5 smart email tips from customers that get amazing results

Confession time: We’re kind of obsessed with email marketing. Yes, thinking and talking about it is our job, but we also really, really like this stuff. So along with developing cool new features, designing gorgeous templates and collecting extra-nerdy marketing stats, we love hearing about the new and exciting ways our customers have been using email to do better marketing and make their jobs easier.

We try to share their success stories as often as we can, both to celebrate their wins and to offer up some proven strategies that could inspire your own email marketing. So take a look at these five Emma customers and the tactics they used to achieve some seriously impressive results.



Use dynamic content to send your most relevant email ever.

As Chief Marketing Officer for the University of South Carolina’s Athletics Department, Eric Nichols knows that particular segments of his target audience have different goals and that they expect content catered to their individual needs and interests. But he also knows that there is some information that needs to reach all of his audience members, like that season’s schedule.

That’s where dynamic content comes into play. Dynamic content allows you to send unique, personalized content to each one of your subscribers based on the data you store about them — all from a single email. So in one email, Eric is able to share universal information that applies to everyone and include additional content that’s targeted to specific audience members. That way everyone gets exactly what they need.

By using dynamic content, Eric has been able to consistently produce winning results. The University of South Carolina Athletics Department averages an impressive open rate of 46% and click rate of 24% on their emails – and their audience is over 147,000 people!

In this email, the image changed based on whether or not the recipient had already purchased season tickets.



Monitor your analytics, adjust your messages, repeat.

In 2009, one stylish Connecticut gal left her long career in fashion to launch a free email newsletter. Now that newsletter – her "excruciatingly opinionated guide to the Connecticut shoreline" – has become an extremely successful business venture: the-e-list.

Erica made the-e-list super popular (and attracted a ton of great advertisers!) by serving her audience relevant, targeted content based on the click rates she was seeing for certain topics. When we spoke with her, she also mentioned that she regularly uses our Metric app to help her determine how she should adjust her marketing tactics. “Back when I was a buyer, all I did was analytics – how much did we sell of this, how much do we need next season? Email is a similar game – constantly monitoring data was a huge part of what helped me propel the-e-list into what it is today.”

Keeping an eye on her results and adjusting her strategy has paid off big time: Her click rates consistently hover between 40-50% and 90% of her total revenue stream comes from email.


Erica Tannen, the brains behind the-e-list.



Maintain a consistent brand image with eye-catching templates.

The Oxford American is a non-profit, quarterly literary magazine dedicated to featuring the best in Southern writing. But despite the fact that they are, at heart, a print publication, The Oxford American team recently made it a priority to develop and maintain their online presence. In order to maintain consistency between the branding of their print publication and their online identity, the team decided to make their email newsletter better reflect the look and feel of the magazine. And to help them do so, they turned to Emma.

“Our design services experience was incredible,” Caitlin recalled. “We had just gone through a total redesign of our website, and the idea behind the redesign was to make our online home look more like the magazine. So we got in touch with your services team to create a custom template, and Meghan helped us develop an email newsletter that truly reflects our printed publication. Having that design element that mimics our magazine helps us achieve a brand consistency that we simply didn’t have before.”

This is what Oxford American's print publication looks like... and this is their newly-designed email template!



Connect with subscribers through smart automation.

As the graduate studies marketing coordinator for The University of Alabama in Huntsville, Midori Maloney has a lot on her plate – and little time to respond to all the student inquiries she receives on a daily basis.

Her simple fix? Automation. After turning to Emma, Midori was able to set up an automated workflow that helps her department establish and maintain contact with potential grad students. That way, she's able to send a warm welcome to everyone who inquires about the graduate program and ensure that no student slips through the cracks. And keeping things personable really works – Midori’s automated "Website Inquiry" workflow has sustained an impressive rate of 61.8% opens and 21.5% clicks.

"I'm just one of me,” Midori explained, "so automation has made my job so much easier. It does all the heavy lifting for me!"


This is just one of the emails prospective graduate students receive as a part of Midori's welcome series.



Grow your list like wildfire with Lightbox Forms.

Enticing website visitors to join your email list can be an incredibly difficult task. That’s why Heath Miller, eCommerce Operations Specialist at Restaurant Equippers, was so excited to try out Emma's Lightbox Forms. When it comes to their email marketing, making sure they reach the right type of subscribers is one of their team’s most important goals.

“We were thrilled about the release of Emma’s Lightbox Forms feature,” Heath recalled. "It came at a time when our need to acquire fresh, relevant email leads was becoming increasingly urgent.” So Heath and his team worked together to develop a Lightbox Form for the Restaurant Equippers website and use it to their best possible advantage.

Heath is thrilled by the results he’s seen from the Lightbox Form. “We’d be missing out on 85% of the emails we’re collecting today without the Emma Lightbox feature. Overall, we’ve seen a 700% lift in online email signups."


This simple lightbox produced big results for Restaurant Equippers!


Have some tips or recent wins you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

More Content by McKenzie Gregory

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