How to Build a Top-Notch Email Marketing Campaign

Kathy Comella

Kathy Comella About The Author

December 9, 2020 at 7:30 AM

How to Build a Top-Notch Email Marketing Campaign

Many marketers today tend to dismiss email as a viable channel to deliver their message to potential customers. They may think it's not as successful anymore because people don't use it as often as other platforms like social media. However, the reality is that it's quite the opposite. One study found that email marketing generates $38 for every $1 spent — a whopping ROI of 3,800%! With that type of success rate, whether you're communicating to your existing database of clients or using large, purchased lists to generate new business, email should be included in your marketing mix.

In the following blog post, we'll discuss how you can build a top-notch email marketing campaign that yields optimal results and propels your business forward.

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Decide on Your Campaign Subject

The first step in developing an exceptional email marketing campaign is deciding which product you want to promote or which goal you want to accomplish. For instance, do you want to announce a new product line or an updated feature for an existing product? Is a new brick-and-mortar location opening, and you want to spread the word? Do you want to launch a "cart abandonment campaign" to capture "second chance customers?" Or do you want to increase brand awareness?

Whatever the case may be, having a clear goal in mind is indispensable as you move forward.

Segment Your Audience List

First establish the subject of your campaign and desired goals. Then you should segment your recipients according to the intended objective of the email. Not everyone on your email list will need to be targeted by every email marketing campaign that you deploy. 

How to Build a Top-Notch Email Marketing CampaignFor example, imagine you are promoting an upgraded subscription level to your existing customers. You would want to segment your list of recipients based on those who would most likely be interested in the new subscription level you are offering. On the other hand, if you are trying to capture leads by offering prospects a free product trial, you should separate that list to include prospects. 

It’s critical to be intentional with who you are targeting with your campaign emails. Some emails may be suitable for everyone in your database, such as new product and service announcements or current promotions. Whereas other sequences should only apply to particular audience segments and only after a trigger event has occurred, like downloading an e-book or registering for a webinar.

Choose an Email Sequence

An email sequence is basically "a series of emails automatically sent to specific [audience] segments on your email list. An email sequence can be trigger-based or time-based."

There are countless possible triggers for an email sequence. For example, imagine that someone registers for a recent webinar from your company. Over the next two weeks, they may receive a 5-email series in this order:

  • A "thank you for registering" email that includes a calendar invite and link to attend
  • An educational email that shows other resource offers that are relevant to the topic of the webinar
  • A reminder email a couple of days before the webinar that includes the calendar invite and link to attend
  • A reminder email the day of the webinar
  • A thank-you email after the webinar, with an appropriate call-to-action, and a recording of the event

You want your email sequence to match your audience segment and ultimately move the recipient to further action.

Prepare an Offer or CTA

In all its many forms, content marketing centers around the concept of adding value to the consumer. Email marketing is no different. Your email campaign must bring value to its recipients if you want to "move the needle" at all in terms of leads, engagement, conversions, or sales.

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With that in mind, you must prepare an appropriate offer or CTA for your campaign. Some "value-adding" components may include:

  • A discount/coupon
  • A free download
  • A free trial offer
  • A free consultation/estimate
  • A limited time offer
  • Exclusive information or content that users can only get from you

Create the In-Email Content

Once you have the above elements in place, it's time to create the actual in-email content. Make sure that your content is engaging, scannable, and concise. Don't be scared to use graphics, animation, or videos to get your readers engaged. Keep blocks of text small and "skim-friendly." Include links to your website and social media pages for readers who want to connect with you. Always include a strong CTA, such as "Click Here for More Information." Be careful to not overload the email with too many offers, messages, videos or images.  Information overload can be a turnoff to many, and can lead to decision making paralysis. A good rule of thumb is to use one or two ideas with supporting images and information, and an easy way for readers to engage.

Pick Enticing Subject Lines

Your campaign will never achieve its objective if recipients don't open your message. An intriguing subject line may be the difference-maker between an opened email and a discarded one.

Of course, you want your subject line to be "on-brand" and relevant to your consumers. You must decide what to include in your subject line, such as ALL CAPS messaging, emojis, word-play, and so forth. Be wise when making these decisions because the use of these elements can be tricky waters to navigate. ALL CAPS can be viewed as yelling and rude to some audiences so keep your target in mind when employing this tactic. Further, emojis are a good tool to use to make your email stand out, but make sure that the emoji used fits the tone of the message being sent and your overall company brand. And you certainly want to be careful not to overuse emojis.  Finally, some clever phrasing and combinations of wording could land your email in the recipients spam folder and can damage your deliverability and reputation.

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At the same time, you should be careful not to alienate your consumer base by your chosen subject line. For example, think carefully before the use of imperative phrasing (i.e., a "command") in your subject line, such as "Complete your order" or "Act now, before time runs out!"

According to one study, the subject line is a crucial part of your email campaign's success, especially when you consider that 47% of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone.

Schedule Your Email Campaign

Finally, you must schedule your email campaign for maximum impact. For instance, what days and times are your target consumers most likely to open their email messages? How often should you send out your emails? Should your email delivery calendar change based on seasonal offers? Doing the heavy lifting on the front end will save you time later on since your email campaigns will operate on an automated basis.

In summary, you can build a world-class email marketing campaign if you:

  • Decide on an appropriate subject
  • Segment your target audience
  • Develop effective email sequences
  • Prepare a value-adding offer or CTA
  • Create engaging in-email content
  • Craft an enticing (but on-brand) subject line
  • Schedule your email campaign ahead of time


Of course, if you need help building a top-notch email marketing campaign, then consider reaching out to an experienced media partner for further assistance. Regardless, if you develop your email marketing initiative properly, it will yield exceptional business results.

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