Email in 2025 Featuring Nicola Selenu, ActiveCampaign

A guest blogger card for Nicola Selenu for the Email in 2025 series by SocketLabs

Please welcome Nicola Selenu!

Nicola Selenu is a Senior Deliverability Consultant who gives back to the community, sharing his knowledge through anti-abuse working groups, industry forums, and…well, blogs like this one! He has extensive knowledge of the EMEA and APAC markets, speaks 4 languages, and we’d imagine his Master’s in Psychology comes in handy when dealing with deliverability and compliance for ActiveCampaign.

Nicola’s view of the future is not one-sided. He has a grasp on the challenges senders face, as well as an understanding of how to align sender activity with mailbox provider requirements. And he’s not just interested in following best practices, he’s out there helping ensure the future of email remains safe for everyone involved. We’re curious to see how many of his predictions become a reality by 2025.

How do you see email fitting into the marketing mix in 2025?

In 2025, email will remain a powerful channel for communication, maintaining a prominent position in the marketing mix, particularly within the realm of digital direct marketing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) will play a pivotal role, influencing both the sending and receiving sides of the email marketing equation.

On the sending side, AI advancements will empower marketers to hyper-personalize every aspect of their email campaigns seamlessly and in full autopilot mode. This level of automation will enable marketers to tailor content, timing, and engagement strategies with unparalleled precision, thereby enhancing the overall effectiveness of email marketing efforts.

Meanwhile, on the receiving side, recipients will benefit from AI-driven enhancements in email clients. These advancements will allow users to quickly comprehend the content of emails, as their email clients guide them in discerning what truly matters among the myriad of communications. Additionally, recipients will receive assistance in identifying the most relevant follow-up actions, creating a more streamlined and efficient email experience.

However, it’s worth noting that true innovators in the use of AI for emails will be the bad actors, and this will accelerate some existing dynamics and trends.

In this scenario, Gmail’s market share will be more dominant than ever. Many of its competitors will likely exit the market, facing increased costs associated with processing AI-powered email spam and scams. Gmail will inevitably be one of the few free mailbox providers to stay afloat.

What about email do you see as a nice-to-have for now, but feel will be considered table stakes by 2025?

In terms of authentication, the industry’s direction is clear and aligns with the principle of “No Auth, No Entry.” It will be mandatory not only to authenticate your sending domain with aligned SPF and DKIM but also to have DMARC in enforced mode.

Various domains are used within an email, and it will be necessary for all of them to be “secured,” authenticated, and clearly linked to the sender.

Considering the renewed importance of Domain Reputation (including the more specific “DKIM reputation”), numerous strategies and techniques designed to counteract DKIM Replay Attacks will become standard practice. This includes oversigning, declaring an expiration tag, using unique DKIM selectors that can be monitored and promptly deactivated upon detecting an issue, and similar measures.

New “mandatory requirements” might encompass DNSSEC, MTA-STS, etc., and also more sophisticated algorithms for DKIM signatures. Since we can’t indefinitely increase the size of keys, we will need to rely on “better” algorithms while keeping the keys smaller.

We will also witness a more widespread adoption of BIMI, and ironically, this may diminish some of its much-vaunted benefits.

What do you hope or wish to see change within email by 2025?

In 2025, I hope to witness significant growth and evolution in a couple of email-related projects in which I am personally involved. Firstly, the DKIM Enablement initiative (which has currently produced an IETF draft), holds great promise as it aims to simplify the publishing of DKIM keys, fostering a broader adoption of email authentication.

Additionally, I eagerly anticipate the ongoing development of my free Deliverability plugin for WordPress. It already has the capability to DKIM-sign the website’s emails without relying on external SMTP services and analyzes the domain DNS to identify potential issues with its authentication, but there’s much more in store. With a clear roadmap and knowledge of forthcoming features set to be released in the next couple of months, it is poised to transform into a comprehensive deliverability suite by 2025. This evolution not only benefits users by providing a more robust and versatile tool but also contributes positively to the overall landscape of email functionality and effectiveness.

Last but not least, I would like to see a more widespread adoption of technologies like AMP for email. Enabling rich interactive experiences without leaving your email has immense potential, but it has not yet taken off as much as anticipated.

Table of Contents