Fool Proof Email Marketing Campaign Tips that Maximize Subscriber Engagement

These email marketing campaign tips are tried and true and will maximize your subscriber engagement.

And I don't mean asking them to marry you.

Engaging your subscribers by getting them to open, scroll, click, and share is the single most important job of email marketing.

Now before you say...

This isn't the first time I've discussed the importance of engagement and probably won't be the last.

And if you know how important engagement is, you also know we learn by repetition ;)

Make sure you are following all of these tips, and if not, start now, or make time to update your email broadcasts and sequences as soon as possible.

3...2...1...here we go.



Be precise with sending days and times

When doing any type of email marketing...you must know your reader, but more importantly you must understand their schedule.

I could just tell you that multiple studies have shown that the best days to send email are:

  1. Tuesdays
  2. Thursdays
  3. Wednesdays

And the best times to send email are:

  1. 10 a.m.
  2. 8 p.m.
  3. 2 p.m.
  4. 6 a.m.

If you have a Facebook business page, you can also check Facebook Analytics data for the most frequent times fans interact with your posts.

These are perfect places to get an idea and to start testing from...

...but the truth is, every list of subscribers is different.

Based on the type of content you create, you should already have an idea of who your subscriber is.

And if you own your blog or website, it's likely you and your subscribers share similar interests and have similar schedules.

For my first website, my site visitors were Speech Pathologists (Therapists). Once I began email marketing, I learned that they were primarily Therapists who worked in schools.

Because I was a Speech Pathologist who also worked in schools, I understood their schedule.

I knew that work hours for them are between 7:30-8:00 a.m. and that they are required to work a 7 1/2 hour day and could leave work as early as 3:00-3:30 p.m.

HOWEVER, most Speech Pathologists (like teachers) work many hours past that time (and sometimes many hours before).

I had to determine if I should send emails to them when they were at work or at home.

By sending, testing, and tracking my results over time I was able to determine that my subscribers primarily opened my emails before or after work. My data showed lower open and click through rates when I sent them during work hours.

I found that Wednesdays at 7 p.m. typically received the most engagement.

Having said all of this, you need to ask your self some questions, make educated decisions based on what type of schedule your subscribers have and start sending, testing, and tracking 

Is your subscriber someone who sits at a desk all day and has access to their email?

Or is it someone who works outside, gets email on their phone, but only has time to check it at lunch?

Maybe it's someone who works full time, has a family, coaches soccer, and only checks their email at 9pm after s/he puts the kids down for bed.

These are all important factors to know, in order to determine the best time to send email to your subscriber.

If you're not sending at the best days and times, it won't matter that you're sending at all...

...because no one will see it!


Make it personal

We're going to have to ignore our buddy Mr. Pacino on this one.

Email marketing is and should be personal.

We live in a continuously personalized world and (thanks to Facebook) people expect marketing messages to be focused on what they are interested in.

If messages are not personal...they are ignored!

In the second sentence above, I said the "purpose of email marketing is to provide value to your subscriber".

Singular not plural. I said that for a reason.

One of my biggest pet peeves when I consume any type of content online is when I am addressed as "you guys", "everyone", or "friends".

Not that those are impolite greetings, but because even if your subscribers know online content is created for the masses, they still like things to be personalized to them...

...especially in email.

The easiest way to personalize your email is to use your subscriber's name.

word of caution on this: like crying wolf, if you use this tip too much, it will lose its effectiveness. Only use it once in a while, use it naturally, and use it for the emails you want to get opened most.

And when I say "use it naturally", I mean, write your email as if you were writing it to a close friend that you talk to on a regular basis.

SEE ALSO: Email Marketing Personalization Techniques that Just Plain Work

Personalize More by Segmenting

To take personalization one step further in your email messages, segment the messages you send to people who take action.

If your email service has advanced enough options, there are <link> to targeted email marketing campaign> many data points you can use to segment your subscribers. </link>

But, if you are running your own site and are primarily responsible for running email marketing campaigns (like I am), here are 2 simple ways to start segmenting your subscribers right now (and how to automate it) that will massively impact your email success.

The first way is to ask them who they are in your series of welcome messages.

Set up three links in your email that ask your subscriber who they are or what they are needing or what kind of content would be most helpful to them.

Then when the subscriber clicks one of the links, you can create an automation to tag (label) them and send them a follow up nurture or indoctrination campaign.

This gives you invaluable information about who subscribed to your list and allows you to separate people based upon interest level, skill level, type of customer or a variety of other things.

In my case I was able to segment 3 different types of subscribers who signed up to receive emails from me.

One type of subscriber was speech therapists and related professionals and the other were parents. Two completely different readers who have two completely different needs. Plus, I was also able to understand how many speech therapists were subscribing compared to related professionals. 

When I create content for therapists, I only send that content to therapists and related professionals and the same goes for parents. Same goes for when I run product sales.

Are you getting how powerful this is?


The 2nd way to segment (and best way to measure “action”) is by setting up link triggers for subscribers who click through the links in your emails. 

Link triggers are God’s gift to email marketers.

They prevent you from having to manually download a CSV file of all the people who open and click every email you send in your email, upload it and tag those subscribers as people who opened and clicked.

Whenever I send out free content or run a sale in my email, I set up link triggers for those who click the link to get the freebie, read the content, or see the sale.

Then when I send follow up emails, I only send to those who clicked and were tagged.

This will dramatically increase your opens, click through's, sales, and deliverability, because now you are only sending more information and promotional content to the people who actually showed interest by taking action.

Better yet, they are now tagged as someone interested in a specific topic or product, so the next time you have new content around that topic or promote that product, you have a group of people you can follow up with again if they don’t purchase the first time.

