Guest author Jaymin Bhuptani is the CEO of Email Uplers (formerly EmailMonks).
No matter how long you’ve been sending marketing emails, the overall process has remained more or less the same: You acquire leads. You create an email campaign. You launch the campaign. You monitor the performance and tweak the future campaign.
What has changed over the years are the strategies you implement at every stage of the email marketing process. These changes can be attributed to many factors, such as:
- Technological advancements
- Shifts in subscriber behavior
- Altered consumer perceptions
- Modifications to the laws in certain countries (GDPR and CCPA)
Although these changes don’t happen every year, it’s good practice to revise existing email marketing strategies in order to identify any gaps and then bridge them.
One of the reasons why email marketing is so important is that it can bring a return of $51 for every $1 spent.
In this article, we look into six game-changing email marketing strategies that you should adopt in 2021.
1. Create Hyper-Personalized and Micro-Segmented Email Campaigns
Personalization has been associated with email marketing for a while now, but with the amount of data available using modern technology, there’s demand for a better personalization tactic. Marketers are no longer using the first name as a personalization tactic, but are using recipient demographics to create custom email content. They’re also making changes to send timings. Going a step further, marketers are combining dynamic email content with micro-segmentation criteria to send emails that only serve the content that a subscriber is interested in.
The e-commerce industry uses hyper-personalization in cart abandonment emails and upsell/cross-sell emails to create exclusivity. In the Asics example below, the email not only displays the product images in the abandoned cart, but it also upsells some of the best sellers in the browsed category.
2. Promote User-Generated Content in Your Email to Improve Engagement
People love getting acknowledged and gaining exposure for something good. Periodically creating emails that appreciate subscribers helps improve user engagement and also aids in understanding what kind of content works with them. Sharing any form of user-generated material such as posts, images, or videos in your emails has the following advantages:
People respond better to the words of another person than they do to a brand. Word-of-mouth marketing grabs people’s attention and encourages engagement.
In a world of diminishing attention spans, people typically ignore brand banners and focus on content from other people. Content becomes more memorable for subscribers when it has other people in it.
A significant 79 percent of consumers report being highly influenced by user-generated content. By including user-generated content in your emails, you motivate subscribers to take action in the direction you want.
Travel agencies and online retailers can be significantly benefited by including user-generated content in their promotions. These email templates from Jetstar and Kmart are two examples of how brands can nail user-generated content in emails.
(Source: Campaign Monitor)
3. Periodically Ask for Feedback
Email metrics help you understand the performance of an email campaign, but you don’t get the complete picture of a marketing effort by relying on the metrics alone. To understand customers’ perspectives, ask for their feedback. For unbiased reviews, send feedback request emails based on specific criteria such as:
- A certain number of purchases
- A predetermined subscription length
- Event participation
- Special occasions
- Personal milestones (subscriber count, sales, years, and so on)
This email from Flywheel is an excellent example of a feedback email done right. To improve their content, they directly asked their customers for feedback. As an incentive, the customers earned a chance to win a T-shirt—an excellent marketing stunt for maximum customer engagement.
4. Add a Face and Personality to Your Marketing Emails
People have developed an immunity to flashy ads and email campaigns. They’re looking to interact with brands that are run by actual people. Adding a personality to your emails makes them sound less robotic, and associating a face to your emails gives your brand an identity that creates an emotional bond with your subscribers, humanizes your brand, and builds brand authenticity.
More brands are sending emails (even if automated) from an individual email address, such as email@example.com instead of firstname.lastname@example.org. Giving your emails a personal identity makes it easier to implement storytelling in your emails.
The following email by MailerLite nails it by having their CMO tell their success story. This encourages subscribers to interact with the email.
5. Apply the Principles of Artificial Intelligence
Many brands have implemented an email automation strategy to send out triggered emails based on a customer’s activity. These behavioral emails work best when you incorporate Artificial Intelligence (AI) to predict what kind of content will be most relevant for the user.
Besides their social media campaigns and mobile apps, they have also used this strategy in their emails, too.
For example: If someone searches for pregnancy pillows or maternity products on Amazon, they will receive an automated product recommendation email suggesting relevant products such as baby bedding, strollers, or toys for kids. Isn’t that a great idea?
Similarly, if someone watches thriller shows on Netflix, they will get recommendations related to that genre rather than comedy movies.
Take a look at this example from Amazon:
Following suit, Netflix also sets a great example of an automated email triggered by AI:
You can use advanced CRM tools that come with predictive features—such as Marketo and Salesforce Marketing Cloud—to facilitate marketing with AI.
6. Send a Series of Automated Emails to Garner More Attention
Whenever you send out automated welcome, cart abandonment, or win-back email campaigns, you must send a series of two to three emails to stay on the top of the subscriber’s mind.
Most brands in 2021 are using this strategy to avoid getting buried under the heap of emails in the inbox.
Take a look at this welcome email series by the footwear retailer Office.
Similarly, if you are in the e-commerce field, you must send out a series of cart abandonment emails. This will make your cart recovery program more effective and get better conversions.
Here’s an example from Wayfair to inspire you. They send out two emails in their cart recovery email campaigns to encourage customers to complete the checkout process.
Over to You
Now is an excellent time to rethink your email marketing strategies and rework your email marketing plans. We hope the strategies mentioned above can help you send better emails in the rest of 2021.
This blog was originally published May 29, 2020 and has been updated since.