(500 total clicks ÷ 10,000 number of delivered emails) * 100 = 5% CTR
The UK average for We’ll discuss more about how to improve CTRs later in this post.
4. Conversion Rate
The percentage of people who made a click and then completed a further action. Actions like go on to make a purchase, fill out a form or create an account. This is a very important metric and is a real indicator of ROI of your campaign.
To calculate this:
If 400 people completed your action ÷ 10,000 total emails delivered * 100 = 4% conversion rate
On average, a good email conversion rate will be between Bear in mind that conversion rates need to take into consideration other factors too. It is not just down to your email, but also the conversion rates on your websites and the wider marketing funnel.
5. Bounce Rates
There are two types of bounces, soft and hard bounces. Soft bounces are where an email didn’t get to a contact. This can be due to their inbox being full or problem with recipient’s server.
Hard bounces are due to an invalid or closed email address and will never be delivered. These should be removed as it may damage your reputation score and make your brand look like a spammer.
The benchmark forAnything above 10% suggests a significant problem that you need to resolve.
Now that we are clear on what we should be measuring and why, lets take a look at how we actually get the results.
2. Customer Profiles
If you haven’t already created customer profiles aka personas you’re missing a trick.
What are they?
A customer profile is a way of describing who your ideal customer is.
Profiles may include:
Their likes and dislikes
Where they spend time online
Their buying behaviours
Whether they are early adopters or laggards
Most importantly, their needs, pain points or problems.
Why are they important?
"The more information you gather, the easier it is to distinguish why customers buy from you."
By creating customer profiles you’re going to:
Understand who your potential 'top' customers are
Be able to speak their language
Find out what they are actively looking for so you can drive them to your website
Ultimately help to solve their problems by providing the right solutions. Either products or content
It helps us to ensure each customer gets a message that's relevant and valuable to them.
Not a one-size-fits-all blanket email campaign.
How can you profile your customers?
Ask yourself, what information do you need to collect, in order to make decisions. Decisions about what content would be valuable and relevant to your customers.
There is lots of information you can collect, but focus on what will help you be more relevant. Just because you know their age, does that help you to be more relevant?
Here's some ideas of information you might want to collect;
Likes and dislikes
Interests / hobbies
Were do they spend time online
Content that resonates with them
The pain points they encounter day to day
Promotions that resonate with them
Biggest fears when it comes to purchasing
Once you have this information, turn it into visual a profile or persona. You'll reference this when making decisions on what content to include.
Make sure it includes an avatar or picture that represents the customer. It will help you to connect with your audience on an emotional level.
Here’s an example of 3 core segments for the Urban Cake Shop:
Here is an example of what a completed customer profile looks like for one of the segments,
Notice how with the later you have more empathy and can put yourself in thier shoes?
Customer Profiling Tools
To help you get started (in no particular order) here are out top customer profiling tools:
Do it yourself! Talking to customers is easier then you think. Most are very receptive to having a chat with a company they value.
It's also the best way to get more in-depth knowledge.
Conduct a simple search for your site with Alexa. It will breakdown age, gender, where they are browsing from. Alexa is also an awesome SEO tool!
Your Facebook business page will provide basic demographic information and geographic location.
4. Social Listening
Use tools like or Follow relevant hashtags to get a sense of who your customers are and what matters to them.
This is a paid tool but the results you get will blow-your-mind. Experian profile your data and create your Avatars for you!
Once you have your customer profiles, act.
With profiles in hand, you can slice and dice your email list into segments. This enables you to send much more highly targeted email campaigns.
Marketers reported a 760% increase in email revenue from segmented campaigns.
Marriott International Case Study
Lets See how Marriott did it in
Their main objective was to become the world’s favourite travel company.
What did they do?
Instead of the usual hotel chain email, they created a ‘Year in Review’ campaign. Showcasing personalised content with customers travel history data such as:
Total number of cities visited
Total number of reward points redeemed
Total number of nights spent at the Marriott Hotel
What's really mind blowing are the results;
Not only that, but from segmenting their data they also
What a great example of how important segmentation can be when done right.
Email Segmentation Best Practices
There are lots of different ways you can segment your list. But start simple and with what makes sense to the objectives you are trying to achieve.
You’ll probably have 2-3 clear segments from your customer profiling. This is a great place to start. Just be clear on what the core differences are between each profile.
