Back to Basics: 8 Ways Email Marketers Can Rise Above the Rest in 2020

By December 27, 2019 No Comments

Over two decades after inception, email remains one of the most effective tools in the marketer’s toolbox. It is a tried-and-true workhorse that has never faltered in its ability to drive serious revenue for businesses of just about every industry. According to Accetrix, there will be 4.2 billion email accounts by 2022 and email marketing ROI can still reach upwards of 4400%, or $44 generated for every $1 spent. 

While the technology that builds, personalizes, and sends email has changed a lot in recent years, the basic tenets of a successful campaign have not. It’s important for marketers to realize that all the fancy bells and whistles in the world can’t save a message that is poorly conceived and executed. In this post, we’ll share the eight fundamentals to building a stand-out campaign so you can put your best foot forward in 2020.

Quality over quantity

Email inboxes are crowded—making it difficult to stand out—but peppering your customers with email after email, especially if they are irrelevant, will do little to build brand loyalty. In fact, it will likely do the opposite. Think of the last time you subscribed to a company’s email list and within 24 hours you had received five messages? What did you do? Opted out? Sending one relevant, targeted communication will yield far better results than a “spray and pray” strategy. 

Make sure messages are mobile friendly

By now this should be a no-brainer. According to Email Monday, 49% of all emails sent are opened on a mobile device, which means that if you messages are not optimized for mobile, you are potentially alienating half of your audience. Emails that are not mobile-friendly can also have a negative impact on long-term deliverability. Make sure to use an email preview tool to see how your message will look on different devices before you hit “send.”

Choose the right metrics to track and measure

Famous management consultant Peter Drucker once said “What gets measured gets improved.” This adage holds true for email, but only if you are tracking the right metrics for your business. If your company is a retailer that depends on your email marketing to generate sales, revenue per email is probably your key metric. But if you’re an online content creator, email referral traffic may be what’s most important. The key here is taking a look at your overall objectives. Opens and clicks mean nothing if they don’t lead the user to their intended goal.

Create eye-catching subject lines or headlines

It feels like there have been more articles written about subject lines than any other email topic. That’s because creating the perfect subject line is hard, and absolutely critical to the success of your campaign. You likely have 1-2 seconds to capture a subscriber’s attention before they choose to open or delete your message, so make sure you put some time and effort into a subject line that will stand out. According to Marketing Sherpa, emails with personalized subject lines have a 29.3% higher open rate, which can have a huge effect on the bottom line. Don’t let this important step sneak by you.  

Present your brand professionally

This should be obvious, but it’s shocking how many messages contain spelling mistakes, broken links, and formatting errors. This makes us think: “If a brand cannot take the time to proof their marketing messages, what else are they missing?” Testing your emails on multiple platforms, checking links, and proofreading thoroughly are absolutely fundamental to a successful marketing campaign and to building brand loyalty.

Personalize to build a personal connection

Message personalization is no longer a “nice-to-have,” it is essential to campaign success. Consumers have become accustomed to personalized brand experiences, so when an irrelevant message lands in their inbox, it stands out (in a bad way). In 2020, personalization needs to move beyond “Dear {first name},” and create message experiences that are contextual and impactful. Platforms like Cordial use customer and business data from every corner of your technology stack to personalize every aspect of the email message from subject line to imagery to content and promotions, all on a 1:1 basis. 

State a clear call-to-action

A clear call-to-action will make the purpose of your message obvious to the subscriber and most likely result in higher click through rates. Messages with unclear copy, multiple links, and multiple buttons can be confusing and may result in abandonment. More options are not always better. Pick a focus for your message, build compelling content to support it, and provide one or two engagement opportunities. 

Optimize send time

It is very important that you take message send time into consideration when building your campaign. When a user receives your message can make the difference between an open and a deletion. Try to establish a baseline for when your subscribers typically engage with your messages and then experiment with send times within that window of time. If you can optimize send time on a 1:1 basis—even better.

Email will continue to be a driving force for many businesses in 2020, but to capitalize on its potential, don’t forget the basics! Creating clear, concise messages, with relevant content, and sending those messages at the right time are the keys to success. Follow these eight basic tips and you will be well on your way to a profitable and successful email marketing strategy. If you want to learn more about how Cordial can help you send a better message, get in touch. We would love to share some helpful strategies to make 2020 your best year yet! 

Ben Thiefels

Ben Thiefels

Content Marketing