The past year has been challenging in terms of commerce, communication, and everything a business uses to build meaningful relationships with its customers. 

The pandemic rages worldwide, still shaping the way brands and prospects interact with one another and, by extension, the tools and methods brands use to promote their products and services.

And since more than most countries have effective social distancing policies in place, it’s only natural that all digital channels are being used more and more. Email marketing is one of them, and we’re here to present the trends that will emerge for 2021.

A Splash of Color

I know this doesn’t sound like a lot, and I’m sure you’re thinking “Well, what if my business and bright colors don’t work well?”

Keep on reading, because we’ve got you covered!

Anyways, 2021 will be all about standing out, even if you’ve got the prospect right where you want them. Since all businesses have started using email newsletters more and more due to social distancing, you need your email to make a lasting impression. The kind that will have your prospect looking for your email in their inbox because they thought it was fun or relatable.

Use colors that match your brand’s image – the brighter you can, the better -, interactive elements (more on that in a tick) and email newsletter templates that will evoke a sort of emotional response.

Remember, emotional responses are what people react to and, essentially, what stays with them after they have interacted with your brand.

Using a splash of color can showcase what your email is about without saying a word. Using your brand’s trademark colors can increase brand awareness and, eventually, your authority and trust between you and your prospects.

Just make sure that the colors and the template itself are just what your brand needs. Don’t use green if you’re a pumped-up youthful clothing brand, and avoid pinks and reds if you’re a serious and business-oriented law firm.

Color psychology can do wonders when it comes to eliciting an emotional response, and this year is all about making a lasting impression from a distance.

Text, Text, Text

The second email marketing trend that emerges is text-only email marketing. But what is that? 

Text-only emails are really coming in strong and expected to appear more and more in the field of email marketing. Kind of like SMS marketing, text-only emails are those that trust in the bare essentials: the compelling copy.

In 2021, if you don’t feel like using GIFs and other visuals to up your email marketing game, you don’t have to. Text-only emails are just like that one would receive from a friend or trusted colleague. They’re personal, and they can mean business at the same time.

But even if you’re a visual-heavy brand and love your interactive elements, text-only emails can be valuable for you. Use them as a break from your colorful email marketing game and rely on words only.

This is bound to make your brand look more interesting and human, allowing you to connect with your audience on a personal level.

Use text-only email marketing when you’re about to deliver a huge message, one that needs no introduction. Your audience is bound to love it – provided you do it correctly.

And I can hear you ask what the correct way to do it is. Well…

Hyper-Personalization Will Rule All

All of us marketers have known for a long time, but it never hurts to see that we were right all along. Hyper-personalization will dominate the field of marketing – and email marketing, for that matter – well beyond 2021.

Personalized emails deliver six times higher transaction rates. (Source)

You understand that you need the above rate in your life as a marketer. But in order to achieve that, you need to do more than create some witty and imaginative email copy that can resonate with most of your audience.

It would be best if you created customer segments first and foremost. Your prospects and existing customers are looking for tailor-made content that will give them a solution to a real-life issue. This cannot happen without some stellar segmentation.

This is where the power of AI comes in handy. To create an email newsletter that feels like it’s there only for the recipient, you will need to create segments that will be as small as possible. AI can allow marketers to create segments so small, it will be like talking to each prospect on a one-on-one basis.

Use all the criteria you need. From geo-locational to behavioral, the smaller the segment, the better chances your emails will have a tailor-made look and feel.

User-Generated Content

User-Generated Content (UGC) is not exactly new, but it’s one of the best ways to start boosting your efforts towards Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO).

By the way, if you’re not sure about what CRO is, check out this blogpost.

So, UGC utilizes the content that users can provide, be it images, videos, GIFs, anything created by an end-user for the brand. When used in a brand’s email marketing plan, UGC can increase the trust towards a brand and turn the user into a brand ambassador.

Not to mention that UGC can save your campaigns in terms of content if you don’t have any at the ready.

Never forget that UGC acts a little like social proof: If people that look like your target audience show that your brand can answer their prayers, they’ll be willing to give it a shot and interact with it.

The Takeaway

Email marketing has repeatedly proven that it’s a chameleon-like medium that can adapt to change quickly and easily. And during a year that changed as rapidly as 2020 did, it could be one of the few marketing staples that can bring results.

Make sure to use it wisely, choose your colors and visuals correctly while following your brand’s tone, and, finally, always read the room. After all, 2020 has been a real rollercoaster, and the most significant and most emerging trend is a human-centric, empathetic mindset.

Need help with your email campaigns? Contact the experts at Spiralytics!

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