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Email Marketing Trends For 2020
Babatunde Kujore article

It’s time to start looking ahead to what 2020 may bring with our annual series of blogs dedicated to the biggest marketing trends for the year ahead.

Outside the world of marketing, things are increasingly unpredictable. Rewind back to 2010 and you’d be hard-pressed to find anybody capable of predicting the decade that was about to unfold.

Luckily for us, however, marketing trends - and digital trends, in particular - are slightly more predictable. With the amount of data we have at our fingertips, it’s now easier to know which tools, tactics and technologies are working and which are becoming less effective.

For this blog, we’re joined by a selection of the world's leading email marketers who have identified their key email marketing trends to stay on top of in 2020 and beyond.

Email marketing has defied its critics in continuing to provide an array of benefits to marketers, from building trust to providing some of the greatest ROIs of any digital channel.

What's more, this year's DMA Email Benchmarking Report highlighted how email marketing has been reinvigorated following the introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Faced with the booming popularity of social media and search, email still serves up a distinct set of benefits that other media streams struggle to match, but there are developments on the horizon that you need to be prepared for...


  • It's time to think mobile

Across your digital marketing channels, you’ll be noticing changes that are designed not just to optimize for mobile, but to even prioritize mobile as we move into 2020.

Mobile browsing has now surpassed desktop browsing in terms of percentage traffic:

This percentage share of traffic for mobile is not, for now, being matched in terms of where the majority of purchases are being made. Crucially, however, mobile’s percentage revenue has increased by 23% year-on-year, resulting in an acceleration of mobile optimization across almost every digital marketing channel.

The process of rendering has always been important when sending mass email communications. For reviewing the mobile viewing experience, however, rendering is now of even greater importance.

Most email service providers give you the ability to render emails across a range of devices, so it’s worth checking that your emails are providing a suitable user experience across all devices (and not just desktop when sending test emails to your work computer).

Testing has always been an indispensable step in the sending process. Now that emails can be viewed across so many different devices, however, you should be taking the time to guarantee that your emails are rendering across every device type.


  • Artificial Intelligence in email marketing

Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a term that seems to scare a lot of marketers, particularly if you’ve spent most of your career in traditional forms of marketing and advertising.

In truth, most of the AI that is discussed in the marketing world concerns the automation of processes. Marketing automation is centred around providing the most relevant content at the most suitable time to a specific individual or group, be they existing or potential customers. The intelligent part comes from how AI systems learn from past behaviours to shape future actions.

AI should be seen as the solution to a large number of your processes, rather than another terrifying technological advance to get your head around! It strives not only to replace the traditional (and somewhat arduous) segmentation processes currently in action but to completely transform the levels of relevancy that we, as marketers, are capable of providing to consumers.


  • Trust in email marketing (it’s going nowhere)

Many have been surprised by how email marketing has resisted some sizable external threats - the rise of social media and search and the introduction of GDPR, to name just a couple - in continuing to serve as such a key communication channel for digital marketers.

Now that the majority of recipients are only receiving emails having opted-in to receive them from particular senders, it’s a case of building upon the trust that they’ve shown you.


  • Data-driven marketing set to evolve

The technology in AI systems goes above and beyond anything email marketers have previously had access to, but there's so much more we could be doing with our current systems and databases.

A/B testing is a fantastic means of optimizing the wording and content of your emails to provide the greatest possible levels of engagement and ROI. There is, however, a lot of room for improvement in the ways that many of us are using this form of testing.

It’s likely that you’re already using data-driven marketing in one way or another. Over time, simple tweaks to your email content - based upon previous performance - can help to drive extra clicks, downloads, forwards and signups.

But if you can start to look at “data-driven marketing” from a “customer-driven marketing” perspective, you can start to think how your customers think and create experiences that they will engage with.


  • Final thoughts

As technological innovation continues to reshape email marketing, it’s reassuring to know that there’s plenty you can do at every level of your strategy to improve results.

The way that different demographics are engaging with your emails is changing, and that should be the basis for how you decide to interact with your subscribers as we enter 2020.

One thing is clear: email marketing is here to stay, which is further highlighted by Email Monday's 'The Future of Email Marketing'.


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