In my last post, I covered the basics of building an email marketing list. Of course, getting people’s contact information is only step one… step two is making sure that the emails you send to that list work for you to convert as many potential leads as possible into customers. In this post, I will go through five simple tips to help ensure that your emails get opened, read and acted on by your audience.

1. Use the right subject line

The subject line is one of the most important elements of your email campaign. It is the first thing your audience will see, and it must grab their attention and encourage them to read on, with only a few seconds to get their attention. The simplest way to make sure you’re getting your message across is to let your audience know what this email will do for them, with dynamic, actionable language. What does that mean? Compare these two possible subject lines:

Money saving offer inside

Save over 50% on lawnmowers at MowerWorld

The second subject line is considerably more likely to get the attention of your readers. While the first one might get some attention (who doesn’t like to save money?), the second explains what the reader will get from the email, where the offer is for, and does so in active terms, rather than the passive voice of the first subject line. Letting your audience know what they can do with and how they will benefit from the information you’re giving them means they’re more likely to read on.

2. Personalise, but don’t be invasive

An email will always be more relevant to your audience if it has been personalised to them. This doesn’t mean including details like their name or other personal information; instead, it means building mailing lists that are segmented by the types of customer or lead you are interacting with. Think of the audiences you are communicating with, and the way they interact with your business. A potential customer will have different needs than a current customer, current customers will have different needs based on the types of product they regularly buy, and so forth. Separating out your mailing lists based on these criteria will mean you are able to customise the message you send to each group to better address their needs, meaning your emails are more likely to be clicked on.

3. Don’t waste time

Your customer didn’t come top their inbox to read your message. Always remember that the message you have sent is an interruption to whatever your audience is doing, and as such, they don’t want to spend much time on what you have to say. Long emails and unnecessary information mean that your readers will click away before they’ve taken the action you want, and the effort it took to get them to open the email is wasted. Keep your message short and to the point and leave any more complicated details for brochures and web pages.

4. Make it clean

Ugly emails with cluttered presentation will lead to your customers closing your email. Emails that don’t display properly on the device your reader is using are even worse. To maximise the chance of your mail being read, you need to make sure that the design is clean, legible and responsive to the user’s device. Luckily, there are several easy-to-use online tools that help in designing clear and responsive emails, as well as in automating email sends and collecting analytics on customer response, such as mailchimp and vision 6.

5. Make the most of your call to action

Every email you send should include a clear call to action, the part of your message that encourages your audience to take the action that you want. Ideally, you should include your call to action twice – once near the start of the email, and again at the end – in order to catch any readers who won’t make it to the end of the mail. To optimise responses, make your call to action simple, letting the reader act with just a click of a link or button.

Email marketing remains a key part of as successful marketing mix and taking advantage of the opportunities it can give is essential to success. John Rowbottom Design and Marketing can help you to create email campaigns that will engage your audience. If you’d like to get started, get in touch at today.

Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash


  1. Hi

    I am surprised to see how much importance is given to E-Mail Marketing.

    Can you please explain why so many put such an importance to it, regarding my statement below?

    I am one of those people who try go give away my mail address as little as possible. I created an extra mail address only for the purpose to use it for all the sign-ups…. Talking to friends I learn many agree with me complaing the inbox gets over spamed. Then, from time to time I use my boredom time to unsubscribe from all these ‘unwanted’ mail, where I probably just subcribed because I used a service, bought something… There really are only a few companies I wish to receive emails, because I still use their product. But even that is no guarantee that I keep myself signed-up.

    I really appreciate your thoughts on my question. I use mailing lists rarely and did not experience great benefits. It seems sharing on has more effect.

    Thank you for your time


    1. Hi Nad, and apologies for the late reply!

      Like a lot of things, what works best will depend on your business and your clients – and you’re absolutely right that nobody wants to be contacted, over and over again, by a company they’re no longer interested in.

      But you did say that there are a few companies you do want to keep receiving emails from, and that’s the core of good email marketing. Reaching those customers, the ones that are interested in your product and are likely to respond to your offer. Like you, I only have a few companies that I want to receive emails from, but I always pay at least a little attention to those emails when I get them.

      Most of all, you need to be respectful of your audience. Don’t spam them constantly, keep communication to a reasonable level. One or two emails a week is plenty. Only send them something that would actually be of interest to them as a customer; new products they might want, offers they might take advantage of.

      You won’t keep everyone that signs up, and not every customer will be interested in every offer, but if you treat your customers they way that you would want to be treated, you’ll almost certainly see positive results.

      And of course, email is just one part of the marketing mix. Definitely still use social media as well – but don’t be afraid to take advantage of every possible opportunity you have!


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you John for your time and answer. I agree a mix of good marketing strategies help. I believe the more honest I advertise, the better it is.


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