Email in 2025 Featuring Sloan Simmons, beehiiv
Please welcome Sloan Simmons!
Sloan Simmons is a queer email data nerd focused on creating a safe space to ask questions, educate, and learn more himself while he works in deliverability and compliance at beehiiv. He aims to explain the human element of email technology and to build a place where new people are interested to learn more.
One of the best things about Sloan is his people-first approach to email. Surely he worries about deliverability and numbers, but he also prioritizes educating and empowering senders. Rather than focusing on the business aspect of success, he’s able to see the holistic outcomes of every decision. If you’re looking for ideas on how to make life easier for the email community in 2025, read through — with a magnifying glass, even — all of his answers.
How do you see email fitting into the marketing mix in 2025?
The fundamentals of email, particularly email marketing, move at the pace of a large ship. Long, timely turns are needed for major changes to occur. By 2025, I expect little to change as a whole for email. That said, with the increase in accessibility of ESPs and CDPs handling the technological requirements of a sender, I hope to see an increase in adoption of authentication and understanding around deliverability stats.
There’s a lot more documentation (including video explanations!) of email’s drier concepts that are accessible and digestible for an audience not already engrossed in the topic. To me, I see more of that happening in the future and that excites me. The more a sender understands quick foundational topics, all the easier to work with deliverability compliance, privacy, and strategy teams.
My hope for email by 2025 is a deep well of easily searchable applicable education for senders.
What about email do you see as a nice-to-have for now, but feel will be considered table stakes by 2025?
Internal deliverability tools.
Deliverability teams across the globe need to be able to define these tools and get support from their companies to build them. Often senders are left piecing together pieces where data is available. Data that could be manipulated and displayed in an educational and/or prescriptive way by deliverability teams. Deliverability teams make due now, and quite well! This could be so much better with internal investments by ESPs and other sending platforms. Improvements come from understanding and understanding comes from information. So much of email requires pattern recognition. Something difficult to accomplish when several different sources of data have to be combined or scraped together to make a cohesive story.
Deliverability teams need to learn how to mock up or present the tools they need and companies need to invest in those tools.
What do you hope or wish to see change within email by 2025?
More notable impact for sending to dead addresses and better/more forms of resolution.
This one is difficult as I’m not specifically looking for ways to punish a sender, though that may be how this sounds. For decades (actual, literal decades now) email privacy, compliance, deliverability, receivers, and listing sites have been telling senders to focus on keeping a relevant list of addresses. This is, by far, the most common conversation email folks have. Repeatedly.
The volume of educational material on why sunsetting addresses is a positive practice is enormous. There is, of course, room for new senders to learn, but there are long-standing, well-known companies out there ignoring or skirting these practices expecting an accommodation. I still believe in most cases this is due to naivety.
What I hope for is an impact more noticeable by a sender and easier to recognize by deliverability teams. I don’t wish to stop senders from sending mail to healthy addresses, but I would love to see better clarity around actions and consequences of poor sending. I would love to see more verbose responses and openness to communicate from listings and receivers.
Understanding list health is critical and often senders seem wrapped up in addresses as dollar potential only. There are people on the other end of a message. Unless there aren’t. In which case, please clean your list.