Don’t Get Deleted: Email Marketing Tips for 2021

Don’t Get Deleted: Email Marketing Tips for 2021

Connecting with customers has never been easier. But creating meaningful connections is a totally different story. Going remote has skyrocketed screen time — from Zoom meetings and collaboration platforms to virtual events and entertainment. And while our digital world has gotten a lot smaller, it’s also a lot more crowded, making all of us a lot more selective about who gets our screen time.

The perfect example: your email inbox. You can probably grasp just about how many companies are vying for your attention by the amount of time you spend deleting most of them every day. And it’s only getting busier! Around the world, the number of emails sent and received daily is projected to increase from 306 billion emails to 361 billion by 2024. But for marketers, that doesn’t mean email marketing is a lost cause. In fact, it means exactly the opposite.

The Importance of Email Marketing in 2021

Email marketing produces 40x better results than social media. 91% of customers online use email daily, and they actually prefer to hear from you this way. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to open your emails.

“The volume of emails marketers are sending soared this past year,” explains Emmanuel Ulloa, Digital Production Lead at Assemble. “As a result of the pandemic, we’ve seen our Pharma clients asking us to help create specific campaigns regarding important COVID-related updates and other health news for higher-risk patients. But at the same time, their ‘usual’ campaign initiatives haven’t slowed down either.

“Even before 2020’s drastic digital pivot, technology was facilitating a desire for instant gratification and convenience, and now, a need to minimize in-person contact only accelerated trends like online shopping and food delivery. People have not only become much more aware and attentive to email communications but are also now forced to prioritize what messages are worth their time.”

The Top Email Marketing Tips You Need in 2021

As the ways we work and live continue to change, our perceptions as consumers are changing too. Here are the top email marketing tips for 2021 to help you create meaningful connections with your customers.

  • Write an Unignorable Subject Line
    It really doesn’t seem fair that a 60-character space can make or break an entire email campaign, but it can. Relax — the “double opens strategy” will take off the pressure of nailing it on the first try. With this approach, you’ll send the same email message to people who didn’t open the first time, but with a different subject line. What may be effective for some of your email subscribers, may not be for others. And testing will help you learn more about their preferences — and what subject lines work.

    A couple of tips: always offer recipients some benefit to opening your email. You want to convince them that they’ll miss something important if they don’t. Maybe it’s offering a teaser or creating a feeling of exclusivity or urgency. It could be requesting an action or asking a personal question. Creativity is always encouraged — just make sure it isn’t misleading.


  • Keep it Simple
    Too many marketers want to say too much in an email. Think like you’re writing for the web — use shorter paragraphs, bullets, and subheadings for readability and incorporate visuals to break up the copy. Get to the point quickly, keeping your audience’s interests and short attention span in mind (it’s only about 8 seconds).

    Shorter emails have a better chance at landing in your recipient’s “Primary Folder,” which automatically puts you at the front of the pack. Plus, if your “wordiness” makes them regret opening your email, they’ll probably never open one again.

  • Be Engaging
    Once upon a time, adding video to emails was exciting. Then it was expected. Now, consumers want to interact with your emails too.

    “We’ve had a resurgence of clients asking us for new ideas for engaging email campaigns,” Emmanuel explains. “Marketers are seeking ways to turn events or occasions into opportunities to connect with their audiences, and they can use kinetic emails to do it. We’re currently working on emails for a client who planned a COVID anniversary campaign, using animated GIFs to create a sense of ‘celebration.’ For retail clients, hover-over content or interactive carts to create a full online shopping experience for customers without ever leaving their inbox. In other cases, it’s a simple game of Tik-Tac-Toe. These types of elements can help you establish a more personal relationship with your audience.”


  • Make Transparency Work For You
    To all consumers, brand transparency is more important than ever. So while creating a highly-interactive email campaign is a great way to connect with them, failing to deliver on it is like breaking a promise. “It’s important to find the right balance. You want this interaction to feel natural, so if it’s too complicated or glitching in any way, you’ll lose their trust. Make sure your media content is relevant and easy-to-use because if you put it out there, your users expect it to work.”


