Our Guide to Email Marketing in 2021

Our Guide to Email Marketing in 2021 | Studio Seventeen

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Rebecca Jones

Rebecca Jones

Digital Creative

This year, with more and more businesses heading online, learning how to digitally connect with your customers and clients is vital.

From sharing your products across social media to optimising your e-commerce store, the channels you can use to reach your audience are endless. One of the most emergent digital channels to arise from the lockdown of 2020 was email marketing, as it approached and targeted potential consumers from right inside their inbox. With print marketing becoming predominantly inaccessible during the pandemic, and word-of-mouth marketing suddenly masked and covered, both essential and promotional information was delivered via email campaigns instead.

Taking inspiration from Campaign Monitor’s Ultimate Email Marketing Benchmarks*, we want to look back on some of the email marketing trends and statistics from 2020, and share some of the most important insights into email marketing in 2021 to help you find the right email marketing strategy for your business.

*Campaign Monitor has taken and analysed data from over 100 billion emails sent globally from their family of brands.

Who, What, When, Where and Why?

In 2020, over one billion more emails were sent per month than in 2019. Companies, small businesses and freelancers helped to triple the growth of email marketing, increasing the total send volume by almost 7% in the past twelve months. With news reports, updates, school and business closures and nearly all essential communications being taken online, email has rapidly become one of the most relied upon methods of sharing information and broadcasting your message.

This is a trend that is expected to continue in 2021, as users are still just as reliant on digital communications to keep their customers, employees, staff and personal contacts up to date.

With that in mind, it’s not surprising that open rates also increased last year, with over 13% of all email campaigns being opened in comparison to 2019. Predominantly being read on desktop devices, consumers suddenly had the time and the need to open and consume the emails in their inbox, rather than simply skimming and deleting them. With little need to leave the house, email opens on mobile devices dropped by almost 9% as users were spending more time in front of their computers than ever before.

Certain industries performed well through email marketing this year too, with Government, Retail, Media, Entertainment and Publishing all seeing varying levels of success through their campaigns. In fact, the latter four industries actually experienced a 0% unsubscribe rate from their users, indicating that the need for communication from these more consumable and trend-based industries was in high demand – something to keep in mind for your 2021 marketing strategy.

Even click-through rates (CTR) were found to lean in the Government’s favour, as they hit a 6% open rate and a 4% CTR over the past few months. Unsurprisingly, their communications were at their most popular throughout the months of lockdown as users waited for national news and instructions. This high momentum and engagement listed them as the highest performing industry of the year.
Finally, the dates and times in which consumers open their emails has shifted too. Whereas before, the daily routine allowed for personal (and sometimes professional) email checking on commutes, lunch breaks and down periods, now this pattern has been disrupted.

In 2019, Tuesdays and Thursdays were found to be the most lucrative days for email campaigns to launch, whereas the 2020 data revealed that Fridays have taken their spot.

Just the numbers

Across all industries in 2020, the following rates were found:

Open Rate: 18%

Click-Through Rate: 2.6%

Click-To-Open Rate: 14.1%

Unsub Rate: 0.1%

The top rated industries were (as ranked by Open Rate):

Government and Politics: 26.70%

Nonprofit: 25.50%

Education: 24.90%

Financial Services: 24.80%

Healthcare Services: 23.40%

The lowest rated industries (as ranked by Unsubscription Rate) were:

Wellness & Fitness: 0.40%

Logistics & Wholesale: 0.30%

Consumer Packaged Goods: 0.20%

Professional Services: 0.20%

Real Estate, Design & Construction: 0.20%

The most lucrative day of the week (ranked by Open Rate):

Friday: 18.90%

Monday: 18.30%

Wednesday: 18.10%

Tuesday / Sunday: 18.00%

Thursday: 17.90%

Saturday: 17.30%

All of this information can be incredibly useful in planning your email campaigns, and we hope we’ve given you something to think about for the next 12 months in marketing.

Start Your Project

If you want to know more about our approach to email marketing, keep an eye out for our next post recommending the essential marketing steps you should take to improve your email strategy in 2021.

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