11 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020

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If you are a digital marketer or a business owner, you might have heard the line “Money is in the List” for more than 100 times. 

But do you believe that?

Whether you believe or not, the truth is ‘YES.’

Yes, the money is in the list.

Check out the screenshot below taken from the Mailchimp email tool of an e-commerce business.

Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020
Around INR 28,337 is the revenue generated from Email Marketing to Existing Customers and Emal List

The numbers might not amaze you, but it proves that there is money in the list.

As you can see, around 4.5% of the store revenue came from the email campaigns done for the existing customers. 

In other words, I can say, revenue (money) worth INR 28,337 would have lost, if the store didn’t have the practice of building an email list & sending the email campaigns. 

Ok, so now want to build an email list.

That is fantastic!!

What next?

Will you start generating money if you just keep sending emails to the list?

Nahhh. You won’t!!

That is why I have written this blog post, where I have discussed the 11 email marketing best practices that you should know and follow to achieve higher inbox delivery, a good number of open rates, click rates, and revenue from the email list.

Now let’s get started

Email Personalization:

Use the first name of the subscriber to address him/her, instead of just hello/hey.

For example, use 

“Hello Rohit

Gururaj here from Learn SMM” 

instead of 


Gururaj here from Learn SMM”

And use the personalization in the email body for 2-3 times wherever required. Doing so helps you to increase the personal touch with the reader & as a result, the engagement rate will increase, compared with generic emails.

Did you know? Nearly 62% of marketers believe that personalized messaging is one of the most effective types of email used for marketing purpose.

Check the SPAM score:

Before sending an email to your subscribers, you should check the spam score and reduce it as much as possible before hitting the “Send” button.

Some email tools come with an inbuilt spam score checker and give you suggestions on how you can reduce them.

But if your email marketing tool doesn’t provide you the spam score, you can use this free tool to check the spam score and reduce the score from their suggestions.

You should also know on what factors does the spam score depends? Knowing this will help you to be cautious and ensure your next emails have zero spam score.

The spam score majorly depends on 

  1. Appearance & content of the email
  2. The Reputation of the domain
  3. The Reputation of the IP

Now I won’t be discussing the above points in detail, but here is a must-read blog post on this topic from SendX: 77 Definitive Reasons Why Your Emails are Going to SPAM

Ensure emails are mobile-friendly

Not all email marketing tools have mobile-friendly templates.

So as a user of an email marketing tool, you should check how your email appears on smartphones.

Did you know? Mobile opens accounted for 46 percent of all email opens. (Litmus.com, 2018)

Email Segmentation

If you are sending all your emails to all your subscribers, then you are missing out on something significant, called “Segmentation.” 

You might think all your emails are useful for the subscribers. But what do they feel about it?

Try to segment your subscribers based on their interests, topics for which they subscribed, & the topic of your emails, etc.

Did you know? Marketers who used segmented campaigns note as much as a 760% increase in revenue. (Campaign Monitor, 2019)

Value addition Vs. Promotional:

Are your emails entirely promotional? If yes, you need to think again.

No one would like to get completely promotional emails with zero value addition to them (apart from emails from coupon/deals website). Think about value-added marketing.

Try to send emails with a mix of both promotional and value addition emails.

What should be the percentage mix?

The best way is to test both the type of emails and observe the open and click rates by yourself. 

11 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020: A must-read guide for email marketers to increase the revenue in 2020

Focus on email Subject Lines

Where your email lands in your subscriber’s mailbox – Primary, Updates, Promotions, or in the worst case in the spam folder? It depends majorly on the email subject line & words you use.

So this should be your first priority when it comes to implementing the email marketing best practices.

Prefer these words for maximum delivery to “Primary” folder (suggesting these words based on my own experiments): [Alert], [Last 24 Hours], [Reminder], [Final Call], [Important], [Attention], [Final Reminder], etc.

You should also try using customization in the email subject line.

Avoid these words for maximum delivery to “Primary” folder: Special Offer, __% discount, Offer Expiring, Offer Ends Today, Grab the deal, FREE Trial, Exclusive GIFT, etc.

You may want to check out this complete list of words to avoid using in the subject line from Hubspot

According to statistics from Getresponse, email subject lines that include the word Infographic, newsletter, PDF, eBook have got the highest click-to-open rates of 35.14%, 31.43%, 30.31%, 27.84% respectively.

So now you know what to include and what to avoid in the subject lines of your next email.

Did you know?
1. 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone
2. Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

Check and implement from the industry benchmarks

Resources section on Getresponse’s website has got an ultimate list of benchmarks related to email marketing.

You can refer to this resource to make smart decisions to improve the outcome of your email marketing activity.

So, what are the essential metrics that you should refer from the industry benchmark list:

  1. You can refer to the open rate, click rate, click-to-open rate of your particular industry, and check if your email campaigns are performing to the industry standard or not.
  2. Refer to the best time, day, and the frequency of emails particular to your industry, and check the results by implementing it for your email campaigns. (Note: Some email marketing tools will have this analytics inbuilt. So you can rely on those stats as they are based on your previous campaigns.)     
  3. Check for ‘Performance’ based on different email marketing tactics as used by marketers around the world.
Note: You should always make decisions based on the performance of your previous email marketing campaigns, as they are very much genuine concerning your subscribers. However, these industry benchmarks help you understand further more details that you might not get from your past email campaigns.
best email marketing tool - convertkit

Automate Welcome Emails to New Subscribers

I believe in the saying, “First Impression is the Best Impression.” People have a habit of deciding who you are (to them) in the first impression itself.

