Effective Guide to Successful Email Marketing [+Examples]

When it comes to digital marketing, it seems that there are so many tools and platforms available. Since there are so many options, some marketers may believe that email marketing is no longer useful. 

However, that is not true. Although email marketing is undoubtedly one of the oldest methods, it is still quite effective in any campaign. However, not everyone knows how to use email marketing, which is where we come in. 

Here are some tips for making your next email campaign successful as well as some examples of high-quality email marketing. 

What is an Email Marketing Campaign?

At its core, an email marketing campaign is a specific set of messages designed to get a person to act. Campaigns can be directed at new leads or existing customers, and the goals of each campaign can vary. 

For example, you might send messages to prospects trying to entice them to buy a specific product. You may send a different set of emails to existing customers trying to entice them to shop from your store again. 

There is no “correct” amount of emails to include in a campaign. But, you need to be efficient in your efforts. Since it’s so easy for someone to ignore an email, you need to be as strategic as possible. 

According to Tim Watson, founder of email marketing consultancy Zettasphere and EOS Implementer at Traction Six: 

“The fundamental principle behind email marketing will never change. Send the right message to the right person at the right time. No brand marketer sets out to send an unwanted email. The difficulty is to know what the right message is, for whom and when.”

Does Email Marketing Still Work in 2021?

Email marketing certainly does still work. However, not all marketers use email correctly, so they may assume that it is no longer a viable communication channel. The data suggests otherwise. 

With over 250 million email users in the United States, there is a lot of potential for reaching new customers. Better yet, 61 percent of respondents said that they prefer to be contacted by a business via email. 

Up to half of the individuals check email on a mobile device, and 41 percent of respondents open an initial marketing email. Unfortunately, that number drops to 23 percent when talking about opening a second campaign message. 

Upfront, this data illustrates two critical elements to consider for your next campaign: 

  • Mobile-Friendly Design – Since so many users open emails on a smartphone, you have to optimize your message for smaller screens. In fact, 42.3 percent of users will delete an email if it isn’t optimized. 
  • Captivating Pitch – You likely only have one or two shots to connect with a reader. Make sure your message is concise and engaging. 

Examples of Goals for Your Next Email Marketing CampaignExamples of Goals for Your Next Email Marketing Campaign

Before sending your first email, you have to know what you are trying to accomplish. The secret to successful email marketing is to send the right message to the right person at the right time. If you are flying blind, how can you expect positive results? 

Here are some common goals to work toward with email marketing: 

  • Traffic Generation – Use offers, discounts and time-sensitive campaigns to drive more leads to your website or landing page. 
  • Awareness – Build your brand by sending messages to prospects about what you have to offer. Include information about what makes your business stand out from the crowd. 
  • Lead Nurturing – Once you connect with a lead, you need to maintain contact to turn them into a customer. Email is an excellent touchpoint, but it should not be your only method. 
  • Revenue Generation – Reach out to previous and existing customers with deals to bring them back. Email marketing is also excellent for enticing those with abandoned carts to return to finish checking out. 

When developing a marketing goal, include these SMART elements: 

  • Specificity – Don’t be too broad. Instead, narrow down your goal to a particular action (e.g. click this button). 
  • Measurable – Have some way of knowing how many people follow-through with your action. Otherwise, how can you know whether your message is compelling? 
  • Achievable – Asking someone to buy a high-end product via email will yield few successes. Instead, start with small actions and build from there. 
  • Relevant – If you are selling baby products, do not message single people with no kids. Make sure your marketing reaches the right people. 
  • Time-Sensitive – By creating deadlines for your marketing goals, you can measure success with repeated attempts. Without any time constraints, it is impossible to know whether your efforts are improving. 

How to Start an Email Marketing Campaign From Scratch

How to Start an Email Marketing Campaign From Scratch

If you are new to email marketing, don’t worry – it’s not as hard as it looks. Simply follow this three-step process (with a few sub-steps in between): 

Step One: Get Permission

While emails are easier to ignore than a phone call, you do not want your recipients to unsubscribe in droves. Instead, it is far better to offer some value from your campaign to entice readers to stay engaged. 

Here are some examples of methods to use to encourage users to subscribe to your next email marketing campaign: 

  • Free Downloads – Who doesn’t like free stuff? Whether it is a free trial of your software or a digital gift, free is always appreciated. Just make sure that your brand looks trustworthy – no one wants to download a virus by accident. 
  • Free White Papers or Ebooks – If you can position your business as an authoritative resource, customers will return for more information. The more insightful you are, the better the response rate. 
  • Update Lists – As your product line evolves, be sure to let your subscribers know what’s happening with your business. Even better, create special offers for those on the list, so they are more likely to stay connected. 

Step Two: Follow Through With Great Content

Once you get your audience’s attention, you have to find creative ways to hold it. Since there is so much competition out there, you need excellent content to keep your users engaged. Although there is no trick to making excellent content, here are a few guidelines to get you started: 

When to Pitch a Product

If your email marketing campaign is built around informative content, a sales pitch can seem out of place or unwarranted. However, you can use your pitches effectively if you set expectations upfront. 

In your initial contact, mention that your email series will include different elements, like updates, insider deals and product announcements. That way, when a pitch does arrive, it will not seem out of place. 

So, you want to limit your calls to action to avoid turning off too many subscribers. Segmenting your lists into smaller groups can also help your response rate. This method is effective because you are only pitching to those who have already shown an interest in your company. 

