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.

16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate

While your digital marketing can have many different goals, you’re ultimately looking to increase your sales conversion rate over time.

To grow your business, you must identify your sales funnel as part of your digital marketing efforts.

Not sure what a sales funnel is? Check out our breakdown explanation of the four stages:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

A sales funnel is simply the journey a consumer takes from being a prospect to a paying customer. It’s critical in regard to customer conversions and driving sales because it requires you to better understand how customers find you, why they find you and why they stay or leave.

About 68 percent of companies have not identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel. You do not want to be part of that statistic.

See the seven benefits of using a sales funnel in your business.

The following are 16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate based on the traditional stages of a sales funnel.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Awareness stage

Awareness is all about getting your brand out there and establishing it as an industry leader. Consumers can’t purchase anything from you if they don’t know that you exist. They also won’t purchase from you if they don’t trust you.

In this sense, you should take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Awareness stage tactics:


While many businesses have embraced blogging, not every business is successful at it. And that success comes down to creating content around the topics that your target audience is interested in.

For example, a salon might want to blog about how to protect colored hair during summer activities.

Relevant content will help attract potential customers to your website.

Check out our 19 tips to drive web traffic to your new blog.

Social media

Social media is a huge part of many consumers’ lives. It’s where they’ll find advice, reviews and referrals, and they expect a business to not only be active on at least the biggest platforms but responsive as well.

Are you leaning into your social media presence? Check out what every company should know about social media. Plus, social media can definitely impact your search engine optimization (SEO). Check out the seven ways it does so.

Digital advertising

Digital advertising is definitely broad, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When starting out, consider:

  • The best method to reach your target audience with (whether that’s social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, etc.)
  • What your advertising budget is
  • Your specific goals

Your sales conversion rate is highly influenced by the success (or failure) of any paid advertising efforts.

Dive deeper by exploring the difference between pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising. In addition, check out the difference between programmatic and native advertising.

Of course, social media advertising is huge for many businesses. See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.

Public relations

While considered “old-fashioned” in some ways, public relations can still play a large role in the Awareness stage of your sales funnel and influence your sales conversion rate.

Think print publications, TV commercials, live events and direct mail, to name a few mediums.

Of course, earned media coverage often begins with an effective press release. Check out our eight tips to write a press release that gets noticed.

In terms of live events, see our eight tips to boost your event marketing.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Interest stage

Once you’ve made potential customers aware of and familiar with your brand, it’s time to engage with them. What small commitments can they make to your business before they’re ready to purchase?

Clearly, the goal here is to acquire email addresses, but also any other contact information if possible. What can you offer that will get you this contact information in exchange?

Take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Interest stage tactics:

Premium content

Premium content is original information that is valuable enough for website visitors (or social media users) to provide their contact information to get it. 

To be more specific, premium content:

  • Answers common questions you encounter in your industry
  • Dives deeper into a topic to deliver knowledge
  • Offers tips and advice that can be acted on
  • Addresses challenges that your customers and potential customers face
  • Is relevant to the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers

How you package your premium content can vary. Some common types include:

  • Webinar, which is a video web presentation typically hosted by an expert in the industry sharing a presentation slide deck. It can be presented live and/or recorded and available long after the webinar is over.
  • eBook, which is a PDF that’s usually about a few dozen pages long. It’s very visual with professionally designed pages (including a cover). It’s ideal to include your pitch and contact information at the end of an ebook.
  • White paper, which is an in-depth evaluation of a topic in PDF format that includes expert research and is usually six to 12 pages in length.
  • Template, which gives customers or potential customers frameworks for creating something (like a content calendar, for example). This is usually offered in PDF format.
  • Interactive tools, which help measure or assess something (like a special calculator, for example). You might need to do some programming for this type of premium content.

Of course, consumers should have to provide their name and email address at the very least to acquire this premium content from you.

Check out these five ways to leverage premium content in your digital marketing.

Landing pages

A landing page is a great way to filter the most important information (and call-to-action) for potential customers. This is often a great alternative compared with your website homepage if you have a particular message and/or goal in mind.

When the information is more relevant to the consumer, your sales conversion rate will benefit.


