email marketing

How To Start A Successful Email Marketing Campaign


It sometimes seems like email is long past its prime, with all the talk of video, artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and chatbots. 

But if one should think that email is dead, you’re missing out on the real metrics. Email marketing is still growing strong as each day passes and is possibly the best possible strategy for your business.

In 2017, global email users amounted to 3.7 billion users (Statista, 2019). This figure is set to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2022 (Statista, 2019). That’s half of the world’s population. This statistic clearly shows that email marketing is an opportunity that you shouldn’t be missing out on.

Based on these data, it is undeniable that email marketing is still ranked as the most effective marketing channel, beating out social media, SEO, and affiliate marketing.

I know you may wonder – With all the hype over new channels, why is a decades-old technology still one of the most effective marketing strategies?

The answer has to do with the fact that there are more email users than other platforms— 85% of adult internet users in the US. Beating search engines by 15% and social media by 22%.

You can now see that building a successful email marketing campaign is more important than ever for entrepreneurs. Especially  Digital marketers [internal links]

Here is the big problem—how to do it right.

In this article, you'll learn how to start a successful email marketing campaign even if you have a zero-knowledge.

1. Build a Targeted Email List

targeted mail

The most successful email marketing campaigns start with an email list full of qualified leads that are interested in what you have to offer. The best way to build a targeted email list is to convert your website visitors into subscribers.

But did you know that on average, 80% of your website visitors will leave your site for good, without signing up to your newsletter? That’s why we recommend using exit-intent popups to convert those abandoning visitors into subscribers and customers.

Exit-intent popups detect user behavior to prompt them with a targeted campaign at the precise moment they are about to leave your site forever. This smart technology can skyrocket your conversions.

Click here to get started with leadsgrow today and skyrocket your email list with targeted leads.

2. Know Your Goals


All good marketing starts with setting goals, and email marketing is no different. To run a successful email marketing campaign, think about what you want to achieve. Typical goals for an email marketing campaign include:

  • Welcoming new subscribers and telling them about your business and values so you start to build a relationship with them.
  • Boosting engagement with your content and your business, whether that’s promoting a webinar or trying to make an initial sale.
  • Nurturing existing subscribers by providing something they’ll value.
  • Re-engaging subscribers who haven’t been particularly active.
  • Segmenting your subscribers so you can send more targeted email marketing campaigns.

One other way you can also set email marketing goals by conversion rate [internal link: 20 quickest ways to increase your conversion throughout your salesfunnel].

3. Understand Email Types

email type plus

It’s also important to understand the different types of emails that you can send. People group these in different ways, but here are the three key email types.

We’re all familiar with promotional emails [internal link: promotional email example and how to craft your own], which talk about offers and sales and are self-promotional.

Then there are relational emails[internal link: relational email example and how to craft your own], which give subscribers what you’ve promised, like a weekly newsletter[Newsletter example and how to craft your own], a free gift, relevant information they can use, and so on.

There are also transactional emails [Transactional emails example and how to craft your own], which include:

  • Subscriber signup confirmations
  • Welcome messages
  • Order or purchase confirmations
  • Acknowledgments of changes to subscriber information

Transactional emails are usually triggered by subscribers’ actions and relate to an action they’ve taken on your site.

Now that you know the types of emails you can send, it’s time to move onto the next step to create a successful email marketing campaign.

4. Know Your Audience

If you’ve been doing email marketing for a while, you’ll likely know who your audience is. If you’re just getting started, you’ll have to make some educated guesses so you can target your content. Don’t worry; you’ll start collecting subscriber info the minute you send your first campaign, so next time around, you’ll have real data to work with.

In the meantime, gather data from Google Analytics and your social media profiles, like the Facebook Insights data shown below:

facebook audience demographics

Both sources have data on demographics, location, and interests, plus a bunch of other metrics, that’ll give you a snapshot of who your customers are and what they’re interested in. That’s a good starting point for crafting successful email marketing campaigns.

5. Use Technology Wisely

techology usage

The best email marketing services have tools to help you create more successful email marketing campaigns. Look for features like:

  • Easy campaign creation and automation, including templates and workflows.
  • Integrations with the software you already use, like WordPress and OptinMonster.
  • Ways to segment your audience.
  • In-depth analytics on email campaign performance.

Features created in Mailchimp’s automation[internal link: 6 Awesome MailChimp Automation Hacks] will help you schedule transactional emails and blog-driven updates, respond quickly to customers, and create and deliver promotional and relational emails.

These are all good ways to build success with email marketing.

6. Create Great Opt-ins

optin form

It goes without saying that you need to get people on your email list to run a successful campaign.

To do that, you’ll need to create attractive opt-in forms that get attention and encourage people to sign up. Experiment with different types of opt-in forms on different parts of your site, including:

  • Welcome gates, which appear when people arrive on your site. You can also use our page slide feature so people can get straight to the content when they’re ready.
  • Lightbox popups, which can appear on any page and temporarily blank out the rest of the content to focus on the optin. These convert very well.
  • Exit-intent popups, which appear when people are about to leave the site. That’s a good time to offer your lead magnet.

Check out our guide to optin types to see all the options for creating opt-ins for your email marketing campaign.

For best results, put optins in multiple places and choose how they appear with rules and page-level targeting. That cuts down on the annoyance level while maintaining effectiveness.

7. Plan Emails and Followups

plan emails and followups

Once you know your goals, email type, and audience and you’ve attracted people onto your list with targeted optins, it’s time to plan your email marketing campaign. This will give you an overview to use when you start creating the emails in steps #7 through #9.

