AppSumo made $37 million this year from its email marketing strategy.
ConvertKit has grown from 0 to 8 figures by leveraging four SaaS email marketing strategies.
What do these brands have in common? They all have a great email marketing strategy.
The fact is that nothing beats a good email marketing strategy. At least, for an ROI of $42 per email sent, that's the best we can say.
So, if you are struggling to come up with an effective email marketing strategy, this article is for you.
Let's start with the basics.
10 Email Marketing Tips You Can Use to Boost Your Campaign Results
Now that you know the basics of email marketing, here are some email marketing tips that'll help you give a boost to your current email strategy.
1 - Set your goals
Taking the time to set your goals is a key part of your email marketing campaigns.
Setting up goals can help you determine what type of email marketing campaigns you send, how and who you target, what content you include, and your performance indicators.
So what do you want to achieve with your campaign?
Is it to drive new sign-ups for mailing list development? New sales prospects? Higher attendance at your event?
If you want your campaign to be successful, it’s worth spending some time thinking about what you want to achieve with it before you launch.
Also, be sure to set measurable goals, such as specific numbers, dates, etc., of your objectives, so you can measure your success.
Here's an example.
❌ Wrong: Boost email open and clickthrough rates
✅ Good: Increase email open rate by 25%
You should also be aware of vanity metrics.
These are the kinds of metrics that make you appear strong in the eyes of your competitors but don’t serve you well in understanding your performance. (i.e., Email CTR = 20% when revenue is actually $15 )
So slow down the process, sit down, and get your goals perfectly defined so you can better achieve them.
2 - Build your email subscribers' persona or avatar
The key to creating an ideal persona is simply to get to know your target audience and to keep looking for them.
Who is interested in your products/services?
What keeps them up at night?
How can you help them?
What interests them?
How do they relate to your brand?
These are just a few of the questions you'll need to answer in order to create a solid subscriber profile.
In fact, your emails are only as good as the engagement of your readership. So if your emails don't attract them, you'll only get crickets, and your unsubscribe rate will increase.
Designing your subscriber persona will help you paint a big picture of your target audience.
You'll be able to understand the different issues they face, which will allow you to serve them better. This is the key to writing emails that your subscribers will love.
3 - Design your email marketing strategies
Your strategy is the starting point for your email campaign.
An effective strategy helps you achieve your marketing goals with maximum consistency and structure.
Yet you don’t have to go through thick and thin to create an effective one.
Here is how to design your email marketing strategy.
Define your audience
A study conducted by MailChimp shows that 43% of consumers unsubscribe from a company’s email marketing if the messages are not relevant.
You need to identify and get to know your target audience. The target audience is the person or group of people identified as the ideal recipients of your campaign emails.
These are the people you want to appeal to your product or service through your marketing initiatives. Understanding who they are will help you unfurl your tactics accordingly.
Signup sources are where and how your subscribers sign up for your list. A successful campaign requires a variety of subscription sources.
Knowing where your customers have signed up for your list can give you a better idea of how to engage with them and where you might focus your marketing energies in the future.
So, if you notice that the majority of your sign-ups are driven by lead magnets or option forms, you may want to focus on creating more lead magnets.
But if your subscribers are coming from some other newsletters, you may want to sponsor more newsletters.
Establish your sending frequency
There are many ways to define your email-sending frequency.
Your main goal now should be to find a healthy balance between your email-sending frequency and your subscribers’ preferences.
You may decide to send daily updates to keep your subscribers constantly informed, or you may decide to send only twice a month to keep subscribers excited about your emails.
The general rule is to send your emails at least once a month to keep your subscribers engaged.
However, you don’t have to stick to this, it depends on your strategy and the preferences of your target audience.
Some tools, such as Klaviyo and Mailchimp, allow you to find out the best average time to click and respond to emails. So you can check this and commit to it.
Make a schedule
The idea of scheduling your campaign amounts to creating a content calendar to schedule the flow of your campaigns.
This is especially meaningful if you need to work with a team to manage the email marketing campaign or if you have a busy job.