Contact or comment forms are often overlooked opportunities to collect consumer contact information and potentially add subscribers to your email and/or SMS text lists.

Make sure you include an option for the consumer to opt-in to receive communications from you.

Email onboarding

We’re specific about the onboarding portion of email marketing because this Interest stage is all about building trust and engagement. You’re not going in for the sale just yet.

An email onboarding sequence in general is a series of emails intended to deepen the relationship subscribers have with your brand, show them how to make the most out of your product or service and/or get them to use your product or service as much as possible.

Clearly, at this point, it’s all about education. Think about the most frequently asked questions you experience, and start from there.

With effective email onboarding, you can increase your customer lifetime value by about 500 percent.

Check out our eight expert tips to create an email onboarding sequence that converts.

CRM integration

Customer Relationship Management software, otherwise known as CRM, helps you track your interactions with both current and future customers. This is very helpful for understanding where prospects are within your sales funnel.

In addition, the right CRM (such as DailyStory) can help you target the right content (i.e. emails or texts) at the right time to the right person. This can boost your sales conversion rate.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Decision stage

The Decision stage of the sales funnel is when the potential customer is ready to buy. The question is: Will they buy from you or someone else?

Now is the time to make your best offer, whether that includes free shipping, a discount code or a bonus product. It just needs to be irresistible to your lead, winning them over to your company.

Be sure that you limit yourself to one offer, though. Putting multiple offers on your web page can decrease conversions by up to 266 percent.

Make sure there are no missed opportunities with the following Decision stage tactics:


You have to make the ask. If you don’t ask, how will your potential customers know what to do?

When creating your call-to-action, keep in mind that you should:

  • Use strong action verbs
  • Provoke emotion or enthusiasm
  • Share the “why” behind the ask
  • Take advantage of FOMO
  • Get a little creative when appropriate
  • Use numbers when possible

Email marketing

Now is the time to take the next step from the educational email onboarding series in the Interest stage.

Based on whether your subscribers have never purchased from you before or have purchased from you in the past, you want to tailor your messaging and offers to however many different groups you’re looking to target. 

The more specific you can get, the better your sales conversion rate will be.

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

SMS text message marketing

The same can be said about SMS text message marketing. Target the right group of consumers with the right message, and you can increase your sales conversions.

See our 10 best practices for SMS text message marketing.

Social media monitoring

Social media monitoring is part of larger social listening, where you can monitor for keywords related to your brand that can help you identify customers who are ready to make a purchase.

By doing so, you can jump ahead in the sales funnel and engage with potential customers who are already in the Decision stage. This will increase your sales conversion rate.

Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Action stage

This last stage of the sales funnel is when the consumer acts and purchases your product or service.

Of course, this isn’t the end of the road for you and the new customer. It’s on you to earn that customer’s business again and again, aka customer retention.

Think loyalty.

You should take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Awareness stage tactics:

Customer referrals

Don’t hesitate to ask your existing customers (especially the happy, satisfied ones) if they know others who would benefit from your products or services.

In exchange for a referral, you can offer a discount on their next purchase or some other offer that makes sense for your business.

Resells, upsells and cross-sells

Once a customer has purchased from you, there is an opportunity to resell (sell the same product again), upsell (upgrade or choose an add-on) and cross-sell (selling a different product or service because of something else they’ve purchased).

Just a 5 percent increase in customer retention can lead to at least a 25 percent increase in profit.

One way to encourage this is to send reminders to your customers tied to important dates related to your products or services. For example, when their subscription is about to expire.


This is a simple tactic but can be overlooked at the same time.

Remember to say thank you for every purchase a customer makes! Gratitude goes a long way. 

You also can take this to the next level by acknowledging anniversaries and/or birthdays and using them as an opportunity to thank your customer again for their support of your brand. This is also a great opportunity to throw in a freebie or discount while you’re at it.

In conclusion

There’s not one single thing you can do to dramatically increase your sales conversion rate for the long term. Instead, it’s about consistent effort to optimize tactics across all stages of your sales funnel.

As you’re reviewing your dates in search results, consider leveling up your digital marketing with DailyStory and our 21-day free trial. Features include automating various marketing tasks, dynamic audience segmentation and more. Schedule your free demo with us today.