Four tactics to refresh your email marketing strategy for 2021-2021


Email has been around for 50 years, and it’s still a viable marketing strategy – provided you know how to get your prospects interested.

As the 2020 pandemic and economic uncertainty changed the business world, many marketers redoubled their email efforts and focused on one channel they could control. About 36% more marketing emails than usual were sent at home during the summer, according to HubSpot.

Given this significant increase, you’d think audiences are fed up with crowded inboxes. However, the same HubSpot report found that marketing email open rates were 10-20% above average.

Marketers will no doubt continue to benefit from the current success of email campaigns. Additionally, increasing investments in tools like Outreach, SalesLoft and HubSpot show that many professionals are streamlining their marketing communications.

However, an environment with more email and more engagement means increased competition for B2B marketers. To take advantage of the email trend, you need to be one step ahead of the crowd. So you need to brush up on your approach.

Focus on the following four tactics to improve your email marketing strategy in 2021.

1. Above all else, deliver value in your email

If you’re struggling to get prospects, it doesn’t mean that you should give up email altogether. It just means you need a better approach.

Leave self-promotion behind and pack your communication with content that your prospects find valuable or interesting. The content could be authored by your in-house subject matter experts or by another source. Put prospective customers’ needs first, and they will think of you when the time to buy.

Many marketers looking to create value provide educational materials. This is a good start, but it’s not the only way to engage your audience. Whether you’re closing every communication with an industry-specific joke or sending a silly meme or GIF that you think potential customers will appreciate, make your email content fun. If you can get prospects to open your email, you will have greater success.

2. Prioritize personalization in your email marketing strategy

Scripted pitches are underperforming, so you’ll need to personalize your emails to get more meaningful engagement from prospects.

Test which approach works the most. Are your audience looking for discounts? Do you hope for more opportunities for interaction (e.g. surveys)?

Learn more about your prospects with every email and make sure they know you are listening. Playing the long game is expensive, but it is an investment to make in an uncertain economic environment.

Marketers often overlook the importance of sharing information about yourself, but relationships are, after all, a two-way street. Don’t be afraid to include fun family pictures as we all try to navigate the pandemic. The same suggestion applies to pets: no one is going to refuse a picture of a cute dog or cat!

If you humanize your communication, prospects will be more likely to respond.

3. Change your sender or your domain

Something as simple as a new sender can trigger reactions from silent listeners. A full 68% of Americans decide whether to open an email based on the sender’s name alone, according to data from Campaign Monitor.

If an email is primarily focused on one aspect of your business, then you can try sending it from within it [Department Head] at the [Your Company] to humanize the message.

To drastically revive a list of under-engaged prospects, you can switch your domain. Make sure you warm it up before sending a ton of email. Otherwise, your messages could end up in spam folders because your new domain has no reputation. It’s also understandable if you’re not ready to make this sweeping change.

Starting over is a lot of work, but it can pay off.

4. Support your sales team

As the US economy contracted in March and April, sales teams struggled to get new business and quickly fill in any gaps and positions that emerged. According to the aforementioned HubSpot report, sales departments sent 44% more emails in the second quarter of 2020 than in the first quarter. Unfortunately, response rates remained 25-30% lower than before the pandemic.

Be prepared to help your sales team win new business by providing more direct support. If any of your marketing tactics resonate with your audience, get the word out so your company’s sales team knows they can keep using that tactic while serving prospects through the funnel.

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More is not always better in your email marketing strategy. The pandemic caused many marketers to take a mass messaging approach in 2020, but prospects are unlikely to respond to this tactic in 2021.

Instead, make a targeted effort to deliver consistent value, personalize communications, and tweak your shows to get additional engagement.

And when you find a tactic that works, share the information with sales. Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin, so there is no need to shake your successes.

More resources on email marketing strategy

Take 10: Email Marketing Strategies – Out with the Old, in with the New

Four ways to empower your email marketing strategy with AI

Here’s how to keep your email marketing strategy relevant to millennials


Jeffrey Rabinowitz