When done right, email marketing may just be the most successful tactic in your marketing tool box. Afterall, 79% of marketers say that email marketing is their most successful strategy and 59% of marketers cite that email marketing brings in the most revenue.

If you’re one of those marketers who aren’t seeing these metrics from your email marketing program then you need this post! I want you to be successful with your email marketing strategy so this definitive guide is my gift to you.

Red Flags

Let’s start with a quick audit of your email marketing program and identify troublesome areas and red flags.

  • An open rate of under 30% means your emails are performing below average
  • Are you getting a lot of unsubscribes?
  • Is your click through rate under 50%?
  • Does your email marketing program account for at least 50% of your brand’s revenue?
  • Are more than 25% of your emails sales pitches?

All of these red flags are fixable and that’s where this post comes in. There are many reasons why you may be experiencing these red flags and this post will help you fix the problem areas.

Crafting Engaging Emails

Many brands make the mistake of sending out too many “salesy” emails. This turns potential consumers off.

The goal with your emails should be thought leadership and to build brand trust. I’m a firm believer in leading an email marketing program with content. So your emails should be about your recent blog post, industry news, eBooks,etc.

My rule of thumb is to drip new leads with 4 thought leadership emails and then the 5th email can be a gentle sales pitch. The 4 preceding emails will build that brand familiarity and make your leads more apt to convert.

Last but not least, an engaging email is one that sounds like a human wrote it. Humanized content is key to all areas of marketing and email is no exception.

Subject Lines

The subject lines of your marketing emails are the first impression that your contacts are going to have of your brand so mastering subject lines is crucial.
35% of people report that they open an email based on the subject line so mastering the art of subject lines is key.

Here are some strategic subject line ideas:

  • Simple descriptive subject lines perform better than cheesy or cutesy one
  • Use an industry statistic as consumers love data
  • Subject lines that ask a question are engaging and perk the interest of your contacts
  • Consult your consumer profile and pose a question or statement that reflects a common pain point within your industry
  • Use time sensitive subject lines that make your readers fear they will miss out on something if they don’t open your email
  • Curiosity inducing subject lines speak to a consumer’s need for information and desire to learn
  • Using emojis in your subject line can increase your open rate by 45%

Consider the Cadence

The last thing you want to do with your email marketing program is to be a pest. Too many emails will lead to a lot of deletes and unsubscribes.

Experiment with how often you send emails but my rule of thumb is to send one email per week per segment.

To get a pulse on the number of emails you should be sending out, you can survey your contacts to identify their preference.

Choose the Right Email Marketing Tool

In order to segment your contacts, design drip campaigns and measure email marketing success you need the right email marketing automation platform. There are a ton to choose from depending on your budget. If your budget is tight, I recommend Active Campaign and if you have a decent budget I recommend HubSpot.

Segment Your Contacts

Once you’ve decided on your email marketing automation tool, it’s time to segment your contacts. Putting your contacts in different segments allows you to personalize and tailor your messaging.

The more detailed you can get with your contacts the better. You can segment by industry, location, consumer behavior, etc.

One of the most important segments you’ll design is for new leads. This segment should be updated often for relevance but new leads should have their own email drip program in order to build trust and convert.

Cater to Short Attention Spans

Many of us get hundreds of emails a day so we tend to skim them. Keep this in mind when you are writing your emails and keep them short and sweet.

Make your emails easy to skim by making some words in bold and inserting headlines. If your email is a large wall of text coming at your contacts they won’t bother to read it.


As you know, metrics and KPIs in marketing are key to any strategy and email is no different. To keep a pulse on your email marketing program and scale off of what is working, here are some common metrics to track:

  • Open rate
  • Click through rate
  • Leads generated
  • Leads converted
  • Unsubscribes

Open Yourself Up to Two-Wayed Communication

Remember, the goal of your email marketing program is to engage with your contacts and in order to do this, you need to make it easy for your contacts to get in touch. This can be done by inviting your readers to reply to the email you send out or you can provide contact information for the right person at your brand.

When writing your emails, ask questions and make yourself available for advice. From my experience, allowing people to respond directly to my marketing emails accounts for most of the clients that I have.

Growing Your Email Contacts

The final part pertaining to email marketing that I want to touch on is constantly continuing to grow your database of contacts and leads. The more email addresses that you collect means that you’ll generate more business. Depending on your brand, the lifecycle of a lead and the time it takes to convert can be anywhere from weeks to years. When I was working for a software company, I nurtured my leads every week and some of them took years to convert but it was worth the work!

Here are some ways to grow your database of email contacts:

  • Release downloadable eBooks gated with a lead capture form
  • Have an opt-in to your newsletter section on the homepage of your website
  • Run a contest in which someone has to provide their email address for a chance to win an awesome prize
  • Purchase industry specific email addresses

Do you have any email marketing tips from your experience? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!

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