8 ways to improve your email marketing results


Email marketing is a cheap but very effective way to reach customers. Get the most out of it with these eight tips.

Have you ever wished you had a magic wand that would send customers your way every time you waved it? Magic wands don’t exist, but there is a tool that you can make work like magic. It’s email marketing. And it is one of the most inexpensive and effective marketing tools available to you. If you’re not using it, you should be.

If you use email marketing and are not getting the results you want, review your email strategy and use these tips to improve your results.


1. Understand your target audience and how to reach them

Successful email marketing starts with an understanding of who you want to reach and what it takes to make them want to do business with you.

For some companies, this means that your email marketing campaigns will consist, at least in part, of information that educates, informs or entertains your readers to build brand awareness and trust.

For others, it means messaging existing customers about new products and special offers. Before launching an email campaign, you need to work out your strategy and send the right type of message to your customers and prospects.

2. Send to a receptive audience

A receptive audience is a permission-based list. People you add to your list without getting permission first will ignore your email or mark it as spam. Build a responsive list by inviting prospects to sign up for your email list at every possible opportunity.

Here are just a few suggestions:

  • Place a signup form on every page of your website.
  • Post a checkout sign in your store with a QR code to sign up for your newsletter and/or text message instructions to sign up.
  • Add a signup link to your social media company pages and in your profile on other social media sites.
  • Include a link to your opt-in form in the description of your YouTube videos.
  • Include your registration link in all printed materials.
  • Consider creating and including a QR code so that smartphone users can quickly add themselves to your email list.

3. Let subscribers know what to expect when they sign up

Your target audience is more likely to give you their email address if they know what you will and won’t do with it. Do you use the list to announce new products or send discounts and special offers to your subscribers? Or do they regularly receive e-mails that are educational or entertaining?

Do you send an email once a month? Or once a day? The person who thought you were sending them industry updates will opt out if you bombard them with ads.

4, Write compelling subject lines

Your email marketing message is one of hundreds of emails that arrive in your subscribers’ inboxes each week. To get your email opened and read, you need a compelling subject line – one that appeals to the self-interest of the recipient, not yours. You may be thrilled to be making fashionable leather handbags with storage space for a tablet computer, and perhaps it’s something retailers want, but few will open your email when the subject line reads, “MiLady Manufacturing Announces New Product Line”.

Encourage recipients to open your emails by using short, actionable headlines that promise a benefit or solution to a problem.

5. Add a call to action

Like direct mail or print advertising, your emails need a call to action. If your readers are expecting promotional mailings, the call-to-action would be aimed at getting the customer to make a purchase today. If your email campaign focuses on building brand recognition and trust, the call-to-action would be presented along with helpful information and could encourage readers to visit your website for more problem-solving tips, or call your office for a free consultation or a free sample.

6. Create emails that are readable on any device

A constant contact report on email opens by device showed that in July 2020, 60% of emails were opened on a mobile device. Pew Research Center reports that as of 2021, 97% of Americans owns a mobile device of a kind. According to their research, 37% of mobile internet users go online, mostly with their phoneand not use any other device, such as a desktop or laptop computer.

The device a person uses to connect to the internet (and read their email) has a major impact on what they see and read. If they open your email on their smartphone and have to scroll back and forth to read each line, or just see an X at the top of the email because a photo hasn’t loaded, you’ve lost them.

The solution: put text at the top of your emails and use a smartphone-friendly email template to prepare the email. Major email services offer mobile-friendly templates for their subscribers to use.

7. Divide and conquer

Don’t send the same email to everyone on your primary mailing list unless you have a small or very niche list. The small business with one or two employees will have different accounting needs and interests than the small business with 20 employees. The avid skier may not be interested in the snowboards you specifically don next week, but may want boots for extreme skiing.

You’ll get better open rates and responses from your email marketing efforts by sending appropriate materials to each group. You can ask people to indicate their preferences when they sign up for your email list. Other options might be to segment your master list by products purchased or by the number of messages you’ve sent to that specific customer.

8. Encourage readers to share your emails

Many businesses find that their main sources of new customers are referrals and word of mouth. Encourage your email readers to spread the word by making it easy to share your email. Social media and forward-to-a-friend buttons let subscribers “tell” their friends about you with the click of a mouse or the press of a button on the screen.

And don’t forget to include a link in the newsletter itself to subscribe to your newsletter. That makes it easy for people who receive the forwarded email to add themselves to your mailing list.

RELATED: 9 Email Marketing Mistakes You Should Avoid

Disclaimer: The content on this page is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, tax or accounting advice. If you have specific questions about any of these topics, seek advice from a licensed professional.