Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective strategies that bring the biggest ROI across all marketing channels. 

The average click-through rate for email marketing is between 1-3% – compared to social media at a whopping 0.07% average, that’s already a huge difference.

While some skeptics proclaim year after year that email marketing will be dead by X or Y year, there has been no evidence that email marketing is losing traction or effectivity. If anything, it’s only been steadily growing.

It’s been estimated that about 254.7 million people will be using email by 2020, so there’s no better time to jump on the train and level up your email marketing game.

Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020

There are already a few email marketing strategies out there that you can dig into deeper for your overall lead management. 

These might include how to start getting subscribers when you’re starting from scratch, getting in front of other people’s audiences, or even using SEO to drive traffic to your opt-in landing pages.

But if you’ve already started your email list and aren’t seeing the results you want, read on to discover 7 of the best email marketing practices that will skyrocket your list growth this 2020.

Think Mobile First, Laptop Second

Whether it’s lead generation or lead nurturing, you need to think about the presentation of your emails.

Because most internet users now access websites and apps – including email – on their mobile devices, it’s best to think mobile-first when designing either opt-in forms or email content.

When optimizing design for mobile devices, consider breaking long paragraphs into shorter ones, with no more than 2 or 3 sentences each. 

Make sure images, if any, scale properly on a mobile device. If you have any clickable elements on your email, make sure they’re visually obvious as well, as mobile users don’t have the luxury of using hover effects to discover links or clickable content.

Minimalist Email Copy and Design

Minimalism used to be a design choice reserved for luxury brands but today, it’s becoming the norm across industries and markets.

Even email marketers should opt for more minimalist designs. Some brands using email marketing can benefit from utilizing more white space. Sometimes images speak for themselves and only need text to help readers flow through different sections.

Harry’s uses a good clean design for their emails. (Source: Email Monks)

Person-based brands like bloggers and freelancers can still get away with more text-based newsletters, but it wouldn’t hurt to include minimal branding elements – such as email headers or brand colors – throughout their email blasts.

When in doubt, a quick litmus test to check whether your copy and design are minimalist enough is to skim over your own content. Do you use too much walls of text without enough paragraph breaks? Do you have too many distracting images or GIFs?

Personalize Your Content

Personalization can add an extra human touch to your emails. Even in as early as setting up your lead magnets, be sure to include form elements that can capture your visitors’ first names. Your email marketing provider will be able to use this information later.

You can also personalize the content you send out to your email list through segmentation. 

Use a combination of tagging and link triggers to find out your subscribers’ interests, then segment them accordingly. You can, later on, use these segments to send custom content that’s relevant to their interests. 

For example, an online business coach might have a segment for Email Marketing Tips. Using these tools from their ESP, the coach can send more of these tips to readers who have shown interest in the topic before, either through clicks on blog posts about the topic or in-email polls.  

This human touch pays off in the long run. Because audiences now can switch media channels up to 27 times per hour, you need to hold their attention. Having personalized email greetings in your email copy and content that is relevant to readers’ interests can keep viewers engaged much longer.

Doing all these can lead to less unsubscribes since your readers will find your content personal and relevant. And if all that isn’t enough, consider these statistics on personalization based on a 1,000-person study:

  • 90% of people find personalized content appealing
  • 80% are willing to do business with a person that creates personalized experiences

Automate Your Workflow Process

Automation is the future for email marketing and sales. According to eMarketer, B2C companies that use automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. 

Luckily, most email service providers have some kind of automation feature for sending out drip emails or trigger-based tagging and segmenting, so you can already be well on your way to implementing this step.

Using autoresponders, you can send out a series of welcome emails for new subscribers, for example. 

Make A/B Testing a Habit (and Not Just for Your Subject Line)

If you’re not already A/B testing, or split testing, your emails, make this a priority right away. 

When most people hear the suggestion to A/B test their emails, they only think of the subject line. While this is definitely a great element to test which would get better open rates, that should only be the beginning.

Consider testing your:

  • CTAs (“Check it out” vs “Buy now”)
  • Personalization style (using their first name vs their last name)
  • Images
  • Email layouts 

Over time, you get to know just what kind of emails your subscribers are more likely to open and, more importantly, click through. 

A/B testing emails will definitely take some time and effort before you can start seeing the results, but if you can enjoy better open and click rates with all your emails in the future, then it’s a practice well worth it.

Include User-Generated Content

Email’s conversion rates for sales are already much higher than social media’s, but you can up your chances of sealing the deal by including user-generated content in your emails.

90% of consumers have reported that seeing user-generated content influences their decision to purchase. What this points out is the longstanding truth that people trust other people – even if it’s people they’ve never met.

To leverage this for your own marketing, encourage current users to share their testimonials or experiences with your product or service. This can be either a review or a sample or use case with them using your main offer.

Action camera brand GoPro makes the most of this strategy well. Their YouTube channel is dedicated to featuring videos from their consumers using their GoPro cameras. 

After all, who better than their current users and fans to show others what great things they can do with a GoPro?

GoPro uploads mostly user-generated content on its YouTube channel to show prospects what’s possible with their cameras.

Consider Adding Dynamic and Interactive Content Elements

An interesting trend we’ve noticed with newer websites and landing pages is the focus on simple, static elements. For email, on the other hand, we can expect to see more dynamic elements right in our inboxes.

Some examples have been brands doing in-email surveys where readers don’t have to leave their inboxes to leave feedback.

Brands are allowing users to answer survey and feedback forms straight from their inbox. (Source: Stripo)

Sliders, search bars, social share and CTA buttons, and even image galleries can all help in keeping your run-of-the-mill email more engaging. Having readers engaging with your email not only keeps them hooked to your content, but it also serves a deliverability purpose too.

Level Up Your Email Marketing in 2020

Whether you’re new to the email marketing scene or not, there are always ways to improve the way you compose and deliver emails to your list. By implementing these best practices outlined above, you can get more subscribers opting in to your list and be on the way to turning them into raving and engaged fans.

Opinions expressed here are the opinions of the author. Influencive does not endorse or review brands mentioned; does not and can not investigate relationships with brands, products, and people mentioned and is up to the author to disclose. VIP Contributors and Contributors, amongst other accounts and articles, are professional fee-based.