Have you heard?

Email is one of the most valuable channels in your marketing strategy.

Of course you’ve heard this, and you may even be getting sick of hearing it.

You might see things like “you can get a $42:1 return on investment with email marketing!” and think to yourself …

Or, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

I’m here to tell you: Email truly is a powerful marketing tool, but those high ROI figures aren’t going to magically happen just by sending emails.

To see real, live value from your email marketing strategy, you need to know how to leverage your email database, segment it, personalize your messages and get to know your readers’ preferences extremely well.

You can do this. I know because I’ll show you how, right here, right now.

In this guide, we’re going to review:

This guide is also available as a webinar – flip through the slides or watch the recorded video here:

Here we go:

What is Email Segmentation?

It sounds fancy but it’s not: Email segmentation is the process of splitting a database of email contacts into smaller lists of people based on specific criteria.

What is Email Personalization?

Email personalization is the act of using email segments or contact data to tailor messages for the intended recipients.

For example: A mobile app developer might divide its list of customers into groups based on which apps they downloaded. That’s segmentation.

The developer may then advertise a new feature to just the customers who downloaded one particular app. That’s personalization.

Why Does Email Segmentation Matter?

Email segmentation has two purposes and they’re both critical to effective email marketing.

  1. Segmentation helps you maintain a healthy email reputation.
  2. Segmenting and personalizing your emails makes for more effective email marketing.

Let’s look at both of these a little closer.

Improve Email Sender Reputation With Segmentation

For email marketing to work, messages need to land in people’s inboxes. This will only happen if your contacts’ internet service providers (ISPs) allow your messages to be delivered. This is not a guarantee.

ISPs aim to protect their users by preventing spam (which could be annoying, dangerous or anything in between) from entering their inboxes. To this end, ISPs assign a score or grade to every organization that sends emails.

If your organization has a low score, your emails may end up in the spam folder, and that’s in the best-case scenario. Worst case? Your organization ends up on blocklists, which signals to ISPs that emails from your organization aren’t worth the risk of letting through. The emails may be rejected completely.

Email scores are based on a number of factors, and—just like Google isn’t about to open up its algorithm to show us how it all works—ISPs don’t specify which factors they evaluate, or which are the most important. Additionally, just as Bing and Google structure their SERPs based on different yet similar algorithms, various ISPs have their own methods by which they grade email senders.

All that said, we do know that the following factors are particularly relevant in determining organizations’ sender scores:

  • Volume: How many emails you send.
  • Engagement metrics: High open and click-through rates show your recipients enjoy receiving your emails. High unsubscribe rates demonstrate the opposite.
  • Spam signals: How often people take the time to mark your email as “spam.”
  • Bounce rates: Consistently high bounce rates mean your email list isn’t clean.
  • Blocklists: Being included on blocklists such as Spamhaus and Spamcop is a fast way to demolish your reputation.

You have more control over these aspects than you might think, and that’s largely thanks to segmentation.

For example, you can’t force your recipients to open your emails to signal to ISPs that you’re a real, value-adding organization that’s emailing people in good faith. But you can send more emails to the people in your database most likely to open and engage with your emails, thus achieving the same outcome.

In the process, you’ll likely improve the outcomes of your email campaigns—the second reason every email marketing strategy must include basic segmentation.

Drive Email Marketing Campaign Results With Segmentation

Organizations invest in email marketing because it boasts high ROI (Litmus’ annual State of Email has reported anywhere from $38:1 to $48:1) and because you can be very specific about how you market to certain audiences.

The best way to actually see these benefits is to use segmentation.

By carefully selecting the contacts who will receive your messages, you can make sure you’re emailing people who want to hear from you. These are the people who are most likely to open your emails, click on your links and, ultimately, spend money with your company.

Here’s another way to think about it: By segmenting your database, you’re weeding out the under-engaged and unengaged contacts who A) may demote your sender reputation over time by ignoring your messages, or by reporting your email as spam, and B) don’t want to hear from you right now.

Keeping them out of your email launches will help you not annoy them, thus giving you the opportunity to win them over at a later point in time, when they are interested in hearing from you.

What Segments Should Marketers Create?

Segmentation as a concept is kind of like LEGOs: You can use it to build any kind of email list you can imagine. You could create highly specialized segments that filter databases of thousands of contacts down to lists of just a few people who meet a dozen particular parameters, if you wanted.

