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Email is an important tool for digital marketing, allowing businesses to reach out directly to their customers and tailor messaging based on specific criteria. For example, you can send emails specifically to entice customers who haven’t made recent purchases or to offer discounts for customer birthdays. However, simply sending an email isn’t necessarily going to lead to good results. Optimizing your content and using the right email marketing platform is essential for success. Here’s how to do it.

Optimizing Your Emails

What does it take to create an effective marketing email? The formula is pretty simple. Overall, you want compelling content that’s concise and provides a clear course of action for readers who want to take advantage of what you’re offering. Though the exact goals and messages of different email marketing campaigns may be different, focusing on these areas will help you succeed:

  • Subject lines: The subject line of your email is the very first thing the reader sees, and it’s a make-or-break element. If your subject doesn’t hook readers, chances are they won’t open your email. Use a light CTA format for your subjects (“Check out our latest update!” “Save 50% this Monday-Friday”). Make sure the subjects are relevant to your target. Keep them short and use split testing and other techniques to see what works best for your audience.
  • Device responsiveness: One nearly universal rule of digital engagement is that you need to get to the point quickly. That’s as true for emails as it is for any other content type. Very few people are dedicated enough to marketing emails that they’ll attempt to make improperly formatted displays fit their device screens. Make sure all of your emails are designed to be responsive or adaptive to the device each reader is using. From phones to giant desktop screens, your emails should automatically render in the correct format.
  • Recipient personalization: No one wants to get what feels like a piece of spam in their inbox. Most people realize that the marketing emails they receive from businesses are mass produced. But, there are a few things you can do to make the connection more personal. Address the email to each individual recipient by putting the recipient’s first name at the beginning of the email body. Have the email come from a named account rather than something impersonal like; it can make the communication feel less formulaic.
  • Body length and design: How many emails do you get in a day? What are the chances that you’ll sit down and read through a 12-paragraph email? Most people don’t have the time to slog through a bunch of text. Keep your email body short and sweet, and be sure to break it up with images. Using different font sizes, styles and colors in a way that looks polished and cohesive helps make emails scannable, as can bulleted lists and infographics.
  • CTAs and links: Make sure your email is concise and has a clear, easily communicable goal. In other words, don’t try to do too much in a single email. For example, say you have a product launching and a sale happening in the same month. Create separate emails for each and send them at strategic times close to the relevant events. That way, you can create one targeted CTA for each email, and you can include only one or two links for readers to click. There’s always a chance that the reader won’t return to your email after clicking the first link. Adding too many to a single email means most people end up missing important content.
  • Data analysis: Guesswork won’t help you improve your email marketing campaigns. We don’t need to rely on instinct anymore to make marketing work. With the right email marketing platform, you can gather detailed information on how your audience interacts with each message you send. You can then analyze these data to see what works and what doesn’t, and apply that information to refine and improve future campaigns.

These are the major factors that can contribute to an email marketing campaign’s success, but that’s not all there is to it. Businesses of all sizes really need to use specialized email marketing software to handle things like automation and data collection.

How to Get It Done

From coding responsive templates to embedding attractive graphics and gathering data, there are many moving parts involved with proper email marketing campaign development and execution. Fortunately, the right email marketing platform can make each step of the process a lot easier.

There’s a wide variety of options out there, and many of them are quite effective. Choosing the right one is really a matter of finding what you feel most comfortable using. As you look into your options, make sure the platforms you consider offer the right features to help support your optimization efforts. From there, you can use everything from automation options and ease-of-use to customer support and pricing to decide which platform is best for your needs.