This is what you can achieve using the welcome email sequence.

Through a set of the welcome email sequence, you need to build a clear picture with your subscriber. Some examples to send 3-email sequence: 

  1. For Bloggers/Individual consultants
    • Who are you (An introduction mail)? 
    • Why do your subscribers need to pay attention to your mails?
    • What benefit do they get in return? 
  2. For eCommerce store and organizations:
    • Introduction email with one time welcome offer
    • About the products or services.
    • Customer reviews and a reminder about the welcome offer.  

Since welcome emails get high open rates & click rates, they are the best for you to place the links of important resources from your blog, case studies that you have published, or your customer testimonials – whichever you feel are relevant to your subscribers.

Did you know?
1. Welcome email read rates are 42% higher than the average email.
2. Welcome emails with offers can boost revenue by 30% per email, compared to welcome emails without offers.
3. 74% of consumers expect a welcome email as soon as they subscribe.

Send Cart Abandonment Email

If you have an eCom store or work in an eCom company, you must send a cart abandonment email.

You can automate it to go out as soon as someone drops off from the store after coming to the checkout stage.

Doing so not only helps you to recover the abandoned cart and increase the revenue but also gives you an opportunity to get feedback from potential customers on what made him/her drop off, based on which you can improve your store performance.

Did you know: Sending 3 abandoned cart emails results in 69%more orders than a single email.

Prepare a Monthly & Yearly Calendar

Similar to the social media content calendar, you need to prepare a monthly calendar with subject lines and topics based on which you can write your emails.

Also, you should prepare the yearly calendar, at least the outline, to ensure you don’t miss out on sending emails during the special occasions and events that are specific to your subscribers.

Did you know? Almost 24% of the sales revenue during Cyber Monday 2018 were driven by emails.

VIP Category

You should have a VIP category of your subscribers based on the data of how they are interacting with your emails. And send exclusive emails to those subscribers who value your emails more than anyone else.

If you are into eCommerce, choose the email tool that provides you with automatic segmented lists based on customer lifetime value & likelihood to purchase again.

If you are into a non-eCommerce business, choose the email tool that provides you with tagging and scoring functionality along with an automation flow builder.

The above mentioned features help you to send exclusive emails to that particular segment of VIP customers/subscribers, which makes them feel special and further increase the chance of a repeat order.

The subscribers’ scoring feature also helps you to maintain your email list healthy as you can clean your list occasionally by deleting the subscribers who have zero or bottom of the grade scores. 

Recommended Read: How to Create Lead Generation Campaign on Facebook? [A Beginner’s Guide]
Best Email Marketing Tool - Convertkit

3 Free-to-use Tools for Better Email Marketing:

I hope you found the email marketing best practices helpful. Now let us learn about a couple of free-to-use tools that help you to improve your email marketing game.

Spam score checker

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Mailtester tool helps you to check the spam score of your email.

All you need to do is send a test mail to the email ID that is mentioned on the website when you load it. And within 15 seconds, it will show you the spam score and also gives you detailed suggestions on what you need to fix to reduce the spam score.

Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020
As you can see in this image, the Mailtester tool gives you a list of suggestions, which you need to work on to increase email deliverability.

The best part? It is entirely free to use.

Email subject line scorer 

This free-to-use tool from Coschedule helps you improve the subject line of your email based on multiple ranking factors such as character count, word count, presence of a numeric value in the subject line, etc. 

Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020
This tool from CoSchedule gives you a score for your email headline

So based on the score displayed to you, improve the subject line till you get a decent number, which helps you to increase open rates.

AMI’s Emotional Marketing Value headline analyzer

This tool from the Advanced Marketing Institute helps you analyze the headline to find out the Emotional Marketing Value (EMV) score.

Along with the EMV score, the tool also shows you what kind of emotion your headline impacts the reader.

Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020
EMV score of the email subject line shown in percentage

You can read in detail about the EMV score from here.

I hope the above discussed email marketing best practices & tools help you in improving your email marketing revenue.

Did you find this post useful?

Let me know by sharing your feedback in the comments section below.

best email marketing tool - convertkit


  1. 25 Email Marketing Statistics You Need to Know Heading into 2020
  2. Adobe Analytics Data Shows Cyber Monday Broke Online Sales Record with $7.9 Billion
  3. 22 Eye-Opening Statistics About Sales Email Subject Lines That Affect Open Rates

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4 thoughts on “11 Email Marketing Best Practices for 2020”

  1. you explained very well.
    yes, email marketing is a better option. we will build the list once. we can send emails and make money regularly. thats the beauty of email marketing. me also building email list.
    thank you for your article. it includes lot of new tips.

    • Hello Venkat,

      I’m glad you found the article useful. And yes, you should build your email list as quickly as possible. This is one of the marketing channels that doesn’t depend on external factors like SEO or Facebook algorithm changes. So MONEY is in the LIST 🙂

  2. Your content is extremely useful Gururaj.
    Do you know how I landed here?
    Ans: Through your email.
    Your emails are just awesome.
    I request you to make an article on best email marketing tools for bloggers and small business owners.

    • Hello Simraan,

      Thanks a ton for your feedback. So happy to hear this from you. I will definitely write articles on the best email marketing tools soon and will update you. Thanks again for reading the article.


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