Rick Barron
Rick Barron 27 September 2019

You Got Mail

An email marketing campaign is a series of emails a business uses to communicate with current and potentials customers. They are used to persuade customers to engage with the company. Email campaigns are an important part of inbound marketing. That said, where do you begin?

An email marketing campaign is a series of emails a business uses to communicate with current and potentials customers. They are used to persuade customers to engage with the company. Email campaigns are an important part of inbound marketing.

That said, where do you begin. What's the measure of success and best practices for businesses looking to drive more revenue out of their email campaign?


Start with an Objective

It’s important to understand what your main objective is when sending emails. A lot of people get hung up on open rates, thinking they need to be focusing on subject lines to get more opens ("clickbait"), and in turn, will drive clicks. What most will find out, however, is that there's usually a disconnect between the subject line and the content of the email. People open an email but don’t find the content they expect, so they immediately click off or delete. Even if the content is good, most people don’t give it a chance if it’s not the content they are looking for because the subject line is too vague or misleading.

Instead, think about your target audience. What content will provide them with the most value? Being empathetic about the needs and concerns of your target audience is the quickest way to create meaningful email content and campaigns that will be both valuable to you and your customers.

Use a Clear Subject Line

It is far better to use a clear subject line that tells the reader exactly what is inside the email, content that describes what benefit you are providing and creates an immediate emotion (curiosity, urgency, fear, etc.), and then provide an enticing call to action to drive to a landing page where the offer or content lives. This may mean sacrificing opens for a higher click to open rate, but what is more important? Generating more opens where people leave without reading the content inside? Or driving clicks which lead to conversions? Great email marketeering campaigns focus on conversions. A few more tips:

  • Make your content (both text and images) attractive and inviting, use lots of white space and a little humor doesn’t hurt. The more an email looks like a personal conversation with a friend, the better it will perform
  • Personalization doesn’t end with including the person’s name. Make the email look like it was designed especially for each reader
  • Don’t waste your readers’ time with nonsense: say what you need and provide links to more information

Direct Copy, Call to Action and Stay Customer Focus

Even in the current environment where it seems that we each receive a bazillion emails a day from companies selling their services, email can still work.

Here are a few tips for how to make this successful as well as some metrics as proof points:

  1. The email should be simple and concise.  Too often we want to try and have the email sell the product for us, by including a lot of value propositions and verbiage.  This is done to attempt to increase the value of the prospect that “opens” the email, but in fact, this will only serve to lower your response rate.  Open with a compelling statement (or Hard Offer), followed up by 2-3 bullet points, then that action button at the bottom
  2. The messaging must be compelling.  Do not utilize a generic message or some industry information, but be direct and bold with your statement.  Let the prospect know within seconds why they should read on and eventually click the action button on the bottom.  This usually requires some prior analytics or understanding of your target audience
  3. The CTA must be specific.  The entire purpose of the email is to get as many prospects to click that Action Button as you can.  Be sure and use verbiage that explains exactly WHAT they will receive once they click. Do not be ambiguous and make sure you are using a compelling tactic (Demo / Free Trial / Free Study), “White Papers” are NOT very compelling
  4. The landing page should be informative.  This is where you can add a further explanation of your services and add assets that might be interesting to the prospect.  People are prepared to spend more time on a Landing Page so this is your chance to give them the “WOW Factor”
  5. You need to follow up within 24 hours.  Most “experts” will say that the value degrades most significantly after 48 hours of the response, but I feel that immediate contact is necessary to achieve optimal results.  You need to create a process that allows for a response to all prospects that opened or clicked through the email within hours, as well as technology that showcases their activity on your landing page so you can direct the follow-up call to their specific interest

Have A Clean List

This involves targeting segments and taking the time to actually track those segments. Adding those fields in your email marketing tool and keeping track in your e-commerce software will actually make a big difference. Don't spam everyone on your list, assuming they will be interested in every product offer you have. For example, you would only send out the wine offer to a list of people who have purchased wine in the past, looked at wine, or checked that they're interested in wines.


The wonders of digital marketing provide a plethora of metrics which should guide every marketing decision you make. Here are some metrics you should watch:

  • Subscriber data such as new subscribers and unsubscribes
  • Performance of your email form–, this is where Google Analytics can help you out. Periodically do A/B testing to determine the optimal form, placement, etc.
  • Campaign performance–how many opens, how many clicks, and, if you’ve installed tracking codes, goal completions based on each campaign

Every email marketing platform will have reporting included for email campaigns. Not all, however, will have the CTOR (click to open rate) metric so people may need to do a little calculating. If you have multiple calls to action or links, then look at the “click to open rate” on all positive links.

Success should be measured when your CTOR is above your OR (open rate). This means a high percentage for the people who opened your email converted. Google analytics can aid with measuring conversions on your website, if set up properly, to get a better idea of the whole funnel. But for people just starting out, it could be a little complicated and take time and effort to design.

About the author

Hi, my name is Rick and I thank you for reading this article!

I explore to learn new stuff every day and here I will share all my experiences and thoughts with you.

You can also find me on Twitter and Instagram. :)

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