But do you want to do that? You might; you might not. Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing. And too many segments can lead to inefficiencies like:

  • Far too much data to meaningfully track.
  • Valuable contacts who get left off lists due to conflicting parameters.
  • Unnecessarily siloed email strategies for various lists.

Structure your segments in ways that make sense for your specific business and marketing goals. If you can’t articulate exactly why you need a list, you probably don’t actually need it.

Every organization’s collection of segments will be different. That said, here are a dozen segmentation ideas you can steal:

1. Bounced Email Addresses

If there’s exactly one segment from this list that you take, make it this one. A bounce is when an email client rejects your message, preventing it from landing in the inbox or even the spam folder.

Emailing bounced email addresses will hurt your sender reputation.

Not all bounces are alike. There are two types: Hard and soft bounces.

What’s a Hard Bounce?

Beware the hard bounce. These emails are rejected for permanent reasons, like if the email address is fake or has a typo in the domain, rendering it completely useless (e.g. gsnail instead of gmail).

Do not try sending emails to contacts that have resulted in hard bounces. You’re not only wasting your time, but you’re also cluttering your email data (with email sends you know won’t result in an open, much less a click) and risking your sender reputation.

Many email marketing programs automatically suppress hard bounces from future email launches, including SendGrid, Campaign Monitor, HubSpot, Mailchimp and Constant Contact. However, every email platform handles this process differently. Check to see what yours does when an email bounces. Then determine if you need additional precautions to prevent unnecessary hard bounces.

What’s a Soft Bounce?

Soft bounces are rejected for temporary reasons, like if your contact’s mail server went down or they’ve set an autoresponder email because they’re out on vacation. But not all soft bounces are benign. Soft bounces can also be the result of a poor sender reputation, a contact who’s marked your previous emails as spam or an email client that thinks the white paper you attached as a PDF looks fishy (or phishy).

Soft bounces aren’t necessarily as harmful to your email program as hard bounces. There’s always the chance that a valuable contact could have been on holiday when you launched your latest email campaign.

Some email programs will continue to try delivering emails that have resulted in a soft bounce for a set period of time. However, if the same email addresses are resulting in soft bounces week after week, you may be better off removing them from your launches altogether.

2. Email Open (or Non-Open)

An email open is a great sign! Someone who opens your email likely recognizes your brand and enjoys consuming your content. Follow up with them.

We make a point of doing this after every major asset launch. Our asset launches are emails from our company promoting large informational resources, like our target audiences email course.

When it launched, we emailed a bunch of people we thought would be interested in it. And we were right! That email had about a 15% open rate, and a ton of people signed up for the course.

But not everyone who opened the email signed up for the course. Maybe they weren’t interested—that’s fine. But maybe they were busy and forgot to come back, or maybe they wanted to think about it before signing up. I don’t want them to forget about an opportunity they were genuinely interested in!

So, about a week later, I followed up with everyone who opened the email but didn’t enroll in the course. Guess what: That email got a 70% open rate and we got more enrollees as well.

The other side of the coin is people who habitually don’t open your emails. Making a list of chronic email-ignorers to keep out of your launches can improve your open and engagement rates, and send more positive signals to ISPs and email clients.

3. Industry

Buyers from different industries will approach your products or services with different challenges, questions and mindsets. Use your knowledge of how people from specific industries respond to your brand to create ultra-relevant email copy for people in those lines of work.

One way we use industry-specific segments at Brafton is through nurture campaigns that address specific concerns we know people in those industries have. Here’s an example of one of our financial services industry nurture emails:

financial segment email example

4. Geography

Divide your list based on geographies to create hyper-local email content. Geographic segmentation is highly important to organizations that operate across time zones or international boundaries, but operations of all sizes can benefit from location-specific email lists.

Creating segments based on location can help send messages to those people at a time that makes sense for them. It also allows you to tailor messages to language differences, such as geo-specific spellings and colloquial terms. Even if your company only operates in a small area, creating emails inspired by recipients’ locations can make for engaging email copy.

Say you’re a restaurant owner with two locations; you might have customers who are regulars at Location A, and others that frequent Location B. With email lists of A and B regulars, you can send unique promotions for each site, or cross-promote them, encouraging patrons to check out a new venue.

5. Job Title

Just as people from varying industries will approach your company with different concerns, people with different job responsibilities will also have different questions about your products or services.

