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Getting the most out of email marketing?

Email marketing is still king in reaching consumers, and it’s not going away. It’s crucial to be effective with it.


Yes, other messaging platforms have emerged, and there will be more to come. However, a survey by Winterberry Group and the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) found that nine in ten marketers in North America say they use email to engage their audience.

It’s expected there will be 281 billion emails sent and received worldwide in 2018. That’s a lot of emails - and a lot of noise. SendGrid reports that...

email is rated as the second-most integral channel, behind websites.

But, of those polled, only 14% rate themselves as email marketing experts. Apparently, few marketers have the skills to be effective in what they rate as the second-most integral channel. That’s an opportunity to have a big impact and set yourself apart.

Email Stats

Let’s look at some recent Email Stats:

  • Email ROI: 73%
  • On average, people spend 3.3 hours checking personal email a day
  • 2 out of 3 people check email on their phone
  • 65% of people prefer email for receiving brand communications
  • Sales and discounts are the #1 factor people consider when deciding whether to purchase from a brand

What can we glean from this?

Email has a very high ROI, which makes it a cheap and effective way to reach consumers. Consumers are checking their email often, and on mobile devices, and these consumers would rather hear from your brand through email rather than see an ad on Facebook or Instagram. Finally, consumers want emails that do something for them (i.e. free offers, sales, discounts, helpful content).

Email Best Practices


Start by growing your list by converting on-site visitors. The ultimate goal is sales or growing leads, so utilizing promotions and taking advantage of on-site user behavior is the best combination to increase email signups and sales. Create an email signup page and add a form and/or popup to your site.


Once you have a way to grown your email list, you need to keep your list engaged. Some creative best practices are to lead with an attention-grabbing image, create a design hierarchy that draws the reader's eye where you want them to click, and to have clear CTA’s in order to increase click-through rate.

Make sure to personalize those emails whenever possible. Doing so not only makes the consumer feel acknowledged but segmenting emails is proven to significantly improve both open and click-through rates. Ways you can segment your email list are by demographic, age, engagement level, purchase history, and more.


Finally, always A/B test what you can. Hubspot recommends running A/B tests with an email list of no less than 1,000 contacts, otherwise, it's harder to get statistically significant results. Run an A/B test with email copy, CTAs, creative, or the subject line.

The subject line needs to be stressed in an effective email. Here are a few best practices:

  • Subject line should coincide with the context of the email
  • 40 characters, 3 to 4 words
  • Ask questions to provoke interest
  • Ellipses provoke curiosity
  • Use numbers and $ signs when relevant
  • Test emojis
  • Don’t use all caps
  • Use one exclamation point at most (!), multiple can trigger spam filters

A few words that work well in a subject line:

  • Important
  • Please Read
  • Reminder
  • Announcing


Nurture Your Email List

Ok, you’ve grown your list, you’ve engaged your list, now you need to nurture it. Content-based email sends are a way to build brand loyalty and tell a story while secondarily linking to a product on site for purchase.

Nurture your list with welcome emails, birthday emails, product retargeting emails, we miss you emails or tell us what you think emails. These emails give your audience a reminder of why they signed up in the first place, and may possibly re-engage a consumer on the verge of unsubscribing.

Again, personalization is key. Offer actual options for email preferences based on interests, frequency, etc. to give the user the best experience possible.

To follow spam laws, all emails should include an immediate unsubscribe option. If you lose someone on the list to an unsubscribe, things you can do to continue the relationship with the consumer are to offer links to follow on social media as an alternative, give a “break” with 30- or 60-day options, and provide a way to change email addresses for managing subscriptions.

You can also send them a custom email to maintain brand consistency, be polite, and thank them for subscribing in the first place. Here would be a good opportunity to ask for a review or reason for the unsubscribe to continue learning about your audience, so you can create more effective emails in the future.

If your goal is anything beyond reach, it’s not enough to get eyes on your email. You need to get your message across and persuade the consumer to take an action. Following these best practices is great place to start.