The Key Elements of a High-Converting Email Marketing Campaign

With all the exciting new ways in which brands can reach customers, you’d be forgiven to think that email marketing is dead. After all, why write and design intricate an email marketing campaign when you could just send an instant message, right?

Only the reality is far different. If anything, the inbox is becoming an increasingly sacred space even as the number of digital communication mediums continues to grow.

In fact, by 2022 it is expected that there will be over 4 billion email users. In other words, more than half the world’s human population is now using email. In comparison, social media has 3.5 billion users in 2020, so email is still leading.

But, the relative importance of email also means that more companies will use it to market themselves. So, just how do you make sure your emails get  more attention than your competitors?

A winning email marketing campaign has many moving parts, all of which need to be purpose driven. In the sections below, we’ll cover seven aspects of a good email marketing campaign. 

Start by creating a high quality list

When marketers talk about email marketing, they generally refer to the contents that go into newsletters. But, all the fancy writing and visual gymnastics would fail if your newsletters are going to the wrong person.

A high quality email list is one in which the vast majority of subscribers are genuinely interested in your product or service. Your list may include fence sitters, but you’d still want to avoid those who don’t want to do business with you.

There are three ways to go about creating a good list. 

1. Drive traffic to a landing page with a subscription request 

You create a landing page, and direct traffic to it either through ads or SEO. We’re going to cover this strategy in more detail in the sections below. 

2. Buy email lists from a marketing list aggregator

These services help businesses find relevant, targeted contact data. For example, tools like Bookyourdata can help in building pertinent and targeted B2B email lists.

3. Build the list yourself

Both the methods above require substantial investment in money and time. But, in either case, you’re not in control of who joins your list. So, there’s no guarantee the subscribers you get are genuinely interested in your product. 

If this bothers you, then you can try finding the emails yourself. By identifying your own prospects, you can have more control over the selection process. 

But, finding emails is tough and may require a lot of research that can eat up your time. Tools like LinkedIn email finder can help you search for a prospect’s email address in LinkedIn and help you put together targeted lists easily.

Let subscribers know what to expect

Part of the reason people don’t subscribe is because they’re afraid of what might follow.

Will these guys spam me? Will they share my details without my consent? Will I even get what I really want from them, or will they just keep pushing irrelevant stuff on to me?

You need to tackle these questions head on. The easiest way to do so is by clearly spelling out what you intend to say in your newsletters. A good example here is Preply’s subscribe now section which has clear instructions on what users can expect.

Instead of just saying updates, Preply clearly states that subscribers will only get blog content in their inbox. The subscribe box is also cleverly placed in the middle of the blog as an article card, so it’s hard to miss. 

Use gamification to encourage subscriptions

Gamification means using game aspects like points, competition, and score keeping to spice up otherwise dull, and/or repetitious business activities. The strategy has been successful in marketing, productivity and HR.

But, why will this work to increase your subscriber base? Remember, most businesses out there are still using popups to get people to sign up with them. You can easily steal a lead on your competitors by offering a game experience instead.

You’re only limited by your imagination here. For example, this website offering running sunglasses has a very clever spin on gamification. Literally. 

The site has five discounts that a new visitor can score by spinning the wheel, which requires the person to enter their email address.

Such widgets are easy enough to make and install on websites today. Think of all the touchpoints on which you engage with your audience. Next, explore ways in which simple games can be served to them. 

Use free giveaways

Your website is not going to have a lot to give in its early stages. It takes time to create and publish content people would want to consume. But, you can still encourage people to sign up by giving free stuff away. 

Freebies are great email list building tools. You only need one targeted piece of content instead of a blog full. 

There’s also a variety of different formats you can choose from. Ebooks, white papers, checklists, infographics, cheat sheets, printables, and courses are popular choices here. 

LFA Capsule Fillers for example offers a free ebook on how readers can make their own capsules at home —

The point of the giveaway here is to get people to know your product and spark their interest in it. Which will accordingly increase the chances of them converting into customers.

Financial incentives are also a great way to increase conversions. For instance, the investment firm EarlyBird, offered a $15 sign up bonus for joining their waitlist before their launch. In exchange, they collect information from potential customers that can help them in having a better understanding of the market needs.

This method will work best for financial websites or applications that require users to deposit money with them. But other businesses can utilize this method as well by offering free trials of their services or products to attract potential customers.

Create newsletters that reflect your web-style

Your email newsletters are an extension of your brand. While it’s important to get creative with your graphics and messaging, neither should deviate from your brand style and voice.

The easiest way to create email newsletters that reflect your brand is to follow your website’s style. HTML emails are very popular today and easy enough to make.

This email newsletter from Gilisports is a great example of newsletter design done right.


The newsletter carries Gilis’s brand header, which has a picture of their product. The letter is written in the same tone and voice as found on their website.

Finally, it’s broken into two parts. The top part details how the reader can receive the reward. While the second part has information about the monthly reward itself.

But creating great newsletters can be sometimes challenging since it requires more effort than the regular emails. Luckily, User.com offers great tools to create awesome, stylish email newsletters.

The WordPress Newsletter plugin also allows you to create, send and track email newsletters.

Spend some time on the subject line

Typically this should’ve gone in the section above, but it really is that important. All that awesome stuff in your newsletter is for not if no one clicks through to it.

There are a few subject line rules you should always follow. 

  • The subject line should be personalized more often than not. Simply adding a name to the subject line can increase open rates by 50%.
  • Keep the subject line short and punchy. Try to keep subject lines no more than nine words or 60 characters long. 
  • Describe the email contents without overselling them. Clickbaiting the reader may increase open rates, but will reduce CTR and may even cause people to unsubscribe. 
  • Don’t overuse emojis. They’re no guarantee of higher open rates, so tread lightly. 

Use videos in your email campaigns

Video email marketing has evolved into a separate domain altogether. But, the principle behind them is the same — offer more engaging content. 

There are a few things you should consider before sending video embedded email newsletters though.

Some types of video content work better than others. For example, product videos can be used to educate the viewer about new product features.

Think of whether you wish to embed the video, or only link to it. You cannot stream a video from Youtube to an email. So, you’ll have to send the entire file which may take a while to open. A better strategy is to put a screenshot of the video in the email with a link to the page. 

Finally, a smart way to use a video without any of its drawbacks is to turn it into a GIF file. GIFs are repeating images. They don’t use as much space but can get the message across. Check out this email from Somnifix:


Somnifix offers mouth strips. The image at the bottom left is a GIF which explains how the recipient can use the product. 

Email Marketing Campaigns: Conclusion

There’s no denying that emails will continue to hold an important place in our lives. They are the only messaging mediums that are both highly descriptive and deeply personal. No other communication tool out there offers both.

It’s only valid then that marketers continue to hold email marketing to the highest level.