There’s no doubt that consumers prefer emails when it comes to brand updates and marketing. More than half of consumers check their personal email accounts more than ten times a day, and 99% of consumers are checking their email accounts at least one time per day. That’s a lot of chances to connect with tons of people, as well as one of the reasons emails are the most effective ways to engage with consumers.

With more than 59% of marketers reporting email marketing as their number one source of ROI, it makes sense to put extra effort into your campaigns. So why not make sure that your 2020 email marketing strategy is off to a great start from the get-go? Here are five of our top tips for breathing new life into your emails and maximizing their performance and returns.

1. Start With Great Content

Content is always going to be king in the marketing world. After all, the whole point of content is to communicate a specific message — right? Putting content at the top of your priority list makes a ton of sense when it comes to optimizing your email marketing efforts, and it’s one of the biggest things you can do to boost engagement across the buying journey.

High-performing email marketing content has a couple of critical features. To start, it’s well-written and original (this is a biggie). Poorly edited copy, overly wordy copy, and boring copy are all going to turn off your subscribers. Great content is also personalized to specific prospects based on where they are in the sales cycle. This helps you improve the utility of your outreach and better appeal to the right customers at the right time. Also, make sure you have a clear and specific CTA so your emails can convert. 

2. Automate Wherever You Can

Email marketing involves a lot of rote tasks. It also consists of a lot of highly specific tasks that the human brain isn’t always ideally fit to undertake, such as data-driven segmentation. Enter artificial intelligence, which has become an increasingly integral part of effective brand-to-consumer messaging.

With a marketing automation tool, your business can create emails more efficiently and put data to use for more conversion-friendly marketing. Use it to do everything from pinpointing the optimal days and times to send your emails to creating customized contact lists for better targeting and segmentation. And don’t forget to use an email autoresponder, which can engage with consumers at important stages in their journey to move them along the path to purchase.

 3. Know Your Metrics

Every business is different. The email marketing metrics that a business tracks for success may be relatively standard from brand to brand (think open rates, click-through rates, and so on). However, it’s your individual goals that inform these metrics and help you best determine where you need to go and how you’re going to get there. Ultimately, you need to understand your own metrics — not just the general ones the inform successful email marketing — in order to determine how well you’re performing.

You may be doing this already, but as we enter a new year, go back in, and audit your protocols to account for your most recent analytics. Not only will you have more accurate metrics to go on, but you’ll also be able to refresh your team on what your big goals and intentions are.

4. Go Big

Create campaigns, not just individual emails. There’s a tendency with email marketing to silo messages and let whatever topic, product, or service you’re trying to cover at the moment be the overarching theme you’re getting at. But for truly effective email marketing, you want to think big picture. We’re going for the whole puzzle here, not just the individual pieces.

The beginning of a new year is an excellent time to restrategize. As you go to the drawing board, focus not just on what topics and ideas you want your subscribers to engage with but how they all fit together. See if you can work in more cohesive, campaign-driven practices, too, like creating more drip campaigns. Your audience might not notice the difference, but you will.

5. Be More Accessible

If you’re not already designing emails with accessibility in mind, now is the time to start. This broadens your pool of potential leads and is also part of fair and inclusive communications. Some easy places to start: go for bigger fonts and cleaner backgrounds, and work on maintaining a clear and identifiable structure to how you arrange the content within your emails. Another tip is if you’re using video in your emails, make sure they’re captioned so hearing-impaired subscribers can still engage with the video and pull information from it. 

There’s always something that you can do to improve your email marketing efforts. Take advantage of this transition to a new year (and a new decade!) to spur your strategy and encourage your team to find innovative ways to do more and do better. A simple kickstart might be all that you need to start exceeding your goals.