email marketing

5 ways to create a killer email marketing strategy

59% of marketers state that e-mail is their most effective channel when it comes to revenue generation. What’s more 80% of online retail professionals label e-mail as their greatest driver of customer retention.

E-mail marketing is a hugely powerful tool. Consumers who buy products through email go on to spend 138% more than those that don’t receive email offers.

What’s more, e-mail marketing returns an amazing 3880% return on investment, generating $38 for every $1 spent.

If you’re serious about creating a killer digital marketing strategy, e-mail marketing needs to be a key part of your arsenal.

In this article we’ll be looking at how to ace your all-important e-mail marketing strategy to drive more traffic, gain more leads and generate more sales.

Ready to up your e-mail marketing game?

Use the power of automation


Research has found that automated e-mails can generate 4x more revenue than traditional e-mail campaigns.


That’s why it’s hugely important to include automation in your e-mail strategy.

An automatic email is essentially set up and automatically sent out to a user who meets a certain trigger.

This could include:

  • Welcome emails: sent out when someone signs up to your mailing list. This could include a welcome message or discount code as a thank you for joining up.
  • Thank you emails: this could be thanking existing customers for their loyalty, offering them a small discount code to encourage a repeat purchase.
  • Abandoned cart emails: this encourages those that have abandoned their carts to go back and complete the purchase. This is where you show them what they’re missing.
  • Birthday emails: wishing your customers a happy birthday and offering them a small gift or discount code as a birthday gift.

Automated emails make up a whopping 20% of email marketing revenue. What’s more, automated emails can save a lot of time, being set up and rolled out by their own accord at optimised times. They’re also personal, timely and relevant to the reader.

Delivered to the right people at the right time, automated emails have a high open and click through rate and are a key driver of e-mail marketing success.


Get up close and personal

Studies have found that personalised emails deliver 6x higher transaction rates.

Merely personalising the email subject line with the recipient’s first name can lead to 26% higher open rates.

What’s more, 49% have bought a product they didn’t intend to purchase having received a personalised recommendation from a brand.

Personalisation is so effective because it’s highly relevant to your subscribers.

Rather than just receiving a generic message you’re sending that person an email that is highly targeted, includes their name, provides offers and products relevant to them based on their individual interests.

So what elements of an email can be personalised?

  • Subject line: this is key, being the most prominent element in an inbox when an email arrives. As we’ve mentioned, by personalising the subject line with the recipient’s name open rates are increased by a whopping 26%
  • Copy: if you have a subscriber’s name, location, company, size, age and so on, use the data to personalise the copy in your email geared towards that particular person.
  • Offers: use demographic, location or purchase data to personalise the types of offers you send out to each of your subscribers.
  • Product recommendations: using your customers’ recent purchase data will mean you can send them targeted emails recommending products they will enjoy based upon their buying history. As mentioned above, 49% purchased an unintended product upon receiving a personalised recommendation from a brand.
  • Imagery: changing your imagery to appeal to specific audience members is a powerful way of increasing your email click through rate. In fact, Campaign Monitor recently found that by merely personalising campaign images they were able to increase their click through rate by 29%.


For further help with email personalisation check out this handy guide by Neil Patel.


Segmentation is key


Segmented email campaigns see 14.3% higher open rates and 100.95% higher click through rates.

In fact, segmentation increases revenue and sales by a whopping 24%

Segmenting your email database makes your email campaigns much more targeted towards each of your audience members.

After all, not all buyers are the same. They are at different stages in the buyer journey, in different locations, different ages, have different interests, needs and so on.

That’s why segmentation is crucial – it ensures that the emails you are sending are more in-tune with what your subscribers want.

Segmenting your emails is a sure-fire way of retuning better results from your email marketing, making the whole process far more personal, relevant and interesting to the subscriber.

So, what segmentation strategies can you adopt in your strategy?

  • Demographics: the basics of segmentation start with demographics. This is invaluable information when it comes to segmentation, meaning you can target people depending on location, age, sex, income and so on to give a truly personalised experience.
  • Previous purchases: segmenting based on previous purchases is a great idea, meaning you can send out recommendations for similar products based on the customer’s purchase history or send out thank you emails to repeat customers.
  • Amount spent: businesses that sell a range of products across the price spectrum may wish to segment in terms of customers who are likely to buy more expensive items and those who will more likely buy more affordable items. Group your subscribers into those with high disposable incomes to whom you can target more expensive products, those who are more likely to buy more affordable items but have proven brand loyalty, and those motivated by deals and discounts.

