Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.

Surprise: Customer loyalty is the key to success. And you can reward your loyal customers by giving them something for free every now and then. Create a “surprise” email that sends an automated email to your best customers that offers a free yearly license to your software for them to use, a gift card or even a coupon code to redeem a box of cupcakes. It’s a small cost for your business but, the reward is huge!


Then, once a person has completed a particular event in the application (like creating their first campaign), we use the API to change the ‘Created Campaign’ custom field to ‘Yes’ on their subscriber profile. Finally, we set up a custom segment to get a list of people who meet the criteria ‘Created Campaign=Yes’ and ‘Uploaded List=No’ and then sent them an automated email encouraging them to upload their list and complete the send.

That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.
Calculators: A calculator offers customers a lot of value with minimal effort on their part and instant gratification. Even a simple price calculator (e.g., “How much does it cost to buy a house?”) can have impressive results: companies report lead conversion increases of more than 25%, plus a nice boost from social traffic. Offering a calculator as a call-to-action is a sign of your intent to solve a customer’s problem and add value, boosting your brand image for customers who aren’t ready to commit.

That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.
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