7 Email Marketing Tips To Increase Sales

Nedim Talović

by Nedim Talović on 18th July, 2016

Simply said, email marketing is absolutely the best marketing channel. However, having a list of subscribers and sending emails to them isn’t enough anymore.

Your customers are receiving more and more offers to their accounts, so getting high click rates is harder than ever and won’t get any easier.

To stay competitive, you need to keep up with the current trends and best practices in email marketing.

In this article, I’m gonna talk about, what I consider, the most important ones.

Let’s go.

#1 Effective Subject Lines

According to Campaign Monitor, personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.

Personalization Increases Open Rate By 26%

Also, shorter subject lines are more effective and more eye catching.

If you are not convinced, test it for yourself. Try sending an email with the personalized short subject line, something like this:

  • John, we have a discount code for you!
  • John, here is a special offer

Continue optimizing your subject lines with A/B testing to check out what works best for you.

#2 People Read Their Emails on Mobile Devices

As you can see from the comScore’s photo below, a number of mobile users surpassed desktop users, long ago.

Number of Global Users

This means there are more and more email reads over mobile devices - the reason why you have to improve UX on mobile devices to increase your click rate.

If you don’t optimize your email mobile design, you can easily be marked as “a guy who sends ugly emails”. Trust me, these days nobody wants to get ugly designed emails.

Here’s the example of mobile-ready emails:

Mobile Responsive

Source: AWeber

Make it beautiful for the subscribers’ eyes.

#3 Everyone Love Personalized Emails

Each and every subscriber would rather be called by his name or nickname than to be referred as a “dear customer”.

If you ask me what will always be a good practice in email marketing, I would say personalized emails.

There are lots of different apps that will help you to send personalized newsletters. The whole idea is to add attributes (first name, last name, gender, days since last order, etc.) to the customers, and use them in your campaigns:

Hey {customer.first_name},

Since you haven’t made any order for {customer.days_since_last_orders) days we thought that you might be interested in our new products:

Product name 1
Product name 2
Product name 3

Here’s a discount code (-10%) for you: AB2016. The code will be available the next 30 days.

Your Store

That's it. You are ready to start sending personalized emails and enjoy increased click rate. It’s simple and very effective.

#4 Segmented Email Lists

Whether it’s age, gender or geographical location, there are always attributes specific to a number of subscribers on your list. This way, you will match right content to the right subscribers.

Email Marketing Segmentation

Source: Zapier

Based on that you can make segments which will provide you more precision, better timing and eventually higher conversions.

Take a look at some of the results you can expect from segmented emails:

Email List Segmentation Results

Source: Lyris

#5 Use effective CTAs

Ask yourself what do you want to achieve with your campaigns. Whether you want to introduce new products to your subscribers or to drive a sale with some special offer, your CTA is crucial.

The point is to tell subscribers what to do. They don’t want second guesses. See how Amazon is doing it, with their top 10 CTAs:

  • Look inside
  • Give as a Gift
  • Send me the link
  • Send sample now
  • Get your Kindle here
  • Shop now
  • Go
  • Buy now with 1-Click
  • Add to Wish List
  • Share

Let’s stay a little bit more with these top CTAs. What do they have in common? They are: short, simple, tell you exactly what to do, and 3 of them contains “now”.

These tips can be a good starting point in optimizing your CTA, but A/B testing will eventually shape your CTA to deliver top results. You just need to keep testing colors, positions, words, fonts…. basically everything.

#6 Promotion Discounts

Although there are different types of discounts including free gift, free shipping or something else, percentage based discounts are most used and the most popular way.

You can send these offers on various occasions like birthdays and holidays. One commonly used action taken by companies is abandoned cart offer. This is how Birchbox is doing it:

BirchBox Abandon Cart Email

Source: Shopify

Other typical examples are: offers for emails subscription, first-time shopper offer, offers for sharing on social networks etc.

#7 Automate Your Campaigns

According to Regalix, 79% marketers have said that they are investing in marketing automation and even 62% of them are expecting to increase its marketing automation budget in the near-future.

We’ve already said that an average E-commerce abandonment rate is 68.63%. One of the ways to decrease abandonment rate is - marketing automation.

For an example, when someone adds a product in the cart but doesn’t complete the purchase in the next 60 minutes, you can send an email as a reminder. You can even send a discount code or offer a free shipping. This will, for sure, decrease abandonment rate.

Another workflow example is upselling! Upselling is a sales strategy where sales rep offers complementary products. Have you ever got a question from McDonald’s cashier: Would you like to try our new bbq sauce with fries?

In E-commerce industry, a good practice is to build a recommendation engine system and leverage it for sending automated emails. The idea is to recommend products that are the most appropriate for every single customer.

For an example, Amazon knows that if you buy The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho there are good chances to buy Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe and The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Amazon Recommendation System

Let’s say you haven’t bought anything for a while. What will Amazon do?

They might recommend you these two books in the newsletter or through remarketing. Since Amazon has near 250 million active users, the sky is the limit for them.

Every single user will get recommended products based on his interactions:

  • Previous purchases
  • View a product
  • Adding a product in the cart
  • Adding a product the the wishlist


Bottom line - invest in a marketing automation today!


Sending emails is, and will be, the best way of selling your products. That fact is not going to change in coming years.

According to Radicati, in 2016 there will be 2,672M users, in 2017 2,760M and in 2018 even 2,849M.

Email Users Forecast

What will keep changing are trends in email marketing, so you need to keep up with it.

But also never stop testing and improving every part of your emails including subject lines, discount offers, design, CTAs and all there is to it.

Do you have any experience in email marketing? Share your thoughts.

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