For full functionality of this site it is necessary to enable JavaScript. Here are the instructions how to enable JavaScript in your web browser.

Have your best year ever:

6 Keys to Email Marketing Success

Consider these two scenarios:

Scenario 1

You stop by a coffee shop on the way to work. The barista smiles, says good morning, and asks you what you would like. You order your coffee, and he asks if you would like a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich to go with it. He doesn’t know you’re a vegetarian, but that’s ok. You pay for your coffee, and go on your way.

Scenario 2

You stop by a coffee shop on the way to work. The barista smiles and greets you by name – in fact, he’s already started making your order. And since you’re a regular, he offers you a free scone from a new bakery that they just started working with. You thank him, pay for your coffee, and go on your way.

01 — Email Deliverability

Make 100% sure you reach the inbox

So what is spam, and how can you avoid sending it? As frustrating as spam filters can be, it’s important to remember that Internet Service Providers – think Gmail, Outlook, etc. – aren’t out to get you. They’re trying to create a great user experience by giving people the emails they expect, where they expect them. Remember that you’re building a relationship with each subscriber, treat them with respect, and you'll naturally improve your email deliverability as a result.

It all starts with permission. When you have a permission-based relationship, people expect you to communicate with them via email. Getting permission establishes trust, brand recognition, and value that goes beyond simple transactional communication. To put it bluntly, buying email lists might seem like a quick fix, but it won’t work in the long run.

“Before you even think about gathering or acting on data, you need to establish the right relationship with everyone on your list – get permission to market to them.” Art Quanstrom, Emma

The moral of the story here? Your recipients won’t hesitate to flag any promotional message that doesn’t meet their expectations or align with their interests, even if they DID invite you into their inbox. So pay attention to their interests and send accordingly. Plus, consistently sending relevant, engaging content will likely lead to solid open rates and an equally solid sender reputation.

Quick Takeaways:

1. Get permission before you send.

2. Set clear expectations from the outset.

3. Follow through with relevant content.

02 — List Building

Treat your list like your most valuable marketing asset

The average email list churns by about 30% every year.

That means almost a third of your audience will unsubscribe on an annual basis. Pretty scary, right? That’s why a smart list building strategy is crucial to your success.

We’re not talking about placing a static opt-in form on the footer of your website. Look for opportunities to build your email list wherever you interact with your target audience: your website, social channels, events, brick-and-mortar locations (if you have them), etc. It’s all fair game as long as you’re offering something valuable for joining your list and delivering on that promise.

Another important thing to remember about your signup form? Don’t ask for too much information right away.

Every field you add to your signup form will cause the conversion rate to drop by 25%. Privy

“Go narrow, not broad: The more tightly you define yourself, the easier it is for YOUR people to find you.” Tamsen Webster

Quick Takeaways:

1. Your list will naturally churn, so take steps to overcome it.

2. Only ask for the information you plan to use right away.

3. Aim for quality over quantity when it comes to your subscribers.

03 — Marketing Data

Identify the data that matters most

It’s time to look beyond spreadsheets, charts, and graphs, and focus on what that data represents: your audience’s behavior. It’s their likes, dislikes, and activities. And when you humanize your data and view it through that lens, it becomes much easier to identify what’s truly important to your organization.

Only 12% of marketers say that their email marketing is fully integrated with their other systems.Emma

But you can’t do that if your marketing and your data live in silos. When your data is integrated (think email + your CRM, email + Google Analytics, or email + your online shopping cart), you get a more complete picture of subscriber activity, and your marketing challenges will become easier to solve over time.

Once you’ve identified the metrics that matter and set up a way to track them, it’s time to start testing.

So what are some things you can test? Subject lines are the most obvious place to begin. Writing a great subject line is one of the most difficult tasks in email marketing. After all, there’s nothing more frustrating than creating an email that you just know is a winner, then watching it get tanked by a bad subject line that no one opened. So test out different subject lines with a small portion of your audience and send the winner to the rest of your list.

