Email Marketing of the Future

With new challenges come new opportunity

According to our crystal ball and many email marketing experts, the email of the future is a highly targeted email. Litmus just released a cool piece on Email Marketing in 2020. In this article, we are going to analyze what’s happening now in both the email marketing ecosystem and the latest technologies, to forecast how the email of the future will look.We’ll do our best to avoid buzzwords and go straight to the point.

An active representation of a pattern recognition process

In order to provide highly targeted emails to customers, we must add some intelligence to the email marketing ecosystem. In the future, we will have conscious email software smarter than humans that will take care of all our email marketing worries. Alright, that was bold…to say the least.

We’re not close toWe’re not close to building human level artificial intelligence yet so our definitionof intelligence must be different. I propose to define email intelligence as the ability to leverage a vast set of of data to understand a user to the point where we can craft a highly relevant message at the right time that delights and engages them. From the surface, the implication of this definition does not seems like a big deal. In fact, many email service providers (ESPs) claim to already accomplish this feat. Under the hood though, there are many tricky technical/magic things happening. Let’s break it down in different parts to fully analyze what this means.

The ability to leverage a vast set of data to understand users

This essentially means that email marketing software is going to be able collect data from different sources and convert raw data into meaningful information through different processes. With the rise of the internet of everything, it means that email marketing software will somehow access all those data points in order to understand the user. As you can imagine, there will be a limit on how much data ESPs can access. The way email clients, ESPs, and the platform of the future will collaborate will be key to making this phase a success. The idea is to leverage ………..(fill the blank with predictive analytics, machine learning, big data or artificial intelligence,etc) to know and understand the user behind the online profile. This segmentation 2.0 will be achieved with smarter software, improved tracking tools, and better collaboration in the ecosystem. From there, we can move to the next phase.

Crafting highly relevant messages at the right time that delight & engage the user.

Inbox by Gmail is already using machine learning to suggest potential email reply’s that mimic your writing style. Imagine if the email marketing software of the future could create its own content. Well now that I’m thinking about it, it has to create its own content. That’s the only way to have one-on-one digital communication with customers at scale. Using the pool of data we gathered above, we should be able to send emails that delight customers. When was the last time you were delighted by an email?


The best timing is quite interesting too. Imagine emails that show up at the most appropriate time…

The future is now

The Future is Now

Now, we do have smart email marketing software available today. There is a new breed of emails, and they’re called predictive emails. Basically, an email marketing software that enables you to deliver precise, personalized content and relevance at scale.

The only difference between the current predictive emails and the email of the future is their domain of expertise. Currently, most predictive email software are highly focused in niches (just like most current artificial intelligence software)., for example, is currently an ecommerce focused predictive email platform. Predictive Response, on the other end, provides email marketing for the Salesforce platform. There is going to be more movement in the space in the coming years as most traditional ESPs are adding predictive capabilities to their software.

Brace yourself, the mutation has begun...

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Written by Jessica Wesley-Smith. Jess is a member of the customer success team at We also tweet about email marketing at @rareio.

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