10 Tips for Boosting the Effectiveness of Your Brand’s Email Marketing Campaigns

For most businesses, when it comes to getting the biggest bang for their marketing buck, no tactic is more effective at moving the needle than email marketing. In fact, when surveyed, 67% of businesses’ marketing decision-makers have pointed to email marketing as their highest-earning marketing tactic. Further, email marketing’s average ROI figures — a jaw-dropping $36 for every $1 spent — are higher than those of any other form of traditional or digital marketing.

But of course, even when you’ve got a good thing going, there’s always room for improvement. If your business is seeking ways to ramp up the effectiveness of its email marketing efforts even more, consider employing these 10 email marketing tips we use regularly at The Brandon Agency — all of which can add even more punch to your marketing emails:

1. Make it personal

It only makes sense that customers feel more connected to brands that seem to know them, their preferences and their buying habits. And by personalizing emails — via tactics such as using recipients’ first names in subject lines and salutations, or promoting recipient-relevant products and offers in emails’ body copy based on the specific consumer’s past purchase history — brands can increase consumer engagement. The results of email personalization, according to a study by Experian: a six-fold increase in transaction rates.

2. … and set up a real sender

Personalization goes beyond knowing your consumers — you should let them get to know you, too. Case in point: According to research, more than 45% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on who it’s from … and nobody gets excited to receive an email from donotreply@brandname.com. So, the next time you’re preparing an email campaign, set it up such that the message is coming from an actual member of your marketing team, or even from your company’s CEO. Further, ensure that any replies are routed to a real person who can actually respond to any emailed questions and concerns from consumers — rather than having these prospects’ messages end up getting bounced or otherwise ignored.

3. Step up your segmentation

One of the most powerful ways to ensure that the messaging you send is relevant to the consumers receiving it is to employ segmentation, which divides your email recipients into send groups based on their online behaviors, shopping and purchase history, demographics, position in the sales funnel, and more. When consumers receive email messages that are relevant to their interests and situations, they’re much more likely to engage with them — and convert. If your brand isn’t already collecting the consumer data needed to segment your email lists based on recipients’ specific characteristics, be sure to put a plan in place to start doing so as soon as possible.

4. Use short, compelling subject lines

Of course, another big opportunity for grabbing consumers’ attention in their inboxes is with a strong subject line. And according to the same research referenced just above, nearly 35% of consumers choose whether or not to open an email based on the subject line. Therefore, it’s critical to craft subject lines that are clear and compelling. You can also boost open rates by conveying an attractive value proposition, by using action-oriented language that creates a sense of urgency, and/or by finding other ways to excite or interest your emails’ recipients. Further, shorter subject lines tend to be more effective at grabbing and keeping readers’ attention. Plus, there’s an additional good reason to keep them brief — when subject lines run longer than 50 characters in length, they run the risk of being cut off in consumers’ inboxes.

5. Prioritize your pre-headers

Along with the sender name and subject line, the email pre-header — the short snippet of text that often follows the subject line in viewers’ email clients — offers a third opportunity to give recipients a good reason to open your emails. This copy also gets truncated when it runs long, so when possible, be sure to front-load it with attention-grabbing information and/or another solid incentive to open, such as a sense of urgency (for example “deal ends tomorrow”) or a good offer (such as “free shipping with code FREESHIP”).

6. Keep body copy short and to the point

Most of your customers likely receive a lot of marketing emails each day — and few have the time to read through all of them. To hold their attention through the duration of yours, try to keep your email messaging succinct. Ideally you can do that by using compelling teasers to attract them to your website for a deeper dive into the topic or offer at hand if they’d like to learn more. This is especially important when sending emails such as newsletters containing a number of topics/elements. Most readers are unlikely — especially when reading emails on mobile devices — to go to the trouble of scrolling through large blocks of copy to get to the next item in the email.

7. Make your messaging mobile-friendly

Of course, with more and more of today’s emails — and online information in general — being viewed on mobile devices, brands that don’t ensure their messaging is delivered in a mobile-friendly format are missing out on reaching a lot of potential consumers. How many? According to research, more than 80% of consumers say they’ll simply delete an email that isn’t mobile-optimized. Clearly, ensuring mobile optimization is critical to getting your brand’s message across with as many target consumers as possible.

8. Embrace automation

Today’s email marketing software can make it much easier for your brand to send automated emails, such as ones that are triggered and automatically sent when a consumer makes a purchase on your website, signs up for a newsletter, leaves items in his or her cart without completing a purchase, or performs a broad range of other specific actions on your brand’s website. And according to research, triggered emails tend to perform much better than other types — seeing 95% higher open rates than traditional emails get, as well as double the click-through rates. Considering the time savings and performance boost that these automated emails can deliver, putting them to work for your brand is an easy and highly rewarding step to take.

9. Add a clear call to action

Every email your brand sends out should be put together with a clear and specific strategic purpose in mind. And whether a specific email’s goal is to have the recipient shop your offerings, join your mailing list, call to get a quote or simply visit your website to learn more about something, consumers are much more likely to take the desired action if you make it clear exactly what you want them to do. To this end, make sure that all of your marketing emails include a clearly stated call to action (CTA), preferably using large, bold and easy-to-click copy (often in the form of a button) that takes them directly to where they need to go to perform the action you’d like them to take.

10. Employ A/B testing

When composing your emails, it’s hard to tell for sure what subject-line choice will resonate most with your consumers, inspiring higher open rates. The same goes for which CTA placement or wording will deliver higher click-through rates. So, by using A/B testing to send the same email with slight variations in the subject line and/or the CTA placement — or other elements — your brand can put multiple options to the test, then run with the one that performs best. And in doing so, you can learn which tactics tend to work best with your audience, letting data drive your decisions moving forward and constantly improving your email-related tactics to spur added success over time.

Could your brand use some expert help with its email marketing campaigns? At The Brandon Agency, our fully integrated marketing firm boasts a team of seasoned specialists who can help increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts and much more — including web design, brand strategy, creative, interactive, social media, analytics, conversion rate optimization and SEO — all in one place. To get started with help ranging from a single campaign analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.


Nick McNeill

Interactive Director

Nick uses his talents in computer science and graphic design to grow the online presence of brands such as Santee Cooper, Southern Tide, frogg toggs, Farmers Telephone Cooperative and Blue Force Gear. A serial marathon runner, his steely determination shines through every brand he grows. As lead user interface designer of the GuestDesk software suite for online hotel reservations, he watched it explode from $1 million in reservations to over $400 million annually.

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