The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide For 2021


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September 03, 2020

The Ultimate Email Marketing Guide For 2021

 “The old email is dead, long live the new marketing email!”

ability growth partners ultimate guide to email marketing graphic

Read ahead for the best practices in reaching your leads with marketing emails, a way to engage and delight members in every section of the flywheel.

Email has been around since 1978, when the first email was sent generating $13 million in sales. Since then it has become an asset in the inbound marketers tool kit. Because of its long tenure, people ask if it’s outdated. They claim, everyone sends an email today, there are tons of new tools that are shinier, cooler and much newer; does email still have what it takes? 

When you consider its ROI of 3,800%, it definitely has what it takes. In 2020, it’s still one of the most highly used marketing channels.   

What is a Marketing Email?

Email marketing builds authentic relationships with human beings that keep our businesses alive and thriving.

A marketing email isn’t a note left by your wife to say “your dinner’s in the dog”. And it’s not one of these emails causing your inbox indigestion so it needs to sound the spam email alert, yelling “This message will self - destruct in 10 seconds...”. 

A good marketing email should build an authentic relationship with your customers. It should give your subscribers the feeling of, “I love this, and I can’t wait till next week to see what he or she has got for me”.

You have to make your subscribers first want to open it, then read on, and then take an action by clicking on the beautifully gift-wrapped CTA which says “Click on me”. It could be a content offer, a webinar; anything that makes the recipient want to say thank you for sending me this email.

How email Marketing works

Email marketing is a way of targeting your audience and customers through emails. It helps increase your conversions and revenue by providing valuable information for your subscribers and customers by assisting them to achieve their goals.

Download Some Free Email Marketing Templates Here!

Why send a marketing email: 

So how do I know if I should use marketing emails?  Here are some common reasons:

  • Build connections with your customers through ‘personalized engagement’.
  • Generate awareness of your brand so that prospects have your company in mind when they are ready to make a purchasing decision.
  • Share original content or useful assets for your prospects. 
  • Generate leads by sharing downloadable content offers in exchange for a prospect providing their contact details.
  • Promote your products and services.
  • Nurture your lead by providing content that helps them achieve their goals. 

What are the immediate benefits of Email Marketing

  • With 38 Billion people using email, email marketing is a great way to reach prospects and customers. 
  • Did you know that just 20% of leads that sales deals with are qualified? Email marking and great content are proven to nurture your leads. 
  • Email marketing is 40X more effective than Facebook and Twitter Combined when it comes to customer acquisition.
  • You own the channel. Outside of email compliance, there is nothing stopping when, how and why you are reaching out to your customers by email.

For more fun stats click here

How to Create your email marketing strategy in just 6 steps

It’s easy to get lost in the ocean of possibilities provided by email marketing. Here is a step-by-step guide to build your own email marketing strategy that will delight your customers. Think of these steps like climbing rungs of a ladder taking you to the top tier of email marketing.

Each prospect you email gets 121 emails a day so carefully planning a strategy is important if you don’t want your email to get lost in a crowded inbox. Learning and following a strategy is important if you want your email to be read each time you send it.

  • Know your audience: understanding your buyer personas needs is crucial to tailoring a successful campaign. 
  • Set Goals: research your industry and use statistics as benchmarks for your goal.
  • Create ways to sign up: Set up an email newsletter for a list! An email list is a group of people that have opted in to receiving emails from you. For more information on building a list click here.
  • Choose a campaign type: there are many types of campaigns to choose from. Here are a few examples below:

Product Updates: Timing is difficult to get right on these. You do not want to send too many too frequently, but you also want to keep prospects updated on the latest features. Most companies send these emails monthly. You’ll want a clear attractive headline, a brief description and relevant video and link to the specific product landing page. 

Newsletters: If you maintain a regular business blog it’s a good idea to share and promote your content in a newsletter. You need to make sure that the layout draws the eye. It’s a good idea to add images paired with the content you are sharing. The advantage of this format is you can share multiple articles without an overly long email.