“Map your customer journey. Then remove the barriers that prevent customers from hitting those goals.” Ben Jabbawy, Privy

Quick Takeaways:

1. Go beyond open and clicks and focus on the end goal of your email.

2. Integrate your marketing systems to get a full profile of each subscriber.

3. Implement a testing strategy to learn more about your audience.

04 — Personalization

Use personalization responsibly

Receiving too many emails is the #1 reason people unsubscribe.Chadwick Martin Bailey

This is where personalization comes in. For some, personalization is simply including a first name in a subject line. But for savvier marketers, it extends all the way through the content of their mailing. Are you personalizing images, copy, the type of content you’re sending? It’s important to define exactly what you’re talking about when discussing personalization with your team because the results can be staggering.

Personalization works because you’re putting the focus of your message right where it should be – on the subscriber, not on your brand. You’re taking the data you’ve collected (those preferences and behaviors) and using it to anticipate what content your subscriber would like to receive from you. Everything from product or content recommendations to abandoned cart emails to event follow-ups are examples of personalized messages that you can send based on the data at your disposal.

But don’t overdo it. Just because you have the ability to personalize based on multiple data points doesn’t mean you should. If there isn’t a legit reason to personalize, then it comes across as condescending or annoying at best and downright creepy at worst. Not exactly the brand impression you’re going for.

“There's a part of the diagram that has the customer's needs, and there's a part of the diagram that has your business' needs. When they meet in the middle, that's when the magic happens.” Justine Jordan, Litmus

Quick Takeaways:

1. Personalization means more than including a first name.

2. Use your data to make your email truly feel like 1:1 communication.

3. Don’t cross the line into creepy territory.

05 — Customer Engagement

Focus more on engaging your base

The probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere between 5 and 20 percent. The probability of selling to an existing customer? 60-70% Marketing Metrics

“Take a moment to focus, provide value, and be generous to your most engaged audience, and they’ll return the favor.” Colby Cavanaugh, Emma

A key part of maximizing engagement for your customers is making sure that you’re using a mobile-optimized email design. We’re practically addicted to our phones, so mobile optimization is no longer a “would be nice to have” thing. It’s an absolute must if you want to get in the game.

People are busy, so they’re quickly checking their email while waiting in line at that coffee shop or if they get to a meeting a couple minutes early. They won’t mess around trying to navigate a broken design or read tiny type. They’ll send that email you worked so hard on to the trash and move on, so please make sure you’re starting with a mobile-optimized email template.

Also, don’t be afraid to mix up your content to keep your subscribers on their toes. Send a blog post one week, followed by an invitation, followed by an infographic, followed by a video. Variety keeps things fresh and keeps subscribers engaged. In fact, linking out to a video from your email is a surefire way to not only boost engagement, but also ROI.

Including a video thumbnail in your email can lift your ROI by as much as 280%. Email Monks

Quick Takeaways:

1. Prioritize engaging existing customers over attracting new ones.

2. Make sure your email looks great on all screen sizes.

3. Mix up your content to keep your subscribers opening and clicking.

06 — Marketing Automation

Scale your efforts with email automation

Businesses that use marketing automation experience as much as a 451% increase in qualified leads. The Annuitas Group

Your welcome series should accomplish most of the following:

  • Deliver on the promise or offer made on your signup form.
  • Set expectations on what your subscribers should expect to see from you.
  • Share social proof or more information about your brand.
  • Ask subscribers to update their email preferences.
  • Provide other avenues for subscribers to engage with your brand.

Check all of those off the list, and you’ll be well on your way to establishing a healthy subscriber relationship.

“Great marketing is when you distill your message to what's essential and serve it to the right people at the right time.” Josie Fox Tito’s Handmade Vodka

But in between saying hello with a welcome series and potentially saying goodbye with a re-engagement one, there are all sorts of opportunities to automate. Birthdays, purchases, opens and clicks – any subscriber behavior that you’re tracking – can potentially be used as a trigger for an automated message that lands at the perfect moment.

Quick Takeaways:

1. Automation helps you personalize and engage at scale.

2. Start with a welcome series and end with a win-back campaign (if needed).

3. Any subscriber activity you’re tracking can be used to automate.

Ready to have your best email marketing year ever?

Here’s a handy cheat sheet to get you started.

Download Now

See all of the keys!

No thanks, just take me to the content please.

We use cookies to serve personalized content and targeted advertisements to you, which gives you a better browsing experience and lets us analyze site traffic. Review our cookie information to learn more. You can manage your cookie preferences at any time.