10-Step Guide for Successful Email Marketing

Email marketing has become more and more important over the past several months. Read on this article to make sure your email marketing strategy is as effective as it could be.

10-Step Guide for Successful Email Marketing
10-Step Guide for Successful Email Marketing. Photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash

Here at Influence & Co., most of the leads we generate come from email marketing. So we wrote down the best practices and distilled them into this article to help you build out and execute on an effective email marketing strategy of your own.

Table of contents

The Design
The Content
The Analytics

Digital marketing is quickly evolving, but one thing hasn’t changed: Email marketing is an effective content marketing strategy. In fact, it offers ROI that’s almost impossible to beat — an average of more than 4,000%. But if you want your email marketing strategy to drive these kinds of results, you need to document a well-thought-out strategy.

A majority of the leads we generate here at Influence & Co. come from our email marketing efforts. So to help you start your journey toward email marketing success, we took note of our best practices and distilled them into this 10-point checklist. Use it when you’re building out your email marketing strategy to ensure it’s effective and can help your company generate high-quality leads and close new business.

The Design

Simplify.

Emails with the overly complicated design used to be a great way to capture subscribers’ attention, but today, it’s just as likely that they’ll be perceived as spam. These types of emails can also feel deeply impersonal. Now, don’t get us wrong — you should still use clean visuals to more clearly convey your brand’s message and make your emails digestible and scannable. Just be sure to put more focus on the value you’re providing to your readers through the copy, and make it incredibly clear what action recipients can take to take advantage of that value you’re providing. If you need more guidance on great email design, Mailchimp has a free guide you can explore.

Segment your audience.

Over half of marketers say personalization is their most effective email marketing technique, but simply using a contact’s name won’t suffice. Email recipients are wiser than ever to the email tricks marketers use, so you need to be strategic when it comes to segmentation. Look at customers’ past behaviour to predict what they might want next, and then target them accordingly. Implement drip campaigns that send your contacts the content they need according to what stage they’re at within the buyer’s journey. This shows them that you’re paying attention to them as individuals and that you can anticipate their needs and provide them with the right solutions.

Make your emails mobile-friendly.

Nearly 90% of mobile users check emails on their smartphones, which means mobile optimization is crucial for your success. In other words, make sure your emails are simple and easily visible on a smaller screen. Make the design responsive, keep your copy concise, and make sure your email’s most important elements (like calls to action) are front and centre.

Quick tip: Test your emails on multiple screens before you send them out to ensure they’re optimized for desktop and mobile devices.

The Content

Tell stories.

Engaging storytelling is a key component of any great marketing strategy. Share your experiences, and use real people from your company to tell your story. Not only will this capture your readers’ attention, but it will also humanize your brand.

Quick tip: Designate a member of your team to be the “sender” of your emails, and include that person’s name and photo at the bottom of each email. Giving your readers a human touchpoint from your company will make your emails more personal.

Integrate CTAs and interactive elements.

The purpose of email marketing is to drive readers to take a specific action, like visiting your website. Think of what you want your audience members to do, and implement CTAs that entice them to do so. Videos, polls, and GIFs are great ways to engage with your readers in an interactive way, and they have been proven to increase click-through rates by up to 300%.

Use attention-grabbing subject lines.

Your subject line is the lifeblood of your email. If it doesn’t leave your recipient wanting more, the email will probably end up in the trash before it’s even been opened. In fact, 35% of email recipients open an email based on the subject line alone. But because desktops usually display around 60 characters of subject lines and mobile devices only show around 20-30, you don’t have much real estate to work with. Keep your subject lines short and sweet, and use emojis (only when it makes sense) to catch their attention. After all, 56% of brands that use emojis in their subject lines have a higher unique open rate than brands that don’t.

Quick tip: A/B-test your subject lines to identify which elements engage your recipients and encourage them to open your emails. Take note of those insights, and use them to guide your email marketing strategy as you move forward.

Link to your social media channels.

Include links to your social media pages at the bottom of your emails so readers can easily access other ways they can connect with you and engage with your brand. Once those email recipients connect with you on social, you gain more opportunities to show them content that can move them further along in the buyer’s journey.

The Analytics

Ask for permission.

No one likes unsolicited emails, and sending your emails to every address you get your hands on won’t earn your audience’s trust. (And it actually goes against GDPR, which you can read more about here.) Before deploying your email marketing campaign, you need a list of interested recipients to send your content to. There are multiple ways you can ask prospects to join your subscriber list, but always outline exactly what they’re signing up for. We feature a “subscribe” call to action on our blog that lets readers know what they can expect from signing up. And once they have subscribed, we provide them with fresh, high-quality content on a weekly basis.

Track key metrics.

Open rate: The email open rate is the percentage of subscribers who opened your email. The average email open rate ranges from 15% to 20%.

Click-through rate: The click-through rate is the percentage of readers who click on at least one link in your email. The average click-through rate is around 2.5%.

CTA rate: The CTA rate is the percentage of readers who saw a CTA and proceeded to click on it. Because CTAs are arguably the most important element of your emails, it’s critical that you keep track of this metric so you can identify which ones are the most engaging for your audience.

Maximize your efforts with automation tools.

HubSpot is an excellent marketing automation software that we use here at Influence & Co., and it’s also great to use for your email marketing outreach — whether you’re doing a drip campaign, sending out your company’s newsletters, or keeping track of general outreach. Other helpful email marketing tools include Mailshake, ActiveCampaign, VoilaNorbert, ConvertKit, and SendX.

Source: Influence & Co.: Content Marketing Agency

Thomas Apel Published by Thomas Apel

, a dynamic and self-motivated information technology architect, with a thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to system and network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. I enjoy the technical writing process and answering readers' comments included.