Despite what you may have heard, email isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, the use of email messaging is on the rise and shows no sign of slowing down. As of 2021, there are more than 3.7 billion email users around the world, and that number is expected to grow to 4.4 billion by 2023. With statistics like that, it’s important to stay on top of email marketing trends to ensure that you are making the most out of your digital marketing strategy.

It may surprise you to learn that the very first emails were sent in the 1960s. However, email messaging did not become available for personal use until the early 1990s. Since then, email has become hugely popular and has paved the way for instant messaging and chatbots to come to life. With the technology sector constantly evolving, email marketing trends have changed over the years, too. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the leading email marketing strategies for 2021 and how to utilize them to grow your own business online.

Customizing the User Experience

Successful brands know what their customers want and effectively cater to their specific needs. By crafting personalized email marketing campaigns, you will have a much greater chance of enticing the recipient to make a purchase than if you simply sent out a generic email.

Approximately 33% of email users will unsubscribe from an email list because they don’t want what is being offered. By gathering data and properly analyzing your findings, you can customize messages to specifically attract your target audience to engage based on where they are in the sales funnel.

You can start by creating a buyer persona. This is a fictional summarization of your ideal customer. Using the data that you have collected, you can determine the age range, location and even the buying habits of your target audience. Buyer personas can help you customize your marketing tactics to specific types of people. If you offer a wide range of products or services, it may be in your best interest to create multiple buyer personas.

Once you’ve finished, you or your marketing team can then craft email messages that are designed to intrigue your target audience. You can even take into account where the recipient may be in the sales funnel. An email targeting new leads will be very different from someone already familiar with your brand.

For example, follow-up emails for abandoned shopping carts are a great way to customize the user experience. You can offer a hesitant shopper a discount or free shipping to entice them to complete their purchase.

Building Interactive Emails

One of the coolest new email marketing trends rolling over from 2019 is making emails more interactive. This can be done in several ways by incorporating elements such as quizzes, images, gifs or even games. You want to add anything fun that will entice the recipient to engage with the email. Putting your customers in a good mood will help boost your web traffic and revenue.

It can also help with building brand loyalty. If your email recipients are having fun reading and interacting with your emails, that means they will be more likely to look forward to receiving those emails. Also, they may even forward the message to a friend or spread awareness of your brand by word-of-mouth. This could lead to more people subscribing to your email list.

There are numerous ways to make your messages more interactive. A big one for 2020 is the addition of chatbots. This type of AI technology allows your consumers to ask common questions and get answers quickly. For many folks, the downside to online shopping is that they can’t physically touch the product or see it in-person.

By providing an interactive chatbot that can answer their burning questions quickly and efficiently, your leads will be more likely to commit to the purchase than if they have to wait 24 hours for customer service to respond.

Narrow Down Your Subscriber List

Quality over quantity applies to email messaging, too. If you have a large subscriber list but many of the recipients never even open your messages, it’s time to narrow down that list.

For 2021, a smart email marketing trend to follow is to take the time to comb through your recipients, see which ones are the least engaged, and remove them from the list. This will ensure that only the people who are interested in your products or services will be receiving emails from now on. Building a tight-knit, loyal community is key to cultivating a solid online presence.

Not only should you narrow down your subscriber list, but you should also cut down the number of messages you send out. To avoid being labeled as spam, only send out emails at the appropriate times. This tactic plays back into your buyer persona and when your recipients are most likely to read emails.

Keep Your Customers Data Private

With approximately 60% of consumers being uncomfortable sharing their information with brands, data privacy is a key email marketing trend for 2021 and beyond. You should have a clear, concise privacy policy in place that your audience can access readily. It needs to be easy-to-read to avoid any confusion, as well.

This tactic will help to build trust, and it will also lead to a better system of data collection for your company. If your subscribers trust your company enough to allow you to collect certain types of data, that means they are more likely to make purchases and recommend your company to their friends and family. It also means that they will play a key role in helping you update your buyer personas as your company grows.

Make Your Emails Compatible with Voice Interfaces

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is steadily on the rise, and in-home devices such as Siri and Alexa are becoming increasingly popular. People are beginning to check their emails using these kinds of devices, so you need to make sure that your email campaigns are compatible with the newest voice recognition software.

An article published by the BBC suggests that approximately 55% of Americans will have some sort of voice-activated, smart device in their homes by 2022. If you get in the game now, you will be far ahead of many of your competitors by then.

This strategy also applies to mobile devices. 55% of email users check their messages on their smartphones. That number is going to continue to grow, meaning that your email messages need to be mobile-friendly. Mobile users are looking for attention-grabbing messages that have a fast page load speed. Links embedded into the messages also need to open quickly to avoid losing potential sales.

Pro tip: make your emails more mobile-friendly by condensing images. Full-size pictures and graphics are unnecessary and cause slow loading speeds. By condensing these elements, you will increase your chances of having viewers engage with your emails.

Wrap-up: Email Marketing Trends for 2021

Email communication isn’t dying, but your old email marketing strategies should be. It’s time to change the way you market to your subscribers by making your email campaigns more personalized, interactive, secure and accessible.

If you need help with email marketing, you can request a free demo of SharpSpring’s marketing automation service or contact us to learn more. We’d love to hear from you!

Gary Reinhard