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6 Elements Of An Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Kimberly Francisco
August 11, 2020

Email marketing is still ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO and affiliate marketing. It has delivered the highest ROI for marketers, generating $38 for every dollar spent and is 40 times more effective in acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.

But it takes more than just sending out a bunch of emails to create an effective email marketing campaign. Here are six key elements that you can include in your email marketing strategy to help you get the results you’re looking for.

1. A clean email list

It is important to clean up your email list to help you gain a more accurate picture of the effectiveness of your email campaigns. Scan for improperly formatted addresses and remove duplicate addresses.

Cleaning it up also allows you to segment your customers by demographics, preferences, interest and even sales-readiness. By doing so, you’ll find it easier to craft messages that resonate better with your audience. For example, a custom t-shirt company experienced a 141% increase in revenue just by segmenting their customers and creating a tailored campaign to those that loved baseball.

If they like what they’re reading, they are more likely to take action, and less likely to hit “unsubscribe”. 

Image source: Johnny Cupcake email case study, Alore blog

2. Clean and responsive design

Did you know that 66% of emails are opened on smartphones? Therefore, a responsive design is vital to any effective email marketing campaign. If your emails are not optimized for mobile, your subscribers are more likely to delete them or unsubscribe.

A good email design should also be clean and crisp. Use visual hierarchy to help guide the reader to the most important information, and combine texts and visuals to help communicate your message succinctly.

Too much text can be boring, while busy visuals create a cluttered look. Choose images that beautify your email, capture the attention of your audience as well as meaningfully illustrate your message. 

One way of capturing your readers’ attention is through GIFs. Take a look at the example of a birthday email from Sephora. By using GIFs, their birthday message pops out, creating a more fun, exciting and celebratory look that helps convey their birthday reward message more effectively.

GIF Credit: 2020 Birthday message from Sephora

3. CTAs and Links

No effective email marketing campaign is without a call-to-action (CTA). Use them to engage your customers and drive action. You can make them stand out by using bold or contrasting colours and use short, catchy, power words to pique your audience’s curiosity and inspire action. 

For example, Canva (a graphic design platform) utilizes its distinct turquoise brand colour to highlight their CTAs in their weekly newsletter. In contrast to their plain black text, their bold-coloured CTA stands out, making it obvious for its readers to see at a glance. They also make their call-to-action stronger with a power phrase like “Elevate your marketing”, that is sure to encourage its readers to click through.

Image credit: Canva Weekly Newsletter

When using links, ensure that it leads to helpful content, like driving them to a specific blog article or to a whitepaper download for more information instead of having a lengthy email. 

Most importantly, make it easy for your readers to unsubscribe. According to data and privacy laws, a visible CTA must be present in your email campaigns to allow subscribers to opt-out. This allows your subscribers full control over the kinds of emails they wish to receive in future, and how they want their data to be used by brands. 

4. Catchy subject lines

The subject line is the first thing a reader sees when they receive your email and will greatly influence whether they choose to open it or not. In fact, 33% of people open their emails because of it!

Keep it short and sweet, sticking to 60 characters or less. Especially since long subject lines are not ideal for smaller screens like mobile and tablets. Subject lines should let the reader know what to expect, so avoid clickbait as that’s a sure way to get users to unsubscribe or mark your emails as spam.

Duolingo is one such brand that is pretty creative with their subject lines. They’re short yet effective, making use of emojis to better capture your attention.

5. Personalization

From the get go, readers want to feel like you’re talking directly to them. That is why personalization is key to any effective email marketing campaign.

Reading an email addressed to your recipient helps make your message more special than one that’s addressed to the masses. And there are shortcodes you can use to insert the recipient’s name where applicable, like in subject lines or in salutations.

Here’s where segmentation helps too (remember point 1 on subscriber lists?). By segmenting your list, you can create more personalized messages according to their interests, send out birthday messages to loyal customers, and more.

6. Test and Optimize

Finally, test and optimize your email campaign to get the best results. Play around with the different elements of the email to really find out what works for your brand. But do it one at a time, so you can really attribute the results to only one element.

For example, if people are more likely to open an email coming from a real person versus a brand, send out a test email to your subscribers to find out which works better for your business. Do a split test where half of them will be sent an email from a person in your company (e.g. John Doe) and the other half will be sent an email with your brand name as sender (e.g. Company Doe). Compare the results and see which receives a higher open rate to help you create a more effective email marketing campaign in the future.

So, if you’re looking to create an effective email marketing campaign that would get your subscribers opening, reading and taking action, be sure to include these six key elements. To further enhance your email marketing, check out this article for more tips.

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