Future of Email Marketing: 7 Trends to Master in 2020

Emily is a Web Marketing Consultant with an M.S. in digital marketing. She specializes in content and email marketing and is certified in Google Analytics. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, road trips, and drinking strong coffee. Follow her on Twitter @emcarter16.

With the new decade just around the corner, many business owners wonder, “Does email marketing work in 2020?”

YES. Email marketing is here to stay, generating $44 for every $1 spent — a 4400% ROI!

This powerhouse marketing channel isn’t going anywhere in 2020. So, how can you prepare for the future of email marketing?

Let’s take a look at seven email marketing trends you’ll want to stay on top of this year — and real-life examples you can use for inspiration!

Want to talk to an email marketing expert? Connect with WebFX!

Why email marketing matters in 2020

Some marketers and business owners wonder if email is still relevant in 2020. But research shows the channel remains a top growth driver for businesses.

A whopping 89% of marketers identify email as their top lead generation strategy. And a recent Litmus study revealed that consumers project email marketing to be the most relevant marketing channel in the next 10 years.

If you’re not currently using email marketing, you’re missing out on a powerful lead generation and nurturing tool. So, we highly recommend making email part of your 2020 digital marketing strategy.

7 email marketing trends for 2020

Want to prepare your email strategy to dominate in 2020? Get ready for the future of email marketing by mastering these seven trends!

1.       Personalization

In 2020, email personalization isn’t just a nice gesture — subscribers expect it.

Your subscribers receive hundreds of emails every day, so you need to use personalization to make your campaigns stand out. With email personalization, you can apply marketing data from numerous platforms to add value for subscribers — and make them more likely to buy.

Personalizing emails allows you to appeal to subscribers’ unique needs and interests while guiding them to the next step of the sales funnel. And it drives better results with personalized emails boosting conversions by 10%.

To prep for the future of email marketing, you’ll need to take personalization a step further than just including subscribers’ names.

Here are some quick email personalization ideas to help you get started:

  • Include questions in sign-up forms, like what services interest subscribers and their budgets
  • Use previous data to identify topics and types of content that resonate with your audience
  • Schedule emails to send in recipients’ time zones
  • Use dynamic content to personalize blocks of email content
  • Link to personalized landing pages with content tailored to subscriber segments

Looking for more personalization tips to prepare for the future of email marketing? Check out our email personalization guide!

Email example: Expedia

Expedia sends personalized emails to users after they browse sites. Customized with a boarding pass graphic and button to browse the latest tickets, Expedia’s email marketing makes it easy to find and purchase a flight.

2.       Better data

To personalize emails effectively, you’ll need to leverage data across marketing channels.

This data will allow you to customize email campaigns based on subscribers’ interactions with your business across the web.

Take a look at these examples of how to use data to prepare for the future of email marketing:

  • If someone downloads a guide on your site, you can follow up with an email with helpful, related information.
  • If someone adds an item to their cart and leaves your site without purchasing, you can send a retargeting email to encourage them to complete the purchase.
  • If someone purchases an item, you can send an email with custom-curated “related items” that may interest them.

All of these actions inspire more conversions and brand loyalty.

In addition, you’ll want to optimize your email sign-up forms in 2020 to gather better data from subscribers right off the bat.

Be careful not to overwhelm people with too many sign-up fields — but include questions that help you gather the info you need to better personalize your emails.

Email example: West Elm

West Elm uses purchase data from its website to email order updates and suggests related products for customers to buy.

3.       Automation

Next on the list of email marketing trends for 2020 is automation.

Email automation isn’t a new strategy, but if you want to excel in the new year, you need to add it to your repertoire.

With email automation, you can easily use data to send personalized email campaigns — and automated sending gives you more time to focus on your business.

You can set automated emails to trigger when recipients take certain actions on your site, reach new rewards program milestones, make purchases, and more. Since automated emails are linked to subscriber actions, they’re highly personalized and an extremely effective way to engage leads and customers.

If you need help preparing for the future of email marketing, WebFX offers a suite of IMB Watson-powered email marketing and automation tools to help you maximize your investment. Reach out today for your custom demo!

Check out the latest marketing automation trends for 2020

Email example: Hilton

Hotel chain Hilton sends automated emails to Hilton Honors members when they reach new levels in the rewards program.

4.       Videos

Speaking of personalization, you’ll want to make personalized videos part of your email strategy in 2020.

Personalized videos help you prep for the future of email marketing by adding some flair to your campaigns, which help them stand out. Video content is on the rise this year in general, as people would rather engage with video content than blocks of plain text.

For best results, you’ll want to personalize videos to your subscriber segments. For example, you can send tailored videos to new vs. repeat customers to showcase related offerings and inspire customer loyalty.

Using videos in email campaigns can earn you 2-3 times more clicks — and ultimately, it makes subscribers more likely to engage with your brand and purchase.

MyEmailFX — our proprietary email software — makes it easy to use dynamic content to drive results with personalized email videos.

For more info, take a look at four reasons you should use video for email marketing this year.

Email example: Compassion International

Humanitarian aid organization Compassion International sends sponsors personal video messages to thank them for sending Christmas gifts. The video adds an extra dimension to the emails and shows sponsors how much their contributions matter.

5.       Interactivity

For max email engagement in 2020, consider adding interactive elements to your campaigns.

Email interactivity combines entertainment and functionality to inspire action.

To prepare for the future of email marketing, take a look at these trending interactive elements:

  • Animated call-to-action (CTA) buttons
  • Custom tools
  • Interactive images and product carousels
  • Surveys, quizzes, and polls (which you can use to collect better data!)

Adding interactive elements to your emails boosts engagements and encourages subscribers to click. So, if interactivity isn’t part of your email strategy, you’ll want to add it in 2020.

Email example: HubSpot

HubSpot adds interactive quizzes to emails to boost engagement and reinforce content.

6.       Accessibility

Along with your website, you’ll want to make sure email campaigns comply with ADA standards.

In the U.S. alone, one in five people live with a disability — and ADA compliance ensures everyone has the same, positive experience with your emails. In 2020, ADA compliance is more than a trend — it’s an essential component of successful email marketing.

To start making your emails ADA compliant, you’ll want to:

  • Keep your email content short and sweet
  • Use adequate font sizes and line spacing
  • Avoid long sections of center-justified text
  • Use alt text for all images
  • Make sure HTML tables are accessible to screen readers

Not sure if your emails and website are ADA compliant? Our ADA compliance experts can help! Give us a call at 888-601-5359 to learn more.

Email example: Wistia

Video-software company Wistia includes easy-to-understand alt text in emails to promote accessibility.

7.       Mobile responsive

Finally, prepare for the future of email marketing by making your emails mobile responsive.

This email trend isn’t groundbreaking, but if it isn’t part of your 2020 strategy, you’ll miss out on valuable leads and conversions.

Today, more than half of Internet traffic comes from mobile devices. With more people using mobile devices to access emails, visit websites, and purchase, you need to make sure your emails display properly on all devices.

Tools like MyEmailFX make it easy to test your campaigns’ mobile design and responsiveness, so you can drive the best results.

This email marketing trend is a must if you want to see success with your email strategy this year.

Email example: Uber Eats

Uber Eats makes it easy for mobile users to order directly from emails — and they include quick links to their app.

Prepare for the future of email marketing with WebFX!

Want to make sure your email strategy is ready for 2020?

WebFX can help! Our email plans start at $300/month — and clients get access to MyEmailFX, our world-class email software.

Just contact us online or give us a call at 888-601-5359 to start creating your custom email plan for 2020!