15 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns

Avatar for Sean Heilweil Sean Heilweil
Avatar for Sean Heilweil Sean Heilweil

February 4, 2022

9 min read

15 Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing Campaigns

If you’re wondering how to improve your email marketing campaign, you’ve come to the right place. With more and more people shopping online, it becomes increasingly crucial to make sure you have an effective digital marketing strategy. The growth of the internet, online shopping, and email cannot be understated.

From 2017 to 2021, in just 4 years, the number of total emails sent grew by 20% to a total of 320 billion. Even that seems to underestimate the number of emails, because it seems like I have at least 3 or 4 billion in my inbox alone.

In 2021, over 2 billion people shopped online, which equates to over 25% of the world's population. That number will only increase with the continual growth of social media, and sites like Amazon. Those 2 billion people are expected to spend around $900 trillion by the end of 2022. That’s a lot of people and a lot of money!

At Emailable, we want you to earn your fair share of the online shopping boom. We’ve created a top 15 list of ideas to improve your email marketing campaigns that will take your ROI to the next level.

1 - Segment your email lists

As we mentioned in our blog post on the Email Marketing Funnel, it’s important to understand your customer’s needs and stage in the email marketing funnel. New customers shouldn’t be treated the same as old customers. Frequent buyers should be treated differently than one-time purchasers. It’s important to segment your email lists based on the type of customer and their specific needs. For example, for a new student discount your company is offering, it might be a good idea to segment your list with “.edu” email addresses.

There are a number of ways to segment your email list, including demographics, interests, and purchase history. You can also use behavioral segmentation to target subscribers who have opened or clicked your emails in the past, as well as those who haven’t interacted at all. By tailoring your content specifically to each group, you can increase the likelihood that they will engage with your message.

2 - Write a compelling subject line

Your subject line copy should entice the customer to click your email. It should rise above the clutter of their inbox. A good subject line creates urgency, engages curiosity, is timely, and offers the customer something they need.

You can create urgency by offering a deadline for a sale, or a range of dates in which they need to take action. However, please don’t come off as spammy here. To engage curiosity, there’s a fine line between too obscure and too obvious. You want to pique their interest enough so that they open your email, but not so obvious that they can delete your email without reading it.

3 - Shorten your subject line

You’ve written the most beautiful and compelling subject line, and now you need to cut it down to 4-7 words. Only 4-7? Yep, that’s right. Studies have shown that subject lines with fewer words get higher open rates.

Since so many people check their emails on a cell phones, the subject line should be kept to around 50 characters at a maximum. While we’re talking about cell phones, that leads us to our next tip.

4 - Keep your emails mobile friendly

Nearly 50% of all emails are opened on a mobile device. Unfortunately, 20% of email marketing campaigns aren’t formatted properly for mobile viewing. In fact, 3 out of every 4 people will delete an email immediately if it’s not formatted properly on their phone. That’s a recipe for disaster for your campaign.

Single-column designs work best on mobile, and easily allow users to scroll through vertically, just like they do on every social media site. Additionally, keep your headlines and buttons large, which makes it easier to click on mobile.

5 - Personalize your emails

Everyone loves to hear the sound of their own name. Everyone loves to feel special. It’s your job as an email marketer to personalize your email to your customer. Any relevant information you have about the customer should be utilized to make them feel like you care.

Even something as simple as addressing the customer by their name can improve your click-through rate. If you know your customer’s birthday, consider sending them something on their birthday. If they made a specific purchase, consider reaching out to them about that specific product and their experiences with it. Make your customers feel known and cared for.

6 - Have emails come from a real person

Would you rather open an email that comes from an email address that says “no reply” or a person’s name? Which one makes the customer feel more respected? Having your emails come from a real person makes a huge impact in the mind of your customers.

7 - Optimize the pre-header text

Readers make flash decisions about whether or not to open your email. Therefore, it’s important for your pre-header text to support your beautiful, compelling subject line, and increase the sense of urgency. Use your pre-header text to support the subject line and engage the subscriber. Something as simple as “Sale ends soon” in your pre-header text can make a huge difference in your engagement rate.

8 - Create interest

Just like when you’re creating an engaging subject line, there’s a fine line to balance in your email body. You need to balance between providing information, and not providing too much. Not enough information and your readers are left uninterested, confused, and with a negative opinion of your company. Too much information and your readers are left bored, less likely to ever open another email from you. Between not enough and too much exists a sweet spot.

Pique their interest by offering them something sweet. A discount, coupon, new feature, account bonus, or something similar can help engage a customer’s interest. Let their interest carry them through to clicking your links. Give them a taste of your sweet offer, and let them click for more information.

9 - Easy links

As we mentioned earlier, a large percentage of your email readers are going to be seeing your email on mobile. Unfortunately, our finger clicks don’t have the same pinpoint accuracy as a mouse click. That means you need to make sure your links are large, easy to see and click. Don’t leave users frustrated looking for your link, or frustrated trying to click it on mobile. You should consider using a larger font, making the link button a different color, or other stylistic options.

