10 tips for effective email marketing

10 tips for effective email marketing

Posted: Thu 29th Feb 2024

Struggling to get your email marketing campaigns to deliver the results you want?

Email marketing is a powerful way to connect with your audience and promote your products or services. But with so many emails flooding into people's inboxes, standing out and getting your audience's attention can be challenging.

With the right strategies, however, you can create engaging and effective email marketing campaigns that drive results.

In this blog, we set out our 10 top tips for effective email marketing that can help you increase open rates, click-through rates and overall engagement with your audience. We're joined by Enterprise Nation adviser and digital marketing consultant Emma Goode, who shares her expert insight throughout.

10 tips for creating email marketing campaigns that get results

1. Set one aim for every email

Do you want recipients to register for an event, visit a specific web page or make a purchase? Make sure your marketing emails have just one strong call to action that's clear to the reader as soon as they see the email.

All too often, it's easy to add just one more link to that email. Before long, it's so busy you don't know where to look first.

Emma explains:

"On the top half of your email, have a coloured button. Make sure every picture is clickable. Don't give people too much to click.

"If you have one campaign, make the email about one campaign. If you have one offer, make it about one offer. The more buttons, the more offers, the more different elements the message has, it dilutes the email's power and simply causes the reader confusion."

2. Take care over the subject line

It's so easy to focus all of your attention on the creative aspects and messaging within an email and then just dash out any old subject line. But the subject line might be the only thing people see.

Your subject line is what makes a recipient decide whether to open the email, so give it as much thought as you do the main body of the email.

Emma offers some advice:

"A good subject line will get you opened, a poor subject line won't. So first of all, make sure it isn't too long.

"You can do A/B testing (see tip 5 below) to see how effective your subject line is. Send out two versions of your email with two different subject lines to a small number of people. Test that for an hour.

"After the hour has passed, see which email has performed best, and send that version out to the rest of your audience."

3. Carefully consider your sender name

People need to be able to associate the email with you and/or your brand name. So make sure your sender name matches their expectations.

Try to make your sender name sound 'human', like a real person is sending the email, rather than a generic email address such as ''. Instead, why not try ''?

Emma adds:

"From a professional point of view, it's also good to have a domain name, so your emails are coming from your business rather than a personal email address like Outlook or Gmail. It gives you a stronger presence and a brand identity."

4. Send emails to a segment of your audience rather than everyone

Don't always send every email to everyone in your database. Instead, consider targeting different segments with different messages.

By doing this, you'll have a strong, targeted message, appropriate to the group of people you're sending the email to, thereby increasing your response rate and return on investment.

Emma explains:

"Email marketing is great for getting a very specific thing in front of a very specific audience, in a way that you'd have to pay for on social media.

"On Facebook or Instagram, for example, you can get in front of people who live in Essex, drink Costa Coffee, have one son, etc., but you have to pay for that targeting.

"You can do all this on email, for no cost. For instance, you could segment your audience based on your previous interactions, where they are in your lifecycle, and what you want to get in front of them."

5. A/B testing can have a massive impact on the end results

A/B testing (also called split testing) is when you compare two versions of an email to determine which one performs better for a specific conversion goal (such as the open rate or click-through rate).

When using A/B testing, it's important to only test one thing at a time, so you can be sure what variables have affected the results. Unless you have a huge database to which you're sending the email, it's best to test one thing per email. As a result, it can take time to determine the best combination of variables.

Things to test include:

  • subject lines

  • HTML versus plain text

  • personalisation (see tip 7)

  • imagery

  • headlines

  • copy

  • design

Emma says:

"If you test too many things at once, it'll get confusing. All email marketing platforms have functionality that tells you how many people opened your emails, how many people clicked and so on, so make the most of it.

"Remember though: It's all very well someone opening your email, but you really want them to click through to your website. I would advise you to check open rates, click-through rates, and then what people do next.

"So once someone clicked your email, did they click the button for a free consultation? Did they click for a downloadable guide? Measure that and you'll have a benchmark of which bits of your emails are worth keeping."


Watch this webinar with Emma to learn how to send relevant and timely messages that resonate with your customers:


6. Test the day and time of sending

You can also test which day of the week, and which time, is the best for sending out your emails. For example, you might decide to send emails on a Friday afternoon when people are winding down at work and they have a little bit more time to read something.

The day and time you send an email can have a huge impact on the open rate, click-through rate and response rate, so test it until you're confident you have the best combination.

If your email is going to other businesses, sending it at 9am on Monday morning is probably not the best time to stand out from the rest of the emails those businesses have received over the weekend.

7. Test personalisation within your emails

It's so much friendlier to read 'Dear Fred' at the start of an email rather than 'Dear Customer'.

If you're able to, try to tailor the subject line, perhaps with the recipient's location or any other data you may have collected that makes the email more personal.

8. Always check how your message looks in different email clients

All too often, an email looks great in Outlook and you send it, only to find that in Gmail the images don't render correctly and the flow of the email is lost completely.

Emma adds:

"Make sure your emails will look good in any inbox. All email marketing platforms have a way for you to preview the page before you hit send.

"Also make sure the message is mobile-friendly and designed for mobile rather than desktop. Get a preview of how it will look on a mobile, check that you have all your buttons in the right place and so on. Whichever email platform you use, it will help you to do that."

9. Always include an unsubscribe link

When someone has given you their permission to send them marketing emails, be respectful and treat it accordingly. As such, it's really important that you add an unsubscribe button to all your communications.

Make sure you test the process so if someone does click on this link, they're unsubscribed quickly and don't have to jump through hoops.

10. Do everything you can to make sure your emails don't end up in spam folders

There are so many guidelines around how to do this that they could warrant a blog in their own right, mostly because they change so frequently. So check with your email marketing platform, as they're likely to have built a number of methods into their software already.

Emma has some insight:

"The key is to send emails to an interested, opted-in audience. If you're mailing out to people whose permission you don't have, expect lots of spam reports.

"More seriously, if you get too many spam reports or unsubscribes, your email marketing platforms might flag it, lock your account and stop you sending out any more emails.

"It is possible to go to someone's spam by accident. You can avoid that by authenticating your domain, which the email marketing platform should allow you to do easily enough."

In summary

You can see from this list that there are a lot of things to consider when planning email campaigns, but don't be scared. If you can get them right, email marketing can be a really cost-effective, quick way to target your audience.


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