Keep the subject line and pre-header short: The subject line is crucial. Keep it short so the reader knows exactly what the email topic is about. And the pre-header text (also known as snippet text), don’t let it go to waste by using “To view this email in your browser…”. Instead, summarize the email or include a call to action (i.e., Use “FREESHIP” to get free shipping).
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.
In addition to linking to Letter Shoppe's designs (available on merchandise that is ultimately sold by RedBubble), the email campaign includes an endearing quote by the Featured Artist: "Never compromise on your values, and only do work you want to get more of." RedBubble's customers are likely to agree -- and open other emails in this campaign for more inspiring quotes.
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.
Their email marketing strategy and plan was to optimise their email subject lines because this was the first place that their customers would engage with. To do this, they used an AI generating subject line tool called Phrasee. There are plenty of increasingly sophisticated AIs out there which can do this kind of thing. Phrasee worked for Dominos because it capitalises upon being specific to brand voice, and is optimised to drive action.
At worst, you might think I’m a bit weird for caring so much about sound quality. Or you might think I’m really weird if you knew that my loudspeakers are computer calibrated to my room. Or you might question my priorities if you knew I set up my office, so that my desk is nearly in the middle of it… mainly to be able to enjoy music better. But we’re all weird in some ways (and I’ll let you think this is the weirdest thing about me).
Engagement (formerly the middle): Email marketing strategies for this phase deliver education and then point to a product’s benefits, offering a gentle sales lead. Customers have a growing interest in your product, but some might stay in the engagement phase for a while—perhaps visiting your social media pages to find out more about the product before purchasing. If customers are going to abandon the sale, it’s likely to be in the engagement phase, which is where re-engagement email campaigns come in.
The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
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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.

Genuinely effective campaigns segment the market as carefully as possible, and target accordingly. Relevancy is key for getting people to open emails and respond to your CTA – but what's ‘relevant' differs from person to person. If you're going to make your emails as relevant as possible to everyone who reads them, you need to Segment, Target, and Position.

Email marketing has always been Permission based, but is silently replaced with its brother; Tease Marketing, continuously building on a brand relationship based on mutual interest. The challenge becomes presenting an – already in itself – appealing and attractive message. But how to benchmark your email marketing efforts to fit that new train of thought?
If you’re not already segmenting, this is a great place to start. CPC is a strategy-based customer segmentation tool focused on profile descriptor fields. For B2C retailers, this would include age, sex and geography. For B2B companies, this will consist of the size of the company, job role and the industry sector or application they operate in. This example shows a female and male creative with the products that are included in the content changing based on the gender.
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.
The case study email – A case study on how one of your customers uses your product. Make sure to outline what problems it solves for them (tied to the problems outlined in the first email) and what benefits it brings them (tied to the benefits outlined in the second email). Include a testimonial from a customer and a call to action to signup for your free trial/free plan in this email.
The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
Do people who share your view see you as more relatable or trustworthy because of your opinion? Not all opinions or even values make much of a (positive) difference. For example, I could point out that I think people should be treated as equals regardless of their gender or sexuality. Most people who agree with that don’t think much about it. It’s such an obvious thing to them. So, telling that doesn’t make much of a difference to people who agree with me. However, many people who disagree with that might think I’m crazy.
Lengthy paragraphs are off-putting, but I do appreciate that brevity is a tricky skill to master! If you struggle with short copy, write your main body copy out in the manner that feels natural, and then take a (metaphorical) knife to it afterwards. You’ll be amazed at what can be cut without losing any of the sense or feel of the piece. If you really can’t cut it down, try chopping your copy into sections, or offering a ‘Read More’ option leading to the website.
What does your current email marketing performance look like? Analyse the performance of key metrics such as Open Rate, Click-through-Rate (CTR), Deliverability Rate, Unsubscribe Rate, ROI. What is working well and what isn’t. This can also be internally focused – for example, maybe it is taking a long time to create email content, or the creation process is inefficient.
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 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.
Social media may be the young whippersnapper nipping at email’s heels, but the content king of the inbox still holds sway in social influence, according to a study by SocialTwist. Over an 18-month period, SocialTwist monitored 119 referral campaigns from leading brands and companies. The results showed a significant advantage to email’s ability to convert new customers compared to Facebook and Twitter.
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