How you schedule your email marketing will be determined by your industry, the types of content you send, and how often you choose to send it.
For instance, in D2C, people like to purchase towards the end of the day. But in B2B, people mostly open their emails early in the morning and around 2 PM.
4 - Write Emails Your Subscribers Will Love
Writing emails is not rocket science, so you have to be flexible in how you go about it. You can choose to be fun and relatable or serious and boring.
But, how do you come up with a killer email copy?
The short answer is: By keeping your readers in mind. And for the longer answer, keep reading.
Let subscribers decide what they want to read right off the bat
Letting your subscribers decide what type of content they wish to receive from the start is the best way to set the grounds for meeting their expectations.
Remember. Your subscribers signed up for your email list because of a specific need or a specific pain.
Here is how TechCrunch does it.
By letting your audience choose the type of content they want, you can easily feed them the right content, address their pain points, and win their hearts.
Plus, it will save you a lot of trouble down the road.
Also, letting them guide you will help you easily segment your list accordingly.
Here is how SEMrush does it.
Use segmentation to send the right message at the right time
If you're following this rationale, segmentation starts the minute you let your subscribers decide on the type of content they want to receive.
Now, you need to make your content more relevant and meaningful by dividing your subscribers into specific groups based on their common traits, interests, and needs.
You will also need to consider the pillars of audience segmentation, as suggested by EmailMonday to send the right content at the right time.
If you're starting with your email list segmentation, the first three pillars will get you off and running.
But if you're somewhat advanced in your email marketing strategy, then the last pillar, behavioral segmentation or your subscriber's digital body language, should be where you stand.
This is basically what is otherwise known as considering their stage in your buyer's journey.
Personalize your emails to make them more appealing
Now that you have your email lists into segments of people who share common traits, it's time to drive it all home by focusing each email content on its recipient.
Segmentation makes your emails relevant to your subscribers, but good personalization makes them significant to them.
Personalizing emails will help you improve relevancy, and you will be able to stick out from the competition.
Also, guess what? It will enhance your email campaign metrics, such as the open rate, the click-through rate and cut your churn rate.
Include interactive elements
In an email, interactive elements are worth a thousand words.
People are naturally curious, and interactive elements allow the readers to better engage with your emails by allowing them to tap, swipe, click or simply watch.
Using interactive elements gives your subscribers a better experience with your emails and makes your emails more appealing and more memorable for your readers.
More importantly, interactive features boost the performance of your emails.
For instance, a video in an email can increase your email click-through rate by up to 300% and reduce your unsubscribe rate by 75%.
And they guarantee a 96% higher click-through rate over emails without videos.
But video is not the only interactive element that works. Images, gifs, emoticons, etc., are also part of interactive elements that work.
Drive it home
Here are a few tweaks to make your emails perfect and appealing to your subscribers.
Using these tips, you will be able to design emails that trigger response, boost your email marketing metrics and crush the competition.
The goal here is to define the main communication channel with your readers and to stick to it. This strategy is important for one main reason: consistency.
Consistency fosters authenticity and trust with your readers at a core level.
You need to leverage branding at every stage of the sales journey. Customers will interact with different people in your company.
You will need to be consistent in your branding for each person they interact with.
For example, if you use a corporate tone or signature format, make sure your entire team uses the same corporate tone and end your emails the same way. Same goes for how you start your emails.
This keeps the brand identity consistent across the board, and regardless of who is sending the emails to the customer it aligns with your brand and resonates with the readers.
Highlight the value to the customer
Ask yourself a simple question. Ask yourself what would make you care if you were the one reading the email.
The response to that question will help you write emails with your readers in mind and prevent you from writing for your own confirmation.
What's in it for them?
How does your email benefit them?
Will they learn?
How will your offering make their life easier?
What will they gain out of your product or service at the end of the day?
People don't care about your business or your products, let alone your emails. You need to highlight the value to the customer to drive engagement.
Send your emails at the right time
Should I define a timeframe for sending my emails? I'm so glad you asked.
