Your Email Marketing Checklist For 2021 And Beyond



In spite of how popular and promising social media is, it still doesn’t compare to email marketing when it comes to getting the best return on investment.

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you will get 44$ in returns. Having said that, it’s important to carry out email marketing the right way. There are several mistakes that a new or small business can make which result in no engagement or worse – having your emails reported as spam.

Here’s a helpful checklist to give your email marketing efforts the best push possible in 2021. Use these tips to win subscribers ethically and to give them content that will make them engage with your brand.

Follow GDPR guidelines

It’s been several years since the GDPR rules have been rolled out. But it’s worth recalling the key points and to follow them. The main goal of the GDPR is to protect users’ data and to enable them to maintain their privacy. Here’s how you can address these concerns in email marketing:

  • Always ask for permission before you add users to your email list
  • Create an unchecked box in the comment fields of your blog so that users explicitly opt in to have their emails remembered
  • Use optin popups and lead magnets on your website so that users have an incentive to sign up for your newsletter. Clearly state that users will receive newsletters when they opt in for the lead magnet
  • For added certainty, create a double optin set up where users need to go to their inbox and confirm that they agree to receive your emails
  • Make sure that you always add an ‘Unsubscribe’ option in your emails
Offer a lead magnet as a way to get consent to add readers to your email list

By following these tips, you’ll avoid penalties from the governing authorities. But it’s also a good idea to get professional advice to follow GDRP rules correctly and keep your business in good standing.

Use an SMTP service

To avoid having your email land in your reader’s spam folder or not get sent at all, it’s essential to verify your domain address. You can manually manage your SMTP settings to tell email services that your emails are coming from a reliable source. But for many small business owners who aren’t tech-savvy, an SMTP plugin like WP Mail SMTP can make the process easier.

When you whitelist your email address, you prevent your content from landing in the Spam folder which validates your business and helps you reach your audience.

Segment your email list

Sending generic content to your audience is a certain way to lose their interest. Start segmenting your email list as soon as you get new subscribers. You can make smaller groups out of your email list based on demographic information like age and professions. Other segmenting options are to refer to your audience’s interests, and how they interact with your brand.

Tracking how recently some customers bought from you, how often they make purchases, and the value of the products they buy are important measures. Make segmenting your audience one of the first things you do, since that will impact the rest of your marketing.

Create eye-catching subject lines

Taking time and effort to create eye-catching subject lines will transform your email marketing performance. There are several ways to do this:

  • Personalize your subject lines based on how you segmented your audience
  • Address your readers by their names
  • Add emojis to your subject lines
  • Ask a question to pique your reader’s curiosity

With trial and error, you should be able to come up with compelling subject lines that lead to higher open rates.

Optimize your preview text

Your subscribers can see the first few words of your email as a preview when your content lands in their inbox. Take this opportunity to make the first lines of your email content compelling. Avoid starting with ‘Dear Joe’ or some other generic introduction. Give your readers a reason to want to click your email and know what you have to say.

Personalize your content

If you’ve segmented your email lists and are using analytics, you should be able to personalize your email content. Also, it’s important to leverage CRM to look at your audience’s purchasing behavior.

With information about your customers’ preferences, you can create email content that is relevant to them. For example, offer a discount to a customer who frequently visits your pricing page. Or offer to have a personal call with them to explain the benefits of buying from you.

Vary your content format

It’s easy to make your content attractive by adding images, gifs, and videos. So, make sure that you avoid long paragraphs of just text. Break up your email body content into small paragraphs with short sentences.

People always skim online content and are immediately attracted to images. So, remember to add visual content to break up paragraphs of text. Or better yet, minimize the length of your body text. By making your content formats readable, you’ll get longer engagement on your emails.

Optimize email content for mobile and tablets

Most email marketing service providers enable you to create mobile-friendly email content. However, you do need to run checks and ensure that your content looks good on smaller screens.

Keep your email subject lines short and test how images appear in your email body on smartphones. Doing a quick check for mobile optimization can improve the impact of your email messages.

Test your email with a small group of people

Before sending your email out to your entire list, do a test by sending your content to a smaller group of people. Note their response to your emails by looking at analytics and email marketing reports. Metrics like email open rates, clicks on calls to action, and the sales you make should help you gauge whether your email content is working or not.

Carry out a split test

Another type of test you can run is an A/B split test. Create a few different versions of your content and send them to small groups of people. If you notice that one test gives you better results than the others, then leverage that email template and launch it to your larger email list

Monitor the results

You’ll only be able to understand if your email marketing is working if you track how it is working. After you send out every newsletter, make sure that you monitor its performance. Look at replies, bounce rates, how many emails were opened, and other KPIs.

Tracking your email marketing performance is a solid practice that needs to be part of every campaign. You’ll be able to leverage what works and create better content for the future.


There you have it – a checklist for effective email marketing in 2021 and beyond. Run through this list when you’re planning your next campaign and try to optimize your content with the help of the pointers given here. You’ll soon evolve your marketing strategy to suit your business’s needs. With some trial and error, you’ll leverage email marketing to drive what really matters – higher sales and happier customers.

I agree to have my personal information transfered to AWeber ( more information )
Join over 3.000 visitors who are receiving our newsletter and learn how to optimize your blog for search engines, find free traffic, and monetize your website.
We hate spam. Your email address will not be sold or shared with anyone else.