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How to Run a Successful Email Marketing Campaign (Complete Guide)

About 281.1 billion emails are sent per day, according to Statista.

Almost every web user has an email address.

People use emails to communicate with their friends, family, and brands.

Looking at my own email, which I use for business, I’ve communicated with a lot of friends and family through email this year.

I’ve also sent a lot of messages to different companies too.

Some I sent for customer service. Some I sent to inquire about their products or services.

The importance of email is growing each day as more people become tech savvy.

We use email to sign up for most websites and services we use online.

Email is a powerful marketing channel. It’s where people can engage with you without worrying about privacy.

Email is a place where you can build a solid relationship with prospects.

How can you create an email marketing campaign that gets people to become customers and advocates of your business?

In this article, I’ll share with you everything you need to know about running a successful email marketing campaign.

Why is it important you run a successful email marketing campaign?

It’s better not to have an email marketing campaign than run a campaign that isn’t successful.

An unsuccessful campaign can damage how people view your startup or company.

A failed email marketing campaign isn’t an option. You have to get it right.

Web users value their inboxes. It’s their digital home.

It’s what they use to sign up for products, services, and websites they trust.

Once you lose that trust, it’s gone. It’s difficult to earn that trust again.

Therefore, your email marketing campaign must succeed.

Marketers earn an average return of $41 for every $1 spent on email marketing. Despite that, only 60% of marketers report profit from email marketing.

The other 40% are doing email marketing the wrong way.

Most of your prospects use email. For example, in the US alone, 85% of adults send and read emails.

Email is the most popular daily internet activity.

the most popular internet daily activity

Below are the steps to the right way to do email marketing.

1. Know your goals

Before you begin, you should know what you want to achieve with email marketing.

Don’t do email marketing because others are doing it. Don’t do it because a marketing expert said it’s the right thing to do.

You should have a clear goal in mind before you start.

What do you want to achieve with your email marketing campaign?

Develop relationships with prospects

Some prospects may need your product. However, it doesn’t mean they are ready to buy at this moment.

Don’t expect someone to buy from your startup or company or use your product or service because they’ve visited your site.

Most times, it takes more than a single site visit to get someone to convert. You need to develop relationships with customers. They need to know you and like you.

I rarely buy from brands I don’t know or like.

If you can get someone to know and like you, then you’re close to making that person become a customer.

Email lets you develop those relationships you need to sell. Whether you have an e-commerce store or you run a digital marketing agency, you need email for relationship building.

Below are the useful metrics for measuring the performance of an email marketing campaign.

email marketing performance metrics

As you can see businesses pay attention to conversion rate and ROI when analyzing their email marketing campaigns.

When you develop relationships with prospects through email marketing, they’ll buy your products and services. Because email marketing is cheap and highly effective, it’ll boost your return on investment (ROI).

Boost engagement with your content

Do you maintain an active blog where you create content on a consistent basis?

Email marketing can help you get engagements for your content.

Let’s assume you just published an article on your blog. You can notify your email subscribers telling them about the new content.

Your subscribers may read and share the content with their friends on social media.

That’s engagement.

Your email subscribers can help you boost engagement for your blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter updates.

Segment your prospects

If you sell two or more products or services on your business site, email marketing can help you group subscribers based on their interests.

For example, if you run a digital marketing agency, you could be offering different services.

Some marketing agencies sell SEO, advertising, and web development services.

Doing email marketing will make sure prospects who need SEO services get relevant messages from your company.

When you send emails to subscribers, they’ll get messages that are related to their needs and problems.

Digital marketers call it email marketing segmentation.

Segmentation helps you make more money per customer.

email marketing segmentation helps you make more money per customer

2. Understand different types of email you can send

There are different types of marketing emails. Each type of email has its own purpose.

Some emails promote your products or services. Some don’t.

It’s not every time you send an email message to subscribers you ask for the sale.

