Email marketing may sound like an old school method of marketing. With Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and all those other social media tools, it’s easy to believe that email marketing is passe. However, forgetting email marketing exists would be a mistake.


Why is email marketing still important today?

For one thing, almost half of the world uses email according to Statista. We’re talking 3.9 billion people in 2019. Don’t you want to be where those people are?

For another thing, email marketing converts. According to the United Kingdom’s Data & Marketing Association (DMA), for every $1 spent on email marketing, there’s a $42 average return on investment.

Not only does email marketing bring in new customers, but it helps businesses retain customers.


Has email marketing changed in 2021?

But like all forms of customer communication, email marketing has to evolve with the times. Businesses that succeed, evolve their marketing plans as the world and market dictate.

This year, that evolution is more evident than in years past. The COVID-19 pandemic hurt world economies, forced small businesses to the brink of closure, and forced many customers to tighten their wallets.

Your marketing needs to reflect that.


Keys to email marketing in 2021

So how do you adapt your marketing in 2021 to fit the times?



Start with hyper-personalization says Influencer Marketing Hub.

If you’re already using email marketing, then you likely personalize your emails to specific groups of people. Get ready to hone those lists down even more.

In 2021, personalized subject lines will be just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll also want to make sure that you personalize your emails based on purchase history, interests, shopping behaviors, and more.

Make the customer think that not only do you notice him or her but that you remember him or her.


Increased Expectations

This year, you will need to understand that everything that happened in 2020 has led to increased expectations from customers. According to Smart Insights, “Clearly, throughout 2020 many consumers will have headed online to make purchases for the first time. For many marketers, the ultimate aim now is to emulate the physical experience of purchasing by creating a truly memorable online experience.”

If you are a small business that shifted to online sales in 2020, then you need to pour all of that customer care that you used to provide in your store and put it into your marketing. You need to find ways to make that online customer journey just as special as the one in your store.


Be Human

The pandemic has caused many customers to actively seek out brands that focus on empathy and human connection.

According to the MailJet blog, “Long gone are the days in which marketing emails would just be a collection of sales pitches and overly promotional copy… brands must embrace empathy as their way to better understand and relate to customers. Empathy is an attitude you can’t fake — it only works when it’s genuine and authentic. You’ll need to really understand and care about your users’ feelings, and make those feelings the integral element in any marketing communications you send them.”

When you create email marketing content, take extra care to think about who you’re talking to, where they are emotionally and financially, and what their needs are.


The Subject Line is Essential

This isn’t to say that the subject line wasn’t essential previously, but this year it’s even more important. Not only does the subject line need to be hyper-personalized as we mentioned before, but it also needs to be eye-catching.

With work from home at an all-time high, email has become the key way to communicate. That means many people are suffering from inbox fatigue. To avoid having your email immediately deleted, or worse, having that customer unsubscribe from your email list, take care with your subject line.


Text-Only Messages

This change is another one from Influencer Marketing Hub, expect to see more text marketing messages in 2021.

Text plays into that hyper-personalization we talked about in that it makes the receiver feel like he or she is the only one getting the offer. It also offers a little relief from inbox fatigue.

Don’t make text messages your only form of communication with your customers, but also remember that mixing it up now and again is a great way to stay connected and keep customers interested.



While you may need to do some work, in the beginning, to adapt your marketing strategy to email marketing, it’s well worth it in the end. It’s very easy to get caught up in updating your Facebook page, tweeting out your latest blog post, and promoting your newest Instagram selfie, don’t forget that email marketing is also there to help.

And if you haven’t already created your company’s brand story, be sure to check out this previous blog post


Written by Erika Towne