Email segmentation is a key marketing tactic and crucial for driving higher open rates, clicks, sales and engagement. Even better, 28% of marketers who adopt segmentation have had fewer unsubscribers.


Make it mobile friendly


Since 2011 email open rates on mobiles have grown by over 100%. In 2019, a massive 61% of all emails were opened and read on mobile.

If your email marketing campaigns aren’t optimised for mobile they won’t be met with much success. In fact, a whopping 70% of people will delete them straight away.

You guessed it, optimising for mobile is key.

And it will pay off. After all, the average revenue for a mobile email is $0.40 – that’s 4x more than that of a desktop email.

55% of mobile users have made at least 1 purchase upon receiving a promotion marketing email on their phone.

But how can you ensure your emails are optimised for mobile?

  • Write a short and snappy subject line: as the first thing we see, a subject line is critical to the success of an email. On mobile you have just a short space in which to grab the user’s attention and entice them to open your email. Your subject line needs to be short, concise, snappy and informative. Use it to summarise your email or include a call to action. It has been suggested to keep your subject line to 30 characters or less to ensure it’s seen in its entirety on mobile devices.
  • Use a responsive email design: make sure you adopt a responsive email design which will ensure that your email is optimised for the user regardless of device used or what size screen they’re on. You should find that most email service providers offer this as standard.
  • Optimise your call to action: whatever your call to action may be, whether it’s to buy now, find out more, sign up or pre-order, it needs to be obvious. Ensure your call to action is both big enough and situated in a clear, obvious place. Think big, bold and easy to click.

Test, test and test again


Nobody gets perfect results first time around. To really nail your email marketing you need to test, test and test again. After all, practice makes perfect.

There are several elements of an email you should aim to test including:

  • Subject line
  • Design
  • Call to action: including copy, placement and appearance
  • Messaging
  • Landing page
  • Copy
  • Length
  • Day and time sent
  • Links: including number of links and link placement
  • Images
  • Videos

If you’re just starting out with testing we’d recommend you start with your subject line first. After all, this is the first thing your subscribers see.

This won’t take long – just think up a few variants for the same email and see which types perform the best.

Test just one element at a time. By changing several variants, it will be impossible to know which element led to success.

For more help with testing your email marketing campaigns, check out this handy guide by Neil Patel.

Craft a killer subject line


We’ve touched on the importance of an awesome subject line throughout this guide, but we can’t state it enough.

An email subject line is judged, straight away. After all, 69% of email recipients report emails as spam based on subject lines alone.

A subject line needs to be catchy, informative and ultimately drive clicks.

Although they may seem like just a small part of the overall email, they’re the first impression your audience gets of your email:

  • Short and sweet wins the race: as we’ve already mentioned, with 61% of all emails now being opened on mobile, it’s important to write a short, snappy subject lines to avoid your precious words being cut off. Be clear, concise and to the point.
  • Make it personal: again, we’ve touched on this earlier – subject line personalisation comes with higher click through rates – that can only be a good thing.
  • Use actionable language: craft a subject line that makes people want to act. Entice them to click through. Think of this as a call to action.
  • Make it exclusive: make your subscribers feel special and exclusive. This will help build brand loyalty and entice them to open your email. Try using phrases such as ‘our gift to you’, ‘for our treasured customer’ ‘exclusive offer’ and so on.
  • Have pun with it: people love puns. Including a pun in your subject line is a great way to have a bit of fun, inject some humour into your email, capture the subscriber’s attention and stand out from the rest.
  • Ask a question: asking the subscriber a question in the subject line grabs their attention and draws them in. It spikes the reader’s curiosity and gets them interested in what you’ve got to offer.

Next Steps – ready to craft an epic e-mail marketing strategy and see the returns?


99% of consumers check their emails every single day. It’s no surprise that 59% of marketers say that email is their biggest source of return on investment. Get it right and e-mail marketing has the potential to be a hugely profitable medium for businesses, and what better time to create a killer email marketing strategy than in the lead up to a new year?

We hope you enjoyed our guide to acing your email marketing strategy. For more help with all things inbound marketing Report Central are here to help. We put in the hard work for you, finding out exactly what drives success so we can keep doing more of it.

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