Say you offer payroll software. In any given company, you might have two or three people considering your services together:

  • The manager of human resources, who just wants to know if your software will help their people get paid correctly and on time.
  • The Chief Information Officer, whose main concern is the security of any software the company invests in.
  • The CEO, who wants to know both how much your software will cost, and what the ROI on it might be.

Though these three people work in the same industry, at the same company and are considering the same product (as a group, no less!) they’ll all benefit from different resources about your product.

  • Send the HR Manager a screencast product demo to see your software in action.
  • Share product specs that speak to the security of your platform to the CIO.
  • Finally, send the CEO quick pricing info and your best case study.

6. Current Customers

Customer marketing is the act of marketing to your current customers. The cost of retaining a customer is generally much, much lower than the cost to acquire a new customer.

Maintaining a list of current customers will make it easy to dispense useful information about product upgrades, company updates or additional items in your catalog.

Plus, your customers may not know about all of your wonderful products yet! This is a challenge we have at Brafton. Someone receiving blog posts from us may not know we have an in-house video production studio, for example. When they find out, they realize their content production options with us really are limitless.

7. Former Customers

Remind former customers of the positives of working with your brand. Depending on the reason they’re not currently spending money with you, it may be worthwhile to send out a quick pitch or promotion to see if they’re interested in starting something new with you.

On that note, you could use your former customer segment to inquire about why they’re not buying from you at the moment through a quick survey.

8. New Contacts

Welcome new contacts to your program through introductory emails that share helpful resources and give them a look at what your brand stands for. This warm-up process can set you up for more meaningful interactions via email later on.

Here’s what we send all new newsletter subscribers:

new contacts segment email example

9. Purchase History

Send customers information based on the things they’ve already purchased to help them get the most value from your products.

Here’s an example: Last summer, I bought a carbon steel wok for my husband’s birthday. Shortly after, I got this email from the company promoting a guide for preparing the wok for cooking plus a recommendation for an additional helpful product: carbon steel seasoning wax.

purchased segment email example

10. Filled Out Form

You can learn a lot about people based on the forms they fill out on your website.

Signed up for your newsletter? Perfect! That’s your in with their inbox.

Downloaded an eBook? Great! Now you have an idea of the topics they have questions about. Send them a related resource to see if that sparks their interest, too.

Requested a product demo? Excellent! Now you know they’re in the consideration stage of the sales funnel. Market accordingly.

11. Client Lifetime Value

You’ll have customers who buy something from your company once in a while, and then you’ll have customers who really spend money with your company. Thank those customers for their patronage and loyalty through rewards and emails that show your appreciation. You could even offer promotions to customers who spend above a certain threshold as well, further increasing the value of that customer.

12. Device Used for Email

One of the core tenets of email marketing is ensuring your email looks excellent on all devices, operating systems and email clients.

But there are some things you can pull off better when you tailor your emails to a given situation. Send your contacts who consistently open their emails on mobile devices an email built specifically for that platform. Doing so will create a unique viewing experience unlike the emails you create for cross-platform functionality.

How Do You Create Segments in an Email Automation Program?

Your email automation software has features that allow you to create email segments based on the data you have about each of your contacts.

Each email program is different, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to creating segments in every type of email automation software.

Here’s how to create segments in Marketo:

1. In Marketo, go to the Database section.

2. Open the “New” dropdown menu and select “New Segmentation.”

3. Name your segment something very descriptive.
*Bonus: Include a description so you and others know exactly what it’s for.

4. Add segments to the segmentation, name them, then hit “Create”.
*Note: Marketo’s vernacular is a bit confusing when it comes to segments and segmentations. Now, we’re adding segments, or defining the breakdown of contacts, within the segmentation that we’re creating. See the image below for clarity:

5. At this point, we’ve created empty segments that we’ll need to fill in with rules. Go to the left hand menu, and click into your draft segmentation.

6. Select the first segment you’ll define, then into the Smart List section.

7. In Smart List, choose a filter, then drag and drop it into the Smart List field. I’m choosing “Industry” since I’m creating segments based on contacts’ industries. Click the green + button to open the Multiple Value Chooser.

