From social media marketing and content marketing to email marketing and more, numerous digital marketing strategies are available for savvy business.
Lately, a lot of hype has been on social media marketing strategies considering the incredible reach that can be gotten from it. However, email marketing remains one of the oldest yet effective forms of marketing.
Email Marketing – An oldie but a goodie
If you check your email now, the chances are that you'll be treated to all sorts of emails from different businesses. This is marketing in one of its purest forms.
It's as simple as a business sending emails on their products and services. It also involves the use of emails to develop organic relationships with clients and prospective clients.
Email is not dead!
A 2015 report showed that email had not only fewer internal constraints but also greater prospects. An average email yielded $38 for every $1 spent.  Doing the math, that's a significant return on investment. And since then, it's been steadily growing.
Email Marketing 101
To avoid your emails failing to convert leads, or worse, getting pushed to the spam folder, you must ensure your approach is practical. With email marketing, it's crucial to make every message targeted and personalized.
Firstly, targeted marketing can save you from wasting your time and resources on the wrong people. Your best bet is to come up with an email list. This ought to be made of potential clients from the appropriate demographics and target market.
Let's take a quick case study. Imagine you run a swimming pool business. Sending emails on pool installations to people who live in rented apartments would be a complete waste of time.
These people are unlikely to be able to install a pool on that type of property. But send the same message to people who own homes in the suburbs with larger properties and backyards, and suddenly your chances of making a sale increase dramatically.
On that note, come up with a list. Perhaps from your current client list or via networking in your field for contacts.
The next step is to make your emails as personalized as possible.
You've probably received one of those emails with subjects that read, "Hi, Jane (or your first name), here are some picks for you based on what you've loved from us already." These emails always stop people in their tracks or at least get them to click on the email and read it.
Personalized Emails – Getting It Right
A whopping 82% of marketers confirmed that email personalization does result in higher opening rates.  How can emails be personalized? By adding the first name to every email subject? Not even close. Granted, it will get people's interest piqued, but it doesn't guarantee any real action to be taken afterward.
Here's how you can achieve actual value from email personalization:
Avoid being overly fake.
You're probably sending the same type of email to all your customers. No one can fault you if you can't compose different messages for everyone on your list. The trick is not making it obvious.
Do this and risk people thinking the message is from a robot. Most people shy away from communicating further with such companies because they are convinced they won't get in touch with an actual human to help them.
What to do?
Get fresh eyes on it or put yourself in the shoes of the recipients. Any information you have on them or their particular needs can be set to fair use here.
Get to know your customers.
It is where targeting your subscribers can come in handy. A targeted list almost always involves some demographic analysis. It is your first step in getting to know your subscribers. The standard demographic of name, age, gender, location, education level, and marital status is invaluable.
To make this even more useful to you, add some psychographics to the mix. These give more detail than the former. These include hobbies, interests, personality, lifestyle, and beliefs.
With such data, you are armed with a cache of knowledge and specific insights on your customers and potential customers. It also guides you on how to deal with inbound or outbound communication.
Consider getting Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software so this data is organized in a way that will be relevant to you to convert leads to actual clients.
Email Marketing 2021 – Watch This Space
2020 had more than its fair share of ups and downs. It turns out a pandemic doesn't bode well for most businesses. However, it did reveal just how important the digital world can be.
It's a new year, and some things have changed, but perhaps not as many as we'd like. It's not clear if things will ever go back to normal, but in the interim, we'll have to keep adapting to the new normal circumstances.
How does one achieve this?
Four words…go with the flow. Trends in various industries have popped up here and there for adapting to change. Almost every sector has taken on new strategies for success.
Emails were not left out. Let's see the trends in email marketing you can use to optimize this marketing strategy for 2021.
A focus on small businesses
Most businesses discovered the value of emails during the lockdowns. More brands needed to feel even more connected to their clients than they've ever been, and the power of emails was reborn. Several brands implemented new and exciting email strategies to help with their client engagement.
For instance, Facebook began working on a new email marketing tool for small businesses. With this tool, small businesses can add their contacts to the platform and send emails directly via Facebook. They can also use this feature to track their progress on Facebook. 
Business and industry-centered trends
Different businesses were affected by the pandemic in different ways. While businesses that are firmly rooted online thrived, others that required physical appearances suffered. Therefore, each industry's email marketing strategy is dependent on their exact situation.
Those who thrived will lay more emphasis on personalization, automation, optimizing send time, etc. Analytics and AI will be used to determine the appropriate steps to take. For the less fortunate industries, the focus will be on improving efficiency and only the essential optimizations.
All these, including analytics, will be tailored to the client's new behavior brought on by the situation.
We'll be seeing more of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Sending the right email to the right people and at the right time is not as easy as it sounds. The use of AI seems to show some promise. Strategies that have been proven to work are being enhanced with AI to make them even more useful. That said, AI will help marketers figure out how to maximize engagement and ROI with email marketing.
Another thing that will likely happen is automatically using machine learning to adapt to changes in customers' behavior.
An emphasis on customer experience
Customers expect that most brands have had enough time to adjust to the situation and make their marketing strategies reflect this.
Customer experience is the impression or experience customers have with a brand through their dealings with them. Make this memorable, and you can rest assured of a satisfied customer, great reviews or testimonials, and more business from both new and existing clients.
To improve customer experience with email marketing, there a few key things to consider, including:
- Help your customers out. Add the right links and descriptions that provide them with any information they need.
- Ensure the emails (and your website) are optimized for mobile use.
- Put the customer at the forefront of whatever you or doing. Personalize the experience for them. Use interactive emails.
- Insert a link in your emails to answer FAQs about your business.
- Offer the option of your clients having access to support from your team. You score extra points if you make this support human.
It might seem like it isn't a big deal. However, email design is a key part of the success of an email. Unfortunately, it's rather tricky to figure out because several factors can influence it. Start by ensuring your design is mobile friendly.
Next is the design proper. This year will see a lot more minimalism. Less is more here. Make an email too crowded, and no one will be patient enough to sift through to find the relevant parts.
Use more white backgrounds, clean writing, and a light color scheme. Although you could use accents – a pop of color here or there could help you attract the customers to a particular part of the email you want. 
The power of videos
Among all formats of sharing information like text files, audio, and video, videos engage people the most. You can increase click-through rates by 300% only by adding videos to your email.  300%?! Enough said.
With these trends and many more that exist, we can say with full confidence that 2021 is shaping up to be a year of growth in the online business world. Keep your ear to the ground and remain informed of any change in trends and figure out how to use them to your advantage. For now, start with some of these latest email marketing tips.
DMA National Client Email Report 2015. Email Monday. https://www.emailmonday.com/dma-national-client-email-report-2015/. Accessed: 31-12-2020.
68 Personalization Statistics Every Digital Advertiser Must Keep in Mind. Ted Vrountas. Instapage. https://www.google.com/amp/s/instapage.com/amp/personalization-statistics. Accessed: 31-12-2020.
Facebook Tests Email Marketing Tools for Small Business Pages. Matt Southern. Search Engine Journal. https://www.searchenginejournal.com/facebook-tests-email-marketing-tools-for-business-page/371530/. Accessed: 31-12-2020.
The Future of Email Marketing & Marketing Automation | 2021 edition. Email Monday. https://www.emailmonday.com/email-marketing-automation-trends-predictions/. Accessed: 31-12-2020.
18 Marketing Statistics and What It Means for Video Marketing. Video Brewery. https://www.videobrewery.com/blog/18-video-marketing-statistics/. Accessed: 31-12-2020.