How to Write a Great Email Newsletter:

The word “great” is subjective, but here are a few rules to follow: 

  • Stay Consistent – If your emails are sporadic, it’s hard for your audience to keep up—Aim for once or twice a month, but no more. Otherwise, you could be labeled as spam. 
  • Stay on Target – Segmenting your subscriber list allows you to focus your attention on specific goals. For example, some leads may want information and insight, while others just want discounts and deals. Do not mix the two. 
  • Be Concise – No one wants to read a 3000-word email. Focus on the core details and offer links to more information if necessary. 

Using an Autoresponder

As your subscriber list grows, it will become impossible to send messages manually. Instead, it is far better to automate your email marketing. This strategy ensures that you stay consistent. It also allows you to reply to users immediately instead of letting potential customers fall through the cracks. 

Overall, you will still have to segment and update your lists as people unsubscribe or email accounts deactivate. You can stay on top of your marketing goals without spending too much time on a single channel. 

Step Three: Analytics and Segmentation

One vital aspect of marketing is analysis. If you do not pay attention to what methods are working the most, how can you expect to improve? 

When it comes to email marketing, follow these strategies: 

Understanding Your Email Analytics

No matter which email marketing service you use, most of them provide free analytical tools. The three most common components are click-through rate, open rate and unsubscribes. Here is a quick overview of each one: 

  • Click-Through Rate – If your email included a button or link, this stat shows how many readers clicked on it. 
  • Open Rate – This number reflects the percentage of readers who opened your email. 
  • Unsubscribes – Here is where you can see how many people unsubscribed from your list. Ideally, you will have a survey so individuals can tell you why they did. 

How to Segment Your List

We mentioned that segmentation is crucial for staying relevant to your readers. But how can you break your email list into specific groups? Here are a couple of tactics: 

  • Email Surveys – One of your initial emails to new subscribers can ask what they are interested in the most. For example, you can include options like hearing about new deals or getting industry information. From there, you can segment accordingly. 
  • Prospects vs. Customers – Once a prospect has turned into a customer, you need to move that person to the corresponding list. 

Overall, you should have a streamlined process for moving individuals from one list to the next. Keep in mind that some users may be on multiple lists, depending on their interests. Using an automated email system allows you to spend more time updating your lists so they are as accurate as possible. 

How Much is Your List Worth?

Since email marketing can be a valuable tool for building your bottom line, you want to be sure you are getting the best ROI. The only way to do that is to attach a dollar value to each of your subscriber lists. 

To accomplish this goal, pay attention to customers within your sales funnel. Since your sales team is likely communicating through various channels, you need to know which customers originated from email. Otherwise, it will be impossible to tell. 

Overall, you should be able to get a total sales amount per list. Do not forget to pay attention to any crossover users who are in multiple segments. From there, you can calculate the ROI for an individual subscriber. 

As you build the list, pay attention to whether the sales amount increases as well. If not, it is a sure sign that you are not sending the right message. If that happens, try segmenting further or remove low-quality subscribers. 

Five Examples of Companies With Excellent EmailFive Examples of Companies With Excellent Email Marketing Campaigns

Here are five examples of high-quality email marketing campaigns that illustrate how these components come together: 

Beyond this list, subscribe to competitors within your industry. Doing so will provide valuable insight about what to do and not to do in your next campaign. 


BuzzFeed thrives on punchy, engaging headlines and content. Most of BuzzFeed’s articles are easy to skim through, making them ideal for reading on a mobile device or desktop. 

The site’s email marketing is the same way. Subject lines and preview text are just captivating enough to get you to open the message. The follow-through is superb. 

Plus, the site has tons of exciting content already, so there is plenty of material to source new emails. 


There are a few reasons why the rideshare company took over the world in just a few years. Brand consistency is one of them. Uber’s emails fit in with the company’s overall aesthetic, meaning that they are simple and easy to read. 

Another benefit of Uber’s email marketing is that it focuses on deals and calendar integration. By making it super easy to take advantage of a new program, users are far more likely to engage. Simplicity is crucial when you only have a few moments to capture someone’s attention. 


Subscription boxes are all the rage these days. Customers love that they can get personalized products without the hassle of browsing through aisles. 

Birchbox utilizes synergy by offering deals and discounts for partner companies, which provides more value for subscribers. For example, since BirchBox focuses on grooming products, it provides a discount for the clothing consignment business Rent the Runway. 

This kind of marketing is a win-win-win situation. Customers get more rewards, and both companies involved get more promotion and business. 


Like Uber, Postmates has quickly grown into the premier on-demand delivery app. It’s appealing because users can get anything delivered, from lunch to a bottle of wine to new clothes. 

The company entices users to take advantage through eye-catching images and animated Gifs. As new products come out from their partners, Postmates is sure to promote them through email. Again, this is synergy in action. 


Customer rewards are an excellent way to keep people coming back to your brand. TheSkimm incorporates this idea into its accountant email marketing by notifying users of milestones and anniversaries. 

For example, if you subscribe for two years, you are invited to become a brand ambassador for the company. Unique offerings like this can keep users engaged and wanting more. 

Bottom Line: Email Marketing is Vital, So Invest in It

Email marketing is as vibrant and valuable as ever. If you need assistance building your next campaign, let SellingRevolution help. We have the knowledge and tools to empower you to succeed. Let’s make magic together.