Creating Email Marketing Campaigns That Convert

By Faye Napigkit - July 11, 2019
4 mins read time
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After several months of missed lunches, overnight meetings and never-ending test runs, you see potential customers finally sending inquiries to your inbox. You sit back, scroll through a flood of unopened emails, and think that your business has gained traction. Congratulations, but where do you take it from here?

Beyond establishing a subscriber base, a business’ ultimate goal is to transform user leads into long-term, paying customers. It may not be news to you that email is the most profitable marketing tool available, but you may still be wondering how to get the most out of your existing campaigns.

To ensure that your campaigns drive as many conversions as possible, you have to learn how to keep the attention of today’s distracted clientele. Your solution? Marketing automation.

Engage customers and they will stay

When you are just beginning to build a strong customer base, the first influx of new subscribers can get you very excited. A well-planned engagement strategy or email workflow will help you say hello, build anticipation and snag a couple of purchases, all on top of developing a long-term relationship with your customers.

With marketing automation, you merely need to set up a couple of triggers depending on each customer journey. Once a trigger has been met, a personalized email will be sent to your customer inviting them to learn more about your product or service.

Whether you are a young business waiting for customers to check-out their carts or you’ve been in the industry long enough that you need to re-engage your old clients, there are five types of emails that can help you convert leads into actual customers.

  1. The educational email providing detailed information about your company.
  2. The problem email on how your business meets their need.
  3. The solution email convincing customers that you can solve their problem.
  4. The case study email that shares other satisfied clients.
  5. The Hail Mary email offering them discounts or promotions.

You can follow the steps one-by-one, but you can also mix and match techniques as you see fit. In a welcome email, Wynd included a small promotion plus a few selling points on why the subscription is worth it.

Get into the details

Your subject is the hook

Your next five emails may be ready for sending, but if the subject line contains several exclamation points or the preview begins with five emoticons, expect that many customers will not open them at all. Your goal is not to go straight to the spam folder, but to look like a reliable company that offers quality products and services.

Let’s review two emails a subscriber received in a single day.

The first email from Book Depository has a catchy subject with the deadline for the promotion. Many subscribers take note of these dates as they decide on their purchase so it’s a good strategy for any subject line. However, the company was not able to maximize the preheader text, which merely provides the website and repeats the words “Book Depository.”

On the other hand, the second email from Hostelworld uses an emoji to begin the subject line, making it look a little too informal, but also attention-catching. Hostelworld uses the name of the subscriber and adds more details in the preheader text, including a significant discount on accommodation in Spain and Croatia. When travelers see this, they will be more likely to open the email.

Content that delivers conversions

After your subscribers click open, what do they see? Is the content attractive and easy on the eyes? Do you address your subscribers by their names? Or is your email cluttered, text-heavy and impersonal?

You can take advantage of the inverted pyramid model to help design content that’s easier for reading. Start with a snappy headline, add in a good photo with a short explanation underneath and end with a link to a form or your website.

When thinking of what type of pictures to use, the key is to use high-resolution images that do not look like stock photos your subscribers have seen elsewhere. In addition, your email content has to have some sort of logic in the way elements are used and arranged. Check out how Blu Dot designed their email below, from the words “playful geometry” to the shapes and colors they used in the image to the left.


Use data to your advantage

When your business engages with your customers well, they will be open to providing more information about themselves. Thus, you can segment your mailing lists better and further personalize your campaigns.

Personalization also helps drive up your average open rates. A “Dear Mike Smith” will likely get more opens compared to a simple “Dear user.”

Personalized emails can come in the form of tailored content based on recent customer activity on your platform. Today’s customers like seeing recommendations that are right up their alley, like the curated email to the right.

In addition to customer data, you should also take the time to learn current email marketing benchmarks. Doing so will allow you to see how your email performance stacks up against industry standards. For example, if you see that your average open rates are far lower than the industry average, then you know that your subject lines likely need some improvement.

Wrap up

An email campaign that works for some customer segments may not work for others. It’s important to get to know your customers and see which segments they fit in best. The more personalized you get, the more interested they will be in what you have to offer and the greater your chances will be to drive more conversions.

To look for best practice emails, a simple exercise you can do is to go through your own inbox, filter the most attractive subject lines, check their content one by one and see whether there are links that interest you enough. Ask your team to do the same thing, and you’ll have a collection of emails that can help you design your own winning campaign.

Faye Napigkit

Faye is the Senior Demand Generation Coordinator at Campaign Monitor.

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