10 ways to create email marketing campaigns that convert

Email marketing campaigns are still one of the most effective tools in your digital marketing toolkit.

For every dollar you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $40. In addition, email is the main driver of customer retention and acquisition for small and midsize businesses. About 81 percent of small and midsize businesses still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel and 80 percent for retention.

Email marketing is truly about the art of relationship building, which can then lead to sales. Through your email marketing campaigns, you have the opportunity to bond with your potential customers and existing customers.

The following are 10 ways to create email marketing campaigns that convert to that sought-after sale.

Understand your audience

Knowing your target audience is critical for any digital marketing channel if you want to be successful with your efforts.

But true understanding goes beyond simply identifying key demographics such as age, gender, location and so on. You should thoroughly research your target audience to learn about their interests, needs, preferences, problems, perspectives and principles. 

By doing so, you’ll avoid creating generic email marketing campaigns that get lost in the noise of cluttered inboxes. About 70 percent of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant information. Instead, you’ll be delivering messaging that will catch the attention of your recipients and encourage them to engage with your content.

Check out our seven tips to determine your target audience.

Segment your contact list and get personal

Once you understand your audience, you should take the next step and segment your email contact list. Segmentation allows for more personalized messages, which can lead to higher sales conversion rates in your email marketing campaigns. This is due to the increased relevance and value of personalized messaging.

Segmentation can be done in a number of ways, including:

  • Those who have purchased from you
  • Those who never have purchased from you
  • Age range
  • Geographical location
  • Interests

The sky is the limit, but the power of your segmentation is directly tied to the strength of your contact data. The more you know, the more you can segment and personalize your email marketing campaigns. 

In fact, about 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences. Personalization ideas include:

  • Using the subscriber’s name in the subject line and/or email copy
  • Including the name of a real service representative instead of the company name in the “from” field
  • Using different visuals in emails to appeal to different customers
  • Leveraging demographic and geographic data to create more personalized content
  • Targeting product or service recommendation emails based on previous buying decisions

Learn more about audience segmentation and personalization.

Embrace the basics of psychology

You don’t need a PhD in psychology to leverage the basics in your email marketing campaign. By doing so, you can improve your email conversion rates.


  • Color psychology
  • Subconscious understanding
  • FOMO, or the fear of missing out
  • Visuals that can spark emotions

Learn more about color psychology and FOMO, and how they can boost your marketing effectiveness.

Include one effective call-to-action

One of the simplest ways to help convert an email recipient to a purchaser is to stick to one call-to-action per email. More than one dilutes the power and ultimately the effectiveness of getting them to do anything at all.

That CTA should be clear and concise that’s hyperlinked to wherever the consumer needs to go to complete the action, such as “claim discount” or “read it here.” Of course, the nature of your CTA depends on the goal of your email marketing campaign.

Invest effort in your email subject lines

You may be spending a lot of time on the content of your email, but don’t let your subject line be an afterthought. Truly, your email subject line is the likely the first (and possibly the only) thing your email recipients will notice about your email.

If it’s not compelling enough, they’ll never even open it. On the flip side, if you overpromise in the subject line and underdeliver in the full email, you break trust and risk appearing as spam.

Focus on using impactful words, invoking emotions and being as clear as possible. 

Check out our 12 tips for email subject lines that won’t get ignored.

Go beyond the sale by offering free value

It might seem counterintuitive at first, but one of the best ways to build up your email contact list and grow trusting relationships that ultimately lead to sales is to offer free value through your email marketing campaigns.

Free value refers to educational, inspirational, motivational and/or informative content that’s free of charge. It’s about offering content that benefits your audience without asking for anything in return.

When you spread out the “hard sale” type messaging with more free value, your email recipients are more likely to purchase from you when you are selling. This is because of the relationship that is being nurtured through alternative content.

One way to approach this is through email drip campaigns, where you can even include pieces of your brand story and social mission (if you have one) to better connect with your recipients. 

Learn more about email drip campaigns.

Stay relevant and concise

Just because you aren’t as constrained by the character limitations of a text message or tweet doesn’t mean that your email should read like a novel.

Your audience has the same time limitations and inclination to skim as they would on any other digital marketing channel. So, you want to get to the point quickly.

