- Email marketing has made organizing webinars possible when live events were no longer feasible.
- There are foreseeable indications that artificial intelligence starts to take over the marketing field.
- Email marketing has remained a reliable tool for businesses to engage prospects and customers.
- Visit the DataValidation blog for more analyses and breakdowns
2020 email marketing takeaways
2020 has been a year like no other in recent memory. Despite it starting out normal for most people in the world, by early spring it has become obvious that our day-to-day life was going to be massively impacted by a new global pandemic. On top of all consequences that result from the difficult medical situation, the ramifications were diverse and took a toll on job security, economic, and housing stability. All of these implications and many more have made 2020 a challenge from both a personal and a professional perspective. Most people have ended up working indefinitely from home. Taking everything into consideration, it is clear that we have dealt with some serious and unprecedented circumstances.
But what can we learn from the hard times that we have experienced? More precisely, to shift focus back to the topic that we, at DataValidation, care about the most, what lessons can be drawn from 2020 concerning email marketing?
Webinars have replaced live events
We cannot understate how important live events were for businesses all over the world. From joining trade shows or conferences to hosting smaller events, companies have relied on events to generate new business or to build up their brand awareness. With most live events having gone offline, it has become apparent that new solutions had to emerge. One clear alternative that picked up steam in 2020 was the option to organize online webinars.
Both live events and webinars need a clear and well-rounded email marketing strategy to become successful. This is probably the first piece of good news that we can convey in this article. Regardless of how difficult 2020 has been, email marketing has remained relevant for engaging prospects and customers. Without the help of email marketing, organizing webinars when live events stopped being viable would have been a more difficult impediment.
Due to the nature of last year, entrepreneurs and marketers had to pay more attention to how they communicate with their subscribers. As we have previously seen from other sudden shifts, such as the implementation of GDPR back in 2018, crises give birth to more conscious professionals. That, in turn, increases the confidence users have when sharing their data with various businesses.
It goes without saying that prospects were more inclined to join webinars during 2020, precisely because they weren’t able to go to live events. Knowing that marketers saw in email marketing a useful tool for engaging them is, in other words, the promise that we have made to find the best solutions to challenges, even when they arrive with very short notice and we lack any precedent on what works and what doesn’t.
AI is starting to take over the marketing field
We have tried to underline the importance of advancements in the artificial intelligence field back in 2020 when we saw what was happening. On this blog, we often try to breakdown large issues into digestible content, something that we were clearly aiming at when publishing an article on what implications will AI have on the marketing field. In hindsight, it was probably one of the best predictions we have made to date.
AI continues to be a driving force behind some of the most dramatic changes the marketing field has yet to see. When it comes to email marketing, the repercussions seem less clear. We can envision a world where AI-based systems are capable of running entire workflows, while also taking A/B testing to a whole new level. But this was not the case in 2020. The reason why we are even mentioning AI in our 2020 year-in-review article is because of the importance of acknowledging a large shift when we see it. We might not see the consequences just yet, but that doesn’t mean changes are not underway.
Artificial intelligence has the potential to revolutionize email marketing. We will try to imagine two use cases of AI in email marketing. First of all, we will focus our attention on how AI might impact email marketing for small or medium businesses, while secondly, we will look at what might lie ahead for large enterprises.
SMBs, depending on industry, region, or company size are already involved in the email marketing space. But they might not be using it at its full potential, maybe because of human or financial resources limitations, maybe because they are not aware of the benefits of scaling up their email marketing efforts. Either way, if and when AI will be able to automate most tasks related to sending out newsletters, SMBs might see an incentive in investing more in their email service provider.
For large companies, AI making clear advancements in the email field might mean reducing costs, advanced A/B or multivariate testing, better integration with legacy systems. AI might bring on a revolutionary change for enterprises in terms of email marketing. With large volumes of data behind it, AI might be able to increase metrics beyond what any marketing specialist is currently able to do.
Email remains reliable and efficient
During such a difficult period, it comes as a relief that people not only have not disconnected but are more connected online than ever. This provided a much-needed context for businesses to address challenges. Email marketing proves to be a great tool that businesses have at their disposal to engage subscribers, prospects, and clients. But given the fact that we are no longer able to interact with them face-to-face, what are the safety mechanisms to ensure the business continues as usual? One of the most relevant answers to this question is data accuracy.
Quality and quantity of data are two very different aspects when it comes to email marketing. As each marketer is very well aware, data is king when it comes to deciding strategies and approaches of effective campaigns. 2020 will be remembered as the cornerstone year for solidifying the importance of data accuracy for email subscribers.
The type of data you collect regarding your contacts will differ depending on the type of business you are running or working for, the industry or sector the business is active in, your email marketing objectives, and the overall strategy that dictates your actions. But having the most accurate, relevant, and recent data is critical to running an effective email campaign.
Salesforce, one of the leading companies in the CRM field, has made an interesting move at the end of 2020, by acquiring Slack, the popular communication platform. While Slack has started out with the mission of making email obsolete, the fact that they have been taken over by a company known for putting a big emphasis on email is a statement of the staying power that email has in the business world.