We asked marketers what to expect in email in 2021. What to prepare for and how to work with new technologies, content, design, user data. What industries will stop using email and which will start.
I will not hide it, I was expecting in 2020 a technological revolution in the industry associated with the widespread use of interactive letters AMP. I didn’t wait.
This year, however, AMP has gone from being the complicated toy it was in 2019 to becoming a fairly familiar tool. The threshold of entry into the technology has decreased – many things can be done in design services, and marketers have gained experience.
Our cases show that AMP dramatically changes the engagement of the subscriber – no one will throw away the opportunity to receive actions from 80-90% of the readers of the letter, and this means that the technology has a future and more examples will appear in 2021. De facto AMP won’t become a standard, but every self-respecting email marketer will conduct a couple of experiments and make conclusions: what scripts and how to translate to AMP.
This will make some people smile, but, man, in 2021 email marketing will continue to capture new markets. I’m betting growth in healthcare – clinics will feel the pull to communicate directly with the customer. Medical marketers will realize that not everything is reduced to Instagram (but it’s not certain). In addition to medicine, we expect growth in pharmacy, logistics and even FMCG (here there will be a transition from mass communication to personal).
There will be two trends in the design of letters. The first one – call-to-action letters will become simpler. The number of possible actions in the letter will shrink, there will be less and less product displays. Letters will strive to give the main offer and beautifully present several products included in it. The amount of reader attention we feel in the letter is constantly dropping, and scattering that attention over secondary appeals will become downright dangerous. Longhand letters will remain only in B2B and difficult topics, like business literature.
On the other hand, more and more creativity will be put into the main offerer’s pitch (the main CTA). If we used to say that today’s letters look a lot like a lender’s letter, now they will tend to turn into a bright colorful flyer, at least in the first screen of the letter. In fact, if we look at the winning letters in our Email-Competitors Awards – the trend is already there. Take a look at Decathlon’s latest newsletters – they are just the most revealing.
Automation and triggered newsletters will continue to take over the market – abandoned baskets and views engaging series have already become the de facto standard. In the next year, I expect to see an increased focus on RFM-based segmentation triggers, especially among those projects that are not suited to various recommendation algorithms. We see email marketing becoming more and more closely intertwined with the CRM processes in the business every year. It’s still not always easy technologically, but it’s already completely impossible strategically without it. An email marketer who doesn’t know and isn’t interested in how their company’s customer service operations work risks losing their profession. CJM, LTV, CRR – will enter our life on a par with OR or CTOR.
Competition for attention
In general, all of the above things will cause the competition to increase again. Again. That’s the sad news – it means that it will get tighter in the user’s inbox, someone will probably notice a decrease in performance. The good news is that we still have room to grow. Our user load is still lower than in the States, and mailings haven’t stopped doing good things there.
I want to say that we’re waiting for the growth of attention in omnichannel, but… We probably won’t. Technologically we were ready for it a couple of years ago, but we don’t see any fundamental changes. Representatives of services will complement me, but among customers, as well as cases that appear on the market – all is quiet. Much attention is paid only to chat-bots, which in itself is not bad, but there is a feeling that this is “instead of” rather than “together”. And that’s for nothing.
Automate email newsletters
Send chains of welcome, abandoned cart, reactivation trigger messages, combining email, SMS and web push within the same chain.
Set up triggered newsletters
Using new formats and new technologies
AMP technologies, the use of personalized feeds, the formation of personalized offers within apps and websites, surveys and payments within emails, carousels, and everything else – all this will only evolve and take root. Already at this point, it’s clear that engagement is steadily coming to the forefront of channel development, and this requires constant improvement and experimentation.
Closer connection to the product and transferring the customer experience to communications
Experiences with brands on third-party platforms such as social media and communications become part of the global customer experience, for which the same metrics and rules apply. The value of the contact increases manifold, and we can finally say that email from the sales channel returns to its original purpose of maintaining communication, building loyalty and increasing engagement and awareness.
Minimizing manual labor
We are coming to the point where less and less manual work is required of the marketer and more and more head work. Templates and design are being unified and automated, conversions of all stripes are being pulled automatically and rebuilt based on different attribution models, everyone’s omnichannel is working at best, and finally the invaluable human resource is starting to be used for its direct purpose. Already today, in most cases, the email marketer is more about introductions and innovations than about layout and coming up with topics, and I think this trend will continue.
Content emails and the second breath of plain-text
Quarantine has ruined many trends and tendencies – such as: no one reads a lot of information, no one responds to emails, and no one perceives text without pictures. It seems to me that truly high quality and what is important – alive content becomes popular and in demand in the format of newsletters. Suddenly it turned out that people really lack live people behind brands and Influencers.
Data protection and legislative innovations
Data is the new oil, and legislation to protect it will rapidly evolve and modernize. A number of new laws come into force in Ukraine, GDPR in Europe and the initiatives of the Russian legislation make life harder for spammers, and at the same time bring the relationship with the client to a new field in the field of communications.
2021 is very dependent on the development of the pandemic. If people continue to sit at home and work remotely, it will drive some discoveries. If they go back to the office and start traveling, then to others. But it’s more likely to be the first option.