12 Tips for a Successful Email Marketing Strategy in 2020

By October 6, 2020 No Comments
successful email marketing strategy

Depending on your industry, the average email open rate should be around 24% and your email click rate should be around 4%. Are you falling short of these average numbers? Email marketing has rapidly evolved, and in order to have an effective email marketing strategy, marketers must look at their email strategy periodically and make changes. To resonate with your audience, it’s important to keep up with trends, while also understanding what your audience is looking for. We’ve revisited this blog post to give you email marketing strategy tips in 2020 to provide more updates on what works best.

Here are 12 tips on creating an effective email marketing strategy in 2020:

1. Focus on personalization

Personalized email marketing strategyPersonalization had been an important part of effective email marketing since its inception, and it continues to be an important email marketing strategy tip in 2020. However, today it means more than just using your customer’s name. It’s also important to know what they’re looking for.  Here are a few examples of personalization that will make your emails stand out.

  • Personalize your subject line: This is a classic. By using your customer’s name in the subject line, you can grab their attention immediately.
  • Discounts on previously viewed items: If your customer already showed interest in an item, show it to them again, this time with a discount or other incentive.
  • Show information of interest: If you have an active blog or newsletter with lots of fresh content, use your customer’s or lead’s interests to show them content that will be most helpful to them.
  • Show products of interest: Use this carefully. If your customers already purchased a one-time item like a mattress, they’re unlikely to be interested in more mattresses. However, they might be interested in similar, smaller items, like clothing, books, fragrances, and many more.

The final thing to keep in mind when setting up a personalized email marketing strategy is that timing is everything. To reach your audience at the perfect time, create custom triggers that send your emails when an action is taken. For example, after they’ve completed a purchase, or after they’ve had your product for 2 weeks.

Personalizing your emails based on actions, goals and timing will help you create an effective email marketing strategy in 2020.

2. Segment lists based on buyer personas

A key component to personalizing emails is to focus on segmenting your email lists. When segmenting your email lists, you’ll want to ensure they’re first based on buyer personas. Separating your email lists based on the type of lead or customer they are will allow you to create email content thats catered to each group. From there, you’ll work on creating attributes or sub-lists based on additional details about your audience, like actions they took on your website, or content they interacted with. Finally, all of your list segments should be based on goals. By creating open rate, click rate and email interaction goals for your list segments, you can continually improve your email messaging and timing to make sure you’re being as effective as possible.

3. Consistency is Key

Another component of a successful email marketing strategy is consistency. If your lists are expecting an email from you, they’re much more likely to open and interact with your emails. Sending out an email to your lists periodically isn’t going to be worthwhile because your emails risk being marked as spam and not getting opened at all. Create an email marketing schedule and stick to it to build rapport with your customers.

Creating consistency with your email marketing strategy doesn’t only include email frequency, it also includes content. Make sure your emails incorporate content that your audience is highly interested in so that they look forward to your emails when you send them. This includes design, your emails should be branded and have a cohesive design that meets your brand standards.

4. Don’t Just Guess – A/B Test Your Emails

The next area of focus for a successful email marketing strategy in 2020 is A/B testing. You can’t fully read the minds of your audience, so using data will help you refine your message. When running an A/B test on your emails, make sure you focus on testing one variable at a time.

For example, you may focus on:

  • Subject line
  • The offer included
  • Who the email is from
  • Your email list segments
  • Or minor design changes


All of these variables can have a huge impact on the overall success of the campaigns in your email marketing strategy, however testing them at the same time won’t give you any concrete answers as to what works and what doesn’t. A/B testing is a gradual component of perfecting your email marketing strategy that can help you continuously improve.

5. Follow Email Marketing Regulations

It’s important to remember email marketing regulations. As marketing evolves, it’s common to want to push the envelope with your email marketing strategy to beat out your competitors. However, there are a few rules and regulations that need to be followed so that you aren’t penalized.  The CAN-SPAM Act, for example, was created in 2003 to regulate commercial businesses, both B2B and B2C. It was put in place to ensure consumers have rights when it comes to how businesses interact with them through email. It’s main three purposes are to regulate messaging so that it’s not misleading, to regulate the information disclosed about the company whose sending the email and to give the recipient a way to opt-out or unsubscribe. Emails that are in violation of the CAN-SPAM Act could receive over $40,000 in penalties, so it’s not something to mess around with. Aside from laws, following common sense privacy rules, like only sending emails to those you have permission to contact, will ensure you are running a compliant email marketing strategy.