This link trigger automation can be set up pretty easily and is explained in the video below.



Stand Out in Subject Lines

use RE: (research this) and or emoji’s in subject lines


As previously mentioned, the single most important job of email marketers is to engage subscribers. The first step is to get your subscriber to notice your email and to open it.


And that starts with your subject line.


Great subject lines are short (6-10) words and are provocative, controversial, relevant, or a combination of all three.


Don't use SPAM Words in Subject Lines

You may not know it but every email message you send is highly scrutinized by the Email Service Providers (ESPs).


One of the easiest ways to show up in the SPAM folder is to...you guessed it...use spammy words in your subject line. Hubspot outlines a huge list of SPAM words to avoid using.


<image & PDF> SPAM Categories and words </image & PDF>


Download this one page list and keep it handy, so you can avoid using these words.


Having said that, you do want to legitimately create curiosity in your subject lines, so if you are running a sale, it’s OK to put the word “Sale” in your subject line. Just be sure the body copy in the email has verbiage that focuses around a product sale.


However, if the majority of your emails that you send out have the word “Sale” in them, use synonyms such as “discount”, “for less”, or “half-off”. 


*Use Emojis and Symbols

An ethically sly tactic to make your subject lines stand out is to use emoji’s in them. A super simple and helpful tool I use to do this with is <link>EmojiFinder.com</link> or for unicode symbols that work across all platforms <link>JRGraphix.net</link>https://jrgraphix.net/r/Unicode/2600-26FF.


<image>screenshots of both websites</image>


Using emojis and symbols at the beginning of your subject line will catch the 


The three symbols that generate the highest open rates are the heart, sun, and umbrella. 


You might thinking “I pay more attention to Replies and Forwards”, I could use those in my email subject lines right? 


While you are right in thinking that (and you’re among friends) I highly recommend that you DON’T do this. In the early years of email marketing this probably worked for a time, but like anything else when it is overused and abused, email service providers updated their algorithms to verify that “Forwards” and “Replies” are real (e.x. they aren’t from a mailing list) and will punish you if they are not.


Use the 2nd Subject Line

Often, email marketers have “view this email in a browser” in the 2nd subject line. 


While it is a good strategy to have a webpage version available for your subscriber to view in case your email doesn’t display correctly…


...it is a bad strategy to have it as the second subject line because it wastes the opportunity to further hook your readers interest after the subject line. 


The 2nd. Subject line gives you an additional 6-10 words to begin explaining the benefit(s) your subscriber will get by opening the email.


A/B Split Test

If you’ve been in the online marketing realm for at least a few months, it’s likely you’ve heard the phrase “test, test, test!”


And this one reason is why businesses pour hundreds of millions of dollars into online advertising mediums (social, email, content, video, etc.)


Effective split testing can greatly increase your ROI, ignoring it is a huge mistake.


To split test properly make sure to:

Pick only one variable to test at a time (e.x. subject line, CTA)

Choose your goal (higher opens, more clicks)

Split your email list equally and randomly

Determine your sample size

Decide how significant your results have to be

Run the test long enough to get substantial results


While this may seem like a long list, my <link>email marketing service</link> has a split testing set up right inside of it and other services I’ve seen before do too.


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The ability to split test should definitely be on your list of required features if you are looking for a new It is definitely something you should look for if you are <link>comparing email marketing services</link>.




Use More Text and Less Images

Similar to webpages, email service providers check for the amount of text in the body of your email. If you insert too many images, or don’t have enough text, this can often be considered as low content value, can be seen as spam, and is at risk for ending up in the junk folder. 


Even when using HTML styled emails (more on this in the tip below this one), using text in menus, buttons, and links, instead of images with text in them, will add to your text count and decrease the chances of ESPs thinking they are spam content.


Use plain text emails are better than HTML ones (even though they look prettier)

This is a double edged sword because there is nothing more satisfying than sending (or receiving) a beautifully polished, well-designed email that is visually appealing.


But on the other hand if no one sees your beautiful email...what’s the point?


In the early years of email the majority of email we sent and received was text based with (maybe) an image. 


As email marketing evolved however, so did the creativity of email messages with coding and styling. 


Unfortunately, email service providers are no respecters of email marketers and don’t care how pretty emails are. Their job is to analyze code and copy to determine relevance and legitimacy for their users. 


Additionally the ESPs are all set up differently and display code and assets (especially Images) differently. If you are going to primarily be sending HTML emails you’ll definitely want to look into an email checking/validation tool.


I like <link>Mail-Tester.com https://www.mail-tester.com/</link>

LOOK FOR KEYWORDS FOR THIS AND LINK TO A FEW TOOLS


Competition for the inbox is fierce, so keep in mind that plain text emails have a higher chance of getting delivered because they are readable regardless of your subscribers email client. 


Hubspot reported that HTML emails receive a 25% lower open and click through rate


So if you send HTML email always include a plain text version of your emails for your subscribers. I primarily send text based email with my email service and consistently enjoy high open rates. 


Use Engaging media (images, gifs, etc.) but don’t have too many images in emails

If you are going to go the plain text route (which I have always had more success with anyway, It doesn’t necessarily mean that your emails have to be boring. 


Sprinkling a few images in your plain text emails isn’t required but can definitely break up the length of text and help you tell your story.


Some ideas of images you might use are personal ones of yourself, your business, the header image of your blog post, product images, pictures of product reviews, map images, and call to action buttons. 


And what about videos?


It would be awesome if you could embed video into emails, but unfortunately you can’t. However, you can really wow your subscribers by using some of these<link>clever video email marketing work arounds</link>. 



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