Content Announcement: In this email you’re promoting an ebook, webinar, coupon sale, or free trial. Recommendations are to make the copy brief, engaging while reflecting the value of the offer. 

  • Make a schedule: Make a decision how often you’ll contact your subscribers and stick to a consistent schedule. This way you’ll build trust and they won’t forget about you.
  • Measure your effectiveness: Meticulously measuring each metric including open rates, click through rates, is key to making changes to improve your email.

Email Marketing to get a high conversion rate

Include Pre-headers: 

Many marketers focus on getting the email subject line as slick as possible, sharing emojis, and other fun stuff, at the expense of pre-headers. Pre-headers is the text that appears after the subject line and are effective attention grabbers that increase open rates.

Pre-headers are used to summarize in short an email or offer a Call To Action that makes the recipient want to click on the email. Pre-headsers are short and to the point using 85-100 characters.

Advanced Personalization:

Many are familiar with including the recipient's first name in the subject line, segmenting the list according to behavior and location.However, you can go one step further by personalizing the CTA based on your buyer persona, mention personal events like birthdays making them feel you care.

Including advanced personalization in your emails gets a 179% more click through rates than promotional emails.

Don’t use technical jargon:

72% of people prefer communicating via email to brands, so it’s up to you to grab their attention and motivate them to open your email and read it. Most recipients scan your emails. Avoiding technical jargon and generic language makes it easier for people to read. It’s a good idea to use active verbs and power words to trigger an emotional response. 

Interactive Content

Interactive content invites your audience to make an action without leaving your email. It also allows you to build brand awareness, increase engagement and create more value for your audience.

  • Surveys are a great way to get feedback and segment your audience.
  • Clickable and engaging features like gifs, images carousel, quizzes and educational kits are highly engaging and also invite your audience to click and take- an- action.
  • Videos: are proven to increase CTRs (Click Through Rates), email open rates and increase dwell time (people spend longer consuming content on your email).

Add a P.S. in your emails

Did you know that people often read the P.S. at the end of the email even before they read the content? A possible explanation is the Zeigarnik effect. It’s what keeps people glued to their phones, watching the same soap opera on television every week, and gamers addicted to games. Many also have a habit of reading the end of a book before they read the introduction. 

Adding a P.S. increases click through rates because people scroll down and see a P.S. and right below it a CTA. Recommended tips from Einstein marketing are to vary the color, size and use the first name of the recipient.

How do you know if your marketing email works? 

By testing your emails, you’ll know what works best. Remember not all of the people on your list like the same things. Some may prefer a flashy CTA, while others will be more conservative. One effective method is A / B testing which checks one variable against another and sees which one performs best.

How to perform an A/ B test

  • Choose one variable to test such as a CTA or subject line
  • Write two emails. Include the variable you want to test on one email and leave it on the other.
  • Send these two emails for a set period of time.
  • Analyze the results and use the email that performed best. 
  • Test a new variable.

The four main KPIs (Key Performance Indicators)

There are four main KPIs you need to pay close attention to. They are:

Deliverability: measures how many of your emails reach the intended email box of subscribers.

Open Rate: The percentage of people who open you email once it reaches their email inbox.

Click Through Rate: The percentage of people who click on a Call To Action once your email reaches their email inbox.

Unsubscribes:The percentage of people who opt out from receiving your email. 

Troubleshooting tips

If you are not getting the numbers you desire try the following tips


  • Make sure you’re following best practices to avoid spam filters
  • Remove unactive people from your list.

Open Rate:

  • Change the language in your subject line to get different results
  • Adjust the time and day that you send an email to see what works best.

CTR (Click Through Rate)

  • Assess the offer shared in the CTA and make sure it’s providing value.
  • Revise the text to make sure it's clear to the recipient what action you want them to perform.
  • Try different CTAs Bold versus Subtle, or Graphic versus Inline copy


  • Assess if the email you sent is aligned with your brand.
  • Ensure you are delivering on your promises in your CTA.

Our Bottom Line: Marketing emails are an incredibly powerful way to engage individuals have been in contact with your company or brand. Using this guide, you'll have the power to bring your marketing email campaigns to the next level