A Guide to Creating a Successful Email Marketing Campaign

Marketers send nearly 320 billion marketing emails per day. That number is on track to reach more than 360 billion by 2024. Not only does email have one of the highest ROIs of any marketing channel, it allows companies to engage its audience through strategic messaging that builds brand awareness, excitement and loyalty. In other words, it’s essential to learn how to create a successful email campaign.

What’s so great about email marketing? 

If you’re wondering whether or not spending those extra dollars on an email campaign is worth it, the answer is yes. According to Statista, there are about 3.8 billion smartphone users in the world; that’s 48% of the world’s population. Of those smartphone users, 85% have access to emails. Those are a lot of eyeballs on your brand! 

Emails are an incredibly effective channel at driving conversions and are typically low-cost compared to other mainstream marketing channels. It allows you to build relationships with new leads as well as current and past customers.

How do I create a strong email campaign?

Build a targeted email list. 

No matter what industry you’re in, your company needs to define its audience. If you’re building an email list from scratch, there are different low-cost ways to do that. 

  • Create a branded pop-up on your website. Write appealing copy with an “irresistible offer,” and make the opt-in form simple. All you really need to collect is a name and email address.
  • Use other platforms to attract leads. Believe it or not, Facebook Ads can help you reach new audiences and generate leads by collecting emails through ads that link to your pages with the pop-up!

No matter what you do, don’t buy an email list. Grow your audience organically, and you’ll benefit from it greatly in the long run.

Know your audience. 

It’s important to understand that email marketing isn’t about sending emails to everyone because not every single email you send is going to appeal to every single customer. While email marketing can help identify which products or services will attract a specific type of customer, businesses should be able to divide their audience into smaller groups called segments. This will allow you to understand customer behaviors to determine who will likely buy into your product or service. Common ways brands segment their audience include by region, by gender, by age and by purchases or placement in the sales funnel.

Set your goals. 

Think about what you want to achieve with your campaign. Your goals can range from growing and engaging your subscribers to increasing sales. Once you understand your audience and your goals, you can tailor your messaging and positioning appropriately.

Know the different types of emails. 

A strong message is nothing if you’re sending out the wrong emails. You know your goals and want results. Here are the common types of emails: 

  • Newsletters: Newsletter emails are typically sent out on a consistent schedule and often contain updates such as recent blog posts, upcoming events or exciting updates about your company.
  • Promotions: Promotional emails are very common in retail. It gets the word out to your audience about your product or service and includes anything from coupons and discount codes to access to exclusive content.
  • Surveys: Survey emails allow you to gain valuable insights from your audience in exchange for some sort of added value. A survey is an important tool for improving your business to retain customers.

Create an impressionable subject line. 

Just like a title to an article, the subject line should grab the reader's attention and encourage them to click. The subject line plays a crucial role in getting your audience to open emails and should communicate the promise of value. Here are some of the best practices for subject lines:

  • Add personalization. If you can, personalize your subject lines or body copy with the recipient's name. Depending on your email marketing service, you may be able to pull in other personal details such as past purchases.
  • Keep it short. Use no more than nine words or 60 characters.
  • Be descriptive. Use direct and descriptive taglines that align with your email’s goal.
  • Use emojis...carefully! Use no more than one emoji at a time, and use them to supplement copy rather than replace copy. Some recipients may not be able to see your emoji.

Create your content. 

Writing the copy for your email should be captivating from the start but short and to the point. Use personalization when possible. This includes addressing your recipient by name in your copy. Keep the content relevant, personal and conversational if you want your copy to resonate with your readers. It’s best practice to write no more than 200 to 250 words, unless it’s a newsletter email, but shorter is always better. If you must share more than 200 words, consider sharing only a snippet of the content and then directing your subscribers to a landing page on your website for more info. Also, remember that like any marketing campaign, you should be telling a story. Consider email content that builds over time, like a video series.

Focus on the design. 

While images make your email aesthetically appealing, it's important to note that good email marketing typically has more text than images. Why? Because some email clients disable email images by default. So, if your email is all or mostly images, some subscribers may have no context and all your time spent on messaging and design will end up in someone's trash. It’s always a great idea to start off with a template, but always keep in mind that the overall quality of your content is key in getting good results.

Test your emails. 

Send a test email to your inbox to ensure everything looks good on both desktop and mobile devices. These days, most emails are opened on a smartphone. You should also conduct A/B testing. Split your email list into two separate segments and send a different version of your email to each group. You can test variations of a single email to see how changes in timing, wording, etc. can have an impact on your campaign results. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when testing your emails: 

  • Test your subject lines! This is by far one of the most important parts in your mail. Elements of testing can include different call-to-actions, length, layout or word choice.
  • Draw attention to the important parts. Play around with the email design and change up elements such as bolding, capitalization, colors, sizes, etc. People have limited time and attention, so make it easy for them to find the important content.
  • Try different times and days of the week. Email send time is one of the easiest things you can test. It’s always good to track the day of the week an email is sent as well as the time of day.

Let’s learn some more!

Eager to start your next successful email campaign? The Elevate My Brand team is made up of top-notch marketing experts, so we’re happy to answer any questions you may have.

If you’re ready to dive in headfirst, let’s schedule a Mindmap session where we walk you through the entire digital marketing universe. Don’t be shy—we won’t bite! Set up a consultation with our CEO Laurel Mintz to see how you can elevate your brand.

Shirley Chui, Account Executive
Elevate My Brand

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