Email in 2025 Featuring Seth Charles, Iterable

Please welcome Seth Charles!

Seth Charles has been in email marketing, deliverability, and messaging systems for thirteen years and currently works as Senior Director, Delivery Operations at Iterable. He loves this field and has made some lifelong friends along the way. Seth is proud of the work he helped complete and looks forward to continuing to help to shape the direction our industry is going.

We can always count on Seth to provide a thoughtful, multi-layered approach to email and its future. One of the most interesting aspects of his answers here is his insight into how today’s economic conditions can actually enable more reliance on email and what that might mean for email marketers in the next two years. And don’t miss that final line. Poetry.

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

I think email will be more foundational than ever before when it comes to companies marketing strategies in 2025. It remains as an incredibly cost-effective way to communicate with consumers, and is also one that generates some of the most consistent interactions.

I have seen this in uncertain economic times like this before. Senders need to balance marketing and tech budgets to help navigate the economy, and therefore need to make the most out of how they engage with their customers. So, while those budgets may fluctuate over the next year or so, I believe that email will make up an even bigger cohort of that spend.

We’ll see senders lean into proven channels like email to communicate and generate revenue. I fully suspect that ultimately when the macro environment improves, the use of email will then expand with it.

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

I think personalization will continue to evolve and become more important than ever before, and I don’t mean simply a first name at the beginning of some copy. Customers expect messaging to be tailored to their preferences regardless if they explicitly articulate them, unfortunately for senders!

Further, senders have to exist in a world where consumers are particularly protective of their data. Therefore by 2025 (and even before), marketers will need to be ready to interpret more diverse sets of signals across multiple mediums to fully understand the how, what, why, and when of commercial messaging, because their customers demand it.

Those able to listen to these signals will thrive in an ever-crowded messaging ecosystem, and those that don’t will flounder and dilute their budgets and time with templatized, batched campaigns.

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

I see shades of this now, but I think that as an industry we’re moving towards the need for dynamic and cross-channel lifecycle messaging networks. And by that I mean marketers will have to meet customers wherever they want to be met. This can mean via email, SMS, mobile, etc. in varying AND evolving degrees.

So, I hope to see more senders be more open to the adoption of new technologies and the strategies that will result from them. Email is a very personal medium, and to get the most out of it marketers will have to build agility into their strategy. If a customer invites a sender into their email’s inbox, they’ll have to continuously prove their own relevance. The best way to do this will be to test, listen, and evolve. The most success will come from being able to utilize various user signals to combine into an organic recipient profile and react and anticipate their needs.

To be irrelevant in email is to wilt away in the spam folder.