You might be swayed to run your campaign as soon as you get your emails nice and ready.
But don't send it right away. You need to send your emails at the right time to get optimal engagement.
The time you send your email is as important as the overall engagement rate of your e-mail marketing.
This may not sound like much, but people won't read business emails after business hours, and they won't read promotional emails when they're focused on their daily work.
Get the gist?
You need people to eye up as soon as you're in their inbox, which is why you need to set a prime time to send your emails.
An excellent way to do this is to audit your campaign analytics and deduce the best time to send your emails.
Analyze which day of the week and time of day people are most interested in your emails and figure out a prime time to send them accordingly.
5 - Personalize your messages
Sending personalized email campaigns is vital to make your emails appealing to your subscribers and making you stand out.
As we mentioned before, personalization goes beyond just adding your recipient’s name to the email.
It’s about writing content they can relate to, painting a picture they will recognize themselves in.
And to do that, you need to know your target audience, right down to their daily lives.
When you can do this, the recipient feels that you have sent a message just for them, and they will engage more with the content of your email.
And as a result, you will see your open and click rates improve.
6 - Use email software to increase efficiency
After writing and styling the interactive elements, you will need comprehensive email marketing software to facilitate your campaigns.
You can automate the tedious work of creating emails for each recipient, and you can send thousands of emails in the blink of an eye.
Email marketing automation is also a great way to quickly 2x, 3x, or even 10x your email marketing ROI.
With your email marketing software, you'll be able to distribute to segments easily and reach out to all subscribers on a personal level.
In addition, you will be able to mold your emails and trigger them based on user behavior so that you send the right email to the right person at the right time.
Software options include HubSpot, MailChimp, Active Campaign, or Constant Contact.
They will provide you with comprehensive email marketing features to design, organize, customize, and track performance metrics for your email campaign without requiring any technical or graphic design experience.
7 - A/B test your emails
As you designed your campaign and got the emails all spruced up, don’t just send it yet. Test it first.
AB testing allows you to see if the design is relevant if the campaign will proceed as planned if it is going to be a big hit or a flop.
You can also test the different elements of your campaigns to see how they will impact your subscribers’ reactions.
Here are a few ways to test your emails.
Test in different email clients.
Test with and without images.
Try the plain text version versus the HTML version.
Get a second pair of eyes on your campaign before you send it.
Evaluate how the different changes affect recipients’ behavior or engagement.
Find the best version and send it.
8 - Send both educational and promotional emails
Your primary goal in email marketing is to promote a product or service. But that doesn't mean that all of your emails have to be sales-y.
If you only send promotional emails, you will see your churn rate increase. Similarly, if you only send educational emails, you won't make any money.
That leaves you with one option. Balancing educational and promotional emails.
The goal of email marketing is to establish a long-term relationship with your subscribers, and that's what educational emails are for.
Secondly, your promotional emails will help you keep your business afloat.
Overall, you will be able to help your subscribers solve their problems while still running your business perfectly.
9 - Design mobile-friendly emails
Data from Campaign Monitor present the following figures:
47% of all people across demographics use a mobile application for checking their email, while a meager 26.9% still prefer a desktop.
81% of recipients prefer to open emails on their smartphones. On top of that, 21% of recipients open their emails on their tablets.
This simply translates to the fact that mobile-friendly design has the highest open rate and performs the best thereof.
And as such, mobile-friendly email design is no longer an option. You need to ensure that all your email marketing copy renders well on mobile devices.
This will directly see your campaign performance skyrocket.
10 - Write punchy and witty subject lines
A subject line is one of the first things — besides the preview text — your recipients see when you shoot them an email.
So, it's crucial to ensure your subject lines entice recipients to click and open your email.
Here's how to write subject lines that get replies.
Use questions in your subject lines
Questions in a subject line are a great way to stir people's curiosity. Email marketers use questions to push their readers to imagine and wonder what is in the email for them.
e.g. Quick question, [[First_name]]
e.g. Is this you, [[First_name]]?