8. Choose your values for that segment rule and hit OK.

9. Repeat this for each segment you created.

10. Once completed, review the contacts that were pulled into each segment. Check that people are actually being pulled into your segments, and keep an eye out for any potential issues that might arise. You want these segments to be very clean and organized so that you don’t mistakenly email someone something that’s not intended for them. You can review the people in your segments by navigating to the People (Draft) tab.

11. Once your segments are set up and look OK, navigate back to the segmentation housing all your new segments, select Segmentation Actions and click Approve.

Now you can use your segmentation to create emails tailored to people in each category.

Email Segments vs. Email Lists

Once you’ve defined your segmentation, you’ve effectively created a list of people who fit into specific criteria.

Let’s pause there and take a moment to distinguish between email segments and email lists. These phrases are sometimes used interchangeably, but technically there is a slight difference between the two:

  • An email list is generally a static group of contacts. It grows and shrinks based on people’s subscription preferences (e.g. when someone unsubscribes from your newsletter, your email list loses that person).
  • An email segment is a subset of that larger list based on qualifying criteria. It grows and shrinks based on how many people fit the conditions of your segment (e.g. when someone makes a purchase for the first time, they’d be pulled into a segment of current customers).

To make matters more confusing, different email platforms use their own vernacular to refer to the ways in which you divvy up your database of contacts.

For example, in Marketo, in addition to creating Segmentations, you can also create Lists and Smart Lists of contacts, also based on specific qualifiers. All this is based on your Database of contacts.

I often use the Smart List feature to quickly create send lists of people for specific email launches. In conjunction with this Smart List, I might lean on our geo-targeted segmentation to create dynamic emails to share geo-specific content with our readers in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia.

To simplify this hierarchy:


Your send lists are composed of the people who will actually receive the email campaign you’ve created.

How to Make a Smart List in Marketo

Smart Lists in Marketo are similar to segments in that you define rules, which then pull people in or exclude them from the final batch of email contacts.

You can create Smart Lists either in the Database section, or within the actual email campaign you’re putting together. I’ll show you how to create one for a specific email program, or email launch, since we looked at the Database section earlier.

1. In Marketo, go to Marketing Activities.

2. Click “New” and choose “New Program.”

3. Fill in the required fields:

  • Campaign Folder: Choose the location you’ll create your email launch. We have ours organized by type of email launch (e.g. newsletters vs. asset launches vs. autoresponder form completion emails, etc.).
  • Name: My typical formula is [email type] [date]: [subject line], e.g. Asset launch 04.14.2021: 3 awesome visual content examples.
  • Program type: This is an email program.
  • Channel: This is an email send.
  • Description: Optional, but helpful if you collaborate with a multi-person team.

4. Hit “Create.” You’ll be taken to the Control Panel of your new email program, and we’re concerned with the upper left box called “Audience.” We adjust this in the Smart List tab.

*Note: At this point, I typically start building my email. But I’m going to skip that step and just show you how I determine my audience. For this one, we’ll single out those who opened a specific email from a previous program but didn’t click the link I was promoting.

5. In “Smart List,” use the Search box to find your criteria. I’ll start by typing “open” and drag the “Opened Email” filter to the Smart List area:

6. From here, I can choose the exact email I’m referring to by clicking the green + button, or by beginning to type the name of the program into the “Select email …” field. I can also specify a date range for the activity if I want to only include people who’ve opened the email within a certain time frame.
*Note: I took off the time frame because the email program was very recent. A time frame wouldn’t impact my Smart List in this example.

7. Next, I want to filter out anyone who has already clicked the link in that previous email launch. For this, I want the “Not Clicked Link in Email” filter.

8. Again, I can select the email I’m referring to with the green + button. Once I do, I use the “Add Constraint” drop down to choose “Link.” From there, I can specify which link from that email send that I’m referring to. You’ll almost always want to do this to differentiate between your main link(s) in the email and any auxiliary links you have such as the unsubscribe link (which is required), site links or social links in your signature.

9. Choose the correct rule logic. This is an easy one; I want people who meet both of these criteria, so I’ll stick with the “Use ALL Filters” logic.

10. Now that I’ve set my 2 criteria (opened the email but didn’t click the link), I can go back to the Control Panel and see how many people this really includes in the Audience box:

11. Want to see who those 20,000+ people are? Just click on the number; a list will open up.

Email List Logic

Let’s pause here and look at that logic part again.

In my experience, no two email programs approach list logic the same way, and getting used to a new system comes with a learning curve.