A good approach is to note down:

  • Email frequency, which we’ll look at below
  • Type of email, as mentioned in step #2
  • A rough idea of content
  • The main action you want subscribers to take (such as signing up for an event, following you on social media, buying a product)

Therefore, creating your emails you need to make them timely, relevant, interesting and valuable. For example, many companies welcome new subscribers with a short email series to help them get to know their products and services.

Asana sends a series of 4 emails. The email subject lines are:

  1. Welcome to Asana
  2. What do you need to get done this week?
  3. Plan your day with Asana
  4. Hit your next deadline

The first is a welcome email with 3 key tasks you can accomplish in the software. Three days later, there’s another email asking what you need to get done and encouraging you to start using the product. Two days later, there’s an email talking about the Asana dashboard. The series ends with an email two days later, which highlights the calendar view.

Don’t overwhelm your subscribers by emailing too often. That will send them straight to the spam button. Instead, stick to the schedule you’ve told them about so they know what to expect.

Don’t be afraid to ask for subscriber input on email scheduling via a poll or survey. You can also offer an “opt down” option for those who love your emails but don’t want to get them as often.

Once you’ve outlined your email plan, it’s time to start writing.

8. Craft Your Subject Line

good email subject lines

A good starting point for any successful email marketing campaign is the subject line, which plays a crucial role in getting people to open and click your emails. Like the headline on your blog post, an email subject line has to get attention so people want to go further.

You don’t have a lot of words to make an impression, either; Campaign Monitor’s data shows that most subject lines range from 41 to 50 characters. Even less of your subject line shows on mobile screens, so it’s wise to put the most important parts at the start.

Options for improving your subject lines include:

  • Telling people what they’ll get when they open your emails; no need to be clever or witty unless that’s your brand’s personality.
  • Adding personalization, as including people’s names in the subject line can keep them more engaged.
  • Avoiding spam trigger words[10 ways to avoid your emails going into spam box] so your emails make it to the inbox.
  • Borrowing one of these high-converting email subject lines and adapting it for your own use.

9. Write the Copy

writing email copy

Next, it’s time to write your email marketing copy[internal link: How to write a perfect email marketing copy]. You’ll want to create a hook right at the start that will get people to want to read on.

For best results, keep email marketing copy short, and avoid pitching your offer too early. You want people to get comfortable first.

Address subscribers by name. Personalized emails are more successful. Buffer also suggests personalizing your emails based on need by sending emails that meet different user expectations. This makes them more targeted and more likely to be successful. Some studies show that educating and segmenting your audience will boost your click-through rate on emails by up to 50%.

Other items to consider for your email copy include:

  • A personal story. Being human never hurts a company and often helps people make an emotional connection. Some of the most successful emails we’ve seen use this technique.
  • Something of value to your readers. That can be a piece of content, some useful information or the resource you’re promoting. Make it clear how this will help them. The example below from SEMrush underlines the potential benefit in the first line of the email.
  • A poll, survey, GIF or video, all of which are proven to keep readers more engaged.

Of course, you don’t have to put all of those in every email. Ideally, your emails should be short, with only a couple of main points within each one. If you do decide to go longer, make your email scannable.

The last part of your email marketing copy is the call to action (CTA). Your CTA reflects the one thing you most want people to do when they’ve read your email.

CTAs usually appear multiple times within your email marketing copy. While you don’t want to pitch to readers too soon, there’ll likely be a CTA near the start, in the middle and near the end.

The best calls to action[internal link: how to create the perfect call-to-action] are short and clear. If you’ve got your copyright, then it should be a no-brainer for subscribers to click your link.

10. Focus on Email Marketing Design

Email design matters in any successful email marketing campaign. If your emails look terrible, that reflects badly on you and can make people stop reading. With more people than ever reading emails on mobile devices, it’s important to use a responsive email template so your email resizes automatically whether people are reading it on a phone, tablet, or desktop.

Most good emails have more text than images. There’s no denying that images make your email more attractive, but know that many people disable images. That means your email still has to work even if people can’t see them.

Our tip: avoid hiding information in images, because that’s bad for email accessibility[internal links: how email accessibility can boost your revenue]. And remember to use alt tags to describe images so people who’ve disabled them know what they’re supposed to see. A good description might make subscribers enable images, which will make your emails look even better.

11. Test and Track

Finally, sending your email is just the first step in achieving email marketing success. To really nail it, you’ve got to collect data to improve future campaigns.

That means testing everything: design and layout, email marketing copy, subject lines and calls to action. Consider testing emails with different segments and experimenting with email send times, too.

You’ll also want to monitor email analytics from your service provider relating to opens, clicks, unsubscribes [internal links:10 simple perfect ways to reduce email unsubscriber rates] and forwards. This will enable you to figure out what’s working and what’s not with email marketing.

Another issue to monitor is your sender reputation, which affects email deliverability. Use Sender Score to see if there are any red flags that might stop your emails from reaching subscribers’ inboxes.

Finally, manage your email subscriber list by attempting to re-engage inactive subscribers, and by removing them if your attempts fail. It’s better for email marketing open and clicks rates to have fewer active subscribers than large numbers of inactive ones.

Now that you know how to run a successful email marketing campaign, check out these email marketing conversion killers[minternal links: mistakes that are killing your email conversion rates] so you can avoid them. And be sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more advice on email marketing.

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