6 Keys to Email Marketing Success

The folks over at Emma recently compiled these six important tips that can drive email marketing success. Email marketing is only dead to those who can’t find their way out of the spam filter!

1: Avoid the Spam Filter

At the end of the day, spam filters aren’t built to stop emails from reaching inboxes. It does no one any good if emails stop reaching inboxes. However, spam filters are there to stop irrelevant emails from reaching inboxes. They are built to enhance the user experience. So, to avoid being caught in spam filters, start with thinking about the user experience. Start with getting permission to send people emails. While getting permission, set clear expectations on what they can expect to receive from you. Then, follow through with that promise.

Curious Fact: 69% of email recipients report messages as spam based solely on the subject line. The lesson here is that people aren’t afraid to flag an email as spam even if they did give permission. So, invest time in understanding your audience, so you can clearly align your message with their expectations.

2: Build Your List

Your email marketing plan relies heavily on the fact that you have someone to email to. Therefore, your list is an important marketing asset. Here are someways to build your lists:

  1. Capture website visitors with a sign up form
  2. Create (and gate) a valuable piece of content
  3. Host a giveaway
  4. Promote your list via social
  5. Build your contact list offline

Curious Fact: The average email list churns by about 30% every year. So, this effort into building a list is on-going.

Curious Fact: Every field you add to your signup form will cause the conversion rate to drop by 25%. So, keep that sign-up form tight. Only collect information that you plan to use immediately.

3: Measure and Analyze

How do you know your email marketing is actually working? Measure it. However, don’t just measure the email metrics like open rate. Consider the entire journey, and connect your email marketing metrics with overall business metrics.

Curious Fact: Only 12% of marketers say that their email marketing is fully integrated with their other systems. Is there a way to fully integrate your marketing platform so you have a full picture of your customer’s journey?

4: Personalize Responsibly

Your subscribers invited you into their private Inbox. They invited you to build a relationship with them. Therefore, personalize the communication. This doesn’t mean just including a first name. This means utilizing the data to serve up the right message at the right time in order to deliver the right experience (not crossing over to creepy territory is an important factor toward building that right experience).

Curious Fact: 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchase decisions. So, don’t just use a one-size-fits-all blast approach. Take the time to build personalized email campaigns.

5: Put your Customers First

It’s always cheaper and easier to keep a customer than to get a new customer. That principle also works in email marketing. Focus on your greatest asset of your business — your existing customer base.

“Take a moment to focus, provide value, and be generous to your most engaged audience, and they’ll return the favor.” — Colby Cavanaugh at Emma.

Curious Fact: The probability of selling to a new prospect is somewhere between 5 and 20 percent. The probability of selling to an existing customer? 60–70%. So, show some love to your existing customers.

6: Automate

Executing a winning email marketing plan takes work. Good news is that there is plenty of automation option. Automation doesn’t mean robotize the experience. It is exactly the opposite. Build automated emails based on trigger events help you deliver the exactly right message at the exactly the right time to exactly the right subscriber.

“Great marketing is when you distill your message to what’s essential and serve it to the right people at the right time.” — Josie Fox at Tito’s Handmade Vodka

Curious Fact: Businesses that use marketing automation experience as much as a 451% increase in qualified leads. So, what do you have to lose by not trying automation? Possibly a lot!

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About Jeannie Chan

Jeannie Chan founded Curious. She is a brand strategist who takes on business problems big or small. She inspires organizations to raise the questions no one dared to ask or thought to ask. She has ignited new thinking and delivered growth to Fortune 500 companies, startups, and nonprofits. Jeannie loves espressos, and lives in New York City with her two cats and her beloved. Learn more about Jeannie at
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