6. Use Compelling Subject Lines

Subject lines matter. Did you know, 47% of email recipients open an email based solely on a subject line? With the massive number of emails your leads or customers are already receiving, you need to make sure you make an impact with your subject line. Taking time to write a concise and impactful subject line will improve your open and click rates. It’s your first impression with your email content, so to cut through the clutter you’ll need to get creative and demand attention.

If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to creating compelling subject lines, here are a few strategies to keep in mind.

  • Questions: A question subject line is a classic. Questions pique our interest and make up subconsciously come up with an answer. This makes us focus a bit longer on an email, which can be the difference between an open or not.
  • Emotional appeal: The most common emotional appeal in email subject lines is a fear of missing out (you’ve probably seen subject lines containing “buy now!” and “almost gone!” or “sale ending!”). However, consider how you can get creative.
  • Short and sweet: Some of the most impactful email subject lines are just one word. Fundraisers are especially good at this, using conversational openers like “Hey” or “It’s time” or “Your donation.”
  • Intrigue: When two subjects don’t seem to go together, or when something is out-of-place, it creates a sense of intrigue. Readers wonder what it could mean. In the example below, “A Wine Pairing Guide for True Crime Lovers” brings two incongruous things together; wine and true crime.
  • Get to the point: What is the essence of your message? How would you open a conversation about it? Or, what is the most noteworthy thing in your message? Try to sum this up in just a few words and put it in your subject line.

subject lines to improve your email marketing strategy in 2020

7. Keep Mobile in Mind

When opening emails, the modern email user is using a mobile device. In fact, 75% of Gmail users use mobile devices when opening or interacting with email. Keeping mobile in mind is a key component of a successful email marketing strategy because it ensures your emails are reaching the largest audience. Making sure your emails are compatible with mobile devices will become even more important over time. A recent study also showed that worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion (Radicati). Making sure your emails are easy to read and interact with in mobile is a huge component of your emails performance.

8. Automate Emails Using Workflows

Email automation is key to a successful email marketing strategy in 2020. Most likely, your list will need automated follow-up emails that prompt them to take a next step. Setting up workflow emails based on how your lead joined your list and steps that they take afterward will improve the purpose of your emails and make them more effective.

For example, lets say you have an email set up to thank those who download a guide on your website. The conversation shouldn’t stop there. Once they’re thanked, you should set up an email series over the next two to three weeks that gives them additional steps to take including contacting your team if they have questions or taking another step that’s farther down the buyer’s journey like signing up for a free trial of your product or service. Creating multiple touch points will keep your audience engaged and is a key component to an effective email marketing strategy in 2018.

9. Continually Improve with Reporting

When setting up a successful email marketing strategy, reporting is key. The only way to improve your email marketing strategy is to know your stats and use them to your advantage. Look at stats that give you a bigger picture on engagement, like open and click rates, so that you know what grabs your audiences attention. And also focus on stats that give you a bigger picture, like conversions, so that you know your emails are reaching goals that you set. Using key reporting stats will help you perfect your email workflows in the future.

10. Revisit

Some customers will open and click on emails frequently. Others might not have opened an email in a month or more. When customers haven’t opened or interacted with an email in a while, revisit with them. Create a separate list for those who haven’t interacted in a while, and create a reengagement email for them. Use a subject line that will acknowledge their lack of engagement, such as “we miss you” or  “it’s been a while” or “here’s what you’ve missed.” Include a product that they’ve previously ordered or a preference they designated at some point. You might even create an offer just for these contacts, such as a special sale or an informational blog post about new products.

email marketing strategies for 2020

A re-engagement email like this one can help bring cold leads and customers back.

11. Use New Content Types

In some cases, text is the best way to convey your message. However, it helps to change up your content types to generate excitement and interest. Video content gets more views and shares than text or pictures, though this can be difficult to put into an email. You might include a gif in the email to give a preview, and then include a link to the full video. Or, consider other content types like surveys or competitions.

12. Try a Shortened Version

More is not always better. For some email types, you should get straight to the point. One experiment found that cutting the email text by 75% increased reply rates by 300%. It’s important to still get your message across, but see if you can do it with the fewest words possible. Remember that your customers have a lot of demands on their time. To try this email marketing strategy in 2020, start with an A/B test to experiment with email lengths and check on the results.

Email marketing is still highly effective in 2020, if you dedicate time to it. Use automation and email programs to customize your emails based on your lead’s and customers preferences. Focus on what your customers are looking for, and how you can deliver it best.

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