The Anatomy of an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Effective email marketing campaign

The Anatomy of an Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Effective email marketing campaign

Effective Email Marketing Campaign

After years of split testing and experimenting with layouts and key features, we are able to share with you our recipe for success when it comes to the anatomy of an effective email marketing campaign.

#1 – Send your message from an actual person

Back in the day, we experimented with a variety of email addresses that we were sending from.  From info@ to newsletter@ – but we found that email addresses with actual names create much better click-through rates and encourage engagement and so our email roundups are sent from my personal email account.

Sending from a noreply@ address is an absolute deadly sin when it comes to email marketing.  This says “we will send you a message and expect you to read it, but if you have any questions or queries then we’re not interested and won’t respond” – not a great way to engage your audience!

#2 – Always Use a Clear Attention-Grabbing Subject Line

Ideally, your subject line should be no more than 80 characters in length and should avoid spam trigger words.  Your subject line should have the customer in mind rather than selling your wares.

A few examples for this blog or email marketing subject could have been:-

  • 10 Secret Strategies to Improve Your Email Marketing Today
  • Build Your First Email Marketing Masterpiece with This Simple System

We use a few tools to help us generate similar titles to the above.  The first tool is a Google Chrome extension called Headlinr.  The free version will give you lots of ideas.  The second tool is a book called Advertising Headlines That Make You Rich by David Garfinkle.  I know that the title is very cheesy, but the content is excellent and you can easily manipulate the ideas to fit with your own topics and email marketing ideas.  Both of these tools can be used to help you create effective blog titles.

#3 – Ensure your branding is consistent

We highly recommend adding a top and tail to your email marketing campaigns as a minimum, but branding is not just about a pretty logo.  Branding can mean tone of voice, the fonts that you use and of course consistency in your publications.  All of the above helps with increased brand awareness. This blog has been active for years, and each week we email out a wrap-up for the week.  People rely on our content popping into their inboxes each week, and we see our subscription rates increase.

#4 – Personalise the content

There is nothing more impersonal than receiving an email that is addressed to “Dear sir or madam”.  Nowadays, with merge tags and field merges it is easy to personalise an email.  If you do not have the first name, then you should really not be sending the email in the first place. Personalisation can massively increase click-through rates so ensure you are using this tactic! Remember that personalisation goes beyond just a name – the message of your email landing with only the recipients it is most relevant to also boosts results.

A word of warning, please do not overuse personal tags such as first name and company.  Most people will appreciate that you are using technology to pull through data to personalise an email.  If you go overboard with the use of the recipient’s name or company, then this will have the opposite effect.  Use the golden rule of no more than two personal merge tags in an email.

#5 – Content, Value, Proposition and Context

Effective Email Marketing Campaign

Your email content should immediately address what your offer is.  Get straight to the point rather than keeping the recipient hanging on.  As salespeople, we tend to leave the actual sale until the last minute, but with email, you need to make sure that you are telling people what the content is about upfront.

Your content needs to eliminate waffle, and have a good readability factor.  We are all time-starved, so please make sure that your emails are scannable.  No long paragraphs.  Can you use bullet points?

Email campaigns that work well can be lists or numbers.  For example, “Download this free 10-point checklist” or “find out the top 20 ideas of things to post”.  Above all, keep the content clean and clutter-free.

One tool that I could not live without that helps with spelling and grammar is Grammarly.  A free grammar checker that instantly eliminates grammatical errors and enhances your writing. Grammarly is trusted by millions every day.

#6 – Be Obvious, Focused on a Strong Call to Action

As mentioned above, it is important to get to the point asap.  Your email needs to be obvious and highly focused.  It’s important to make sure that you are not adding multiple calls to action within your email.  For example, do NOT try to sell more than one thing within your email campaign.  Too many choices result in no choice being made by the recipient. It creates confusion and, as the saying goes, a confused mind never buys! Keep things simple with one very strong call to action.  By all means, repeat the same call to action within the email, but do not mix up your messages.

Email Marketing

#7 – Always add a relevant image

If you are creating a newsletter-style email marketing campaign that derives from your blogs, then please make sure your images work in your email template – if they don’t, always create custom images for your blogs.  In January 2016 we experimented with adding our blog titles as text within the images.  Within two months we were seeing an increase in conversion rates by 12%, and this has continued to hold true over the years.  For that reason, we recommend adding text over your images when producing blogs.

A quick reminder for you, please do not get your images from “Google Images”.  There are some great sites for free stock images and free video content can be downloaded safely from or 

Did you know that 65% of people prefer emails with mostly images rather than text?  Also, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.   Use images in your emails and blogs to increase conversions – a no-brainer. (Pardon the pun!)

#8 – Do you have social sharing tools in your email?

If you want your campaign to grow then give your audience the tools to share your content with their audience.  Most people will add social sharing tools to their blogs or other pages on their websites, but emails tend to get missed.  Do you have sharing tools on your email template?

Apparently, 78% of companies integrate their email campaigns with their social media strategies.  Are you part of that 78%?

In May 2018 GDPR was introduced in the UK, and as time continues to move on, we are more and more aware of how we share our personal information and who we are sharing it with.  Adding a link to your privacy policy within your email marketing campaigns shows that you are a credible company that will not abuse people’s data. (If you do not have a privacy policy on your website that you can link to then I strongly urge you to consider getting this sorted asap.)

#10 – Respect people’s inboxes

It’s frustrating when you receive an email that does not have an unsubscribe function – Please do not be that person!  Not only is this in contradiction with GDPR, but it can also affect your sender credibility which can also decrease your conversion rates.  If you are using email marketing software such as MailChimp, Keap or ActiveCampaign, this function will automatically be included for you.


Email marketing is still the top form of marketing for businesses and for many is the point at which marketing takes prospects into a sales environment.  Social media is closely following, however, you will find that email will still be the highest conversion tool for your offers and to build traffic to your website. 

I hope that these tips have helped, but if you have any of your own tips, then please do let me know!

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