What Litmus' State of Email 2021 Means for Marketers

Late last year, Litmus released their annual State of Email report, and it's a fascinating read. Their insights will give you a sense of what other marketing teams across various industries are thinking, how email is evolving as a marketing channel, and even what their budget plans are.  It's a great resource for sparking ideas on how to leverage email's power for your team.

Litmus identifies 5 "monumental shifts" in how email is used and how it will change in the future. They are:

Shift 1: Email marketing is increasingly critical to business success. There's no question: Email has always been important. But now? It's essential.
Shift 2: Personalization and automation are must-haves. While not new, personalization and automation are no longer nice to have someday. The time is now.
Shift 3: Privacy measures are forcing strategies to change. Industry trends to protect privacy are impacting marketing's ability to do personalization well.
Shift 4. Brands are looking to agile marketing to meet email demand. Production cycles are getting longer while volume is increasing. Burnout is real.
Shift 5: Marketing must embrace the state of the world. Email programs are adjusting and even joining the conversations with world events, tragedies, and changes.

That's a lot to take in. But let's focus on the first three shifts and how Motiva can help you capitalize on their recommendations:

Shift #1: "Email marketing is increasingly critical to business success."
With ongoing shifts in how people shop, there is even more opportunity to reach your customers than before. But what's the best way to capitalize on that opportunity? As Litmus points out, for those audience segments that have only recently started shopping online, their inboxes are wide open. But for those segments who have simply started shopping online more, it takes greater effort to get attention in a crowded field.

This leads straight into:

Shift #2:"Personalization and automation are must-haves."
We couldn't agree more. Personalization, in particular, is how you get your audience's attention. It includes not just send time optimization — predicting when your contacts are most likely to be checking their email — but also the messaging itself.

A generic message sent to your entire audience won't deliver results. To get and keep your contact's attention, you must know what kind of messaging resonates.

This means increased message testing, with real distinctions between the variations, and more granular segmentation.

Your aim is to make your contact feel like they're having a one-on-one conversation. That's how you stand out in your contact's inbox.

According to Litmus, 55% of their respondents rarely or never use A/B or multivariate message testing. So if you are refining your messaging through testing, and creating that relationship with your audience, then Congrats! You're automatically in the top half of marketers!

When you configure a multivariate message test in Motiva, you have a real opportunity to connect with your audience segments. We always recommend running three or more distinct variations. If a message misses the mark, we'll know pretty quickly and will stop sending out that variation, with no user intervention required.

This means that your audience is getting your most powerful messaging every time. And just because a particular individual message didn't resonate with your audience as a whole, that doesn't mean you should necessarily trash it. Here's what you should consider doing with those "weaker" messages.

Shift #3 "Privacy measures are forcing strategies to change."
43% of the respondents to Litmus' survey are changing how they measure email performance in response to Apple's Mail Privacy Protection rollout last year.

26% aren't sure how they'll deal with Apple's changes, which could result in almost 50% of their open data becoming unreliable, and 24% aren't making any changes.

Motiva customers will continue to have a few advantages regarding Apple's changes.

Motiva's Message Testing filters out the polluted open data. Since the machine learning model uses automated truly random statistical sampling, what we expect is that there will be a certain percentage of polluted opens in each batch we send, and Motiva will filter those out.

We have a few more recommendations for marketers (not just Motiva customers) in an article we published last summer.

Email is still one of the most profitable marketing channels, especially when used correctly. Litmus estimates that the ROI for email is at least 36:1, and for those companies who are truly leveraging its power.

Ready to see what Motiva AI can do for your marketing team? 

Schedule a Demo

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