What Your Marketing Emails Should Look Like In 2021

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There’s no doubt that content matters when it comes to your email messaging. But, the way your emails look plays a big role in grabbing your customer’s attention too. 

Make something too splashy, and they could feel overwhelmed with too much information, causing them to move on. But if you send customers an email that’s too boring, there might not be an incentive to read it, causing them to, yes, move on.

Just as with Goldilocks, you need to create a marketing email that’s just right. Interesting enough to get attention and compelling enough to get your readers to take action. 

A huge part of that comes through in the design. You need to make your marketing emails look good and stand out. Here are a few approaches you can take this year. 


You don’t have to spend much time reading anything about email marketing to remember that personalization is a key factor to success. Customers want and increasingly demand personalized content in their emails. And that goes way beyond the tricks that worked a few years ago, like putting their first name in the header or subject line. 

Now, you can level your personalization mojo up by looking at your customer’s location, habits, and buying behavior. Use the data you have from your email service provider, CRM tool, loyalty program manager, e-commerce system, and browser tracking to see what your customer is doing, where they are clicking, and what they are buying. 

From there, create an email that’s personalized and targeted to their needs. 

Content blocks

One way to get more personalized is through modular content blocks. With these blocks, your email goes from the same old standard looking email to one that can pop. 

With content blocks, you can drag and drop sections to make attractive emails filled with personalized information. Check out this example:

Here, you can see the variety of different personalized content blocks you can add to your email. The coolest part is that depending on which customer is opening the email you send; they’ll see the personalized block that matters most.

So you can take all those content blocks and create something that looks like this:

With this email, you can showcase personalized travel loyalty points and tie them into potential destinations that the reader would likely be interested in based on their location or shopping behavior.

Live images

Another way to use content blocks and personalization in tandem is through live images. With live images, you can give your readers and customers real-time information that updates at the moment-of-open. That means rather than only getting the most up to date information when the email is sent; it updates every time they open their email. 

Real-time data like this is super valuable to consumers. Think about shipping emails, for example:

Shipping is a huge differentiator for a lot of brands today. Most consumers want fast and easy shipping. They also want to know where their packages are while in transit. With real-time data that updates at the moment-of-open, customers can track their packages easily via email. That helps your brand, too, because it can free up your customer experience team from where is my order (WISMO) calls, especially during busy times of the year.


Another key piece of data you have on your customers that you can use to personalize their emails is where they live. Even if you don’t have their full address, but just their zip code, you can send them specifically targeted emails that are hyper-local.

One way to use geolocation is to tap into the weather. Yes, it’s true; customers alter their shopping habits based on the weather. When you know where your customers live, you can send them emails highlighting it. 

For example, if you’re a national hotel chain, use a personalized notification bar update in a newsletter reminding customers in the Northeast about the special deals in warm weather destinations during the winter.

You can also use geolocation to highlight and promote special sales and VIP events happening at local retail destinations in the reader’s area. Let them make appointments for a ‘member’s only’ sale right from their email. 

Revamp your emails in 2021

As you can see, there are all sorts of ways you can make your emails pop in 2021. With better ways to reach your customers through personalization, you can start building trust and a loyal legion of fans who will look forward to opening your emails every time one lands in their inbox.