My 5 Predictions for 2021 – Outlook on a World fighting Corona

The past year 2020 will be added to the history books as the COVID-19 pandemic year. The new year just started will still be heavily influenced by the sudden outbreak of this global challenge and the impact will continue reverberate throughout 2021.

1.      Small and local businesses will start and develop email marketing strategies

Due to the lockdowns that happened in many countries, which had a sudden impact on local retail, many small and local businesses have started to think more flexibly and are searching for new sales and business opportunities.

Local stores will start and expand their digital strategies. Alongside other strategies, many businesses know about the power of email and will start pursuing email marketing in earnest by using the email addresses available to them. Those businesses will also start high acquisition efforts to grow their email address lists and expand their email marketing activities.

2.      Back to the roots – the return of the classic “dump” newsletter

Even though professional email service providers (ESPs) have developed high-quality and powerful tools for professional and highly automated CRM and email marketing, small and local businesses can’t make that much use of these. Lack of experience, rare data and small budgets will lead to these businesses sending out mass emails like newsletters and sales promotions instead of highly dynamic and personalized CRM-based email marketing campaigns.

3.      Increasing legitimate local spam

The result of the two above-mentioned topics will be an exponential increase in local spam. Given a lack of best-practice knowledge and email standards, combined with fast business development, businesses will write to customers; emails that are not necessarily welcome. Recipients are likely to mark unexpected emails from their local stores as spam, not just the Viagra emails or other global spam classics.

Many small businesses will start their email business by using the technical platforms they are already using. This often means any sending engine that is already included in an open-source online shop solution or something similar. These often lack recommended security settings such as SPF, DKIM and DMARC and small business owners are unaware of their existence, let alone how to configure them. Without these recommended settings, their commercial emails often don’t get past spam filters.

4.      Significant growth of DMARC and BIMI implementation

The waves of coronavirus-related spam in 2020 made mailbox providers (MBPs) aware of the need for further filtering options. COVID-19 was a very welcome topic for cybercriminals and led to an increase in phishing and spoofing. Especially local MBPs need to and will act on that and implement DMARC into their inbound email filtering. Global MBPs like Gmail, Verizon or Microsoft have been using DMARC already for years and local MBPs will now have to follow. Using BIMI will help brands build trust and credibility with their customer base.

5.      DKIM will finally replace IP address

It has been an ongoing discussion for years and, indeed, this is the direct things has been developing in for a good while – the domain is becoming the important key element for email reputation and email filtering. The increase in the use and implementation of DMARC, domain alignment and BIMI means that the domain of the sender now counts for more than the IP address.

IPv4 is limited anyway, that’s been known for ages! With the increased importance placed on brand trust, the domain is the only item that can offer and fulfil that market need. MBPs, email service providers and brands have to align on that fundamental email criteria to successfully and efficiently continue to fight spam and improve email traffic.

We are happy that this post was picked as one of the top pieces to be included in the email marketing trends post for 2021 from emailmonday. Be sure to check it out for even more trends and predictions.


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