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June 05, 2013 By Hendrik-Jan Francke

Create an Email Marketing Campaign that Generates Results

Email is one of the most effective and profitable marketing channels for B2B and B2C—achieving higher click-through rates and ROI than other popular channels (91% consumers use email once daily). A consistent and effective email marketing campaign is essential for every business.

When done correctly, it can help a business stay top-of-mind with their subscribers, and increase traffic that generates sales. However, effective email marketing campaigns can’t be packaged in a ready-to-use box, they require careful customization.

Craft subject lines that result in clicks

When your email lands in the inbox, your first and only line of defense against the dark abyss of the trash can is the subject line (that is, unless you have a cult-worthy readership base). The truth is, there is no definitive right way write a subject line; what works for your business is largely dependent on your audience. But there are a few tested subject line strategies that have proven to help increase clicks.

  • Keep it Short and Sweet (KISS) – Subject lines with 28-39 characters generated the highest click through rate. (Litmus via MailerMailer)
  • Be specific – Subject specificity has been proven to increase opens. Ambiguous or misleading subject lines, on the other hand, might get you flagged as spam or hurt your reputation.
  • Ask a question – Want to increase email open rates and clicks? Inquisitive subject lines often perform better.

Discovering your strategy will require some additional effort on your part. Try running a few A/B subject line test to see how your audience reacts to various subject line formats, tones, etc.

Mini-Case Study
In a recent subject line A/B test of our monthly email, we discovered including "Bright Orange Thread" in the subject line generated 4% more opens and clicks than a subject line excluding our name. Why? Because our email list is largely comprised of BOT friends and clients, our name carries personal value to our audience. Therefore, we can ascertain the subject including "Bright Orange Thread" performed better because our audience has a high-level of interest in the BOT brand.

Optimize email templates for mobile

Your mobile strategy does not end with your mobile or responsive site. Mobile internet users spend 42% of their time on email on a daily basis, so extending your mobile strategy to include your email marketing campaigns will ensure your message is reaching and is optimized for your audience, mobile and desktop.

To make it easier for the small screen user to interact with your content, less is more. Mobile emails should have a clean layout, larger fonts, an obvious and accessible CTA, and shorter, more direct copy. Remember, you only have a few seconds to grab the user’s attention. Don’t make them scroll to the email bottom for the CTA, because they won’t.

Segment your email list

According to eMarketer, 39% marketers who segmented their lists experienced higher open rates. Think about it, prospects early in the sales cycle likely have different needs than clients you
have served for years.

There is not one-size-fits-all approach to segmenting your list (every business, client, and sales approach is unique).

  • New Subscribers - You might not know a lot about new subscribers’ needs or objectives, but deliberately providing newbies with special insights or offers will showcase your brand and expertise.
  • Engagement - Who opens your emails most? Who always responds to your CTA? High-level engagement indicates interest in your brand and should be responded to accordingly. Also consider how changing email frequency or content might appeal to low-level engagement subscribers.

List segmentation helps you laser focus your content to reach and target your audience’s pain points. But the success of your segmentation efforts (and all other email marketing efforts) can only be calculated one way.

Analyze your results

While there are countless recommended approaches to email marketing, what works for your audience is unique to your business. The only true way to analyze the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts is to test and analyze your results (and this does not necessarily require a huge budget & time allocation). Many email marketing platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact have built-in, easy-to-use features like A/B tests, list segmentations, and analytics that will help you monitor the health of your campaigns.


Email is the most proven, consistent, and effective marketing platform. Your subject line might get you in the door, but keeping that door open requires careful analyisis to ensure your campaigns are consistently optimized to meet the needs of your audience.

Take a look at your latest email marketing campaign's open and click through rates and consider how implementing these strategies could make your efforts more effective.

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