Email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing in the book. Since the dawn of digital business, sending promotional emails has been a powerful way to get your content to the eyes of your target leads and customers you’d like to return. Emails go directly to the recipient’s inbox – they’re not even lost in the coupon papers stuffed into a physical mailbox each week. If you play your cards and your content right, your emails will find their way to your recipient’s primary email inbox. This means a higher chance of viewing, reading, and click-through rates from both leads and returning customers alike.

Whether you’re new to email marketing or looking to build a strategy for your desired results, Email Marketing Insiders is here to give you the inside scoop on success strategies for your email marketing campaigns.


Setting email marketing goals


Set Your Goals: What Should Your Email Marketing Achieve?

The first step is to decide what your email marketing is supposed to achieve. Most brands have more than one marketing campaign, and each one has a primary goal. Your goal may be to reach out to qualified leads, engage your existing customers, inspire purchases during a sale or participation in an online event, or even gather information through a survey.

Here’s a look at the most common goals for email marketing:

  • Outreach – Engaging new leads
  • Newsletters – Engaging return customers
  • Promotion – Boosting one-time purchases
  • Coupon Club – Steady incentive for loyal customers
  • Survey – Gather data about your audience
  • Functional – Routine emails that create the brand experience

Don’t forget functional email campaigns when building your complete (and automated) email marketing strategy. Functional emails send themselves automatically to contacts when appropriate. This includes account confirmations, password changes, and new customer welcome emails that begin that essential engagement relationship.

When you’ve chosen goals, you can build targeted email campaigns. You can use these to achieve those goals and use analytics to track your specific success.


How to Build Your Email Marketing Lists

The next step is your email lists. There are many tools and techniques to build great email lists – powerful and effectively targeted email lists where your readers stay engaged with each new email you send. But never buy an email list! This is a false shortcut and the names/emails on the list will simply not be tailored to your brand or stocked with people who have a real and active interest in becoming your customer.

Therefore, step two of a powerful email marketing strategy is to build up your email lists. We suggest building more than one list. This way, you have more than one type of marketing email to send and an ideal recipient to receive it.


Conduct Lead Research and Qualify Leads

Build your outreach email list by conducting good old-fashioned (and modern digitally-empowered) lead research. Know your target audience and who you most want to convert into customers. Know if you are looking for local or national leads, and then do the thorough research necessary to build out your leadership knowledge and a long list of potential leads who might be interested in your product or the way you provide services.


On-Site Lead Intake: Gated Content, Quiz Results, and Chatbot Support

Of course, the best way to gather leads is to let your website do it for you. Lead generating tactics have been going on for decades to gather contact information and lead qualifying data regarding website users. Provide compelling digital content behind an email signup gate – or gated content. Invite all website visitors to fill out a survey with your chatbot. Or combine the best of both worlds with fun and interesting quizzes where self-qualifying as a lead and getting interesting answers are all done in a simple software solution.


Segment Your Current and Recent Customers

Take a look at your existing customer audience and separate them by demographic, interest level, or buying behaviors. Segmented audiences allow you to send just the right emails to each person, tailored to their tastes and interests. You might have, for example, a sports-themed newsletter, a gardening-themed newsletter, and a vacation-themed newsletter for the same outdoor products/services/venue – but segmented differently based on the clear differences in your customer audience.


Regularly Offer Sign-Ups and Make it Easy to Subscribe/Unsubscribe

Make it easy for those who miss the sign-up for emails to subscribe to any newsletter, discount reel, or event announcements that they want. Then use the same controls to allow quick and easy unsubscribing as well.


Don’t Forget to Clean Up Your Email Lists

Finally, remember to clean up your email lists at least once a year. This means removing customers that haven’t used the website in months (or years). Cleaning up can mean ensuring your email list has accurate information fueled by CRM. Don’t keep sending emails to disengaged clients and outdated email addresses. Be sure to occasionally audit and clear your email lists.


