Email marketing delivers an average ROI of 4400%, so in many ways adding it to your marketing strategy is a no brainer. Now, let this sink in: 306.4 billion emails were sent and received daily in 2020. We're not talking about a sea of millions here. We're talking bi-ll-ion-s! Ok, I'm being dramatic, but the average user receives about 121 emails daily.

Related: Click for more tips to improve your email marketing strategy →

Top Email Marketing Trends 2021

With so much competition, each nook and cranny of your email is important. There are tons of user behavior stats from subject line to email content. It can be overwhelming. To get your creative juices flowing and make sure you're doing your emails justice, here are the top trends in email marketing for 2021.

Interactive Email

In 2017, interactive email ranked as the #1 trend, and it hasn't gone anywhere. Real-time marketing (up-to-date events) is one of the most powerful types of interactive email. What is it? An email that is based on how people are using your website (in real-time), and then answering: what next steps can you provide them in the process in real-time? The timeline is the most important.

The proof is in the pudding: Delta was able to increase their click-through rates by 123% just by sending an email that included real-time marketing. What was the content of the email? After someone booked a flight, they were sent an email with real-time information about the availability of seats on the flight. Easy peasy. Sure, the person could just wait it out, but they can also pay extra for legroom or first class. In other words, this real-time strategy allowed Delta to upsell their existing customers. There are tons of different real-time marketing techniques based on behavioral data, geographic data, and demographic data. A good place to start is behavioral, specific to your website.

To get started with real-time email marketing, ask yourself the following questions:

  • After checkout: Is there a product the person may have forgotten (upsell or upgraded feature)?
  • Is there a timeline in which the person may need to replace x item?
  • Is there something else you can offer to help your customer take advantage of the item he/she just purchased?

Each of these answers/offers/services can be an email. It's that easy. And you know your product better than anyone else.

Hyperpersonalized Emails

This trend is basically the cousin of real-time marketing. This type of marketing is exactly as it sounds: Email that is personalized to the person receiving it. The truth is people are becoming more and more aware of the data that is collected about them. As a result, they expect some personalization in the content they receive.

But before we dig deeper, understand that this is not a hole-in-one every time because—and I cringe to even say this96% of consumers have received mistargeted information regarding their actions. It gets worse. 94% of those consumers then do things like unsubscribe, automatically delete emails, or send your booty straight to junk. Not good, my friends. Not good.

Here are some types of personalized emails:

  • "Hi [name]." (I'll be honest, I hate this one)
  • Personalized Subject Lines (Also not a huge fan of this one)
  • Content sequences based on customer personas (You'll likely need some automation for this).
  • Personalized promo emails (these have on average a 27% higher click rate)
  • Behavioral triggers (trigger emails have a 152% higher open rate when compared to traditional emails)

Video Embedded Emails

Ok, technically, this is another example of interactive email, but it's one that can stand alone. Videos are a great visual way to share content from how-to's to stoke edits/product use videos. And hey, GIFs work too.

      Related: Click here to see some of my ecommerce's how-to produce related videos

Automation

This is not only a trend, but it's a necessity in today's email marketing climate. In many ways, the above trends, cannot function properly without automation. What do I mean by this?

  • Segmenting based on user behaviors
  • Segmenting based on input fields (add more to your form if you don't have enough customer data)
  • Sequences like abandoned cart
  • Scheduled sequences based on the above (user behaviors and input information)

The list here is small. When it comes to automation there is so much more, and it depends on how much data you have on your users and your ability to generate content. If you don't know how to segment your users, shoot me an email . I'm happy to help.

Advanced Sending Capabilities

Let's dig back into the stat I opened up with. The average user receives about 121 emails daily. In other words, people's inboxes are a zoo, and as business owners, we need to be more mindful of that. Enter: Advanced Sending Capabilities.

Most business owners are aware of the best times to send a newsletter because you want your open rate high and your unsubscribe rate low. Cracking the code to this is definitely not one-size-fits-all, but with machine learning (don't worry, your email provider does this part for you), you can send emails when the user is most likely to read them and when there is less clutter sitting there waiting for them. Anyone else have a massive pile of emails every Monday morning?

Obviously, these are trends, and there are many more ways to optimize your emails. It's important to focus on your skillset as a business owner and match those with the appropriate strategy. If you have any questions or want to explore any of these strategies, shoot me an email or fill out the form below!

Gabrielle Nickas