First of all, BuzzFeed has awesome subject lines and preview text. They are always short and punchy -- which fits in perfectly with the rest of BuzzFeed's content. I especially love how the preview text will accompany the subject line. For example, if the subject line is a question, the preview text is the answer. Or if the subject line is a command (like the one below), the preview text seems like the next logical thought right after it:
Will people understand what you’re trying to say? It’s usually better to avoid topics (or opinions) that are complex if many people are extremely passionate about them. For example, sharing almost any opinion about immigration policy is usually a bad move, unless your audience is unusually homogenous. You could agree 99% with someone and still piss them off by using the wrong term just because they have such a strong “either you agree 100% with us, or you’re our enemy” mentality. I once pointed out that I think it’s unacceptable to capture and torture people for years—especially if they aren’t charged with any crime, there’s no evidence they’ve done anything wrong, and they’re children. I got several emails back from people saying, “you have no idea what you’re talking about” or “you should stick to marketing and leave politics to people who understand it.” They took it as commentary on geo-politics. I just said I’m not okay with pointless torture of children. I thought we’d all agree on that.
I wish I’d known that email marketing isn’t about the channel or the sending technology, it’s about the individuals receiving the email. It’s about making the email offer/content as relevant and valuable to them as possible. It’s about leading with marketing and letting the technology bring it to life, not the other way around. Kath Pay (Founder of Holistic Email Marketing)
Take personalization emails a step farther, and you can customize your call to action (CTA). Focus on understanding buyers and how their roles fit within their organizations. For example, a marketing director and a technical director may have entirely different goals and perspectives when they open up your email. If you offer a unique CTA for the two groups, they are more likely to engage with your email and more likely to convert.
The downside of just making offers is that they’re not useful on their own. People on your list won’t receive any value from you unless they buy what you’re promoting, so they have little reason to stay subscribed. That’s why this email marketing strategy doesn’t work alone. And it’s why many e-commerce sites struggle to keep people interested. There are a few exceptions (e.g., Groupon) that rely entirely on making offers—but then the reason people joined the list was specifically to receive those offers.
Win-back: An existing customer is soon approaching the end of his yearly subscription. The customer hasn’t used your product in 3 months and you need a way to win them back and keep them for another year. Create a “win back” email that sends an automated email to all customers that are coming to end of their contract with a list of new product features and a short plan on expected releases in the next six months.

This A/B test indicates that engagement is one problem, but your subject lines are an even bigger problem—and one you can solve right away. CTR rates are understandably lower among the less-engaged group, but you saw engagement increase with a punchier subject line, so there is room to improve CTR among cold leads. CTR rates are higher in the more engaged group, but with a better subject line, this rate could go through the roof.
Don’t talk down to people. I think this should be obvious. But looking at the email offers I get, clearly it isn’t. Don’t tell people, “Not buying this product would be idiotic!” or “Only a fool doesn’t understand the value in this service.” This whole email marketing strategy relies on you making people understand the value they can get from you. And sometimes that means making people see the downsides of not buying. But you can do that in a friendly, respectful way.
This seems pretty straightforward. It’s about matching email metrics to your marketing objectives (remember them?) If it’s all gone well, your email conversion rates and financial metrics should track closely with your marketing objectives and customer journey. But, if it’s not doing that, don’t throw your hands up in despair! Look into the data, see what’s happened, work out why, and extrapolate some lessons for future campaigns.
When you’re working with marketing emails, always think about recipients on an individual level. Consider where each recipient is on their journey with you. Notice opens, click-throughs – any engagements or behaviours, and pin down behavioural patterns which often point to purchase. Every time you send out an email campaign, you'll be collecting behavioural data, use it to inform your email strategy.

The goal was to drive an emotional response from the email campaign. More than 12 million unique emails were sent, with the email content personalised to the individual recipient with information on distances the subscriber had travelled, interesting facts such as how many football pitches that would be and other destinations they could have travelled too.

Well, charity: water took an alternate route. Once someone donates to a charity: water project, her money takes a long journey. Most charities don't tell you about that journey at all -- charity: water uses automated emails to show donors how their money is making an impact over time. With the project timeline and accompanying table, you don't even really need to read the email -- you know immediately where you are in the whole process so you can move onto other things in your inbox.
Embedding images, animation, and vids in an email are tricky, as these elements often mess up during the transfer from one platform to another. A multitude of email clients, operating systems, and connection speeds make this an area in which to proceed with caution. Videos and animation are undeniably eye-catching and engaging, so it may be worth the risk of a dropoff to include them.
Great flexibility: Email marketing can work for every business. It doesn’t matter whether you sell houses, lingerie, or consulting; you can get lots of sales if you use the right email marketing strategy in the right place. And you can promote practically anything relating to your business—you aren’t limited to sending links to your sales pages. Or rather, if your emails are just links to sales pages, you’re doing it wrong.
Everyone's busy and their inbox is already full. Why add to the problem with a longwinded email? People generally like short, concise emails better than long ones because concise emails have an obvious focus. Plus, when your users are scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they're more likely to find the overall message before deciding to take any action.
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