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We’re all ready to turn over a new leaf for 2021 but, before we leave 2020 in the dust, it’s time to see the mark it left on email marketing. Where has the year of the pandemic taken the humble email, and where is it sending us in this shiny new year? Keep on top of what’s around the corner with our collection of email marketing trends for 2021.

The 2020 effect on email marketing

Before we look at all that’s to come in 2021, we need to take a closer look at the impacts of the wild year that was 2020. Last year saw us rely on email like never before. Campaign Monitor found that both email sends and email opens rose across the board in early 2020.The 16% increase in opens between February and March shows that email is where customers go to be informed by their favorite brands.

As the need for online shopping increased, so did email conversion rates. Marketers were encouraged to be empathetic during a time of isolation for many of their customers. American Express suggested email marketers should provide real value, looking at sharing useful information and focusing more on essential products. By removing some of the heavy sales pitch, trust between companies and customers had the chance to grow.

Of course, with larger groups of the population working remotely and reducing their working hours, InboxArmy suggests people are spending more time online than ever before. With many workplaces implementing and keeping remote working models, the 2020 effect could be set to stay!

Emails changed their tune in 2020, so what’s on the horizon for email marketing in 2021?


The empathetic messaging of 2020 is here to stay with a focus on email personalization in 2021. Campaign Monitor found that personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened. Use personalization to create a conversation, provide the answers your customers are looking for, and to show your consideration for their needs.

Work towards hyper-personalized content using methods like segmentation and dynamic content. Segmentation is grouping your email email subscribers into smaller lists based on a criteria set by you. You could choose segments based on location, behavior, interests, or even purchase history. 

Dynamic content is a personalized part of your email send that changes depending on those segments you’ve set up. This hyper-personalization can all be a part of making your customer’s journey as seamless as possible.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content brings the customer themselves into the marketing process. Making their authentic content a highlight makes your messaging valuable and trustworthy. UGC can be text, images, audio, or visual, often providing real-time engagement with customers.

Evidence even shows that UGC promotes conversion, with 95% of customers reading reviews, before making a purchase, 93% of people reading reviews of a business to determine its quality, and 72% not making a purchase until they read reviews. Email marketers should include this content in their emails to display the level of trust towards their product or service. Not only that, but UGC is also a clever way to boost your content and liven up your campaigns. 

Artificial Intelligence

It sounds like something from a sci-fi film, but AI goes hand-in-hand with email personalization. It is a completely automatic way to take care of providing the right marketing for the right groups of people. It provides the latest level of segmentation processes for a higher level of targeted marketing, all to help you have an increase in return on investment.

AI obtains more data about your customers to ensure effective personalization. Most email users are aware of the information being collected about them, but in return they expect email marketing that better suits their needs – that’s where AI can help. AI can analyze data better than us humans can, and there’s already evidence suggesting its abilities are only set to increase!

Interactive Emails

Give your users another fun reason to stay engaged through 2021 with a fresh level of interactivity. While interactive emails have existed for a while, they’re here to stay in a big way. They’re a way to boost customer engagement, as well as interaction with your customers. Here’s a few ways to add interactivity to your email sends:

Interactive features in your emails bring fun and curiosity. It requires the recipient to act to make the most of the email and its message, helping them become part of your marketing. Their involvement can boost engagement and add a sense of brand loyalty.

Bring along the best bits of 2020 and get on board with the exciting changes on the way in 2021! Revitalize your email marketing in the new year with a new set of essentials. Provide your users with the information, personalization and interactivity they require, all in your carefully crafted emails.

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