Every­body might be talk­ing about wit­ty tweets, quick-tip videos, and mem­o­rable memes — but there’s one mar­ket­ing tool that remains pow­er­ful after all these years: emails.

But an effec­tive email mar­ket­ing strat­e­gy in the 2000s may not work in 2019 any­more. Chances are, direct sales offers sent to inbox­es will be marked as spam, and for­ev­er left unopened. In March 2019, spam mes­sages account­ed for 56% of glob­al email traf­fic. The chal­lenge, then, is to devel­op email cam­paigns that are as appeal­ing and infor­ma­tive as oth­er mar­ket­ing tools which are more heav­i­ly con­sumed in this age of social media and apps.

Times have changed, and so have email mar­ket­ing trends — and as such, you need to know what works and what does­n’t. Here’s a roundup of twelve effec­tive email mar­ket­ing tac­tics that you should be aware of head­ing into 2020.

1. Truly connect with your audience 

At one point in your online life, you may have received tons of offers to buy erec­tile dys­func­tion drugs or to join a match­mak­ing com­mu­ni­ty for vet­er­ans. But your con­sumer pro­file prob­a­bly did­n’t fit these prod­ucts, like­ly not even close.

In the mod­ern age, you need to cre­ate email mar­ket­ing cam­paigns that tru­ly con­nect with each recip­i­ents’ inter­est. You can do this by divid­ing your email list into more tar­get­ed groups — the Annu­al Email Opti­miz­er Report by Lyris found numer­ous ben­e­fits of email list seg­men­ta­tion includ­ing increased open rates, greater email rel­e­vance, and low­er opt-out or unsub­scribe rates.

You may seg­ment the read­ers based on age, gen­der, loca­tion, etc. This will help ensure that you’re send­ing the right com­mu­ni­ca­tion to the right peo­ple.

2. Customize your blasts

Email mar­ket­ing tools — much like tweets and Insta­gram ads — should speak direct­ly to a spe­cif­ic read­er, and there’s no bet­ter way of doing this than by cus­tomiz­ing the con­tent of your emails.

After seg­ment­ing your email recip­i­ents, get to know them bet­ter. What appeals to them? What are they look­ing for when brows­ing for prod­ucts and ser­vices? How do they define good cus­tomer ser­vice? What made them vis­it a web­site and sub­scribe?

By famil­iar­iz­ing your­self with your read­ers, it’ll be eas­i­er to cus­tomize your emails, fol­low-ups, and reminders.

For exam­ple, your Mil­len­ni­al recip­i­ents will like­ly be keen to receive infor­ma­tive yet con­cise mes­sages with appeal­ing images. A great way to do this is via info­graph­ics, which they can also eas­i­ly share with their cir­cle.

3. Grab your audience’s attention, and keep them interested

Today’s con­sumers are mul­ti-taskers — they’re scrolling their news feeds while watch­ing video, and check­ing for work-relat­ed emails in between. The com­pe­ti­tion for atten­tion is greater than ever.

As such, you need to for­mu­late cre­ative ways to grab atten­tion, and hold it until you’ve deliv­ered your mes­sage. You can use wit­ty head­lines, visu­al­ly-appeal­ing images, and straight­for­ward emails — strict­ly no click-bait.

You can also build a sense of urgency, tap­ping on today’s cul­ture of “FOMO” (fear of miss­ing out). Try using “You’re miss­ing out on amaz­ing rewards”, or “[URGENT] You’ve got ONE DAY to read this…”.

Humor also nev­er fails. The Muse has used the sub­ject, “We Like Being Used” while OpenTable had “Lick­ing your phone nev­er tast­ed so good” as the head­er of one of its email cam­paigns.

4. State a clear call-to-action

So, you’ve suc­cess­ful­ly earned the atten­tion of your tar­get audi­ence, and they also read your mes­sage in its entire­ty. Now what?

Your emails should have a clear pur­pose, which you can achieve with an effec­tive call-to-action.

Do you want your read­ers to vis­it your web­site or sub­scribe to your newslet­ter? Do you want them to Like your Face­book Page or make a pur­chase in your online store? Lead them to these goals with an effec­tive CTA.

Researchers at Mar­ket­ing Exper­i­ments rec­om­mend offer­ing your vis­i­tors val­ue at low or no cost, in exchange for a click. You should also avoid ask­ing for too much too soon.

The researchers found that tweak­ing com­mon­ly-used CTAs can have amaz­ing ben­e­fits. For exam­ple, by chang­ing “Find your solu­tion” to “Learn More”, the click­through rate on one email rose by 77%. Using “Sub­scribe & Save” instead of  “View Sub­scrip­tion Options” led to 181% click­through rate increase for anoth­er cam­paign.

5. Limit your email blasts

Do you know that an aver­age office work­er receives 121 emails per day? That’s a lot, and you don’t want your mes­sage to be sent to the spam fold­er because you’ve been a lit­tle too enthu­si­as­tic in con­tact­ing your sub­scribers.

Peo­ple have signed up for your updates and newslet­ters because they”re inter­est­ed in your brand, prod­ucts or ser­vices, they want to stay con­nect­ed. But this does­n’t give you per­mis­sion to bom­bard them with emails.

Con­sid­er lim­it­ing your mes­sages once a week.

6. Craft catchy subject lines or headlines

Email sub­ject lines are deal-break­ers — read­ers can eas­i­ly ignore or delete your email with a bor­ing or click­baity head­line.

MailChimp con­duct­ed an email mar­ket­ing study, and they found that short, descrip­tive sub­ject lines best entice read­ers.

You can include words that sug­gest urgency, ask a ques­tion or chal­lenge a com­mon notion. Use your seg­ment­ed email list to craft direct and catchy head­lines cus­tomized to your read­ers.

7. Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly

A recent study sug­gests that the num­ber of mobile Inter­net users will hit five bil­lion in 2025.

More peo­ple are brows­ing the web, scrolling through social media pages and check­ing their emails via their hand­held devices. And as such, you need to ensure that your email pro­mo­tions are mobile-opti­mized.

To cre­ate a mobile-friend­ly dig­i­tal asset, con­sid­er the length of texts and visu­als. Some image files may not dis­play on smart­phones, and oth­ers may slow down­load­ing time.

Make sure your emails are mobile-friendly

8. Write professional emails

How would you per­ceive a busi­ness that sends out emails fraught with typos and gram­mar errors? Such mis­takes will def­i­nite­ly reflect bad­ly on the sender.

Always pre­pare your mes­sages thor­ough­ly — email pro­mo­tion is no dif­fer­ent from any oth­er mar­ket­ing cam­paign. Take the time to plan out and draft an out­line, write a copy and proof­read it sev­er­al times, and use a voice that’s con­sis­tent with your brand.

9. Build an inclusive community 

Peo­ple no longer surf the inter­net to just get quick infor­ma­tion online. They meet oth­ers, join groups, and essen­tial­ly cre­ate a world that is as real as their offline sphere.

Go the extra mile with your email mar­ket­ing cam­paign by let­ting your read­ers into an inclu­sive com­mu­ni­ty. You can share per­son­al updates about your life that don’t nec­es­sar­i­ly relate to your usu­al pro­mo­tions — per­haps a sneak peek into your work rou­tine or a pho­to of your pup­py or cat?

You should­n’t overuse such ele­ments, but a few addi­tions along these lines can help to make your audi­ence feel at home.

Hope­ful­ly these tips will give you some­thing extra to con­sid­er in your 2020 plan­ning.

SOURCE: Social Media Today