According to a study, 26% of marketers use email marketing for sales, and 7% use it for building brand awareness.

why marketers use email

There’s nothing wrong with asking a customer to buy your product or service, but you can’t do that in every email you send.

You can also ask for engagement in emails you send. For example, you can ask a customer to follow you on social media, or join a discussion you started on social media.

Marketers also use emails to acquire new customers. The purpose of sending a particular email may be to woo a new subscriber who just discovered your brand.

Every email you send should have a goal, and it shouldn’t always be to sell.

3. Understand your audience

You should know the people that need your product or service before you start collecting their emails.

Understanding your target market is critical when selling online.

Why is it so important you know your audience?

See it like this:

If you want to get the attention of some friends in their inboxes, you’ll use the information you know about them.

For example, you’re likely to write a subject line that catches their attention and make them think “Wow, this person knows me.”

Let’s assume the last time you saw a friend was 10 years ago, and you guys went to a beach together. Also, let’s assume the name of your friend is John.

Your subject line could appear like this:

“John, You and I went to Outer Banks beach together 10 years ago.”

The subject line shows you know John. If John sees this subject line, it’ll catch his attention.

When you know your ideal customers, you’ll send them messages they’ll open.

The email is a crowded space. Lots of marketers send their subscribers emails each day.

Your email has to stand out if you want subscribers to open and read your messages.

The more you know about your ideal customers, the easier it is to get their attention in their inboxes.

How do you understand your prospects?

Create buyer personas. Buyer personas help you learn about your ideal customers.

buyer personasI wrote an article on how to create buyer personas that translate into sales.

If your website is receiving some traffic, you should dig into your Google Analytics to find information about your audience.

If you have a Facebook Page, Facebook Insights will also tell things you need to know about your target audience.

Facebook Insights

Use the data you gather in this phase in your emails. By using this information, your emails will get the attention of more subscribers. in some cases it’s better to use infographics to be more accurate.

4. Use cutting-edge email marketing tools

Today, it’s easy to send email messages that make subscribers feel like a friend is talking to them.

You don’t want subscribers to feel like they are reading a message from another digital marketer who wants to sell them something.

You lose as soon as your emails sound like a promotion.

Your emails should read like they’re coming from someone who’s genuinely interested in subscribers.

Fortunately, there are tools to help with that.

MailChimp is my number one email marketing tool. The tool helps you understand your subscribers and communicate with them without sounding like a marketer.

MailChimp also automates your email marketing process for you. You set it up once, and it runs 24 hours a day nonstop without the need to check it.

If you’re collecting emails on your website, you need an advanced popup tool like GrowthFunnel.

GrowthFunnel helps you collect emails on your site with ease. GrowthFunnel does something others don’t.

The tool collects subscribers’ names and emails. The next time they return to your site, the tool will detect that actual subscriber and address he/she with the first name given in the first visit.

Then the tool can ask the subscriber to follow you on social media and get a reward for that.

GrowthFunnel is the tool you need if you want to collect more emails, boost sales and increase your following on social media.

5. Create opt-in offers visitors can’t resist

Before prospects can give you their email addresses, you need to entice them with something great.

Most of your competitors are probably collecting emails on their websites too.

You can’t offer visitors the same opt-in offers and expect most of them to give you their emails.

Your opt-in offers should be different. They should give prospects something they won’t get on your competitors’ sites.

You have to entice visitors with a captivating offer they can’t resist if you want them to give you their emails.

Your offer should be so enticing that visitors don’t even think about it. They drop their email addresses the moment they see the opt-in offer.

Here’s an attractive opt-in offer by Smart Insights:

opt-in offer by smart insights

Before you can be able to create a great opt-in offer, visit your competitors’ sites or blogs and see what they are offering prospects in return for their emails.

Create something that beats their offers. Do that, and you’ll collect lots of emails on your site.

Use our amazing tool, GrowthFunnel to display your opt-in offers and collect emails.

6. Don’t forget to follow up

Some startups collect emails, and it takes them weeks or months to get back to subscribers.

