email marketing with mailchimp car pic


When used correctly and consistently email marketing can outperform your other marketing activities substantially. Compared to traditional media, email is a fast, personal, interactive and extremely cost effective way to communicate with both prospects and existing customers.

As email marketing usage grows, so does its benefits. Online marketers use email as part of their business to business and business to consumer integrated marketing mix, as most recipients accept and even welcome targeted, opt in emails.

A well planned and constructed email marketing campaign can help to increase sales conversion, generate repeat sales, up sell and cross sell products and services, gain valuable feedback from website visitors and drive web users to make offline purchases.

Email marketing can have a positive impact on any type of business!


Why Email Marketing?

  • Keeps costs down
  • Proactive, interactive, drive traffic to website, short and sharp e.g. click here to read more
  • Used to inform ‘call to action’
  • Can prompt a phone call
  • Used to deliver value, build relationships e.g. newsletter
  • Can keep track of clicks to website


Customer Retention vs. Customer Acquisition

  • Good tool to engage with existing customers, build a rapport and enhance the depths of the relationship, escalating from being simple ‘transactional’ customers who ‘buy and fly’ to loyal supporters, advocates, who recommend you or will even go into strategic partnership
  • Helps to cross sell and up sell to existing customers, which in turn is a much lower cost than acquiring a new customer


Pros & Cons



  • Range of receivers is wide
  • Cheapest means of communication
  • Timesaving
  • Easy to track (opens, unsubscribes, click throughs etc)
  • Enables delivery of targeted messages
  • Can automate business processes



  • Unsolicited bulk email transforms email marketing into spam
  • Often difficult to separate legitimate emails into spam


Strategy: Don’t Start Without One!

  • Devise a strategy!
  • Define how email marketing will contribute towards your business development strategy
  • Be realistic (it takes time to build a trust relationship with your ‘targets’)
  • Make some time to analyse what you did, and use that knowledge to improve what you do next (email marketing is the long game)


Delivering Trust and Value

10 Principles of Email Marketing

  • Permission is paramount
  • Make quality a priority
  • Cleanse your database regularly
  • Test, test, and test again
  • Segment lists for better results
  • Personalise for greater relevance
  • Design emails for the inbox
  • Integrate with other marketing channels
  • Focus on goals, not process metrics
  • Use advanced automation


Permission is Paramount

Expressed consent vs. implied consent (not intentionally given permission e.g. not unticked a box).


Expressed consent typically means:

  • Better response rates
  • Increased trust and brand affinity
  • Better deliverability


Building Opt In Lists

Not the easiest thing to do as people will not be consenting and keen to receive your updates

Building trust relationships takes time – start building right away

Give away something of perceived value in exchange for their email address (and profile information) from the contact form on your website e.g. an ebook or brochure

This help you to not only collect opt-in data of people who you know are interested in what you have to say, but it provides you with a means to understand more about them


Contact form, collect only what is useful information

Focus more on profile discovery that helps you learn about your clients as people / organizations rather than transactional data that seeks to discover what you can sell them


The best time for sending out those emails ARE

Business – Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday AM

Customers – Friday Evening, Saturday Afternoon, Sunday Afternoon / Early Evening


Make Quality a Priority

Double opt in – where the user subscribes for newsletter or other email messages by explicit request and confirms the email address to be his own

Provide clear visibility who you are, enable easy opt out

Do not send too many emails which will generate too many spam complaints

Data users should send a confirmation email confirming what the person has signed up for, what data they have provided, give the chance to correct any incorrect data, and give the chance to get out if they have signed up in error – include a telephone number for if the customer has any concerns


Timing – When to Broadcast

Try to hit when people are sat at their computers

Arriving on a Monday morning will have the user hovering over the delete key!


Frequency – How often should you ‘broadcast?’

