5 Ways To Kick Start Your Email Marketing This Year

The new year is upon us — and there is no better time than the start of the year to review your email marketing campaigns and make improvements. Here are five things you must review early this year to set your campaigns on the path to success!

1. Learn How To Maximise Your Subject Line

If you open most modern email marketing clients (on the web or your mobile phone), you’ll see something like this:


What we’re looking at here are the three components of the “modern” subject line:

  1. The From name (e.g., “ImpulseFlyer”)
  2. The actual Subject line (e.g., ”Last Few Days“)
  3. The message Preview snippet (e.g., ”Here’s a brief summary of the“)


Learning to maximise the impact of each component will help you increase your open, click and conversion rates.

Take, for example, the common practice of using the name of your business in the Subject line. Lots of businesses use a subject line format like “[Company Name] Subject line goes here.” However, you can avoid wasting precious space by putting your company name somewhere in the From field, rather than the subject line. Here’s an example from Vero:


(Click for larger image.)

Another important tip is to move the “View in browser” link from the top of your email template further down in the body.

Why? The first line of text is what appears in the Preview snippet! Don’t waste this space, as it presents a valuable opportunity to get in front of your audience before they even open your campaign. Make the Preview area count by placing informative, engaging content right at the top of your email. Here’s a great example from EasyJet:


(Click for larger image.)

2. Use Creative Personalisation To Boost Conversions

Email personalisation is not dead, but it sure can be boring! The basics — like including someone’s name in the salutation — just aren’t enough to make you stand out from the crowd any more.

Earlier this year, Tzvi from Cartology blogged about a successful tactic to personalise coupon codes that led to a 35% increase in revenue over his client’s standard returns. Imagine 35% more revenue thanks to a little bit of personalisation!

I’d be smiling.

By sending each user a custom coupon named after the business they worked for (e.g. COKE for customers whose domains were “coke.com”), they generated a vitality that was not seen in their normal campaigns:


Another great example of personalisation, of the more advanced kind, comes from YouTube:


By including a video the recipient actually watched, YouTube displays a nice example of creative personalisation to encourage recipient engagement.

How can you use the customer data in your database to find an angle for segmentation that brings context to your campaigns? It’ll very likely improve your conversion rates!

3. Track Conversions Accurately

Tracking conversions in this day and age is no mean feat.

The concept of attribution is a rabbit hole: a customer might discover your site via PPC, interact with three of your newsletters, read four blog posts, click on a remarketing ad and email your support before signing up.

Figuring out which channel is responsible for a specific goal can sometimes be a matter of perspective. What you should be doing is looking at all channels that contributed to each and every goal in order to ensure you don’t discount the impact that your email marketing has on your overall success.

As an example, Mike Pantoliano shared a story from one of his clients over on the SEOMoz blog. They had inadvertently been undervaluing their resource center as an effective marketing channel:


If you set up Google Analytics across your domain and ensure you use UTM tags on all incoming links from your email marketing campaigns (which many providers do automatically), you will be able to ensure you get your hands on the maximum amount of data to optimise your email marketing campaigns for revenue, not just opens or clicks.

This is a massive topic. To learn more, check out this guide on setting up your email marketing conversion tracking correctly.

4. Increase Your Subscribe Rates With A Survey

In 2013, Vero spent a lot of time trying to increase their audience, particularly by increasing subscription rates on their blog posts and homepage.

One of the most effective discoveries utilised Qualaroo’s “nudge” feature.

By asking customers a simple multiple choice or yes/no question, you are able to get some engagement. From this point, you can follow up with a second question or direct those that responded positively (or with a particular answer) to a subscribe form:



This gives you a new channel with which to capture customers’ email addresses.

Better yet, Qualaroo surveys are relatively unobtrusive and can be placed anywhere on your site. They can be used on your home page, your blog’s main page, or targeted at specific posts (with different questions per post). They’re the perfect way to get more subscribers anywhere you feel you have a relevant question to ask and an audience that will be interested in what you send them!

Using this technique alone, the University of Alberta were able to increase subscribe rates by 500%!

5. Send Out Emails Based On User Actions

Sending emails to your customers based on their actions is a no-brainer.

If 2013 was the year that action-based emails gained vogue, 2014 will be the year they’ll dominate the runway.

The fact is, trigger-based campaigns not only increase your click-through rate…

Average openclick rates by campaign type

Click through rates on newsletters vs. transactional emails based on the data from over 8,000 campaigns.

…but also give you a whole new host of opportunities to email your customers.

Trigger-based campaigns are great: they run automatically, they lift conversions permanently, and they get sent to every customer that takes a particular action on your site at just the right time. They have context.

One great recent example to round out 2013 came from Etihad:


By emailing economy passengers a month or so before they left for their flight, Etihad used personalised data and customer actions to send an extremely effective email campaign.

Another great example comes from Groove who take the opportunity to email customers that abandoned their free trial and attempt to get them to upgrade:


By automating these sorts of campaigns, you too can maximise your chances of success and reduce the room for error, forgetfulness and other issues which can stymie the success of manual campaigns.

Over To You

What do you have planned in 2014 to ensure your campaigns are up-to-date and converting as high as possible?

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Email Marketing | Email Marketing | Email Marketing Column | How To Guides | How To Guides: Email Marketing


About The Author: is the CEO and Co-Founder of Vero. Chris spends his time working with Vero's customers to send smarter emails based on what their customers do and don't do on their website.

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