Your subscribers are frequently using the web and subscribing to new sites they come across.

Don’t assume a subscriber who joined your email list today will remember you two months later if you aren’t sending messages.

See it like meeting random people two months ago, and you’ve not reached out or seen them. If you’ve met a lot of people after then, you may not remember when and where you met those random people two months ago.

Email marketing works the same way. Those subscribers may not remember when they subscribed to your email list.

The more you keep in touch through new, interesting emails, the more they’ll remember your company.

Plan how often you want to send emails to your subscribers.

Is it daily, weekly, or monthly?

Daily emails may be too much.

I highly recommend you send new emails, at least, once a week or two weeks.

7. Write attention-grabbing subject lines

The subject line is the first thing subscribers see in their emails.

If the subject line is boring, subscribers will assume the email message isn’t interesting.

There are lots of “Unread Emails” with brilliant subject lines competing for attention in your subscribers’ emails.

You need to ensure that your subject line beats those from the competition if you want your email to be seen and opened by your subscribers.

It’s not uncommon for an email user to have over 2,000+ unread emails in their inbox. Currently, I have over 3,000+ unread emails in my inbox.

my unread emails

Most of these emails are from bloggers, brands, and friends I care about.

I read emails twice a day, and yet I still have a lot of unread emails in my inbox. That’s because I’m subscribed to many newsletters.

Your subscribers are like that too. They are subscribed to many newsletters. They receive messages from various companies.

Without an attention-grabbing subject line, your email message is likely to join the list of growing unread emails in your subscribers’ inboxes.

8. Write an interesting email copy

Congratulations if a subscriber has opened your email because the subject line captivated he/she. But it doesn’t end there.

Your email copy has to be interesting too.

If your email copy isn’t interesting, subscribers won’t take any action. They won’t do anything after reading your email message.

You want subscribers to act?

You need to learn how to write amazing email copies that make people think.

Your email copy is even more important than your subject line. If your subscribers were disappointed in your email copy in your last two messages, they might not open your future emails again.

You can make your emails interesting.

Share personal stories. People love stories.

When you share stories about yourself, it helps people know you. It helps them connect with you. They see you as a friend.

The most successful emails share personal stories.

Here’s an email by Neil Patel where he shared a personal story:

an email that shared personal stories

You can share something valuable with your readers.

What do they value?

Is it a piece of content that contains useful information they need to move forward in their personal/professional lives?

Is it an email course that’s free?

Is it a valuable YouTube video where you share a story of a customer?

Is it an educational content to teach them how to do something?

Share it with them in your email copy.

You can also share a poll or survey in your email copy.

9. Make your email design simple

My favorite emails are plain texts.

Plain-text emails enjoy higher opens than HTML emails.

plain text emails have higher opens

10. Constantly test and track your emails

Your email marketing campaign can never be perfect. You’ll need to keep evolving to stay ahead of the competition.

Your competitors are newsletters, companies, and individuals who are sending emails to your subscribers. You all compete for the same attention.

You need to stay ahead of the curve. You have to test and track each email you send.

Learn from each email you send. Try new things.

Become an email subscriber of both small and big companies and study what they send to their subscribers.

Test everything. The subject headline, the email copy, the email design, calls to actions – test everything.


Email is the perfect place to sell online.

If someone hasn’t bought from your company before, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t develop a relationship with them through email marketing.

When you have a relationship with a prospect, he or she may decide to buy your product or service in the future.

You also need to stay in touch with customers and continue to surprise them inside their emails. When you do that, competitors will find it difficult to hijack them from you.

If you’re not running an email campaign for your company, you’re missing out on lots of potential sales.

Now is the time to start an email marketing campaign if you don’t have one before.

What do you need?

You need a great email marketing service like MailChimp or Aweber. They are many other email marketing services out there.

You also need GrowthFunnel, a technology that helps you collect emails and build your social media following.

It’s free to sign up for GrowthFunnel.

Sign up today.