10 - Unsubscribe button

If someone doesn’t want to receive your emails anymore, you need to make it easy for them to unsubscribe. Not only is an unsubscribe button required by law, but it will also help your campaigns. Counterintuitively, letting people who don’t want to receive your emails to opt-out actually helps your campaigns. How?

When you let someone unsubscribe, that doesn’t hurt your sender reputation. However, if they can’t unsubscribe, they might mark your email as SPAM, which damages your sender scores and future email marketing campaigns. Additionally, it increases your ROI and engagement rate by only sending emails to people who really want them.

11 - Keep a good email list

Your email marketing list needs to be a rock-solid group of email subscribers with valid email addresses. Allowing your users to unsubscribe is a great first step to improving the quality of your email list. Additionally, make sure that your email list is not scraped or purchased. Only send your emails to people who asked for them. Otherwise, your sender score will be damaged by people marking your email as SPAM. A bad sender score means that more of your emails will end up in the SPAM or Promotions folder.

Another way to keep a good sender score is by decreasing your bounce rate. Each email bounce damages your sender score, putting your email marketing campaigns in jeopardy. If your bounce rate is over the industry standard of 2%, you should consider cleaning your email list. The best email cleaning platforms will integrate with your CRM, offer deliverability guarantees, and increase your ROI.

12 - Consider your timing

When you schedule your email marketing campaigns, it’s a good idea to consider the profession and time zone of your subscriber. If you have information available to help you segment your list further, before you send it, it can only help you. For example, emailing your subscribers in the middle of the night or during the heaviest work hours is not a good idea. You want to target your subscriber's inboxes in the hours before their work day begins. That way, you’ll be on top of their inbox.

Additionally, make sure that you’re sending your email marketing campaigns at consistent times. When you send at random, unscheduled times, Email Service Providers (ESPs) start to look suspiciously at you. Keeping your emails at a consistent time increases your trustworthiness to both the recipient and their ESP.

13 - Send a test email

There isn’t much worse than clicking send on that massively important email campaign, only to later realize that it was poorly formatted or had a broken link. That costs time, money, and pride, and could cost you your job. So before you click send to your entire email list, consider sending yourself or a close colleague a test email.

Open the email in a variety of browsers, on mobile devices and desktop computers, and click through all of the links. Make sure everything is neat, tidy, and functioning the way you want it to. Sending a test email takes such little effort, but could save you so much money, time, and reputation.

14 - Track your campaigns

You need to be tracking as much as you can with each campaign. Make sure each campaign has its own links so that you can track the engagement rates. Additionally, you should be tracking several other key email metrics, including the following:

  • Open rate
    • The number of recipients that opened your email, as a percentage of the total emails sent.
  • Clickthrough rate
    • The percentage of people that click on the links in your emails.
  • Conversion rate
    • Your email marketing campaign’s conversion rate is the percentage of subscribers who complete an action after reading your email. Essentially, this determines your ROI.
  • Bounce rate
    • The percentage of sent emails that bounce. If your bounce rate is over 2%, that’s one sign you should be cleaning your email lists.
  • Unsubscribe rate
    • The total number of unsubscribes divided by the total number of emails that were actually delivered, is expressed as a percentage.
  • List growth rate
    • The number of new users minus the number of unsubscribes, is expressed as a percentage of the total number of email addresses in your list before your campaign.
  • SPAM complaints
    • Your email server should be able to track the number of SPAM complaints your emails have received. One way to reduce this number is by including an unsubscribe button in your email body.
  • Overall ROI
    • You can calculate your ROI by taking your new sales as a result of the campaign and subtracting it from the cost of the campaign. Then, divide that number by the cost, and multiply by 100 to get a percentage. If you’ve followed this guide, you’re going to have a higher ROI than before.

15 - Test and evaluate

It’s important to A/B test every part of your email; from your subject line to your email body and signature. A/B testing your email allows you to pinpoint the most effective strategies, and deploy them to your audience. It’s impossible to know exactly what your audience will like beforehand. That’s why it’s a good idea to test multiple strategies, track the metrics, and use the information you gathered to optimize your campaigns.

Consistently testing your email marketing campaigns will allow you to create more effective campaigns and drive higher conversion rates. If you can track it, you can improve it.


If you’re not one for a lot of reading, here’s a quick list of the top 15 ways to improve your email marketing campaigns:

  1. Segment your email lists
  2. Write a compelling subject line
  3. Shorten your subject line
  4. Keep your emails mobile friendly
  5. Personalize your emails
  6. Have emails come from a real person
  7. Optimize the pre-header text
  8. Create interest
  9. Easy links
  10. Unsubscribe button
  11. Keep a good email list
  12. Consider your timing
  13. Send a test email
  14. Track your campaigns
  15. Test and evaluate

Thanks for reading, and good luck with your email marketing campaigns!

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