Styling Your Email Templates

The next piece of the email marketing puzzle is your email template. Emails you send out are a brand experience -the emails should be simple, keeping emails lightweight and visual aspects minimal. But at the same time, even the way you build paragraphs can form the brand experience and what your readers expect with each email. Build templates that will become the baseline for many great emails in the future. Don’t forget a new template for each email campaign goal and targeted segment.


The Shape and Format of Brand Emails

Consider how you open an email, what the body looks like, whether you embed images and links or product promotions, and how each future email will take the same shape for the same type of content.


Developing Your Brand Voice

When building your email templates, it’s time to consider your brand voice. Discover whether your brand speaks in brief to-the-point statements, in flowery descriptive language, or perhaps the latest lingo of the youth. It depends on your brand which voice is the most appropriate and will ring out for leads and clients.


Short, Sweet, and Interesting to the Reader

Be sure to keep every template simple. Few people want an email that goes on forever. So make every newsletter and deal offer count that sums up the issue neatly and presents clear, compelling CTAs (calls to action) that direct the reader’s attention and treat their time like it matters.


Overcoming the Spam Drop

Speaking of reader attention, one of the biggest struggles in email marketing is to stay out of the Spam folder. Modern email inbox tools are quite sophisticated and can usually determine whether an email, for example, drops into Inbox, Promotions, Updates, or Spam. Ideally, you want your content to appear in your users’ primary Inbox and then stay there by providing valuable and engaging content. Here’s how:


Engaging and Transparent Title

First, write a title that is both eye-catching and completely true. Don’t click-bait your readers in their inbox -they can go anywhere else on the internet for that. Instead, write your email title as if you were reaching out to a friend and wouldn’t want to mislead them or waste their time with typical promotional email topics.


Good and Relevant Timing

Make sure your emails are sent out on a schedule that makes sense to the recipient. Just as sending resort brochures in late Spring can be effective, so too can sending out an onboarding email in a timely way to newly signed up customers, or checking in on satisfaction a day or two after a customer’s first purchase or package delivery.


Avoid Classic Advertising Content

DO NOT use all caps, exclamation points, or word clusters that typically mean something is an advertisement. Mention “Free stuff” and find yourself in the Promotions folder. Tell readers to “BUY RIGHT NOW THERE’S NO TIME TO WASTE!!!!!” and your emails will quickly be sorted to the Spam folder instead – likely never to be seen by the recipient at all.


Respectful of the Reader and Their Time

Don’t waste the reader’s time with fluff or build-up. Tell them what’s good, present it in a dynamic and fun way, and then give them a CTA to follow. The reader’s time is valuable, and you are a guest in their inbox.


Email marketing analytics


Email Automation in the Era of AI

Email marketing automation started as simple template-filling and scheduling tools to fire the occasional email blast. However, over time, the automation technology has advanced and expanded to allow for powerful personalization of both email content and even the right timing to send an engagement email to each lead and existing customer.

At first, this started with [Your name here] personalization through CRMs – empowering marketing with a tool essential to sales and customer support. Then, as AIs grew more sophisticated, AI-powered trend tracking and the ability to dynamically generate email content have made email marketing automation even more complex – but less time-consuming – than before. With the right integrations, you can even create email templates that offer 3-5 “tempting offers” using the recipient’s buying, browsing, and wishlist history to present products they will probably want.


Tracking Your Email Marketing Analytics

Last but never least, be sure to track your analytics. Email marketing can have a beneficial effect. Sometimes a profound effect on your lead generation, revenue, and re-engagement of existing customers. But you won’t know what you’re doing well, where you’ve reached ROI, and what needs to improve unless you track the data.

Use unique links and landing pages, web page analytics, and analytics specifically attached to your email campaign. Try to discover how many of your emails are open, how many are read, and how many are clicked after a compelling CTA. Once you start collecting data, use the results to improve and hone your email marketing strategies for even greater success in the next round.

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About the Author: Josh Barter
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Funnels & Conversions Wizard, Automations Expert. Over 10 years of experience & $30M+ in revenue generated with direct response marketing tactics leveraging funnel conversion tools. Visit

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