By Thomas Griffin, co-founder and president of OptinMonster
If you think email marketing is dead, you're wrong -- it's only going to get bigger and better in 2020. Email marketing is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience and turn subscribers into customers. According to a 2017 Content Marketing Institute study, 93 percent of B2B marketers use email to distribute content.
Because email marketing is so powerful, it's important that you stay up to date on the latest email marketing trends. This will help you delight your subscribers and get the best results out of your email marketing strategy.
To boost your email marketing game this year, check out these five exciting email marketing trends that I predict will be big in 2020.
1. Interactive Emails
In 2020, provide users with more interactivity in the emails they receive. Interactive emails include elements that your subscribers can click on or interact with in some way. They're a great way to surprise and delight readers and make your emails stand out in crowded inboxes.
You can create interactive emails by adding:
- Surveys and polls.
- Menus and accordion features.
- Add-to-calendar options.
- Animated calls to action and buttons.
- Gamified features like scratch-its to reveal discounts.
Instead of just reading or scanning your emails, users will have things to click on, which will skyrocket engagement.
2. User-Generated Content
User-generated content is another trend already hot on social media that I predict will increasingly make its way into email marketing this year. User-generated content is one of the most powerful forms of social proof. When users see content such as images, videos and reviews created by real, happy customers of your business, it encourages them to become customers themselves.
Not only should you share user-generated content in your email marketing messages, but you should use your email marketing to collect user-generated content as well. In your emails, you can leverage interactive content elements such as polls, thumbs-up or thumbs-down buttons, and more to collect user-generated content from your email list.
3. Videos, Animations and GIFs
People get tons of marketing emails every day, so their inboxes are generally jam-packed. That's why more and more email marketers are using videos, animations and GIFs to stand out in crowded inboxes and grab the attention of their subscribers. Adding a little movement to your emails is sure to excite your audience.
Remember, email platforms like Gmail and Outlook don't have the technical requirements needed to play videos right inside emails. So, the best way to use video in your emails is by adding a static image with a play button on top. Users can click on the image, and the link will send them to your video that's hosted on a platform such as YouTube.
4. Artificial Intelligence
With artificial intelligence (AI), your emails will get even smarter in 2020. Artificial intelligence and machine learning will help you deliver more personalized emails to your subscribers. This technology can choose the best copy and email subject lines, pick the best send times and line up relevant content with each subscriber or email list segmentation based on demographics or previous activity.
AI-powered email marketing won't be out of reach for small businesses, either. Many affordable email marketing services are starting to implement AI features in their platforms.
5. Subscriber Control
According to eMarketer and a November 2018 polling by Alliance Data, 69 percent of U.S. internet users wanted to control the frequency with which they receive branded email. The same poll showed that only 10 percent of retail marketers said they met that expectation. So, in 2020, email marketers should work harder to give their subscribers what they want.
When a user subscribes to your email list, you can send them a welcome email that allows them to choose the types of emails they want to receive and the frequency of those emails. A subscriber who's satisfied with the frequency of your emails and the content they're receiving is one who will stick around for a long time.
By staying up to date with these exciting email marketing trends, you can make sure your email marketing strategy is a hit with your subscribers this year. After all, happy email subscribers equal higher engagement rates and an increase in conversions.
Thomas Griffin is co-founder and president of OptinMonster. He is an entrepreneur, investor and software expert helping you be a better leader in your organization.