Effective email marketing begins with the right email marketing strategy. Learn how to take yours to the next level and create campaigns that convert.
Email marketing has come a long way. The plethora of tools and email service providers today give marketers countless ways to reach potential customers.
And it’s worth it — the return on investment of a well thought-out email marketing strategy is high. In fact, it boasts a higher ROI than any other marketing method, bringing back $56 for every dollar spent.
But, to get good results, you’ll need a strategy that consistently converts.
This means putting into place a series of email marketing tactics so you can tweak, measure, improve, and continue to provide a great experience for subscribers.
To help you out, we’ve put together some key email marketing strategies you can use to improve your campaigns and make them a powerful marketing asset.
- Clean your email list
- Provide value every time
- Optimize your CTAs
- Share user-generated content
- Connect with social media
- Write effective subject lines
- Use email segmentation to send more targeted content
- Re-engage inactive subscribers
- Run trigger-based campaigns
- Personalize your emails
- Send emails at the best time
- A/B test your email content
- Track your metrics
Update: To make sure your campaigns land in the inbox successfully, follow the new Gmail and Yahoo! sender requirements by February 2024.
13 effective email marketing strategies to take Your campaigns to the next level
1. Clean your email list
Email list cleaning is the process of removing email addresses from your contact list that have been unengaged for a long time as well as removing contacts who unsubscribe.
To make the most of the marketing efforts you put into growing your list, you have to prune it sometimes too. By removing un-engaged contacts, unsubscribed contacts, contacts who mark your content as spam, and email addresses that bounce, you’re left with a higher quality list.
In the long run, this helps improve your sender reputation and overall email deliverability.
2. Provide value every time
Next up, providing value to subscribers is equally essential to an effective email marketing strategy. If you consistently provide value, your subscribers are more likely to consistently open and read your emails. In fact, they might even start anticipating your messages landing in their inbox.
So how exactly does one “provide value”?
Think about what your customers want and need from you and build your email strategy around that. Maybe you’re an ecommerce clothing retailer, and a major pain point for your customers is not being able to try on your items before purchase. Your email marketing strategy can and should address this issue.
In your email newsletters or content marketing campaigns, you could feature articles with advice on online clothes shopping. Similarly, you could transform your generic size guide into a custom size finder and link to it in your emails.
This kind of email content is what we mean by providing value to your subscribers. Of course, promotions and new product features provide value too, but consumers have come to expect this type of content, so it doesn’t come across as exceptionally helpful.
To avoid guessing what your subscribers want from you in terms of content, try asking them. You’ve got a few options here:
- Allow new subscribers to select what type of content they prefer when they sign up to your email list.
- Survey existing customers to see what they want to get from you and take note of any changes in preferences.
- Invite subscribers to respond to your emails with their ideas and opinions.
While we’re on the point of providing value to subscribers, accessibility is an important consideration to make. Your audience won’t be able to see the value in your emails if they can’t properly view the email itself. Specifically, there are two points to consider:
- Mobile-friendly emails: make sure your content is responsive across email clients and devices (desktop, mobile device, & tablet). Doing so is easy with Brevo’s 40+ free responsive email templates.
- Screen reader-friendly emails: make sure your emails are accessible to visually impaired users. Adding descriptive alt-text to visuals and using an easy-to-read font will help with this.
3. Optimize your CTAs (calls-to-action)
Your calls-to-action (CTAs) can dramatically affect the click through rates of your emails. (And, therefore, your conversion rates too). A weak CTA means less visitors and, ultimately, less sales so it’s worth spending time on your CTAs to make sure they pack a punch.
Experiment with using buttons and text CTAs and focus on making sure the words you use are compelling enough for subscribers to click on.
Here are some email marketing tips for making your CTAs as powerful as possible:
- Start with a strong command verb, like “shop”, “buy”, or “download.”
- Evoke emotion.
- Give subscribers a reason to click, like “buy now to get 50% off.”
- Tap into FOMO, like “grab your seat – only 5 spots left!”
Another best practice when it comes to CTAs is to use specific language. You want to give your subscribers a good idea of where you’re sending them, especially for your higher-level CTAs.