  • Personalize as Much as You Can
    A “Hey, Sam!” isn’t going to cut it anymore. Thanks to a major culture shift this past year, consumers are seeking a more personal connection with your brand. 94% of companies say that personalization is key to their current and future success, so finding ways to establish this connection is critical to standing out. And that starts before they even open the email.

Voice of Customer Research is all about asking the right questions — What interested you in our company? What made you subscribe to our email? What initial hesitations did you have? Based on the answers, you can create a couple of customer personas based on their previous behaviors or shared interests and create messaging that hits closer to home. 

  • Don’t Underestimate the Importance of a CTA
    Just like your subject line, your CTA holds a lot of power for such a small part of your campaign. It represents the result or action you want your subscriber to achieve, but it also has to be compelling to them. While phrases like “click here” and “read more” are action-driven, they’re also pretty boring. Use stronger command verbs and tap into consumer emotions. Aim to be a little more creative or descriptive; for example, replacing a “Learn More” with a “Discover Tips to Better Health” or “Start Living Healthier.” You get the idea.


  • Analyze Everything
    And we mean everything. From subject line style or time of day that gets the most open rates to what devices your audience is using. Open rates, click-throughs, delivery rates, total opt-outs — all of this information is key to designing campaigns that have the best chance for success. Continue to A&B test certain elements and look for trends to confirm what’s working and what’s not.

    “Not all email clients will support certain interactive layouts, so it’s also important to know where the majority of your audience is viewing your emails,” according to Emmanuel. “The solution may be integrating a fallback layout function, or it’s simply going a different route so that no recipient is left disappointed. There are countless tools available today to help you understand what will make your campaigns most effective.”

For more information on creating unignorable email campaigns or to talk to one of our production experts to discuss your marketing goals for 2021, contact Assemble today.

More Posts

AI Prompt Analysis

Introducing AI Prompt Analysis: How its Elevating the Creative Process in a Very Real Way

In today’s ever-changing production world, artificial intelligence is no longer a sci-fi fantasy but a remarkable reality. It’s becoming standard to rely on Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help us answer questions, write code, create content, design images, and more. But robots won’t be fully taking over our to-do list any time soon. Instead, we’re starting to see all the incredible ways that we can take advantage of its capabilities to improve our own internal processes. And that doesn’t mean teams taking a back seat; it means stepping up our skills.

AI-Generated Content & the Human Touch

It feels like just yesterday that robots were a thing of sci-fi films and cartoons. But just like that, they’re now helping us write articles, create images, and produce videos. Granted, we’re not quite ready to hire them full-time, but we are getting a really good preview into some of the things we can expect Artificial Intelligence (AI) to bring to the digital production world. So we’re taking a pulse check on what we currently know about AI-generated content and how to prepare your teams for what’s to come

blogpost Fran Reyes

In the Spotlight: Fran Reyes

My morning starts with tying up loose ends from the day before and then diving into any high-priority tasks for the current day. I like to check in with our designers and make sure their allocated assignments are perfectly clear and they have everything they need to get them done. The rest of my day is jumping in and out of meetings, both internally and client-facing, and ensuring that everything that was on the to-do list is checked off and delivered to wherever it needs to go — so we can do it all again tomorrow!

Client Modular Website Case Study

When a multinational hospitality company needed a quick turnaround on a new website for one of their new locations, they came to Assemble. To accommodate the tight production deadline, in addition to ever-changing rates and amenities, they needed a site that gave their team the ability to add updates, make edits, and create new pages — without any coding or development expertise.

Assemble 2023 Digital Outlook

Assemble 2023 Digital Outlook

Another year of exciting changes in the digital world has flown by. But if there’s one thing you can always count on in an ever-evolving industry like ours, it’s that Assemble will have you covered every year with all the latest and greatest updates for marketers in our annual Digital Outlook blog.

So as you prepare for a successful 2023, we invite you to check out 12 of the top trends you’ll see making a big impact this year — and you should start taking advantage now.

Get in ToucH