Top Email Marketing Best Practices of 2021

close up of email inbox

Email marketing is a vital part of any modern business’s marketing strategy, but that’s not to say it’s always given the time, dedication, and respect it deserves. Every year, we always see people asking whether they should spend money on email, particularly given that content these days is becoming more popular.

Friends – email marketing isn’t dead. At all.

Email still generates an average of $42 for every dollar you spend, and research shows that your customers are more likely to buy something from an email compared to social media. If you’re going to invest in just one marketing channel in 2021, then email marketing is a great way to go.

With that being said, email marketing doesn’t automatically generate results. There’s a whole ton of etiquette to remember when you’re writing a good email, and that’s before you even look at optimizing them for stellar results.

So, let’s take a look at the best email marketing practices of 2021 and why you need to start using them in your email marketing campaigns.

Personalize Your Emails

Here’s the thing that email marketers often fail to remember – your emails are being read by an audience, sure, but that audience is made up of a ton of individuals.

You might have already identified that the people on your mailing list are likely to be of a certain age group, within a certain profession, and they’re obviously interested in certain products or subjects.

But, within each audience is an individual person who will read your email. And to them, they’re not entry 375 on your database. They have a name, drive, and ambitions. So, addressing them by name is the least you can do.

The trick with this is to personalize your emails with the data you have about your customers, but avoid making it creepy. Techniques like breaking down your email lists by data points like gender, location, and level of engagement are a good method of personalizing emails without sounding like a stalker, as are birthday email offers and abandoned cart reminders.

Keep It Simple, Stupid (The KISS Principle)

One of the biggest reasons why we see so many email campaigns fail is because the people running them try to do everything all at once.

Email, as a medium, really isn’t set up for massive essay-length emails containing everything that readers need to know. The best email campaigns only focus on one thing per email and only contain links that are absolutely necessary to what the email is trying to achieve. Because emails only have a very short window in which your readers decide whether to follow a link or send it to the digital trash heap, it needs to be immediately clear what the email’s about.

This principle doesn’t just apply to the email’s message, either. Accompanying graphics need to be as simple as possible, and you should only aim to use as many graphic elements as are necessary to get your message across. Using too many graphic elements can come across as spammy, not to mention that they tend to load slowly and may not even display correctly on some devices.

Using Links

Promoting your website, product, service, or your special offers are the whole reason why you’re doing email marketing, so you need to make sure you’re using links effectively.

The most important thing to remember is that, with more people aware of email phishing scams, your links should always point to the same URL as the email is being sent from, and you should never disguise where a link is going.

Links should always be clear, and if you’re using anchor text, it needs to be obvious where the link is pointing to. While using “click here” as anchor text in a blog post works because the reader can infer from context where the link will be going, it needs to be obvious in an email that your link is pointing towards a product page, sales page, or anything else you’re promoting.

You should also think about how many links you need to use in your email. Like we said earlier, emails should focus on a single subject at once, but that’s not to say you can’t include multiple links in each email. Links are a great way to save space in an email, as you can easily link to wordier pages like your privacy policy instead of outlining it all in each email.

Writing a Killer Subject Line

How to write a good subject line is highly disputed, but for good reason – if you’re looking at increasing newsletter open rates, then the best place to start is with the subject line.

Time-based phrases like “last chance” and “today” have been proven to boost email open rates, but by far the most clicked-on subject lines include the word “free”. You might not find that surprising, but it’s a good indication that your newsletter subscribers are always looking for value in every communication you send.

It’s also a good idea to have a list of subject lines so you don’t end up re-using the same subject line for every sale, new product drop, or business update. A ton of companies do this, and if you’re subscribed to their email list for long enough, it becomes pretty obvious that you’re just rehashing the same email formats each time.

Marketing experts also recommend throwing in some question-type subject lines to pique your readers’ curiosity. Subjects like “Guess who’s signing books in store next week?” are great for increasing newsletter open rates because they get the reader interested in the email subject.

Email Marketing Best Practices of 2021: In Summary

Email marketing is a fantastic marketing avenue if you’re willing to put the time and effort into learning how to engage your readers. With your customers being more aware than ever of email scams, you need to make sure your emails come across as genuine, clear, and honest. If you keep these best practices in mind, you’re bound to see some awesome results from your next email marketing campaign.

Good luck!

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