As an example, let’s say you are an online fashion company and you are having a summer sale. At its most basic, you could have a male segment, and a female segment. You want everyone to know about the sale, but instead of one generic email, you could create two.
One with best selling products showcased for men. And one with best selling products showcased for women.
Email Segmentation Tools
Most email services have inbuilt tools to help you segment your list.
Prices range from free to Pro $199/month.
In no particular order…
Bonus: Publicate works with all of these great tools. Without the lengthy design and build process that comes with them. Make your life easier now.
4. Give Value with High Quality Content
Surprisingly, content is still the most overlooked component of an email marketing strategy.
What Defines high Quality Content?
Quality content should be defined by how much value the reader gets out of it. Not how much time or money you put into making it.
Here’s what I believe quality content should consist of:
It’s Helpful - Sharing valuable information will engage and retain your list. IF it is helpful, it solves a problem the reader has.
It’s Personal - It is actually relevant to the reader. It talks to a point that is actually important to them.
Its Interesting - No one likes stuffy corporate. Inject some life, some fun, some passion in to your emails.
It’s Unique - Rehashing content that already exists is not unique. Figure out an angle the competition haven't already covered and play to it.
It Provides Value - Valuable content should follow 2 simple rules. It's inline with your business goals and it helps to solve your customers problems.
It’s Shareable - Not only have you made it easy for people to share. But the content ticks points 1-5 and so people cn't help but share it.
But why do all this?
By providing high quality content you build trust and gain authority.
"People do business with people they like and trust"
This says it all.
Here's just some of the benefits of adding high quality content:
It positions you as the expert in your field.
You're giving your audience a taste of what it will be like to work with you. Think eBooks, Skype sessions, videos and so on.
High quality will increase your potential reach, drive traffic, begin conversations and convert.
You'll grow loyal followers. By giving away super-duper content, your raving fans will share with their network. Giving you free word-of-mouth advertising.
High quality content = sales!
How to create quality content?
We’ve written an entire blog post on this already! is filled with amazing content ideas to get you going.
5. Subject Lines
With millions of brands competing for a spot in your subscriber’s inbox, it’s important to stand out from the crowd.
35% of recipients open email based on subject line alone.
So getting it right is crucial.
Best Practices on How to Write Subject Lines
1. Keep your audience and goals in mind. What action do you want them the take? Are you trying to boost revenue? Offer a promo? Your goal will determine your subject line.
2. Keep it short and sweet. With up to , keep characters to less than 50 to hit that sweet spot.
3. Create urgency! It encourages readers to open your email when used effectively. Examples include "24 hours left", "one day sale".
4. Create a sense of mystery. “You will benefit from reading this email” encourages readers to open.
5. Personalise. Add the recipient’s name in the subject line for example "Hey Louise, ready for Summer?"
6. A/B Test. Test keywords, day of week, time of day, personalisation. By testing your subject lines, you can refine and boost open rates.
7. Segment. As mentioned earlier in this post, segment your emails as well as subject lines. Targeting those interested in a specific product of piece of information.
8. Offer value. Discounts, eBooks and videos will encourage open rates. If there is something of value in your email people want to find out more.
Subject Line Tools to Boost Open Rates
Wish you had a magic tool to help your write the most eye-catching subject lines?
We have you covered;
1. Free email subject line tester. It will score your overall subject line quality and rate its ability to result in open.
2. Simply enter your subject line and receive a score out of 100. They offer advice on whether it's strong statement, the character count and word count. And whether there's enough words that evoke emotion, action or power.
3. This beauty will show you how your subject line, pre-header and sender name will appear on mobile.
4. checks the spam score of your email. Copy and paste your email including subject lines to find out what will trigger the spam filters.
6. Images, Videos and GIFs
Using Images, videos and GIFs in email newsletters is a hotly debated topic.
We could write a whole blog post on it but here are our top tips for using media in your next email marketing campaign.
Image Best Practices
Using images can bring your email to life.
When used correctly, images evoke emotion in a reader, more then just words alone can.
Number of images
Not sure whether to include 2 or 10 images? Constant contact recently surveyed over 2 million people on this hot topic.
They learnt that emails with 3 or fewer images and approximately 20 lines of text result in the
By this we mean file size.
If they're too big they will reach the size limits of the email client and could be blocked or labeled as spam. Where possible try to ensure they are 100kb or less.
