6 B2B Email Content Trends to Watch in 2021

Jan 18, 2021 7:55:56 PM

By Cathy Cain-Blank

Back in 2003 when we jumped into email marketing, it was simpler. Now it's a constantly evolving landscape. It continuously adapts, advances, and adjusts to the rapidly shifting technological environment. Content and design are the heart and soul of emails and if you want to generate more clicks and drive more conversions this year, you need to keep up with B2B email content trends.

Consider this: a well-thought-out email marketing campaign can generate a solid return. For every $1 you spend, you can generate approximately $42. Not bad!

You know the saying, Content is king, but it only “reigns” if you give your audience the right content. Even if you use a minimalistic template design and feature only your brand’s colors, you can deliver value by adding compelling and engaging content for the readers.

According to the Content Marketing Institute, 9 out of every 10 marketers use email marketing to distribute content organically. You should, too.

6 B2B Email Content Trends to Watch in 2021

Here are 6 email content trends to create high-performing emails.

Leverage User-Generated Content (UGC)

UGC is just like any other content you are creating for your brand: Articles, blogs, images, infographics, videos, and so on. The only difference is that your existing customers are creating it. UGC typically comprises user ratings, reviews, and testimonials. It helps a great deal in building trust with new customers and improving your online reputation.

More than 86% of businesses today include UGC in their content marketing strategy.  Additionally, approximately 84% of millennial consumers believe that UGC has, to some extent, influenced their buying decisions. All in all, UGC is 20% more influential than any other media type when it comes to millennial buyers.

Use Eco-Friendly Marketing

Sustainability. Environmental friendliness. Biodegradable material. Recycling waste. Eco-friendly marketing or environment-related content is trending big time. Many businesses are using this type of content in their emails to engage customers and prospects. Are you on Starbucks’ email list? If so, you are familiar with their eco-friendly approach.

According to the Global Web Index, 57% of consumers on the internet say that they are willing to pay more for sustainable products. Not only this, but 61% of consumers say that they would prefer switching to a brand that is more environmentally friendly than the brand they are currently associated with. How’s that for an incentive?

Add Video Content

The third most trending email content is video content. With online events, podcasts, and webinars on the rise, businesses are leveraging video content to increase email clicks and conversions. An email comprising a video can increase the click-through rate (CTR) by almost 300%. Emails with videos typically have a 96% higher CTR than emails without them. They also can reduce your unsubscribe rate by almost 75%.

That said, one of the questions we are asked on a regular basis is whether we can include videos in email campaigns. The answer is yes, but not all email clients (email programs) support videos. For example, as of the writing of this post, Apple Mail and Outlook.com allow recipients to play video that is embedded within the email, but Gmail doesn’t. And because as an email marketer you have no way of knowing what platform your customers and prospects use to view their emails, we don’t ever embed videos in email campaigns. The workaround is to include a link in your email to wherever the video is hosted (e.g., YouTube, Vimeo).

Check the Content Quality

“Quality over quantity” is another email content trend that is helping businesses improve the CTRs of their emails. Your email subscribers are looking for content that is authentic, engaging and relevant. And while you can’t go wrong with the “less is more” approach — provided your email content is crisp, concise and easy to digest — there are many successful e-newsletters featuring substantive, helpful information that are read top to bottom month after month. Bottom line? Make it a meaningful read.

Try Gamification

In email marketing, gamification refers to an approach that comprises making the email content engaging and interactive. The three main principles of gamification are award, competition, and engagement. Email subscribers participate and get a reward.

Some examples of gamification in email content are:

  • Scratch cards
  • Surveys
  • Interactive holiday cards
  • Quests
  • Wheel of fortune
  • Treasure hunt

The primary aim of gamification is to enhance the readers’ interest and entertain them — not sell to them. In the B2B world, however, depending on your industry and audience, you likely need to be selective with this approach.

Use AI-Based Recommendations

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is one of the most trending tools for personalization. It is estimated that by 2025, the AI market will grow to become a $190.61 billion industry.

AI-based machine algorithms can analyze customer data and provide them with email content in the form of personalized recommendations. Even if you don’t have enough customer data, AI can analyze their interest based on past activity and purchases. AI can also analyze when your audience opens their emails, enabling you to send the right emails with the right content at the right time.

Email marketing has been our pillar service since 2003. If your email program isn’t generating results, download our free guide, How to Develop Effective Email Campaigns.