Email Marketing Trends That Are Not Going Away

So, you want to brush up on your brand’s email marketing strategy? Of course––high traffic, heavy engagement and click-through rates are vital checkmarks for any successful business. Fortunately, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got some tips and tools on offer, along with some examples of where you can get started. Here are some tried and tested email marketing trends that are here to stay.

Mobile optimization

To put things simply: everybody is on a mobile phone. EVERYONE. And for those who aren’t? You’re not going to want to waste time and resources trying to appeal to them. They have made their choice, and they can live with it. That leaves everybody else––no small number. In fact, by 2022, there are estimated to be 7.26 billion mobile users around the world. That’s a little less than the entire current global population (try to figure that out). A lot of people are online and on the go. And when they are going, a lot of them are checking their emails. This presents one of the most important opportunities for businesses to engage with their customers. And yet, most email campaigns are not optimized for mobile readers.

According to studies, nearly 80% of mobile users have made a purchase online using their device. If you want to increase traffic while delivering your brand message effectively, you MUST make mobile optimization a priority during your next email campaign. This does not involve draining your resources or dollars from your company budgets. On the contrary, your existing campaigns likely need only a few minor tweaks. Well-optimized emails are clean, concise and to the point. They fit the smaller screen without overwhelming users by incorporating heavy graphics or bad UX/UI. If you want to increase the click-through rates, without sacrificing brand identity, try to keep things to the point.

Who’s doing good work on good mobile optimization?

There are many great examples of brands that use effective mobile optimization in their email campaigns. Some consistently great ones include FilmSupplyRalphLauren, and Glossier.


Dark mode-designed content

This one goes hand in hand with mobile optimization but is strong enough of a trend to deserve its own spot. By now, you know the figures around how many people are using their phones to make purchases. But what marketers may not be considering is where and why these people are using their phones.

There are many reasons why mobile users might choose to switch their phones over to dark mode. To conserve energy, to ease eye strain, to maintain a Gothic aesthetic. Or because they are scrolling through emails in bed next to a sleeping partner. The possibilities are endless. That’s why it’s best NOT to forget about them. Dark mode mobile use is a growing trend for all the above reasons. Brands should be adapting to keep up with competitors. – Read more

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My Top 10 Learnings From Ben Chestnut, CEO of Mailchimp

So the recent SaaStr Annual 2020 at Home was a smashing success.  3 days, 100s of roundtables and sessions, and 1000s of 1-on-1s.

I was fortunate enough to lead two discussions, the first with one of my favorite CEOs, but one I hadn’t been able to do a deep dive with before, Ben Chestnut, CEO of Mailchimp.

I’ve been a 3x customer and watched Mailchimp over almost 20 years grow to be perhaps the first SaaS company to hit $1b+ in ARR being 100% bootstrapped.

My top 10 learnings:

1. Yes, bootstrapping really does take 3-4 years longer.  We’ve talked about and written about this many times before, but Ben vigorously agreed.  Mailchimp took years to transition from an agency to a software business, and then years until it finally took off when they added freemium.  In fact, really, it took 2 years to get going and 4 years to hit Initial Traction.  Bootstrapping is less a lifestyle than something we just do when it’s the only or best option.  More here.

2.  You may not need a moat. Maybe let them go if they aren’t happy. Happiness is a moat.  I’ve had a lot of discussions over the years on what constitutes a “moat” for many SaaS products.  Ben confirmed there is no moat at Mailchimp.  He said in fact, he doesn’t want moats.  If a customer wants to leave, he wants them to leave.  And hopefully earn them back later.  “Customer happiness is a moat”.  You don’t get that if you make it hard to leave.

3. Phase 2 might take 12 years to get to. It’s OK. Talk to more customers to know when you are ready.  Mailchimp in the past 2 years has grown from an email company to a marketing automation company.  That’s a big change, and their own version of finally going upmarket.  But boy — they waited!  Almost 20 years.  They waited until $1b in ARR to go upmarket more, to add a much richer and broader product suite that took them out of “just” email.  So do at the right pace. A bit more here.

4.  It can take 24+ mos. to get to real Product Market Fit. Mailchimp didn’t really have product-market fit until it went Freemium a full 2 years in.  We’ve talked for years on SaaStr on how you have to budget 24 months to really get something off the ground in SaaS.  Here’s another case study.  It also took Mailchimp 24 months, and a tilt to freemium (which they initially resisted), to even get to $1m in ARR.  A bit more here.