The more concise you can be while remaining relevant and engagement, the more likely your email will lead to a sale.

Get exclusive with your offers and discounts

Are you offering your email subscribers the same discounts and other incentives that you’re giving across multiple digital marketing channels?

Remember that your email contact list has already signaled their interest in your business by subscribing in the first place. What can you offer specifically and exclusively to them as a reward?

Of course, when offering anything exclusive, make sure you communicate that, so your email recipients know they’re special and can’t find a better deal elsewhere.

Leverage user-generated content

User-generated content, also referred to as UGC, is any type of brand-related content that’s created by your customers. This includes photos, videos, posts, testimonials, reviews and so on.

UGC can generate about a 73 percent increase in email click-through-rate, while about 82 percent of consumers say user-generated reviews are extremely valuable.

In other words, UGC is an effective form of social proof that helps grow consumer trust and boosts the likelihood of a sale. And you can collect this content from your other digital marketing channels (such as social media) to then include in your email marketing campaigns.

Check out our 10 tips to encourage more user-generated content.

Test and monitor your email marketing campaigns

Testing is the only way to ensure that your email looks the way you intend and that your email marketing campaign acts the way it should. But beyond meeting that basic standard, using A/B testing can help you optimize your campaigns even more for better conversion results.

In addition, monitoring the performance of your email marketing campaigns is critical to understanding what’s working and what’s not. And that information can help you create more effective campaigns in the future as well.

In conclusion

Because there is so much that you can do in any given email marketing campaign, start simply with your goals and who your target audience is. Then, go from there. The key to a higher email conversion rate is to build relationships with your subscribers that keeps them wanting to open your emails. But every brand is different, so keep experimenting and monitoring until you find what works for you.

Also, check out our 16 tips to increase your overall sales conversion rate.

While you’re considering how to increase your email conversion rate, think about your digital marketing process. Is it everything you want it to be? DailyStory features automation, audience segmentation and more that can directly benefit your email marketing and SMS text message marketing. Schedule your free demo with us today.

11 do’s and don’ts of email marketing

Email marketing is an important tool in your digital marketing toolkit.

Not only is it continuing to grow in popularity, but it’s powerful. About 92 percent of online adults use email, and about 61 percent of consumers prefer to be contacted by brands through email.

Plus, about 59 percent of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions, while 80 percent of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention.

Simply put, email marketing refers to businesses sending emails to potential or existing customers to encourage those recipients to take action or engage with the sender in a way that generates sales or leads to new potential customers.

Email marketing is still the most cost-effective way to reach a large number of people with a single click.

The following are 11 do’s and don’ts of email marketing to help your business be more successful from the start.

The do’s of email marketing

Set small and big goals

Just like with any digital marketing tactic, you should ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve. Some common goals tied to email marketing include (but are not limited to):

  • Increasing engagement
  • Delivering value to existing customers and subscribers
  • Re-engaging with inactive customers and subscribers
  • Acquiring new subscribers
  • Generating sales

Setting various goals (both small and big) can help you stay focused across the different email marketing campaigns you’re creating. Just make sure that you’re clear on how you measure success.

Dive deeper with our seven expert tips on setting achievable marketing goals.

Determine who specifically will be receiving your email(s)

It’s imperative that you determine who you want to reach with your email marketing campaign as you’re creating your email marketing campaign.

Are you encouraging past customers who haven’t purchased from you in months to return? Are you introducing yourself to new leads? 

Audience segmentation, available with DailyStory, is a great way to group up your contact list in such a way where you can best focus your message to the right people based on the data that you have about them.

If you’re still building up your contact list beyond your customer database, check out our 12 strategies to capture more email leads.

Decide what type of email you’re sending

Likely, the type of email you’re creating and sending is tied to the goals you’re striving for and the recipients you’re targeting, but it’s key nonetheless to be aware as you create.

Be specific with the point of your email. No email should have everything plus the kitchen sink thrown into it. You’ll lose interest and risk losing subscribers as well.

Are you creating a newsletter touting updates about your business, products and/or services? Perhaps you specifically want to promote new services and products. Are you offering a special sale? You could be welcoming new subscribers to your list. Whatever it is, keep the focus there, and know that extra, unrelated information can always become a separate, new email in the future. 

