The 2021 Email Blast: Channel Is Even More Important Than It Was Last Year

Email took on a bigger role in 2020, and there’s no sign that it will be letting up in 2021, according to The Importance of Email During COVID-19 And Beyond, a study by Campaign Monitor. 

Of the companies surveyed, 91% say email will be vital or very important for communications in 2021, versus 83% who said the same the prior year.

The reason? “Email became a lifeline for communicating a number of critical needs and providing content and entertainment” as people worked at home, the study explains. 

But brands had to make some major adjustments in 2020, and presumably will face more changes in 2021.

The top concerns of 2020 were: 

  • Need to develop new emails — 35%
  • Less time — 32%
  • Shifting priorities to address COVID-19 topics — 32%
  • Decrease in engagement — 26%
  • Shift to digital-only events — 25%
  • Limited creative resources — 24%
  • Limited/reduced budgets — 18%
  • Reduced staff — 15%
  • Working from home — 15%
  • More work proofing — 14%
  • Increase in unsubscribes — 9%



Looking forward, 20% hope to win new subscribers in 2021, and 19% seek to leverage insights and campaign results. 

Those goals are followed by automation, and further down the list by use of more creative design, optimization, sending more email and personalization.

What’s on the marketing wish list this year? Of those surveyed, 58% want an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor, 38% want demand personalization systems and 38% hope for segmentation capabilities.  

Most respondents focused primarily on email newsletters in 2020. But many have had to “wear many hats as they execute different marketing needs from email to events, in-store marketing, social media, search, and more,” the study notes. 

The report continues: “The same agility that sustained marketers through the pandemic will be what helps them post-pandemic as well.”

Campaign Monitor surveyed 130 clients, primarily small- to mid-sized firms. 

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