You can use online tools to reduce them if you don't have an in-house graphics team or agency such as:
Images can sometimes be blocked from rendering. This could be due to personal preferences, or the email client’s default settings.
For this very reason don't create an email that is entirely image-based. It looks terrible;
This highlights why it's important to add ALT text for each image. Then if they don't show at least the readers knows what it was.
It also shows why it's important not to put your CTA in an image.
Videos vs GIFs
It would be amazing if you could share your cute ‘bring your pet to work day’ video in your newsletter.
But unfortunately embedding videos in emails isn't a great idea, yet.
Videos are often too large and a large number email clients don't support itIncluding Outlook.
But we have a solution!
There are two ways to get around this.
First is the way all major email clients currently get around it. They represent the video with an image that is hyperlinked to the original video. So the reader feels like the video is embedded.
Second way to get around this is to use animated GIFs.
We've written a marvellous blog post all about how
But to re-cap, here's why GIFs in your email marketing strategy can really boost engagement:
GIFs are much more lightweight in size than video
They communicate a lot in a short time
Users don't need to interact with them to watch them
They're eye-catching and engaging
They are proven to improve CTR and ROI as shown in our
Bonus: Publicate makes DIY newsletters incredibly easy! Find the right image or GIF right inside Publicat with royalty free search. Try It Now
Timing is everything? Or is it?
According to there are 'optimal' times to send your campaigns. But, it all depends on what industry you're in and more importantly, who your readers are.
As a general rule here are some top tips:
Avoid sending emails on Mondays. Why? People tend to dislike Mondays, the weekend is over, they're back in the office.
MailChimp confirms that Tuesday and Thursday are the two most popular days to send email.
proved that the best time to send their emails was on a Thursday between 8-9am - with over a 25% open rate.
They also confirm that between 9am-11am and 2pm are the optimal send time. Note: different occupations have different times. If you're in retail or hobbies, 8am is preferable as many check emails on their commute to work. Where as lawyers read emails at 09:00 and then after lunch.
Location, location, location. If have a global customer base, you'll need to segment accordingly.
This is the general advice. But we challenge you to test it. Test, test and test some more until you hit that sweet spot.
8. Killer Call to Actions
So, we've talked about what makes a great subject line and how to give value, but what about your call to action?
Simply put, your call to action or CTA is a prominent button or link prompting readers to click.
Call to Action Tips
Limit each email to a maximum of 1 main CTA. Knowing what the one action you want someone to take is a good place to start when planning your email content
Make visuals clear and enhancing, not distracting and confusing
Make sure you keep button copy short, 2 or 3 words max
Try using the first person in any copy 'Start my free trial'
Create urgency 'Today only: 50% off!
Action oriented text, 'Download our ebook'
Make the button large, but keep in mind not killing the aesthetics
Include a healthy bit of white space around your CTA
Use bright bold colours - green and orange perform the best
Try your best to keep your main CTA above the fold. Just as with websites, people don’t always scroll
If you have too many "crucial" call to actions it could be a good indication of a lack of planning or focus in your email.
Except for obviously curated roundups and ecommerce product roundups.
Test and Optimise Regularly
Why do you need to test?
Simply put, we are bad at guessing. And what works for one brand, may not work for you. So to get the best results, testing is your biggest ally.
Here are just some of the things you could test in your email;
Copy (length, tone)
Call to actions
Design and colours
Animated GIFs and media
More images vs more copy
Types of content
Time of day/day of week
How to test? 5 Pro Tips
Test one element at a time, if you test multiple you won't understand the source of the change in result
Start simple, subject lines are a great place to get started with testing
Keep a log of all your tests, so you can learn as you go and keep a record of trends
Run tests on groups that are small. For example 10% of your database
Control the time of day, day of week. Otherwise the change in result might be down to the send time
Take action with the results. Use the data to refine your future campaigns
Hopefully you now have an idea of things you can do to improve your email marketing strategy.
One-size-fits-all email blasts just won’t cut it anymore. You need to be personal, create unique engaging content, segment, test and refine.
Above all else just be yourself! Inject personality into your brand and focus on your customers needs. It’s about their wants, desires and problems.
We'd love to hear about your tried and tested email marketing strategies? Comment below!
What's Next: Now that you have the bread and butter basics sorted, it's time to start creating your own newsletters. Give Publicate a try, a new way to create emails