For instance, if you’re featuring a new line of products, your CTA could read “check out our summer collection,” and the link should go directly to this section of your website.
Check out this example from Lady Alamo, a Brevo customer. The CTA button at the top of the email prompts the subscriber to browse their website for new products..
4. Share user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is a great way to build brand awareness. When subscribers see that other customers are enjoying your brand and products, they’re more likely to want to find out more.
Integrating things like customer photos, videos, reviews, and stories in your emails creates a sense of community and encourages more click throughs. According to research, as much as 79% of consumers say that UGC impacts their decision to buy.
If you’re struggling to find user-generated content, consider starting a hashtag campaign. By encouraging customers to tag you on social media and feature your products is a great way to spread the word as well as compile UGC in one place.
Apart from helping boost click-through and conversion rates, featuring user-generated content plays an important role in building a community around your brand. It creates a two-way street between you and your customers.
This example of user-generated content from Fabletics features their customers’ wearing their garments and doing yoga.
5. Connect with social media
Social media is another component of any effective email marketing strategy. There are plenty of ways these two digital marketing channels can interact to help expand your brand’s reach.
For starters, you should be sure to include CTAs to your various social media in your email campaigns and newsletters.
Depending on the campaign, you may want to share the email content itself on social media. With Brevo’s email marketing platform, it’s easy to share campaigns across channels. All you have to do is click “share on social media” to get a shareable link. For more details, check out this Help Center article.
Social media is also a great way to grow your email list. Once you create an email signup form, you can use the same “share on social media” function to distribute the form and grow your audience across channels.
Conversely, including links to your social media in a welcome email to new subscribers is a great way to introduce your audience to your various channels. Check out the example below.
This welcome email from Glossier introduces customers to their other channels.
6. Write effective subject lines
Your subject line is the first thing your subscribers will see. Given that 35% of email subscribers open an email based solely on the subject line, if it’s not compelling, they won’t click through.
This is why it’s important to spend time on your subject lines – it can mean the difference between a lot of click throughs and none.
Plus, competition is tough in inboxes these days. People are bombarded with dozens of marketing emails every week. Your task is to make yours stand out but not come across as overly promotional.
Here are a few points to consider:
- Keep your subject line to 50–60 characters to make sure it can be read.
- Use powerful, action-based words.
- Set expectations for the body of the email.
- Use subscriber names in the subject line for more personalized content.
Try Brevo’s AI subject line Assistant
Working on writing catchy subject lines? Brevo’s AI Assistant is your new best friend. Bring your subject lines to life with the power of AI and make campaigns that stand out in the inbox. Available in our Email editor, learn more here.
7. Use segmentation to send more targeted content
Segmenting your email list into groups of like-minded people allows you to send content that is more relevant to your target audience. You might decide to segment based on demographics, interests, actions, or customer persona information, like where subscribers live or the job they have.
You can use your signup form to gather this information. Consider asking new subscribers things like:
- What industry/position they work in.
- How often they’d like to receive your emails.
- Where they are in the world.
- What products/services of yours interest them most.
Other email segmentation tactics include grouping contacts by the links they’ve clicked on in your emails or based on the lead magnet they signed up through in the first place.
8. Re-engage inactive subscribers
There are many reasons why contacts may become disengaged over time. Whatever the case, trying to re-engage them is definitely worth your while.
Encouraging existing customers, even if they’re un-engaged, to make purchases is almost always easier and more cost effective than finding new customers. In fact, new customers cost five times more than existing customers.
For this reason, re-engagement is hands-down an essential part of an effective email marketing strategy.
When crafting your re-engagement email campaign, aim to warm up cooler subscribers. Try offering them something new, or showing them a different side of your business that could grab their attention.
Here are some ideas for your re-engagement campaign:
- Remind subscribers about your business and the value you can offer them.
- Give un-engaged contacts exclusive offers.
- Spotlight some new content.
- Invite your audience to reply to a question.
- Use an occasion like a birthday or holiday to regain contact.
For more tips on how to reach inactive customers, check out this article on winback emails.
9. Run trigger-based campaigns
Trigger-based campaigns, or transactional emails, are a series of marketing emails which are sent to contacts based on specific actions they take.
