Guest Post by Kas Andz, Lead Generation Director at Kaz Andz Marketing Group
As 2019 draws to a close, marketers everywhere are scrambling to research the top tips and trends to stay ahead of their competition. Though there is a lot of uncertainty about new technology in various areas of marketing, email marketing has a pretty well-defined roadmap. In this post, we debunk some of the coolest trends in email personalization in 2020 and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
One of the most transformative developments in email marketing is the use of artificial intelligence. AI is particularly powerful when it comes to predictive personalization. Companies like ReSci and Optimove use AI to analyze your email list and decide which email templates to send to which customer. All you have to do is to create 10-15 email templates for different use cases (coupon promotion, the weekly newsletter, abandoned cart, etc) and their software sends the optimal email in the optimal time to each of your customers.
Think about it.
Most small companies have a marketing manager that wears many different hats. So in the limited time they have to focus on creating an email, they probably make a one-size-fits-all email that they send to their entire list.
They don’t have the time or resources to test out different send times for each lead or to test out different email campaigns for different segments of their audience. They might have a few other automated flows running in the background but not much more than that.
Benefit: saves at least 15+ hours per week
But let’s go even further.
How does a tool like ReSci know which campaigns to send out? That brings us to our next trend.
Smart segmentation is the magic behind a tool like ReSci. Their AI system categorizes each email recipient in a different segment based on their data. Data points can include anything from the last time a customer bought, the day and time that they open their emails, the device they use, all the way to the products that they have looked at on your site.
Another tool that has really perfected smart segmentation is the eCommerce analytics platform called Glew. The company actually got funded by Shark Tank last year which is super impressive. What they do is aggregate all of this data - from Google Ads, Analytics, Facebook Ads, AdRoll, Mailchimp and Klaviyo - to create and optimize your email marketing segments.
With smart segmentation, you don’t have to be as lost as this guy is.
What’s the benefit?
If a company has the resources to hire a full-time email marketer then they could use software like Glew to create these smart segments for them. Then they could personalize every single email template to fit each segment.
This becomes a much more powerful and fully-automated personalization.
Multivariate & A/B Testing
Another growing trend in email personalization is Multivariate and A/B Testing. A/B testing is when you test two versions of something, while multivariate is when you test multiple versions at the same time.
In the example below the A/B test is comparing the circular elements vs the rectangles, while the multivariate test is testing 4 different variants.
The challenge is: Most marketing teams don’t have the time and resources to test multiple subject lines and designs for 5-10 email flows and campaigns (at the same time).
The solution in 2020: Have AI do the whole thing.
What? It already exists??
You guessed it!
Companies like Pathfinder are offering businesses an AI assistant that creates templates and email flows in seconds and can run multiple A/B tests each month. Then it displays all the results and automatically chooses the best versions of each test.
Pathfinder’s platform is really cool. You communicate to the bot through a chat window and watch the bot create everything for you automatically. It’s a really huge time saver especially because it runs and reports on all the tests for you.
Pathfinder is definitely built for sending emails to your existing customers but the principle applies to cold email campaigns as well. Use a tool like Mailshake or Woodpecker to create A/B tests for your email drips and you will see your conversions increase.
Personalize your emails through UGC
Social media and email marketing are finally working together and in a very powerful way. Tools like Pixlee and FourSixty offer brands a way to collect their user-generated content (UGC) in one place and display them inside their emails.
Brands can now personalize their emails and put completely custom UGC galleries in each email. Pixlee actually has a feature called a Dynamic Display where it automatically displays the highest performing content any time a customer opens an email.
Personalized Customer Reviews
2020 is the year that image and video reviews are going to explode. It’s really powerful to display images and videos of your customers using your product or service on your site but it’s even more powerful if you display it via email.
Use a tool like Loox to automatically collect reviews from your customers and embed them into your emails.
You can target customers based on the reviews that they left on your site and embed product-specific review galleries to your customers based on the products that they’ve looked at.
Email personalization 2.0 is going to be so much more powerful in 2020. And if you are behind the curve we’ve outlined the specific areas and tools you can use to get ahead of the curve.
Here they are again:
- Personalize your emails with AI to send automated flows in the most optimal time and with the most optimal headline and content
- Use smart segments to boost the power of your personalization by using all the data on every customer in your favour
- Use AI to create multivariate tests on autopilot while you sleep
- Display UGC to improve the customer experience
- Display personalized reviews in each email to increase your click-through rates.
With all of these trends, 2020 is going to be a very interesting and powerful year for email marketers everywhere.
About The Author
Kas Andz is a Lead Gen expert and influencer. He has sent tens of millions of emails, generated millions in revenue for clients and booked sales meetings with the likes of Twitter, VMWare & Bentley! When he’s not working, he’s running marathons, gulping herbal tea or playing with his dog Tinkerbell.