sectors, it can be a safe bet to give emails a personal and genuine tone. This can be a great way to have more people connect with your company or brand, more so than an overly technical and “buttoned up” email ever could.

Where to go from here

Advancements in communication platforms, be it email marketing software, webpages, or social media, have changed the landscape of email marketing. However, regardless of these changes, getting to the customer’s needs and wants should still be the primary goal of any email marketer in 2020. Keep your customer at the center of your campaigns as a base, and then by keeping up with these trends, your email campaigns will be stand out compared to others on the market.

See the Easiest-to-Use Email Marketing Software →

Email Marketing Trends to Keep Your Campaign Relevant in 2020 Looking to stay up to date with recent email marketing trends? Look no further than this guide on where the email marketing industry is in 2020.
Rob Browne Rob is a former content associate at G2. Originally from New Jersey, he previously worked at an NYC-based business travel startup. (he/him/his)

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