Email Marketing Best Practices for 2021

As companies continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and what that means for their businesses, marketers will be looking for cost effective marketing options that bring in big results. At a whopping 4200%, or $42 return for every $1 spent, email marketing has the highest ROI of any marketing strategy – so it seems like a no brainer when it comes to marketing spend.

We receive a lot of emails in our inboxes everyday, so it’s easy to dismiss email as a wasted form of communication. However, for businesses both big and small, email provides an opportunity to create a personalized experience for their audience, without the big price tag. When you consider that you are 6x more likely to get a click from an email than from a tweet, it’s easy to see the impact of email marketing.

In fact, 40% of B2B marketers say that email newsletters are critical to their success, and a whopping 79 percent find newsletters to be the most successful channel for distributing content. It helps give your business a consistent touch point with your audience, so when they are ready to make a purchasing decision, you are already top of mind.

While it’s easy for emails to get swept under the rug, they can be an essential tool to help build your business and your audience. If you’re looking for ways to hit the mark in 2021 and beyond, just keep reading.

Find Your Email Frequency

There’s no magic number as to how often you should be sending out emails to your audience. If could be as often as everyday or as little as once a quarter. Do you want to stick with newsletters and purchase receipts, or do you want to have a touch point everyday? You many think that more emails means more engagement, but  many companies see the highest open rates when sending 2 emails per month.

Looking to find your sweet spot? Start by looking at your competitors frequency, and see what your team can handle in comparison. Start somewhere and track your results, including open rates, click-throughs, and unsubscribes. You can play around with a few different frequencies, track for at least 3 months, then compare your results to see what’s working.


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Make Friends with Marketing Automation

Take the tedious tasks out of email marketing so you can focus on the good stuff. By utilizing an automation tool, you can easily segment your email lists, create personalized emails, and set reminders of what types of content you should be sending to consumers at the right moment.

Depending on the software you choose, you can even create engagement flows to send your audience content that mimics their behaviour, such as abandoned carts, content that is relevant to their needs, and reminders of important dates and deadlines. The more you can follow their behaviour and actions, the more personalized your emails, and the more likely they are to remain engaged.

The use of segmentation will be a game changer for your email personalization. This could be anything from location, purchase history, interests, behavior, and a lot more. Using these segments, email marketers can create content that is specific for each segment instead of sending the same message to everyone. Using these types of lists can enable you to use dynamic content, which means you can personalize your email content based on your email list segments. One email template, endless possibilities.

Here are some ideas of engaging emails that can be set up through automation:
  • Welcome email or series. Even if it’s just a touchpoint to say hi, a welcome email is a great way to introduce your brand to new subscribers. Here you can set expectations on how you plan to interact with those subscribers, and create an opportunity for further engagement with your brand.

  • Transactional emails. Made a sale? Did someone download your content? Send them an email about! Not only does this act as a confirmation to the user, it gives you another touchpoint that doesn’t feel invasive. Transactional emails have open rates up to 8X higher than any other email and can generate up to 6X more revenue, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to up-sell and boost engagement.

  • Emails based on website activity. Marketing automation tools make it easy to see where you audience is spending time on your site, which you can use to send them tailored content. The more personalized the email, the more likely your readers feel engaged and valued by your brand. With more businesses online competing for sales, the extra personalization can help you stand out.

Plan Ahead

Nothing is worse than scrambling to put an email together at the last minute and piecing together content just to send an email out on schedule. One of the most valuable things you can do to set yourself up for success is to make a marketing calendar. This should be down at least once a quarter with your team, to highlight the topics that matter most to your audience, as well as any big promotions or events you want to have. Start big picture with your theme, and piece together the content you need to create, and have already created. From there you can easily pull relevant content to fuel your emails, while pursuing a cohesive marketing strategy.

This marketing calendar process is not only helpful for content creation and publication, but also your email schedule. Tying in your posting content and emails can help drive click throughs and ensure your content is getting exposure. By making these checkins and brainstorms a habit, you will ensure that you always have timely and relevant content ahead of time to fuel your email marketing efforts.

Make Time for Email

The easiest thing you can do to set yourself up for success is to create a set template for the different types of emails you will be sending out. That way when it comes to creation and scheduling, it’s just a matter of populating the sections with relevant information, rather than formatting from scratch. Then, you can carve out dedicated time every week or month (depending on how frequently you plan to send your newsletters) to put your emails together.

During this time you should be focusing on getting creative with subject lines and personalization, and giving yourself ample time to ensure your email is free of typos and broken links. In best practice, it’s always good to have another person check your email proof before sending to ensure that you’ve covered all your bases.

Keep Mobile in Mind

Mobile devices account for 41.9% of all opened emails. Though an email marketing tool will help do this for you, you want to ensure that your email is optimized for mobile devices. Readers will not hesitate to delete any email that doesn’t render properly on their phones. This may mean a shift in format for mobile, but don’t skip out on making this a priority.

Read More: Mobile Email Marketing & Pay Per Call: a Match Made in Heaven

Take the Time to Track Results

What’s the point of sending out emails if you don’t know what impact they are making. Use your marketing automation tool’s analytic dashboard to track things like your open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate. Then, take it a step further to dive into what email is doing to help build your business. Follow up with your sales teams to see if they’ve received more demo requests or sales as a result of your emails. Are you growing a list? Getting more testimonials? Whatever results you are seeing, make note of it. That way you can duplicate what is working, and adjust what isn’t.

Tracking analytics may seem like an afterthought when it comes to email marketing, but seeing the results of your choices can help steer you in the right direction when it comes to engaging with your audience and turning those leads into sales.

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