The Secrets Behind Every Successful Email Campaign

Digital Agency | June 12, 2020


With all the flashy, new marketing channels & opportunities available, it can be easy to overlook one of the oldest yet most successful channels – email. Email marketing on average produces $44 for every $1 spent according to Campaign Monitor, making it one of the most effective options available. We’ve outlined some tips for creating successful email campaigns and included the secrets that the pros don’t want you to know.  

Make It Personal  

Across the industry, marketing is making a shift to a more conversational & personal approach. With more and more companies leveraging this approach, it is more important than ever to make sure that your customers don’t feel like they are just a number. Including communication directly from recognizable figures within your company, such as a CEO or an account manager, can help add a more personal touch to an email as it appears to be coming directly from a familiar person. Make your communication less cold and more personal by including the user’s first name, sending a birthday message, or leveraging content that is relevant to the viewers’ interests.  

The Secret: Most email platforms allow you to insert the recipient’s name in the subject line and/or body copy using smart tags. This is an easy way to draw attention and add a nice pop of hyper-personalization.  


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Provide Value  

As mentioned above, leveraging content that the viewer has a direct interest in leads to your communication being more personal. Your subscribers all have unique interests & behaviors that can be analyzed and grouped based on data, so consider using a targeted marketing strategy instead of keeping communication general whenever possible.  

Ever added a product to the cart while shopping online and forgot about it, only to receive a reminder email about said product? This is called an Abandoned Cart Email and is a great example of an email that is triggered by a specific user’s behavior.  

Additionally, if your business is operating within multiple industries, consider sending different emails based on category interest. For example, if you own a home goods company, certain members of your audience may be more interested in furniture and décor while others may gravitate more toward kitchenware and small appliances, so you will want to market to these audiences differently. According to Campaign Monitor, marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue.  

The Secret: Create segments of your email list based on interests & behaviors and develop emails that specifically address those interests & behaviors.


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Clear Call-to-Action  

No matter what kind of email you send, they all have the same goal: to encourage action. One of the most common actions marketers look to drive is click-throughs. Encourage your audience to click by including bold, visually striking buttons with clear language, such as “Shop This Style” or “Learn More”. According to Campaign Monitor, adding a call-to-action button in your emails instead of simple text link can lead to a 28% increase in click-throughs.  

One of the oldest tips in the marketing handbook is to limit one call-to-action per email to avoid causing viewers to lose focus on your main goal. However, that doesn’t mean your single call-to-action can’t be used multiple times within your email. This gives viewers multiple opportunities to interact within your communication.  

The Secret: Get straight to the point and make sure your call-to-action is clear, bold, and visible.

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Souped-Up Subject Lines  

A successful email campaign starts with a good subject line, but you’ve got a lot of competition within any given recipient’s inbox. Nailing down the perfect subject line can be the difference between your audience opening your email, deleting it, or worst-case scenario – reporting it as spam. You want to entice readers by providing value and urgency in a super clear and understandable way. Get to the point and keep it short by aiming for 17-24 characters when writing subject lines to avoid getting cut off during mobile viewing. Align your subject line with the overall goal of your email and use a tone of voice that not only represents your brand but that your audience responds well to.  

The Secret: Add some flair with emojis. According to Forbes, 56% of brands using emojis in their email subject line had a higher open rate than those that did not. Using emojis can help you stand out in a crowded inbox, convey certain emotions, and save space since they say it all with one character!


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Mobile-Friendly Matters  

Email checking on-the-go is becoming more popular than ever. According to Hubspot, 46% of all email opens now occur on mobile. There are a few steps you can take to ensure your emails are being viewed properly for all users. Optimize text and images to be viewed seamlessly across all devices. Text that appears readable on desktop may be too small on mobile, disrupting the reader’s experience. Make sure your body copy is clear, concise, and skimmable, and avoid lengthy subject lines that may get cut off when viewing on mobile.  

The Secret: Always send test emails and preview on your mobile device before sending it. Bonus points if you can test in multiple email platforms (Gmail, Outlook, etc.) as different outcomes can be produced based on the complexity of your design. Looking to be extra cautious? Litmus is an email testing tool that allows you to preview emails in all popular email clients, apps, and devices.


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Test, Test, Test   

A/B testing (also known as split testing) is the method of comparing two different versions of an email against each other to determine which performs better. Carefully planned A/B testing can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts because it allows you to make decisions based on data rather than guesswork and pinpoint exactly what your audience responds positively to. Common elements to test include subject lines, body copy, call-to-action, send time, and design elements.  

Most popular email platforms have built-in A/B testing tools, but if you do not have access to one with these abilities, you can still run simple tests on your own. For example, try sending your emails at different times of the day and analyze exactly when your open and click rates are the highest. When it comes to understanding your audience, there is no such thing as too much data, so test whenever possible!  

The Secret: Keep it simple. Only A/B test 1 element of your email at a time to narrow down exactly what your audience reacts more positively to. Use this data to your advantage in future campaigns to build the strongest customer experience possible.

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The Secrets Are Out 

While every email campaign is different, using the tips outlined above can help put you on the right track. Have any questions regarding email marketing or want to take a deeper dive into any of the topics discussed? Feel free to reach out to our marketing team – we are happy to help! 

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