As we prepare to close out 2019 strong in email marketing, Site Impact has been looking into the future. Email is always shifting, always changing--even while some things remain constant, the channel has always evolved to fit the preferences and desires of consumers and businesses alike. And as we look forward, there are some definite trends that we see, which are going to continue to influence how the industry evolves into the next year: some of them are ones that have been going on for a while, some have risen to prominence this year, but in all cases it’s going to be important for brands and marketers alike to keep on top of them to continue growing.
Personalization and targeted messaging in email has been a trend for a while now, but 2020 will see that trend continue to deepen. Millennials and Gen Z are increasingly dominating the buying demographics, and those two cohorts both expect an individualized, one-on-one approach from the brands they buy from. Gen X also tends to prefer a more personal tone from their brands, and while Baby Boomer consumers aren’t fussed much either way, it definitely behooves brands to follow the trend and get personal with their recipients: factor in brand and buying history, target messages based on local events, and create “just for you” offers, and you’ll find a lot more success. Brands that still aren’t fully onboard with personalization will increasingly find their numbers falling.
In the wake of the EU’s GDPR and California’s CCPA, there is no doubt whatsoever that consumer privacy concerns are going to continue to impact email marketing. Even as the buying public demands more personalized experiences from brands, the way that marketers have been collecting and handling data has increasingly come under scrutiny--and that’s not going to go away. Look to regulatory agencies of all kinds, at all levels of government, to begin tightening enforcement, and plan ahead to make sure that you’re in compliance before you need to be, so your business isn’t interrupted.
As a continuation of the previous trend, consumers don’t just want brands and marketers to be accountable for how they collect, store, and use data: they want to be more in control of how they interact with brands generally--and especially when it comes to email. Putting your audience into the driver’s seat gives you a lot of benefits not just in terms of avoiding regulatory issues but also increasing engagement: letting your recipients determine how often they want to hear from you--and sticking to that--means that they’re more likely to open and click through when they receive your emails. It also increases their trust in you, leading to higher engagement more consistently. Start working to make this happen for 2020, and you’ll see big boosts to your campaign performance.
2020 is more than a month away, but it’s good to look at the trends that are powerful enough to continue impacting the email marketing industry into next year, and take the time now to begin planning for them. By keeping an eye out for increased regulation, consumer desires for greater control, and upping the game on your personalization, you can keep on top of the biggest issues facing email, and ensure continued high performance. Contact Site Impact to learn more about how we always stay at the top of industry standards.