Email Marketing Checklist For 2021

Email marketing is going strong and remains one of the most crucial channels of lead generation.

A whopping 99% of email users check their inbox once a day while there will be more than 4.3 billion email users in the world by 2023.

However, the chances of email overload have also increased substantially. The average office worker receives 121 emails a day and the average clickthrough rate remains at 3.43%.

Moreover, the pandemic has forced the marketers to rethink their strategy because as per the data provided by McKinsey, it will take at least 5 years for the most-affected sectors to get back to 2019-level contributions to GDP.

Hence, it is crucial for marketers to follow an email checklist before they start their campaigns to generate the most clicks and actions.


Here is the email marketing checklist for 2021:

1- Decide Your Campaign Goals and List Your KPIs

Every email campaign should be built keeping in mind certain specific goals. Moreover, you should see whether your emails are able to achieve those goals with the help of Key Performance Indicators or KPIs. Goals without proper KPIs are hard to track.

Here are some of the common campaign goals and their KPIs that you can use to power up your 2021 email marketing campaigns:

Goal KPI
Reach x% of email subscribers Email deliverability
Persuade the subscribers to open your emails Email open rate
Persuade the subscribers to read your email message Email clickthrough rate
Make a purchase/read an article/download an ebook/take an action Email conversion rate
Improve customer loyalty Unsubscribe rate


Similarly, you can decide your campaign goals and KPIs to track and optimize your emails for improved business revenue.


2- Segment Your Email List

Email segmentation improves the clickthrough rate because relevant content is more likely to be read by the audience.

Here are some of the ways to segment your email list:

  • Identify the buying habits and shopping preferences of your customers and create subject lines that reflect that habit or buying pattern.
  • Use demographic data to send relevant emails based on the location, buyer persona, or gender.
  • Organize your email list on the basis of interest groups.
  • Take the help of CMS to identify the products that the customers are looking for when they land on your website. Segment your list accordingly.
  • Survey your customers to understand their likes and dislikes.
  • Let the customers choose the type of content they wish to receive in their inbox.
  • Send emails on the basis of where they stand in the sales cycle.
  • Define your data points to start segmentation.

Email segmentation will help you precisely reach your customers with offers and stuff that they need. Increased relevance will lead to action resulting in higher conversions.


3- Choose a Day and Time to Send Emails

You should always send your emails when your target audiences are more likely to engage. Don’t send emails according to your own convenience, but rather according to the preferences of your customers.

The right date and time to send your emails will depend on the nature of your business. You should always test what is working and what’s not depending on the type of campaigns you run.

Here are some of the best time to send your emails:

  • Send your emails during the day, preferably in the afternoon. According to a study, the most active hours of email opening are between 2 – 5 PM with 2 PM being the most active.
  • The best days to send emails are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. This is backed by a study from CoSchedule.
  • Educational emails should be sent on Tuesday or Wednesday while actionable emails are more likely to be engaged on Thursday and Friday.


4- Optimize The Email Subject

A good email subject line can persuade the users to click on your emails leading to higher email open rates and clickthrough rates.

Follow the below tips when deciding on an email subject line:

  • Don’t make your subject too long. One sentence is enough.
  • Include just one call to action.
  • Personalize the email as non-personalized subject lines are not found to be engaging.
  • Create a sense of urgency by leveraging the power of FOMO (Fear of Missing Out).
  • Stimulate curiosity and use more actionable words.
  • Don’t use ‘noreply’ as the sender name.
  • A/B test your subject lines to make them perfect.


5- Decide The Email Body

Once you have decided the email subject, the next important thing is the email body. The email content will decide the number of clickthroughs or conversions you will receive via your email marketing efforts.

Here are some tips to follow while preparing email body:

  • Use a familiar from name that people can instantly recognize. If you are an individual marketer, use your name and if you are a brand, it is preferable to use your brand name.
  • Write a pre-header text that is benefit focussed. People should be curious about the benefits your email has for them.
  • The main body should be simple and user-focused. Don’t make it too confusing and include a clear call to action.
  • Avoid using the words ‘free’ or ‘buy’ as these may land your emails in spam.
  • Use persuasive copywriting techniques to maintain a flow in your email that easily encourages action.


6- Add Email Markup

If you want your emails to stand out from the rest, use email markups. Here is an example of an email markup:

Notice the buttons in the email subject – ‘track package’, ‘reset password’, ‘view order’, etc. These are all one-click actions that subscribers can perform via schema markup.

Schema is useful because it encourages user actions in an easy and prompt manner. You can choose four types of actions in Gmail:

  • One-click actions where the task is completed using one-click.
  • RSVP actions for encouraging event registrations.
  • Review actions to request customers to add a review for your business.
  • Go-to-actions where the user is taken to a website to complete the action.

Schema markup is an excellent way to add interactivity to your emails to encourage user actions.


7- Optimize For Customer Experience

Investing in customer experience is the best way to strengthen the relationship between the business and the customers.

Check whether your emails offer the best customer experience. You should never sell things in your emails but rather help users by giving them what they want.

Besides, don’t forget to reward your customers at every stage of the buying cycle because people love rewards. When you offer something to your subscribers, they will give it back to you by becoming your loyal customers. Rewards are indeed one of the finest ways to improve UX.


8- Work on Email Personalization

More than 50% of users will unsubscribe from your email list if you send them a non-personalized email. If there is one thing that you can’t ignore from your email marketing checklist, then that would be personalization.

Email personalization should be more than sending an email containing the recipient’s name. You should personalize the entire experience of the user depending on their browsing habits or by location.

It is a great strategy to thank your loyal customers and present them with super cool offers. This helps in the word of mouth marketing which goes a long way in acquiring loyal customers.


9- Add An Hero Image

The hero image is the first image that your subscribers see in your email. The visual hierarchy of emails is like a pyramid where the most important information should be placed at the top.

Placing a hero image at the top of your email makes it easier for the reader to grasp the most important information in an easier manner.

Hence, it is always beneficial to include a hero image since the human brain processes images 60,000 faster than text.


10- Test Your Email

Email testing is important because it lets you optimize your campaigns according to the needs of your audience.

Always make it a point to check your emails before you hit the send button.

There are several tools to preview your emails on different platforms. The HTML should be checked so that it works fine on all the email platforms.

Some of the tools you can use to test your emails are:

Please note: If you are using more than one tool to test your emails then you’ll have multiple website accounts and the NordPass Password Manager might come in handy. It is a digital safe to store all your passwords so that you can autosave them and use them whenever needed.


11- Schedule Your Email

After you have tested the accuracy of your email deliverability, it’s now time to schedule your emails.

Here are the things to check when scheduling your emails:

  • Create your email campaign by filling out all the necessary information like the ‘from’ email id, the sender’s name, the subject line, and other details. Double-check all the details to minimize the chances of errors.
  • Set the delivery date and the sending time after analyzing the best time to send the emails. You can get the data from your previous campaigns.
  • Make sure to check the time-zone because your current timezone might be different from your audience’s timezone.


12- Track Your Campaign Performance

Make sure to track the performance of your email campaign based on the KPIs that you set in the first step.

Some of the common KPIs to track are open rate, clickthrough rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, ROI, mobile open rate, revenue per email, and revenue per subscriber.

Based on the data acquired during the tracking, you should re-optimize your campaigns for better ROI.



Testing is the most important aspect of email marketing and you should never ignore it. Follow the checklist above to send emails like an ace. Remember, email marketing should be an enjoyable experience for you and your customers. Happy email marketing in 2021.

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