Too often, email marketing is just a barren landscape of “50% off, using code: FRIDAY50” subject lines – or hard-sell messaging that offers no real value. And, with mail giants like Google sending poor content straight to the spam folder, you’ll be hard-pressed to reach your consumers without the right knowledge and understanding of how email marketing is best utilised.

In the same breath, mail campaigns can be extremely effective. Done right, you can gain a return  of around 3,800% (the average) and easily and automatically reach your target audience in a personalised way . Plus, email can also play a supporting role to other facets of your marketing.

There are around 3.7 billion email users to tap into, and, given the current legislation in the UK and beyond – you can only really speak to a willing audience. If that doesn’t present enough opportunity to convince you, 53% of email users say they receive too many irrelevant emails, meaning the demand for relatable and valuable content is more necessary than ever. Plus, email campaigns are easy to execute and measure.

The Changing Role of Email in a Modern Marketing Funnel 

The once rigid structure of the marketing funnel is now shifting. We now see the funnel start with adoption, moving to retention, expansion and advocacy. This updated model justifies building long-lasting consumer relationships instead of simply focusing on selling. Developments in digital marketing have now made it easier for marketers to create multiple, targeted campaigns for the different levels of the purchasing process.

Email marketing allows marketers to reach all levels of this new marketing funnel, altering the customer journey and, in turn, how brands communicate with their consumers. The updated marketing funnel means that email communications need to be more creative,  bringing more value to the customer than simply including their name in a template.

Source: Campaign Monitor

This evolution means marketers can work more creatively with email marketing, utilising tools to get the most out of their targeted campaigns. Instead of focusing on selling, the modern marketing funnel will demand that brands nurture their customers, and tap into email marketing that isn’t just personalised but personal. In 2020, it will be essential that brands invest time into strategically building a strong email strategy, with 59% of marketers saying it offers them the highest ROI of all their marketing channels. So, where is email marketing currently at and how will it continue to evolve? 

A Loss of Trust

The landscape is constantly changing and marketers need to find a new approach to their email strategy. Since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, a decline in consumer trust has significantly impacted the technology industry. Speaking at this years DMEXCO, the Salesforce CMO Stephanie Buscemi highlighted how “it is no longer enough to have a great product or service,” she explained “you have to build a deep relationship with your customers”. With 54% of customers believing that companies do not operate with their best interests in mind, the time is now to re-think your email marketing strategy to be relevant and innovative for the recipient and to help restore trust. 

The Facts

If we look deeper into the outlet, the facts speak for themselves. Did you know that email marketing reaches x3 more people than Twitter and Facebook combined? Ultimately, making it a more advantageous marketing outlet than social media for reaching a numbers-based objective. With the ability to reach audiences on such a large scale, 81% of businesses use email as their primary customer acquisition channel.

By 2022, the number of email users is projected to increase to 4.3 billion – meaning an increase in the total reach of campaigns. Out of this significant audience, 55% of business emails are opened on a mobile device. With a large majority of the audience opening emails on the go, adding video into your emails can increase click-through rates by 300%With figures like these, it’s almost impossible to visualise a digital marketing strategy without email.

The Professionals 

Now we’ve seen the potential for email marketing in 2020, it’s time to hear from the professionals. We spoke with Doug Dennison, CEO of MailNinja, to find out his 6 tips for businesses on email marketing for 2020. As the leading email marketing agency in the UK and a MailChimp partner, the MailNinja team designs, constructs and distributes email campaigns for some of the most well-known brands in the UK, such as the NHS, Eventbrite and Stanford University. 

6 Tips from MailNinja 

To shine some light on the subject, Doug shared his 6 go-to tips for email marketing for 2020, and how brands can set their strategy up for success in the new decade. 

  1. Plan ahead: Define your goal, define your audience, and define the measurement of success.
  2. Relevancy: Create highly personalised and ‘relevant’ messages in a language that your audience respond to.
  3. Set your own benchmarks: Don’t rely too heavily on industry stats, map your own stats and steadily look at ways to creep them up.
  4. A/B test every email:  Start testing every email you send, document the results and your ‘lessons learnt’.
  5. Incentivise sign-ups: Start by calculating the lifetime value of a typical subscriber, what are you willing to give away to attract new subscribers.
  6. Content is still king: I love the ‘Goop’ mantra: content, community, commerce. Yes you’re there to make money, but start by building a loyal fan base.

“The key is strategic, relevant and targeted content. When brainstorming your email marketing campaign, start with why your recipient would open it and work backwards. Firstly we need to understand why will they benefit, will it tap into their interests? Does it present an opportunity for them? Like with all marketing outlets, always place your end viewer at the forefront of the message”.

Is Your Strategy Up to Scratch? 

All in all, email marketing will re-emerge in 2020 as a major marketing outlet and drive some of the top campaigns through relevant and targeted messaging. As consumers look for brands with commitment to their interests and privacy, simple personalisation will no longer reap significant conversions in email marketing. According to Doug Dennison, “advancements in AI and machine learning will allow marketers to send highly personalised messages to their audience”, enabling a relevant and targeted approach for 2020. To find out more and get started with your 2020 email marketing strategy, visit 

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