Much as it has on almost everything else, COVID-19 has had an impact on email marketing. A recent report [download page] from Litmus reveals that more than 8 in 10 marketing professionals from around the world say that the pandemic has impacted their email strategy either significantly (22%) or a little bit (62%).
Strategy is not the only email-related factor that has been impacted by the pandemic. The majority of respondents report that their email workload (70%) and volume (61%) have increased since the pandemic. Others report seeing an increase in last-minute email changes (45%). And, while some report that their email marketing budgets (10%) and the size of their full-time email team (14%) have decreased, most say these factors have remained the same since the pandemic.
Litmus also reports an increase in the share of marketers who are spending 2 or more weeks working on an email. This increase is not necessarily linked to the pandemic. In fact, the increase started prior to COVID-19. In 2019, about half (49%) of marketing professionals said they had a 2+ week email production cycle. That percentage increased to 53% in 2020, and has now grown to 58%.
To develop their emails, most marketers are currently using HTML email framework or templates (76%) and email guidelines or design systems (58%), while fewer currently use snippets (43%) and partials (16%). The report also suggests that email production is being slowed down by the proofing methods being used. The most popular methods include email thread or comments (especially in reply to a test send), messaging apps like Slack or Teams, and live in person or over video calls.
Few Use Email to Address DE&I
Although research from The CMO Survey shows that a majority of US senior marketers say that diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I) is a priority for their company, 7 in 10 say they have difficulty assessing the value of DE&I-related opportunities. Litmus’ survey indicates that many marketers are not keen to use email to address their company’s stance on DE&I — 42% say they haven’t and have no plans to.
However, marketers have made some conscious effort to make their emails more diverse and inclusive by including more demographics in imagery, using inclusive language in copy, and celebrating diverse holidays.
Finally, more than 6 in 10 (62%) say that world events have at least sometimes had an impact on empathy and tone in emails.
The full report can be found here.
About the Data: Results are based on a survey of almost 400 marketing professionals around the world.