Insights, Ideas and Inspiration
From Inbox to Action: Leveraging the potential of email marketing
July 29, 2022

E-mail is a funny thing – we moan and complain about how much of it we get, yet we all use it everyday. It’s almost indispensable for connecting with our friends, our clients, prospective customers and the other people and organizations we interact with on a daily basis.


Email marketing – sending bulk emails with specific, tailored messages to a particular audience - helps you connect with existing and potential customers. It can be used to promote your brand and increase sales, and is one of the most cost-effective ways to do so. In fact, a 2015 study by the DMA found that for every $1 spent, email has an average $38 return on investment (ROI).


That reach, impact and value is what makes email marketing one of the most useful tools in your marketing toolbox. You’re connecting with engaged audiences, those who want to receive your messages! But using it poorly is worse than being merely ineffective – it can become Trash, or even worse, labelled Junk.


It can be challenging to stand out in Inboxes that fill up each day. But there are steps and tools that help make your emails be flagged as Important, not Spam.



1. Start with a Strategy

Email campaigns are most effective when they are part of a larger, comprehensive marketing plan. It needs to integrate with your website, be included in your social media promotion and even your bricks and mortar site – are you asking visitors to your shop or to sign up for your newsletter?


You’ll also want to consider who you want to speak to, and what you want to say to them. Importantly, you need to define what you want them to do when they get that email, and what will make your campaign a success.


2. Create Compelling Content

You likely get several emails a day from various companies and organizations. What makes you want to read them? What causes you hit delete without even opening them?


Your emails are in a fierce competition for your audience’s attention. A message that screams nothing more than “Buy my widget!” won’t really compel anyone to spend their limited time and interest in opening it. But if you tell a story, something that focusses on the reader (and not just your product or service), recipients might not just open it, they may actually start looking forward to your emails, anticipating that they will get something out of it.


And, just like every other piece of marketing material you use, your emails and e-newsletters need to consistently represent your brand. Using a template, something customized for your organization, eliminates any misunderstanding of who’s sending the email and builds trust with recipients.


3. Test your emails

What you think about your email messaging is pretty much irrelevant. You want to hear what the recipients think. Send test messages to friends, family and co-workers and ask them for feedback before hitting send to hundreds or thousands of people. Having those extra sets of eyes are also helpful for catching anything that slipped through the editing process.


Another helpful tool is A/B testing. Try sending 2 versions of the same message to two different groups and see the results. If one tone, design or type of messaging works better than the other, you can adjust accordingly when sending future emails.


4. Use Automation

The easiest way to get blacklisted is by sending a bulk email blast to hundreds of people directly from your own email. There are several platforms, such as MailChimp, Campaign Monitor and Constant Contact, that are set up to deliver emails without having them blocked by firewalls and other security measures. They can also help you navigate the stringent anti-spam requirements that regulate email marketing.


5. Measurement

As noted above, successful email marketing campaigns focus on telling compelling stories. But you still want to measure how effective your email marketing activities are. These can be measured by click and open rates, the amount of traffic they direct to your website and increases (or not) in your donations or sales. There may be other considerations you want to measure as well; just make sure you incorporate those in the campaign strategy before you begin.


When planned and executed well, email marketing is a great way to raise awareness, engage your audience and spur action. Reach out to see how Blueprint can help you use the most widely-used method of communication to advance your business goals.