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5 Email Trends We’re Tracking in 2020

Working with 25+ marketing platforms and ESPs to support our clients in retail, finance, and travel and hospitality, the SmarterHQ Campaign Services team sees similar challenges across a variety of brands and tools we work with. For the last several years, we’ve compiled a few trends the team has been following closely in the ever-changing world of email marketing. Here’s what we’re watching in 2020.

1. Email Accessibility

While this made our list last year, it’s now more important than ever as global events have wider audiences shopping and communicating online and privacy laws like CCPA now require it. Long term, designing for screen readers and other accessibility platforms is a necessity to reach and maintain your audience. Optinmonster has an excellent piece on why businesses should focus on this, as well as tips on how to get started. Struggling to make this a focus of your team? The Email Experience Council published this excellent document that covers the topic of accessibility in detail.

2. Designing for Dark Mode

Accessibility need for some and personal preference for others, many email apps now offer the ability to switch to “dark” mode, and thus designing and building campaigns has an added complexity. Email on Acid published this piece covering the basics, and for those teams looking to dive deeper as they build, Campaign Monitor published this comprehensive resource.

3. What and Why

As the complexity and number of campaigns in your strategy grow, it becomes no small feat to manage. Ensuring the goals of your campaigns make sense in the roadmap of your sends is just as important as the tools you use to build and send them. Reviewing campaigns that are underperforming and removing or replacing them with personalized and predictive/modeled campaigns can pay off in dividends. For some starting points on what metrics to measure and how to make your current campaigns perform better, take a look through our Smarter Spotlight series.

4. Email Automation

This is less of a trend we’re tracking and more of the core belief we share with our clients. Automation is something that we’ve always been passionate about at SmarterHQ. The role of personalization in campaigns has gone from being something to strive for, to becoming a necessity to leverage and maximize—especially now that 72% of consumers say they only engage with brands that tailor to their interests and interactions.

Most marketing teams have more ideas they want to implement than time to manually execute them. Building and sending campaigns that send at the right time to the right audience, with the right personalized messaging grows and maintains the subscriber’s relationship with your brand. Our industry playbooks show key examples of which personalized automations are most crucial for driving that relationship forward—and this post pinpoints which ones to prioritize during this strange and uncertain time.

5. Personalized Campaign Content Modules

Speaking to automation, utilizing the SmarterHQ platform, many of our clients have gone beyond their targeted personalized campaigns and are using SmarterHQ’s data personalization in their welcomes series, daily marketing campaigns, and other broader sends by building repeatable content modules into their campaign templates to power recommendations, recently viewed products, targeted items, and more. Using one of these modules in their welcome series, a client saw a 76% increase in click-through rate compared to the series performance without adding these elements in.