November 17, 2020

3 Email Marketing Lessons for 2021 from eMarketer

by Melissa Caffrey

We recently got our hands on eMarketer’s November Email Marketing 2020 report. It’s chock full of new insights about how 2020’s disruptions will affect the future of email marketing. The report sources its info from an extensive selection of data sets and 16 different marketing experts—one of whom is our own Drew Neisser and two others are friends of the Renegade Thinkers Unite podcast: Norman Guadagno and Melissa Sargeant.

While we’ve already covered 5 ways to use email more effectively in 2021, there’s still more to learn. eMarketer forecasts that email users in the US will reach 277.7 million in 2024 (that’s 81.2% of the US population), making your strategy that much more crucial moving forward. Below, you’ll find 3 lessons we gleaned from Drew, Norman, and Melissa in the report, but we absolutely recommend you read the rest in order to plan your email marketing strategy for 2021 and beyond.

Tip #1: Benchmark Smart, Not Hard

 Metrics worth measuring have long been disputed in the marketing world, the success of email marketing campaigns included. When it comes to benchmarking, Drew points out that generalized benchmarks are useless—B2B marketers have to really drill down and get honest about who they choose to compare themselves to. As explained in the report: “Fifteen digital media startups benchmarking against one another might make sense but adding The New York Times into that dataset would screw up everybody else’s.”

Tip #2: The Psychology of Customers Has Shifted

The events of 2020 have radically shifted business models. B2C and B2B brands alike had to pivot everything in response to the changing psychology of the customer in mind, and they had to do it fast. Marketing not only had to reassess and update messaging, they also had a hand in developing new products and helping in-person sales teams optimize digital marketing tools. The changes shine a light on the growing necessity of customer empathy. As CMO Norman Guadagno shared, “Take into consideration the mindset of who you’re sending email to.”

For more on why marketers need to make sure their brand is relevant to customers and prospects, listen to his interview on bringing Acoustic’s brand to market in 2020.

Tip #3: Email Marketing Will Fill the Cookie Void

 Third-party cookies are on the way out, but email marketing is here to stay. Litmus’ Melissa Sargeant shared that marketers are facing a cookieless future even faster than they had expected, and that she expects email marketing’s value to grow exponentially. First-party data gleaned from email is permission-based, upping the value of any lead that comes through and upping the ante for an effective email marketing strategy.

Melissa Sargeant spoke with Drew about all things email marketing. Be sure to check out her episode when you get the chance.

Bonus: Drew’s Top Email Marketing Tools