  • Think about content – Don’t put all of the ‘good stuff’ in the first one, as nobody may read it
  • Send when you have something valuable to say
  • Quarterly can be good – As it will be welcomed
  • Remember that people can only buy so much of your product or service


Cleanse your database regularly

Give people the opportunity to update their details OR ask them to confirm their email address from time to time


Test, Test and Test Again

Check rendering in multiple email clients

Weak designs and improper format frustrates users – they need to be able to navigate the email easily and find the information that they want – if not they will opt out and delete the emails every time

HTML emails with pictures, colours and graphics can look or function differently when viewed in different email programs and ISP based email services

Send a sample email to test email accounts a major providers such as Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo to spot bad links, copy that triggers spam filters, bad images and other problems


Take into account different reception e.g. 3G as loading times may vary – Also take into account that most people have images switched off


Segment Lists for Better Results

Divide collected information into relevant segments and deliver targeted messages

Can also segment on email and web behaviour e.g. which links the user clicked on at which point in your site

Segmenting helps you to understand performance and trends based on demographics and segments

Recipients needs change over time – your emails will compete with new and changing sources of content or offers that will affect your value proposition

Survey your recipients occasionally on their needs and interests

Make it easy for them to change their subscription preferences


Personalise for Greater Relevance

A good example would be as follows:


Dear John,

We would like to invite a representative from your Bluebird CRM to join our public transport user group in order to evaluate commuter services in Burton on Trent. Your input can improve travel for all Staffordshire business.

Personalisation is the next step, it uses recipients’ own information to create highly relevant messages, which boosts your value.

Email marketing software typically enables you to personalise at the individual recipient level, with email that recognises each one by name, buying history, content, format etc


Personalise for Greater Relevance

The company name has been used well in this example to grab attention

It hooks from the first line – ideal for email marketing as people may only read a couple of lines

Leads towards a call to action – they will be comfortable with this too

You can monitor the button clicks


Who is the email from?

  • From me: people who know me
  • From company name: people who are familiar with company name / brand / have signed up
  • From product / service name: people who may not be familiar with brand


Design Emails for the Inbox

  • Focus on the from line as well as the subject line
  • Get your key message across ‘above the fold’ (and preferably in the top left corner!’
  • Use text and html colours rather than images
  • Commercial recipients open emails from sending company they have subscribed to or from a sender whose name they recognise
  • Take auto preview into account – reading pane usually 600px wide
  • Your email has to stand out in the crowded inbox
  • Add a grabber subject line
  • Put the important content – offer, call to action, newsletter contents up the top for immediate viewing
  • Good subject line is 30-35 char long
  • Description
  • Differentiator / Value Added / USP
  • Call to Action


Eye Tracking Heat Maps

email marketing heat map

  • Users are extremely fast at processing inboxes and reading newsletters
  • Average time allocated to newsletter = 51 seconds
  • Participants only read 19% of newsletter
  • Predominant behaviour is ‘scanning’
  • 35% of participants only skim a small part of the newsletter
  • 67% inclined to skip introductory blah-blah text in newsletters
  • Note emphasis on reading the first 2 words (in red) of the headlines


Integrate With Other Marketing Channels

You will get a higher return on investment when you integrate it with other marketing channels such as direct mail, telemarketing, and trade shows

Research shows your ‘creative’ has greater impact when consistent with other forms of communication and branding

If people identify with your concepts, colours, logos, layout because they have been exposed to them at trade shows or in a journal – They may then allocate more time to reading your emails

You can also reprint email news letter content on your website


Focus on Goals, Not Process Metrics

email marketing with mailchimp

Measure performance of the email marketing campaign against end goals E.g. number if transactions, demos sold, white papers downloaded etc and use in conjunction with Google Analytics > If relevant



Currently 80% of email traffic is spam

Not all words that trigger spam filters are obvious – Seemingly innocuous words such as tips, enter, sample, private, reserved, products, introductory can be viewed as filters as spam

If emails keep getting picked as spam, you could run the email before is it send out through a program called Spam Assassin

Sometimes a spam filter can mark and email a word has been used too many times.

Most email marketing software applications incorporate some kind of spam checking software


Landing Pages

Unless the landing page from the marketing email / newsletter is structured to convert your visitors into customers e.g. direct call to action, or to gain some kind of commitment from them – e.g. sign up for ebook etc, your investment in email marketing could be wasted!