We get pretty excited about email marketing and for good reason. Some of the most ambitious advancements in digital tech have made their way into emails, and many more are just around the corner — which is big news for any company that is using emails to engage with their audience (so, pretty much everyone).

With 2020 fast approaching, we thought we’d take a look at some of the email trends that are expected to make a significant impact in the coming year. In addition to helping inform your email marketing strategy in the year to come, these trends also give some insight into evolving consumer expectations and how you can modify even current best practices to provide your subscribers more of what they want. 

Without further ado, here are six of the 2020 email marketing trends to look forward to — and work into your marketing strategy — as we enter the new year.

1. Design Over Copy

As the saying goes, an image is worth a thousand words. But good email design is worth even more — especially when it comes to lending authority to your brand. Today’s consumers are increasingly familiar with the tenets of good design, and even small taboos like unsophisticated fonts or non-complementary colors are going to have an impact on your perceived levels of trustworthiness and authenticity.

What you say in your emails is always going to matter, but as we move into 2020, put an even higher priority on design than you already are. The big winners are going to be those brands that stand out not only for the substance of their emails but for the innovative design features that serve as their foundation.

2. Accessibility for Readers with Disabilities

We often think of inclusive design in terms of web pages, but emails have a lot of room for growth when it comes to accessibility. Making emails more accessible for individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities requires a multi-faceted approach, generally with third party input. But there are things you can do right now to create emails that can be enjoyed by a broader pool of readers — for example, using larger fonts and taking care to arrange your content in a logical order. Also, when using videos, it’s important to have captions included for any hearing-impaired audience members. You’ll be getting ahead of the game when it comes to accessibility, and that’s a good thing for everyone. 

3. Bring On the Videos

Using videos in emails isn’t a  new concept. But what is new is our increased awareness of how much more successful they can make your outreach. In fact, adding videos to your emails can increase click rates by an astounding 300 percent, which is a convincing reason to start working them in more often.

The key to making videos work in email marketing: keep them short and keep them to the point. And while your videos should be entertaining, they should also be informative, so instead of just making videos for the heck of it, be sure to include some real value for your email recipients. From there, you can decide to embed your video or to tease it with a link to the video on your site. Better yet, try both methods and see which one results in better conversions.

4. User-Generated Content

Peer-to-peer experiences are some of the best marketing tools around, so why not use them to your advantage? In 2020, try to work more user-generated content into your emails — things like positive reviews, social media posts, customer photos, and testimonials, all with credit given, of course. This sort of authentic feedback lends more legitimacy to what you’re selling. It also encourages others to share their own experiences in the hopes of getting the same exposure and is equally (if not more so) influential in touting your product or service.

5. Gamification and Interactivity

Having recipients simply read your emails is so last decade. Technology has shown us that there are a lot of other ways that people can interact with your content and that interactivity can stimulate a whole lot more interest than reading alone.

Gamification and interactivity can mean a few different things in this context. They can refer to interactive content in the email itself, such as quizzes and puzzles, as well as interactive content that lends itself to actions off the page, such as site or social-hosted competitions and sweepstakes. What it all has in common is more engagement, plus some type of reward (even if that reward is just a bit of fun). With 93 percent of marketers already saying that interactive content is a useful tool, there’s clearly a lot to be gained by bringing this same concept to your emails.

6. Artificial Intelligence

AI and email marketing go hand-in-hand, and that shows no signs of changing. AI can help you create better-targeted emails with higher rates of conversion, and it can help gather and make use of the data that supports the efforts of its human teammates. In 2020, look for more ways that you can use AI to augment your existing processes and free up more time for other things on this list (you know, like filming those entertaining and informative videos).

Big things are happening in email marketing. And we don’t know about you, but we can’t wait to see where it takes us. Let us know what trends you’re most excited about in 2020, and keep checking back as we cover these various concepts in more detail.