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What’s the Difference Between Marketing Automation and CRM?

Living in a competitive, data-driven world means your business has to do more in order to keep up with ever-changing customer preferences. Fortunately, there are now tools designed to boost your sales and attract more clients to your business. Two of the most popular ones are CRM and marketing automation.

So what is the main difference between CRM and marketing automation? Each system has its own goals. Marketing automation software focuses on lead nurturing, while customer relationship management (CRM) software nudges customers through the sales pipeline. Another difference is the sales pipeline stage they work on: Marketing automation generates the leads, and these leads are converted into buyers using CRM. Together, these two programs perform hand-in-hand to deliver results.

What Is CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. It’s a technology that allows you to keep track of interactions with potential customers and handle relationships with existing customers. Generally, CRM solutions help your organization improve by finding new customers, getting in touch with them, and organizing their information so that you can win their business.

CRM is mostly used by sales teams and customer service teams, although marketing, recruitment, business development and even upper management benefit from CRM. This is because CRM gives everyone a clear picture of what is going on with the company’s external relations.

How Does CRM System Work?

Fundamentally, CRM systems serve as a centralized storage space for prospect and customer data. Colleagues in an organization can track how each other are doing, because every interaction with a customer is recorded by the CRM. You will also have access to customer history, which serves as a reference to consult with in case issues arise.

More sophisticated CRM software can even collect data from leads and customers through various touchpoints: social media, websites, email, and so on. Other CRM systems also offer analytic capabilities, synthesizing data into a report ready to be used by an organization. An effective CRM database can also be used for filing important notes, scheduling follow-ups, and organizing sales team processes.

What Are The Benefits of CRM?

For a small business with few customers, CRM may not be a “must-have” yet. But if you want to grow your business and engage with more people, it definitely pays to invest in a CRM system as early as possible. Here are some benefits of getting CRM:

  • Central, organized database: Your sales team can easily share documents with each other, so you won’t spend time looking for files or encounter difficulties in case someone leaves.
  • Fewer administrative tasks: You won’t have to waste valuable time doing manual tasks such as data entry, since those processes are automated under CRM.
  • Smarter decision-making: CRM can assist you in analyzing customer information, forecasting sales, and evaluating sales performances – allowing you to make better decisions for your company.

What Is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is a technological feature that allows businesses to manage marketing campaigns and processes across multiple channels even without hands-on intervention. Using marketing automation software, businesses can send customers targeted, automated messages through text, email, web, and social media.

With automation software, your marketing team can improve how it generates, nurtures and scores leads. Not only that, but they can also measure the overall ROI for campaigns. Marketing automation is a tool that will save you a lot of time and money, because it lets you put a finger on your market’s pulse.

How Does Marketing Automation Software Work?

Marketing automation is effective for streamlining the responsibilities of a marketing team. The process begins as you collect customer data through interactions on various digital platforms. The data you collect create an in-depth view of each customer. From there, you can program the software to respond automatically to leads and customers.

Good automation will identify your audience, design appropriate content, and trigger actions or messages based on a schedule or specific customer behavior. For example, a lead who viewed your website makes an inquiry through email. With email marketing automation, the right series of messages or helpful articles can be sent to that lead – ensuring that they aren’t ignored or receive a late reply.

Aside from this basic function, marketing automation can also automate segmentation and lead qualification based on customer profiles. This helps your team create relevant content and messages for their target audience.

What Are The Benefits of Marketing Automation?

Your marketing efforts don’t have to be a hit-or-miss situation. Marketing automation is the solution for managing a cohesive, streamlined campaign every time. Here are some of the benefits in implementing marketing automation:

  • Efficient lead nurturing: Turning leads into potential buyers is the goal of marketing, which is why marketing automation pays a lot of attention to lead nurturing. From lead scoring to email marketing, marketing automation software ensures that your company consistently reaches out to potential clients – without exhausting your staff.
  • Detailed customer profile creation: Marketing automation captures information about your customers through their web behavior, email open rates, and other responses. This attention to detail creates more specific audience profiles.
  • Personalized messaging: Personalised content lends a human touch to marketing, which is why it’s an effective way of nurturing leads. Email marketing or targeted ad campaigns would translate to better sales if buyers received unique content tailored to them. – Read more

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