As a marketer in the age of social media, it might be easy to forget about the importance of email marketing. There is a ton of data out there though that validates the effectiveness of email marketing and shows why email marketing needs to be a core part of your business strategy:

  1. Email marketing has an ROI of 3800%.
  2. Email is 40 times more successful at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter.
  3. 72% people prefer to receive promotional content through email, compared to 17% who prefer social media.
  4. Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.
  5. Email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.

The numbers don’t lie! Email marketing should be your most important marketing channel if you are focused on growing your business and engaging your customers.


Become an Expert

If your company is thinking about building an email marketing program or looking to expand your current email marketing campaigns, that’s great! There are tons of tools out there to get your feet wet and learn best practices of email marketing. HubSpot offers a great email marketing certification that can really give you an overview of everything you should be thinking about when building an email marketing program. I would also recommend reading content about the pros and cons of email marketing and looking at some great email marketing strategies to get inspired.   

Email marketing can have a big impact on your business. Let’s look at a few ways you can build an amazing email marketing program that will transform your company!

Building Your List and Setting Expectations

Email can be a powerful tool to get in the inbox of some of your potential or current customers, but it’s important to also respect the inbox of your audience. Think about how annoyed you get when you receive an email from a company you don’t even know.

Your first thought is probably something along the lines of “Why am I even getting this email?”

You never want to send an email to someone that wasn’t expecting to receive one from you. While building a list is important, you don’t want to add random emails to it. This is just going to annoy the people on your email list, and they probably won’t be inclined to open up the email you sent them or click through the email’s content. When building a list, be sure to:

  1. Set up an opt-in form for your company’s emails. If you’re launching a newsletter, you can create a pop-up or a landing page for your website that shows up whenever someone visits your site.
  2. Communicate the value of your content to the potential subscriber. Why should they sign up to receive your email? What will you be offering them? If you’re going to be delivering content that is valuable for their job or industry, tell them that. If you’re going to be sending them exclusive offers, share that. It’s crucial that you are specific about the content they will be receiving. This will help them understand the value of your emails and sign up for your list.
  3. Utilize strong and engaging copy. Think about an email you recently received that made your click on a link or a call-to-action. What was it about that email that made you do it? It was probably an effective use of language that made you take the plunge. It’s important to think about your buyer personas and utilize copy that you think will be enticing. You also want to use action-oriented copy instead of the passive voice. A strong call-to-action can be the difference between a robust email list and one that needs some serious work.
  4. Tell your potential subscriber how many times they should expect an email from you. This is so important because it builds trust with your potential reader. If you’re planning on sending them daily updates, be sure to communicate that. Maybe you’re only going to be sending them content bi-weekly or monthly! Be upfront with your reader, and deliver your emails when you told them you would.


Defining Objectives for Each Email Campaign

Email can be complicated because you might be executing many different email campaigns at the same time. You might also have multiple things you want to accomplish through your email marketing strategy: nurture leads, engage new customers, re-engage old customers, and more.

It’s important to be sure that you are not trying to accomplish too much in each email. You do not want to overwhelm your reader or insert too many CTAs in one email. This will lead to poor email performance and low click-through rate.

With each email, think about a specific goal you want to accomplish. Do you want your reader to read your latest blog post or take a survey? Be specific and clear in your messaging. Let’s take a look at a few emails that have clear objectives.


EF College Break is a company that offers affordable and social trips for college students and young people. This email from them is clear and concise. They have an offer that ends today, and they want you to go to their website to see the deals they offer. The CTA and language is urgent and focused on conversion.


This email from National Geographic is another great example of an email with a clear objective. They’re offering the first three chapters of Bad Days in History for free. One reason this email is noteworthy is because they offer two CTAs with the same objective: preview the book’s content for free. You might want to experiment with two CTAs to see which one is more effective. This could help inform your content strategy later down the road.

Setting clear objectives for each email will make it easier to:

  1. Write clear and focused copy.
  2. Create a strong call-to-action.
  3. Increase the number of conversions.

Segmenting Your Lists and Personalizing Your Content

Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened than ones that do not have personalized subject lines. It’s not too hard to believe that people prefer personalized content. That makes sense! We want to know that the email we are about to open is meant for us and tailored specifically to our behavior and preferences.

Be sure to build your email marketing program with this in mind. Obviously, you are not going to be able to send each email to each person individually. That’s why it’s important to segment your lists based on buyer personas, buyer behaviors, or an individual’s place in the buyer journey.

It’s important to maintain your contact lists and collect information about your subscribers, so you are able to deliver the most personalized content you can. Upon subscribing to your mailing list, you might want to collect some information that will give you a better idea of what your reader is interested in.

You want to build content for each of these lists with the reader in mind. What would this list want to read about? What’s important to them? How can I serve them best? These questions will help you create the most effective and personalized content possible.


Creating Value for Your Readers

Email marketing is so powerful because it is a way to deliver value straight to your reader’s inbox. If you’re doing it right, your reader will love you and will look forward to receiving your emails. That’s amazing! Long gone are the days of disruptive and annoying marketing tactics.

But, creating valuable content can be harder said than done. It’s important to know your customers’ needs, wants, and motivations. If you’re struggling with creating buyer personas, check out HubSpot’s free persona building tool. Knowing your customer is the key to delivering great content that they’ll love.

Emails are an opportunity to nurture leads and help educate your reader. While your main goal is probably to eventually convert your leads into customers, you shouldn’t be pitching your product to them in every email. The goal of your email program should be to deliver content they find valuable and to provide an opportunity for them to get to know you as a company. When the time is right, make your pitch, invite them to a demo, ask them to try out your product, and make the sale!

Inbound Marketing Lead Gen