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7 Must-Haves for Your Email Marketing Campaign


Email isn’t the hot new thing in digital marketing, but it still delivers some of the best results of any marketing channel. 

According to a recent report, email marketing is the second most utilized marketing channel among small businesses (after social media), with 64% using email marketing to reach customers. Email marketing is also cost-effective, with an average ROI (return on investment) of $36 for every $1 spent. Here are the essentials your email marketing campaign needs to succeed.

1. A purpose.

The first thing you should do when developing an email marketing campaign is determine the specific purpose of the campaign. Not only will a defined purpose help you align the campaign with your business goals, it will also help focus your message.

2. A target audience.

To maximize the effectiveness of your email campaign, focus on the specific customer you’re trying to target. Brainstorm with customer-facing employees, survey or interview your customers, and consult your buyer personas, social media research, and web analytics to find the right audience for your email campaign and see what they might be interested in receiving from you based on their demographics, interests, needs, and preferences. Segment your email list based on the key factors you’ve identified to make targeting your campaigns easier. For more on understanding your audience, read our post Want to Master Your Marketing? Know Your Audience.

3. A great subject line.

Even if the content of your email is perfect, if the email doesn’t get opened, no one will see it and your email campaign will fail. Make your email impossible to ignore with a subject line that is well-written, interesting, and clearly tells your audience why they should open the email. There are many ways you can make your subject lines more engaging—changing the length, using emojis, asking a question, employing humor, using personalization, etc. Try different things and see what works best for you. For more subject line tips, read our blog post Subject Line Hacks to Get Your Emails Opened.

4. A mobile-friendly design.

Approximately 81% of all emails are now opened and read on mobile devices, so making your emails mobile-friendly is crucial. Make sure your email is responsive, consider using a single-column template for better readability, and use a large font size and finger-friendly buttons.

5. A compelling value proposition.

Behind every successful email campaign, there is a strong value proposition that explains what the offer is and why the recipient should want it. As you’re creating the campaign, ask yourself: Why will my customers care about this? What will it do it improve their lives? Be clear about the unique value or benefit you’re offering your customers, and give them a compelling reason to take action.

6. A clear call to action.

Don't forget a Clear and Focused CTA

What action is the goal of your email campaign? Do you want email recipients to make a purchase? Schedule a consultation? Download an ebook? Connect with you on social media? They won’t know unless you tell them, so always include a clear CTA that's focused on benefits. Your CTA text should finish the statement “I want to…”, and it should be action-oriented and engaging. Try something like “Start My Free Trial,” “Claim My Coupon,” or “Learn About the Benefits” rather than the usual “Click here” or “Submit.” For more on calls to action, read our blog post 4 Simple Steps to Improve Your Calls to Action.

7. A dedicated landing page.

Every email campaign should have its own dedicated landing page where visitors can learn more and follow through with the desired action. The landing page should match the look of the email and provide additional information on your offer and clear instructions on the next step they need to take. For more landing page best practices, see our blog post How to Create Landing Pages That Convert.