Five Tips to Skyrocket Your Email Campaigns

Ninety-five percent of all businesses utilize email marketing to reach out to their target audiences. If you’re among that 95%, that means it’s ridiculously easy for your emails to get lost in the shuffle without getting the proper appreciation from your customers.

To help you stand out from the other 94.9% of the crowd, we’ve identified the top five email marketing tips that will earn you the open-rate you deserve. Keep reading to skyrocket your results through the roof… and you can thank us later.

1. It’s time to choose

It’s all too easy to send the exact same marketing email to everyone on your very outdated email list. But when you do, you’re sure to upset people.

Newsflash: people don’t like receiving spammy content. You might tell yourself ‘My content is valuable! It’s not spam!’ But if you send out multiple emails a day, that’s spammy. Or if your audience signed up for one thing but is getting something else, that’s also spammy. So even if you don’t think your content is crap, your audience may disagree. And if they flag you as spam, that makes it more likely that your emails will automatically filter to ‘other’ inboxes, even for the people who actually want your content. In that case, you’ll get fewer opens and wind up wasting your time more.

One other thing that so many people tend to not do: it’s super important to actually go through and update your mailing list. Otherwise, your campaign will go to broken links and emails that are no longer connected - and that’s a waste of your (or your intern’s) time.

TL;DR Update your mailing list from time to time, and send specialized content to specific sects of people rather than mass emails to all subscribers.

2. Cut Through All

When your email contains too many calls to action (CTAs), your reader is either going to get confused or stop reading altogether. That’s why it’s especially important to only have one, clear call to action.

For example, don’t ask a customer to visit your website, give you a call, fill out a form, and visit your store in person for a big sale. That’s too much. Instead, have either one button that redirects readers to your website or one sentence that asks them to visit your sale.

Don’t avoid a CTA altogether; after all, you’re not just checking up on the readers’ health. You are trying to sell them something - whatever that may be. Help direct them to the action you want them to take with a strong CTA.

3. Keep your head(line) in the game

Will an interesting email tagline get more opens than a non-interesting one? Probably so. But that doesn’t mean you should make up a subject line that has no relation to the actual body of your email just for clicks. Consumers don’t like it when they think they’re getting one thing and then wind up with something else. (That’s called clickbait. Clickbait is more likely to get flagged by users as spam, and as we’ve already pointed out, that’s bad for your business.)

It is possible to create an interesting title that’s still relevant. Obviously, this is the goal. Craft a headline that intrigues the reader without making it overly clear what the body of the email will contain. Aim for a headline that makes readers want to open the email to see what’s inside.

While we’re on the subject of headlines, shoot for yours to be five words or less. In fact, a study by Orbit Media showed that subject lines with exactly 5 words receive 15.9% more opens than any other line. Coincidence? We think not!

4. Get testy

Hey %FirstName%,

There’s nothing more embarrassing than sending out an email to your audience with a link that doesn’t work, a video that doesn't load, or generally any type of technical error (and when people see “%FirstName%” instead of their actual name, it’s awkward. You lose the carefully crafted façade that you care about them as an individual, and instead, your consumer recognizes that they are being marketed to on a large-scale basis.) You’ll also immediately lose credibility when someone opens your email expecting good stuff and gets an error. Test your email campaign before you send it out to make sure everything works exactly the way it’s supposed to.

This seems like an obvious step, but many people skim through their work so quickly that they miss any existing mistakes or they skip the proofing stage entirely. To avoid this, make it an official part of someone’s job duty to check that everything looks the way it should before any emails are sent out. It doesn’t necessarily matter whose job, but preferably someone detail-oriented who didn’t assemble the emails themselves.

If you’re going to be spending the money on sending out an email campaign, you probably want it to be effective. One of the best ways to know ahead of time how effective your campaign is likely to be is with A/B testing. Send out multiple versions of your email campaign to a select test market using a variety of headlines and images. See which set gets the best results, then maximize your output by using it for all appropriate audiences.

5. Be Mobile

Everyone uses their mobile for everything now… and that includes email. In fact, MarketingLand.com reports that by 2014, 66% of all emails in the U.S. were opened on either a cell phone or a tablet. That means it’s absolutely crucial for email campaigns to be optimized for the tiny (and increasingly, less tiny) phone screens in addition to standard computer screens. (If you aren’t convinced, read our blog on just how big of a deal mobile is here.)

One of the easiest ways to make sure your content looks just as good on a phone as on a computer is to keep your chunks of text short. This is a good tip in general but is especially relevant to mobile optimization. Long chunks of text look even longer on phone screens, and this can often be so daunting that potential customers will walk away without ever having read it. Ain’t nobody got time for that shit. Keep it short.


We know. You’re welcome.


David Valentine