This is the third of a 3-part blog series in which we explore 2020 email trends and best practices, including user-generated content, voice accessibility and artificial intelligence.
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We’ve spent the last several weeks focused on new trends in 2020 and best practices to prepare your business for success in the new decade. This week, we will wrap up our series by turning our attention to 2020 trends with email marketing.
This is the year to make sure you understand where email marketing is moving and anticipate what you need to do to future-proof your digital marketing strategy. How will business win in this ever evolving email landscape? What about those pesky prospects, customers, leads, subscribers and their behavior?
Thankfully you’re not alone. Here are some trends and useful suggestions to give you a leg-up on the competition.
Interactivity drives engagement. 2020 will potentially be marked as a year where more emails are opened on a mobile device than a desktop. Given that two-thirds of mobile users will delete an email if it’s not optimized, taking a responsive approach is the best way to stay current. Back in the early days of email marketing, interactivity was designed to entertain the recipient. In 2020 and beyond, it will be used more functionally to promote engagement and drive action.
The installation of interactive elements is important, but embedding them directly within the email will ensure readers stay where they are, take action and learn without needing to navigate to multiple external pages. While HTML capabilities and functionality are still evolving to create a one-stop-shop experience within email, the possibility exists for development in the next five years.
This action is two-fold. For one, ensure your email distribution service is optimized for responsive design on multiple devices. If this is not a feature that exists for you, consider investing in a distribution service that can adapt to multiple devices that your recipients are using. Some other simple features to include in emails to make them more interactive include the following:
We have already started to see the emergence of more “smart” devices, speakers and voice assistants. These smart devices are able to read emails to consumers. With roughly 250 million smart speakers worldwide by 2020, smart email marketers are already designing with accessibility in mind and picking up on auditory CTA’s.
The World Health Organization estimates that about 1.3 billion people live with visual impairments, 36 million of which are considered blind. This poses a unique challenge for email marketers. While accessible email may seem like a daunting task, the improvement of assistive technologies help to simplify the process greatly. According to Litmus’ Ultimate Guide to Email Accessibility, “77% of brands say accessibility is a priority— but only 8% rigidly follow accessibility best practices.”
There are many effective ways to optimize and make voice-assisted email legibility possible.
User-generated content is defined as any form of content created by the product’s end-user. According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising, because brands don’t buy it. It’s unbiased and created by users because they like the offerings of a business. As a result, user-generated content is perceived as more authentic and honest. Incentivizing and motivating your end-user to contribute content via email marketing promotes authenticity and improves conversion. Content is not simply about consumption anymore, it’s all about conversation.
You may have already seen companies implementing this tactic through elements like feedback modules (thumbs up or down), simple questions/surveys, and gamification. E-commerce leader 3dcart says that 82% of consumers consider user-generated reviews extremely valuable with 70% of all consumers looking to reviews or ratings before making a purchasing decision.
Understanding the “why” is important for consumers. While many companies gather user-generated content behind the power of the brand’s market value, many organizations use embedded interactivity (mentioned above) and feedback. Implementing interactive elements is a first step, but giving users the possibility of submitting their thoughts via video submissions, text submissions, or tags within social media campaigns is an excellent way to begin collecting genuine user-generated content. Leverage those passionate brand/company ambassadors to share real-life experiences and feedback with interested prospects.
Artificial Intelligence is a term that seems to scare a lot of marketers, especially if you’ve spent your career in traditional forms of marketing and advertising. In reality, most AI discussions concern the automation of processes. Marketing automation is centered around providing the most relevant content at the most suitable time to a specific individual or group.
AI should be seen as the solution to a large number of your processes, rather than a terrifying technological advancement. It’s not here to replace the traditional segmentation process, but to completely transform the levels of relevancy that we are capable of providing to recipients.
According to Connext Digital, here are the top seven ways Artificial Intelligence is reshaping email marketing:
How you use AI is arguably more important than whether or not you choose to adopt it. Your email sign-up process provides you with plenty of user data that allows you to segment by interest, location, or demographic. With this data, you can send out a single email where blocks populate with dynamic content depending on the user that you’re sending to. People are much more likely to open, read and engage when they see tailored information at a time that is most optimal to them. Again, the main thing to remember is that AI is here to help and not hinder. Many email platforms have already been seamlessly integrating AI processes into their systems. Take the time to look into email services that support your segmentation and personalization needs and find out if AI supports those functions.
Email is not going away anytime soon. Marketo estimates that checking email is the main activity on the internet with 94% of users getting online for this reason alone. Email marketing’s power is rooted in its ability to break through cultural, generation, and class barriers. While Facebook’s Sandberg famously announced the end of email back in 2010, she may have spoken too soon. Email has remained a mainstay in day-to-day interactions and is a popular way to receive content and information in formats that make sense to users. Email may not seem like the snazziest innovation anymore, but the possibilities for how it’s used are endless.
If you have questions about how you can better optimize your marketing around these 2020 email trends and best practices, please contact us today!