• Kelly Gaunt TMB

Four Email Marketing Rules to Live By

Email marketing has consistently reigned as one of the most trusted forms of advertising with 60%* of Asia/Pacific consumers trusting content served by emails they signed up for. Comparatively, 68%* of consumers trust TV advertising and 50%* trust ads served in search engine results.


It’s hard to argue when you consider cost and time to implement, that email marketing isn’t a valuable marketing channel to invest in. It provides the power of call to action, client nurture and retention and measurement metrics as just a few of the many benefits.

Like anything worth doing, email marketing requires effort and consistency to be of long-term value for your business. Here are four rules we live by when it comes to the world of email marketing.

Your email marketing is only as good as your database

To get started you need to have built a database of your customers or contacts (that’s a whole new story we’ll look at another time).

Segmenting your database into suitable groups is an excellent way to improve your open and click rates.

This can be as simple as existing clients, past clients and potential clients as an example. Established email marketing strategies will often leverage automation and stages of the buying process to segment.

On average 20% of your database becomes useless every 12 months. This includes unsubscribes, hard bounces and people changing their email address or job. Because of this it’s essential at the very least to have a strategy in place that tops up your database to its steady number each year. It’s even better to have an ongoing plan that works to build your database continually.

You can’t avoid planning if you want to be successful

Planning your email marketing doesn’t have to be a drag. If you are already planning your marketing activity overall, it can be a natural extension of that document. We recommend that your plan includes:

  • An overall strategy detailing your email marketing platform selection (we love MailChimp)

  • Campaign frequency calendar

  • Tone and persona of each segment

  • Details of each campaign goal and theme (e.g. in May retailers may want to promote Mother’s Day gift certificates and give customers a call to action to buy online or in-store)

  • Measurement tactics post-campaign.

Subject lines are not a Shakespeare competition

When it comes to subject lines, being straightforward works best. Subject lines that try to be too clever or ‘exciting’ can create the perception of being spam. In fact, some email spam filters will block a subject line that is too OTT. As the good people at MailChimp suggest “Tell, don’t sell” what’s inside.

To have opens is good, to have clicks is divine

The average open rate of an email marketing campaign for all industries is 21.33%**. Open rates under this mean your database needs some attention.

The goal with your email marketing though is for a click or call to action to happen.

To reach this divine moment of a click, which mind you have an industry average of 2.62%**, there are a few things you need to get right.

  1. It must visually appeal to your audience. Just like any marketing message you’ve got 3 seconds to win them over. Investing in professional design for your email marketing is pretty much essential to get this right.

  2. Your formatting and layout must allow your audience to easily scan and engage with the content that interests them. Again, professional design is your friend.

  3. Your call to action needs to be clear and concise. You guessed it. Good design a must!

Pay attention to the reporting metrics

A well thought out, and prepared email marketing campaign can take from a few hours to a day or more from end to end to create so the game doesn’t end once you hit send. At TMB, we often head straight to the campaign reporting as soon as we’ve sent as the first few hours are the most important. Good email marketing software will drill down your reporting to who clicked what and how many times. This is an excellent way to see which members of your audience are interested in your content. This is particularly useful for high-value products and services such as real estate listings, professional services and equipment.

After 24 hours, your reporting will have painted a reliable picture of the success of your campaign.

TIP! With MailChimp you have the option to resend to non-openers are 24 hours. We recommend you leverage this feature as many people have good intentions of opening but don’t get there due to the day-to-day. This is your second chance to communicate with them without spamming those that have already opened.

After 48 hours, you can comfortably analyse your final report in detail. Use this data to help inform and improve your next campaign.

Want to work on your next email marketing campaign with The Marketing Bungalow team. YAH! Contact Us.

*Nielson Global Trust in Advertising Report

** MailChimp