For example, a link to a piece of content in one email might trigger a series of three follow-up emails that go out only to subscribers that clicked the link. This can work in reverse, too.
If you send an email and a subscriber doesn’t click the link, you might send another email with a question or a piece of content they might like instead.
Trigger-based campaigns are a great way to maintain relevant communication with your subscribers. Instead of sending everyone the same monthly newsletter and weekly promotional email, stay in touch with your audience based on how they interact with your business.
The best part? Marketing automation takes care of sending all the emails. All you’ve got to do is set up the triggers.
You can set up three different types of emails to be automated this way:
- Behavior-based triggers — for example, when a contact visits a landing page on your website, clicks on a link in your email, or makes a purchase, they’ll receive a follow-up email.
- Demographic-based triggers — helpful for sending birthday emails to subscribers.
- Time-based triggers — perfect for reminding customers of subscription expiration dates, when it’s time to re-order, and re-engagement campaigns.
This trigger-based campaign from Lily & Roo was created using Brevo.
10. Personalize your emails
Did you know that 70% of brands don’t use email personalization?
That statistic becomes even more shocking when you learn that 91% of consumers say they’re more likely to do business with a company that provides offers directly relevant to them.
Today, email personalization is something all businesses, no matter their size, can and should be doing. It provides a more individualized customer service journey and is easy to do.
Take a look at how personalization works in the example below:
Just by using the contact’s first name in the subject line, the chances of this email being opened are much higher than otherwise.
Here are some email personalization tips to consider:
- Use subscriber names in the email subject line, greeting, and/or body.
- Promote content based on subscribers’ previous behavior.
- Recommend products based on customers’ previous purchases.
- Wish subscribers a happy birthday with a personalized coupon.
- Send abandoned cart notifications to lock-in sales.
- Streamline your sales funnel with automated, personalized messages.
- Recap your client history (think: Spotify Wrapped).
Personalized emails are a digital marketer’s best friend. Luckily, email marketing tools like Brevo make it easier than ever to personalize email content.
11. Send emails at the best time
An email that arrives during the day is going to have a very different open rate to one that arrives in the middle of the night.
Think about when your subscribers are most likely to check their emails. If you’re aiming to catch them while they’re at work, sending your emails between 9-5 is likely to reap better results than sending them on a Saturday morning.
Experiment with sending your emails at different times and logging open rates and click throughs. Brevo has a special Send Time Optimization feature that uses a machine learning algorithm to find the best time to send to your specific audience.
12. A/B test your email content
A/B testing (a.k.a. split testing) lets you experiment with different content and subject lines in the same email to see what performs better for your audience.
The information you glean from each A/B test can be used to fuel future campaigns. For example, if subject lines with questions get opened more than those without, make sure future campaign subject lines feature a question.
As another example, you could test whether your audience responds well to emojis in your email copy by seeing how they affect the click-through rate of your campaign.
Elements of your emails you might want to test include:
- Email subject lines
- Email copy
- Email design
- Links within the email
- When you send emails
- Types of featured content
For best results, only tweak one element at a time so you can see what’s really making a difference. Mix up the content of your emails and share links to different types of content. Try sending subscribers to valuable blog posts, longer case studies, video series, and other media that will resonate with them.
13. Track your metrics
Keeping track of your email open rate and click through rates is certainly important. But as far email marketing metrics go, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Following the performance of your email marketing campaigns is an important part of learning how to improve them. Factors like unsubscribe rate, bounce rate, and cart abandonment rate all have important implications for your overall email marketing strategy.
Make the most of your email marketing strategies
Knowing how to create a good email is one thing. Knowing how to craft an effective email marketing strategy is another. It’s how you connect with your audience, drive sales, and build a community around your brand. The key to a successful email marketing campaign is to optimize every element, from the subject line to the content and CTAs.
Use a free email marketing service like the one we offer at Brevo to do all the hard work for you. Segment subscribers so you send only the most relevant content; A/B test emails to determine what elements perform best; and build out trigger-based campaigns that are highly personalized.
Run a successful email marketing strategy with Brevo
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