4 Email Marketing Trends You Shouldn’t Miss in 2021

The simple nature of Email Marketing makes it highly adaptable and easily integrable to larger marketing campaigns.

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2020 brought some dramatic changes to pretty much everything we do, so it’s no surprise that email marketing also shifted its ways. In fact, email marketing has adapted quite well to the increasing digitalization of consumer life, so much so that the innovative techniques adopted by marketers everywhere are now booming.

So, as we are going through the first months of 2021, at BairesDev we felt it was a nice moment to check on those email marketing trends to see what they are and why they are working so smoothly. We can attest to the fact that they are fantastic marketing methods but you don’t have to be a custom application development company to make the most out of them. Let’s see the 5 most impressive ones.

1. Revamped customer experience

Customer experience (CX) has become a reigning concept in marketing during 2020. The notion refers to the impression the customers have of your company as a whole and that impacts your entire business. You might be thinking that such a concept isn’t new and you’d be right. So, why include it in a 2021 trends list? Because the increasing digitation that businesses went through in 2020 brought CX to places where it wasn’t as important before.

That’s precisely what happened to email marketing. People on the receiving end of marketing emails want an elite experience from the get-go. What does that mean? That cold sales-centered emails are on the way out. Now, emails will have to imitate the same experience customers would get if they engaged with the company through other channels.

In other words, emails have to be helpful, relevant and personalized (more about that later). As it happens with any CX initiative, it’s all about putting the customer at the center of the communication rather than seeing them as passive recipients. Thus, it’s about making it technically easy for them to get to engage with you in any way they can while also ensuring you’re talking to them in your own voice.

2. More precise personalization

Personalized emails stopped being optional to become a must-have resource some time ago but, let’s be honest — that personalization feels often generic, automatic, and out of touch. While you’d never want any of that applied to your communication, today is the worst moment to offer that kind of personalization. How come? Because 2020 has proven to be a highly challenging year for everyone, so people aren’t interested in vapid emails whose only purpose is to sell to anyone.

The pandemic has made everyone crave for genuine connection, so that’s precisely what you should be offering in 2021 — and beyond. Unfortunately, there isn’t a recipe for creating that connection. What’s more — now there are more companies than ever sending emails, precisely because of the pandemic-related digitalization, so there’s more competition for everyone.

As complex as the situation seems, there are some things you can try to see how they work for your company. For instance, you can send dynamic content based on highly specific segments with the aid of AI. Now more than ever, people are open to engaging with brands that can offer relevant information, so you should definitely collect data about your customers and act on it in innovative ways that make your audience get that “hey, they are talking to me” feel.

3. Re-emergence of the plain-text email

As a quick search can show you, email marketers are all suggesting that companies should go back to using plain-text emails for their campaigns. That truly feels counterintuitive but there are valid reasons for that. First and foremost, creating these emails is far easier and less time-consuming than those filled with images, colors, and GIFs. So, you won’t spend that much time creating them which, ultimately, can translate into a better ROI.

But there’s something extra to plain-text emails. While they don’t look fancy or have all the bells and whistles that HTML-based emails have, they have the power of simplicity. In fact, by writing a plain email, you are giving your communications a more “handcrafted” vibe. Basically, this means that your emails will feel more personal than those filled with images.

That’s nothing to scoff at, especially when you take into account the previous point we’ve discussed. People crave more personalized communications and plain-text emails provide that feel. Actually, they seem like someone has sat down in front of the computer and typed an email targeted directly to the recipient. Naturally, that doesn’t mean you should get rid of the more sophisticated mails altogether but you could use plain-text emails in specific parts of the journey (such as welcoming a new customer or communicating important news about the company).

4. Strategies in the spotlight

Finally, there’s a mentality shift that’s becoming trendy over email marketing (and across the entire tech spectrum, to be honest) — the idea that strategy should come before the tools. As naive and basic as that may sound, you’d be amazed at how many companies have done things the other way around. Think about it: chances are you know at least one business that has implemented a technology just because everyone else was doing it.

As we enter the recovery phase of the pandemic, investing in technologies for that reason is plain wrong. Strategies should always guide technological implementation but that’s even more true during dire times as the ones we’re living. In that sense, your company should put the email strategy front and center to truly understand what you’re trying to achieve with it. Then and only then can you go on and adopt new tools, platforms, and technologies.

There’s another thing to consider here. As 2020 has shown us, people tend to change their habits rather quickly. That means that the strategy you have today for your email marketing might not work at some point in the future (which can be unpredictably near or far). That underlines the importance of having flexible and data-driven strategies that can adjust as you move forward. Without that agility, any 2021 strategy for email marketing is doomed to fail.

Some Final Thoughts

It’s funny that we’re still talking about email marketing in 2021, especially after so many people have pronounced it dead countless times. But the reason why that happens is simple — email marketing still works and can provide impressive results. What’s more — its simple nature makes it highly adaptable and easily integrable to larger marketing campaigns.

And there’s one more thing. Email marketing is very cost-effective. You don’t need a huge budget for an email marketing campaign to be a success. Plain-text emails are living proof of that — easy to create and with great ROI. So, if you’re still reviewing your email marketing (or even if you’ve neglected it), you still have time to go over these trends to check how you can integrate them into your efforts.

Trust me, if these have worked for us, a company of custom software developers, it can definitely work for you.

I’m a tech writer, IT enthusiast, and business development manager living in Miami.