Use power words in your subject lines
Power words are words you can use to trigger some emotions within your recipients. You can use a power word to trigger fear, joy, excitement, urgency, or even sadness.
Using one in your subject lines helps emphasize your desired outcome and urges the recipient to take the desired action.
e.g. Ends soon [[2hrs left]]
e.g. [[Revealed]] My secret to high conversions
Use emojis in your subject lines 🎯
Emojis make your recipients even more curious about the content of your email.
It makes them wonder what's inside, but it also makes them think of your email as an informal conversation — which removes the initial friction your recipients might have.
What are the basics of an email marketing strategy?
An email marketing strategy is a set of tactics used to achieve desired business objectives through email marketing campaigns.
Successful email marketing campaigns start with understanding the basics: knowing your business in and out and setting clear objectives.
Know your business
First thing first, you need to know the nitty-gritty of your product and industry.
As a brand, you will know your aha moment when you correlate the quality of your product, industry trends, your business model, and your audience's behavior.
Because that's when you have enough data to combine to build a killer strategy.
AppSumo, for example, is a company that sells software online; it's an Appstore for software, if you will.
Their target is small business owners, and this very target audience is susceptible to the price of the products they buy.
So, AppSumo constantly sends them emails with discounts, lifetime deals, and even freebies.
They make more than 49% of their revenues leveraging email marketing as a result of this strategy.
But the same strategy cannot be adopted for Ahrefs. Ahrefs is an SEO software company.
A better strategy for Ahrefs would be to feed prospects with relevant information to create demand and then offer their software as a solution.
Set clearly defined email marketing goals
No work is in vain unless it is done without a clear goal in mind. Setting goals helps you determine if you are on the right track.
Here are some questions you will need to answer in order to set a great email marketing goal.
What content should you include in your email?
Your emails, from the sender name to the email subject lines to the call to action to the email sign-off, need to align with your goals.
Your targeting must be on-point, and the audience should resonate with the email content.
For example, suppose you wish to convert free users into paying customers.
In that case, you should send them onboarding emails, customer success stories, social proofs, and whatever collateral is needed to make them buy.
Also, bear in mind that your prospects will be spread across different stages of the buyer's journey.
Therefore, the same email content would not be appropriate for everyone. So, craft your content accordingly and mind your segment audience.
What type of email marketing campaign do you want to run?
For each type of campaign you run, you need to set a target to hit.
For instance, if you are running a Black Friday campaign, your objective could be to make $3 million worth of upsells.
On the other hand, if you want new leads from a list you got from Zoominfo, you need to run a cold email campaign.
This means that your email marketing campaigns should be a mix of different types of emails, such as lead nurturing emails, welcome emails, newsletters, dedicated emails, transactional emails, and autoresponders – all of which have a specific purpose.
What would be a good win for you after your campaign?
What would be a good win for you after implementing a 6-month email marketing strategy? How would you define your success?
Setting up key performance indicators will help you better track your email sends, and you'll be able to see how your efforts compare to those of your competitors and even your previous campaigns.
Some of the most common metrics include deliverability rate, open rates, bounce rate, click through rates, click-to-open rate, unsubscribe rate, inactive subscribers, and many more.
But these metrics will only tell you about each of your email marketing campaigns separately. Not on the overall email strategy.
So to make it more straightforward, tracking these metrics will not allow you to evaluate the success of your overall email marketing strategy but only the success of each email campaign.
See the nuance?
You need to look at the big picture and track much more relevant metrics, such as revenue, interest rate, or response rate.
These are the metrics that really tell you about the results of your overall email marketing efforts.
Email marketing is highly effective and can help you drive success for your business. Your goal, however, is not to sell hard. You just have to keep nurturing your leads and keep them happy with your communications.
Most people are not ready to buy, and that's why many sales emails fail. Your goal is to keep feeding your audience with valuable content and build a solid relationship so the day they want to buy, you are top of their mind.
All it takes is to understand your business, know your audience, set clear goals, and build great emails they'll love.