The best practice is to keep each email as focused, direct and short as possible.

Use technology to your advantage

Email marketing technology includes such tools as analytics, segmentation, software integration, automation, templates, personalization and more.

These tools will help you send the most effective promotional emails, target those emails by demographics (and other contact characteristics or behaviors) and best understand what is working and what isn’t with your email marketing campaigns.

Personalization especially can humanize your message in a way that not only catches your audience’s attention but pursuades them to act.

Leveraging the power of DailyStory and all its features is a great way to take advantage of the technology available to you.

Create eye-catching subject lines

Email subject lines are the first thing a recipient will likely see when your email reaches their inbox. And what they see can make or break your email marketing campaign.

You want your subject line to attract their attention and interest so that they will open your email and continue reading (and potentially taking action).

Ideally, your email subject lines are short (between 40 and 50 characters long), straightforward and personalized (with their first name or something else).

Check out our 12 tips for email subject lines that won’t get ignored.

Always test before you send

No matter what email designer tool you’re using, it’s imperative to not only preview the email but to send a test email to yourself (and a few additional colleagues if possible). Of course, don’t just open the email on a computer, make sure to open on a mobile device as well.

By doing so, you’ll better catch any typos, broken and/or missing links, mis-sized images and more. 

Without testing, you risk sending out an email that looks unprofessional and loses the trust of your customers and subscribers.

The don’ts of email marketing

Bombarding your subscribers with too many emails

Because it can be so easy to send an email to so many, it also can be easy to overdo it. Sending too many emails will not only turn off your subscribers, but it could get your emails a one-way ticket to spam folders and even drive subscribers to unsubscribe.

Use a content calendar or other scheduling tool to understand the pacing of your emails, as well as when any might overlap or are too close. You’ll get some flexibility by segmenting your audience since not all contacts will receive all emails, but you still need to make sure that you’re not overwhelming anyone with your messaging. 

Waiting a minimum of three days is good, but keep an eye on your email marketing analytics. Everyone’s audience is different, so your metrics will show you what’s best for your email frequency. (In particular, look for an increase in opt-outs tied to your sending frequency.)

Overusing images

Mobile devices account for at least 50 percent of all read emails. So, keep in mind the mobile experience. 

For example, because of data usage limits, some consumers disable email images on their phones. If your email is using a lot of images to convey information, that experience might be very broken for the mobile user.

Images also can take a long time to load, and you could lose your recipient’s interest as they wait.

Visuals are still great to use in emails. In fact, check out these six ways visuals can increase your email conversions. You just want to use them strategically and with mobile in mind.

Forgetting a call to action

With all the time and effort you invest into creating an email, don’t forget to tell recipients what to do next.

Call to actions can be as simple as clicking a link to your website, forwarding your email to a friend and so much more. 

Keep it simple and make it easy for the recipient to do.

Leaving out a physical address on your email

Including your physical address in the footer of your email helps build trust with your subscribers, but more importantly, it’s the law. 

Fortunately, you can use a valid P.O. Box instead of your home address if necessary.

Learn more about the legalities of email marketing and what you should know.


No legitimate business wants to appear spammy to its email subscribers, but it can happen without proper planning and execution of your email marketing campaign.

Spam is unsolicited, overly promotional email that’s not only unexpected but also can be unwanted.

Spammy keywords (such as “make money”), too many links, over capitalization, too many images and so on can flag spam filters in various email clients. If you’re not flagged, you could be manually flagged as spam by your email recipient.

Make sure that the content you’re sending is wanted, needed and formatted appropriately.

Learn more about what happens if your subscribers mark your email as spam.

In conclusion

The power of your email marketing is a result of your overall strategy, as well as how direct yet human you can be in your messaging. Remember that your subscribers are people, not just dollar signs. Before sending out any email, ask yourself if the content would compel you to take action.

Check out our 16 email marketing best practices that can help you make an impact.

As you’re evaluating your email marketing strategy (along with its do’s and don’ts), consider optimizing your overall digital marketing process, which includes automation, audience segmentation and enhanced email and text message marketing capabilities, to name a few. DailyStory can help. Schedule your free demo with us today.