Jumpstart Your Year with 5 Email Marketing Trends for 2021

Email Marketing trends will never die.

It has been declared dead several times in the past even with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg famously predicting its end in 2010. But alas, the popularity of email prevails.

With 5.6 billion active email accounts worldwide, 86% of professionals claiming they prefer to communicate by email and 91% of shoppers insisting that they want to hear from companies they do business with, it is safe to say that the email is here to stay. Therefore, the return on investment for each email that you send is around $38, quite a handsome profit all things considered.

But, the needs of the consumer are always changing and evolving so the way we approach email marketing must change as well. It has to become smarter, evolving as the consumer evolves.

How so?

Let’s start with some of the email marketing trends that will be most popular in 2021.

User-Generated Content

If email marketing is to be changed by the ever-evolving consumer, why not let them create their own content?

However, users have certain views and can become powerful brand ambassadors for your business. By allowing your end-user to create content you can increase real-time engagement. Some user-generated content includes:

  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Social media posts about your product/service
  • Social media image posts using your products/services.

However, you can motivate your end-user to create this content by incentivizing them through promotions or by getting them involved with your brand with surveys that ask for their feedback.

Not only is this content invaluable to you by ensuring your customer base is happy, but around 95% of potential consumers look to user-generated ratings and reviews before considering your business. In addition, as you can see featuring some user-generated content in your email strategies can have a big payoff.

PROTIP: Knowing when to ask for feedback. Give your consumers time to experience your product/service before asking for feedback. Calculate the right amount of time with your marketing automation platform.

Responsive Interactivity

In 2018 Campaign Monitor recorded 50% of email opens occurring on mobile devices and for 2021 it is predicted that email open rates on mobile devices will outweigh opens on computers and laptops.

Additionally, they found that emails that do not display correctly on mobile devices are deleted on average within three seconds. As a result, it is imperative that marketers focus on optimizing their email campaigns for mobile.

Now, this is probably advice that you have heard before but you need to go further in 2020. It’s not just about resizing your content anymore but you need to have optimized buttons and call-to-actions, interactive images, accordion features to make long-form content more compact and survey and poll features to provide feedback.

PROTIP: Email features should not just be flashy and entertaining but functional.

This will make consumers more likely to engage and prevent them from leaving the email.

Data and Technology

Furthermore, your email content needs to be optimized and driven by your data. A process that can be integrated and automated using machine learning artificial intelligence (AI). It can be used to optimize:

  • Subject lines
  • Images
  • Situationally contextual messaging
  • Interactive Features
  • Send time and frequency
  • Predictive personalization
  • Segmentation
  • Automated workflow
  • A/B Testing
  • Analytics

As a result, the end-user receives emails that have been finely tuned just for them.

PROTIP: Use data of past behaviour to predict your consumers’ actions.


The popularity of talking technology has added to the evolution of email. Approximately 250 million smart speakers are estimated to be installed in 2020 and 1.3 million people worldwide live with visual impairments. As a result, marketers must now be mindful of how an email will sound and perform when being read aloud by a smart speaker.

In addition, all of our smart devices have talking capabilities, like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant which can read your emails through your phones, cars, homes, and wherever else you connect your smart devices.

Email Design

Therefore, your email design must evolve. It must be accessible, which means having full HTML coding for your emails including alternative text for your images and properly coded tables. This HTML is what your smart speakers and other tech use to read your emails.

Creating Content

When creating your content think about whether or not people would be motivated to act just by hearing your email read aloud. Use shorter sentences with limited jargon and content that has been localized to your audience. Eliminate the unnecessary copy, streamline your messaging, and capture short attention spans. The average attention span for an email is 13.4 seconds so it is imperative that your emails be concise and to the point.

PROTIP: Pack a punch in a short amount of time.


With the rise of machine learning and cross-channel optimization in email marketing, silos are getting smarter. As you collect more customized data, then you can create finely-tuned silos that target specific sectors.

These customized silos must be extremely personalized. The email address is at the core of each individual’s online presence and can be used to gather even more data and provide more personalization in 2020. You can:

  • Use location data from smartphones and wearable devices
  • Automate messaging based on customer data
  • Reformat emails for the device on which the consumer reads it i.e. mobile device, wearable device, smart speaker etc.

Remember that consumers use multiple touchpoints when researching a product one of which is the email. Make sure the connection counts and provides additional information to move the buyer down the sales funnel.

Lastly, you can test the latest trends by easily applying them in a comprehensive marketing automation system. To find out more about marketing automation platforms or how your platform can adopt these trends speak to one of our experts today!

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