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8 Email Marketing and Data Enrichment Predictions for 2020

In our 2020 Predictions Blog, we asked a few members of the Webbula Team to share their vision of what will happen in the email and data industry in the year 2020. 

Enjoy this peek at the future of the email and data industry!

My prediction is that America will finally get serious about protecting data and everyone’s digital identity by implementing a national data privacy standard. Right now it is being debated in congress. The lack of a national standard has given rise to a patchwork of state-based regulations (e.g., CCPA, NY Privacy laws etc.), and I believe we will begin to seriously gravitate towards one national standard. 

Personalization — aided by AI — will continue to be a major focus in email marketing. As our ability to improve and collect audience data improves, so will our ability to improve personalized email marketing messages. Specifically, our ability to target the correct send time will increase and therefore improve our metrics.

I thought what Chad S. White, Head of Research at Oracle Marketing Cloud Consulting, said recently highlighted this well: “Personalization in all of its forms will continue to grow, but the personalization of send time will be one of the fastest growing forms. More email service providers are offering this functionality, which optimizes the send times of emails to individual subscribers based on their historical open patterns. So, 2020 is set to be a big year for the adoption of send-time optimization.”  

OTT (Over-The-Top) marketing will continue to grow as more users consume over an increasing amount of services and screens.  Leaders will create the best experience for those users and take advantage of those additional opportunities to tell the most relevant story.

We will see accelerating Growth in Marketing Technology Leaders seeking more comprehensive email hygiene solutions and experience. When I speak with Traditional Retailers, Direct-To-Consumer Brands, Automotive OEMs and their nationwide Dealership Channels about their “Digital Customer” and “Digital Prospect”, they tell me that when they strip off all the supporting information about the “Customer” or “Prospect” the nugget of gold that really matters above everything else is a good, deliverable email address. 

Many people I speak to are not confident that they are sending to real prospects and customers who are ready to engage. In the past many have applied an Email Verification process to identify what email addresses will deliver to an inbox (ie. not Hard Bounce). What customers have learned over time is that these Verification Only solutions are not helping customers to win the battle to keep their reputation with ISPs in good standing by avoiding active, hidden, and malicious email threats like non-existent or not real addresses and spam traps. 

Consolidation of email service providers will continue. Moves like SendGrid by Twilio, Terminus purchasing Sigstr, and Return Path by Validity will spawn other major players to acquire new capabilities through the path of least resistance via acquisition.  

Mobile in 2020 will become the design, deliverability, and engagement standard for email marketers. Expect to see designers incorporate more interactivity into their mobile email design and user interfaces that promote the mobile experience.  

Google Assistant, Venmo, self-driving cars, the Ring Doorbell, and other smart devices all made a powerful run in the last decade. As we look into 2020, I predict that there will be a strong impact on smart devices and their voice assistant technology make within the email marketing industry. They will allow consumers to have an easier interaction with their emails by having them read aloud and then responding without ever touching a keyboard.

As companies fight for consumers reading time they will have to get more creative with the environment in which they interact with people. In order to interact with people companies are realizing that they will need to enhance the experience for the customer. Enhancements such as 5G, more intuitive talking robots (talk to text and text to talk), better AI to accelerate the adoption of self-driving cars, and personalization will continue to increase with the help of AI as people want to engage with their feelings as well as their ears and eyes. Companies are going to be more focused on data, and ensuring that data is accurate. Nothing kills a deal faster than marketing your newest hairbrush to a bald guy. Speaking of data, email will continue to be a solid revenue generator for companies.  When it comes to email, businesses will need to focus on partnering with a company that can cut through the noise to clearly and confidently identify emails that will reach humans versus bots. ISPs and ESPs will continue to crack down on spammers as consumers want to connect with the brands they want, when they want.

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