7 steps to improve your email marketing

Feb 5, 2021

The most effective email marketing campaigns put customers first, but designing a customer-focused email marketing campaign is tricky at the best of times. In this article, I want to shed some insight on what customer-first email marketing looks like, giving you seven strategies to improve your email marketing campaigns.

1. Use more dynamic content

The average office worker receives 121 emails each day, which is why it’s essential to use dynamic content in your email marketing.

Dynamic content is content that adapts to the person receiving it. This includes personalized product recommendations that are predicted using data from the customer’s purchase history.

Creating dynamic content might sound time-consuming, but it doesn’t have to be. Most email automation software options will allow you to send out dynamic email blasts. This allows you to send everyone on your mailing list an email with the same headings, subject line, and text, but different product recommendations.

You can see what I mean in this fantastic email blast below.

using data to recommend products in emails

Image via Remarkety

2. Make smart use of email preview text

Most email marketing has an open rate between 15% and 30%, but the majority of your email subscribers will still see your email in their inbox, whether or not they actually open it.

Usually, your subject line and preview text will determine if someone clicks on your email or not. Depending on your recipient's email settings, they will be able to see the first 40-130 characters of your email. This makes these characters the most crucial.

To make the most of your preview text, try addressing your email to the recipient (i.e., “Hey Mark!”), start with an attention-getting fact or use emojis or powerful words like “shocking” and “bamboozle” to grab people’s attention.

3. Slay your subject line

Because your subject line and preview text dictate whether someone will open your email, your subject line has to be absolutely perfect. As a general rule, the shorter your subject line, the more effective it will be. The best email subject lines are between 40 and 60 characters in length.

Great subject lines also keep your email out of the spam folder — which is essential if you want to make sales. According to experts, spam filters flag emails that use trigger words in their subject line. These include:

  • 100% free
  • 100% satisfied
  • Act now
  • Cash bonus
  • Earn $
  • Fast cash
  • No hidden costs
  • Save $
  • Serious cash
  • Special promotion

Keep in mind that spam filters also look for email subject lines that are written in ALL CAPS or are formatted in a way to avoid spam filter detection (i.e., changing “100% free” to “1oo% f r e e”).

4. Test different layouts

If you want your emails to stand out in a crowded inbox, you’ll need to redesign your email layouts until you have created visually appealing marketing. This will require you to test different design layouts until you find an appealing layout that converts leads to customers.

Well-designed emails use layouts that emphasize key parts of the email. They also engage the reader with content like GIFs, animation, video, images, infographics, and interactive tools, keeping the reader on the page for longer.

Most software used for email list management will provide you with default email templates you can customize. These templates have been built by graphic designers and tested extensively, making them a great way to test out different email designs without hiring your own design team.

5. Use a mobile-friendly template

While you upgrade your email layouts, always check whether they are mobile-friendly and prioritize customer education. The majority of email users view their emails on mobile, making it essential your emails look great on mobile devices.

Mobile-friendly email generally:

  • uses short subject lines
  • is less than 600 pixels wide
  • uses small images and large font size
  • uses a single-column template
  • avoids inflexible features like menu bars
  • avoids putting links too close together

To check whether the layout you have chosen is mobile-friendly, test it out by sending sample emails to yourself and friends who use different mobile devices from yours to make sure it works for everyone.

6. Have a clear CTA

While it’s easy to get excited and add multiple calls to action (CTAs) into each marketing email, keep in mind that the law of diminishing returns applies here.

In essence, this means that the more CTAs you include, the less effective each CTA will be. Your reader’s attention will be divided between each CTA, meaning they become desensitized and unengaged.

Instead, choose a clear CTA and make it the focus of your email. This means placing the CTA in an obvious part of your email and highlighting it—like in this example from Emma.

75 CTAs Your Next Email Campaign Needs (Updated) | Campaign Monitor

Image via CampaignMonitor

The strength of your CTA will be reflected in your customer feedback—the stronger your CTA is, the higher your sales conversion rate will be.

7. Use the right tools

It’s crucial to invest in email marketing tools that will help you engage with your customers faster and more effectively. When choosing marketing automation software, I recommend choosing software that includes:

  • A metrics dashboard

Metrics dashboards display the results of your marketing efforts in real-time, showing metrics like your lead conversion rate and click-through rate.

  • A content calendar

Content calendars are digital calendars that help you track when and where upcoming content will be published. Content calendars help you plan and visualize campaigns across multiple platforms—making them essential in multi-platform marketing.

  • Automatic social media posting

Automated social media posting means that your posts can be scheduled by you and published by the software, automating the process.

Adopting marketing automation takes some trial and error, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t master it straight away. Most marketing automation software comes with a free trial, giving you ample time to choose a solution that works for you.


Improving your email marketing isn’t just about metrics; it’s about the customers you support. For that reason, the best improvements to email marketing are customer-driven.

When weighing whether a new email marketing strategy works for you, ask yourself: Does this improve the experience of my customers?

If it doesn’t work for your customers, it won’t work for you.

Zoe Devitto

Zoe is a content marketing strategist for SaaS brands like FollowUpBoss, Mention.com and more. On the personal front, Zoe is a pho enthusiast and loves traveling around the world as a digital nomad.