In Marketo, there are 3 options: ANY, ALL and ADVANCED. Here’s how to use them:

  • Use ALL when people should meet every single criteria you’ve set, like the example we just walked through.
  • Use ANY when people should be included if they meet one or more criteria.
    • For example, we have a newsletter list for our Australian friends, one for our contacts in the UK and one for American subscribers. When I build my weekly newsletter, I want people from all 3 lists to receive it, so I include all 3 in my Smart List, and set the logic to ANY. If I used ALL, no one would get the newsletter, because no one is on all 3 lists.
  • Use ADVANCED when you’re dealing with a bunch of criteria that’s used in different ways.
    • For example, say I want to email people from all 3 of my newsletter lists, but I want to exclude anyone on our New Leads drip campaign, as well as anyone whose email has bounced. I’ll end up with a combination of ANY and AND, which looks like this:

How Should Marketers Use Their Segments in Practice?

Creating segments is one thing. Making the most of them is another. This is where strategy and creativity need to come together to produce an email campaign that grabs reader attention and inspires action.

Here are 3 ways to leverage email segments to create campaigns that are designed for high engagement:

1. Introductory Campaigns for New Leads

When we add someone to our email database, we don’t immediately bombard them with a million emails. We introduce ourselves slowly and give them time to enjoy the content we’ve shared.

Over the course of several weeks, we send new contacts one email per week, each with either a helpful resource from our website like an eBook, or some quick and interesting information about content marketing.

As people go through the drip campaign, they’ll either open or ignore our emails. We filter out the unengaged every few weeks, meaning just a portion of the people who begin our new contact drip cadence actually make it to the end.

It’s counterintuitive to be glad to see people falling off your drip campaigns, but it’s actually a sign that it’s working. Not everyone can be wholeheartedly interested in your brand right now, and it’d be naive to think that way.

The people who don’t make it to the end probably would continue ignoring your emails, and may eventually report you as spam. You’d have little hope of recovering that relationship later on.

2. Email Follow-Up Campaigns

Follow-up campaigns are when you send a second email off the back of an initial email.

Follow-up emails done well can garner some incredibly high open rates. Some of ours are upwards of 80% or more. That’s no lie: The best I’ve seen (so far) is a 97.4% open rate. It was a follow-up email we sent out after we launched our 2020 State of Content Marketing report.

Here’s how we structured that particular follow-up campaign:

Step 1: Launch an Awesome Asset

Jan. 15, 2020: We sent our database our State of Content Marketing report with this email:

This email went to more than 320,000 people, had a 6.7% open rate and a 33.8% click-to-open rate; not too shabby.

Step 2: Filter Out the Unengaged

Jan. 17, 2020: We followed up only with those people who clicked the link in the first email with this message:

This email went to just over 6,600 people, got a 97.4% open rate and a 98.7% click-to-open rate.

That’s it: just 2 steps. Here’s some advice for your follow-up campaigns:

  • Say thank you: You’re probably following up on an action they took. Express gratitude.
  • Choose your timeframe carefully: We went with a 2-day delay here, but depending on the circumstances, you could choose a longer timeframe. Experiment and see how your audience responds.
  • Get to the point: Follow-ups should be short and sweet.
  • Share something valuable: Make it worth their while to open your email.

3. Autoresponder Email Campaigns

The emails in our strategy that consistently get the highest open rates, every time, are our autoresponder emails. These are the messages that are automatically deployed when someone fills out a form on our website.

We’re talking a 34% open rate, on average.

Naturally, this is because people expect these emails. They’re basically requesting them outright by filling out the form, like this one:

Look at it another way: A person who fills in a form on your site is actively engaging with your brand. They’re a great person to add to your email strategy because they’ve demonstrated that they want to read your content.

Most, if not all, of the forms on your website should automatically deploy an email. This establishes a natural point of contact with that person (they now have your name in their inbox), plus they’ll probably send positive behavioral signals to their ISP by opening it.

Take this to the next level by combining your autoresponder campaign with a follow-up campaign. This has a number of potential benefits:

  • If they were too busy to open your first email, the second might grab their attention.
  • You’ll strengthen your brand’s relationship with that person.
  • They’re likely to open both emails—get those opens!

Additionally, the form itself naturally creates a segment. In the example above, we now have a list of people who’ve downloaded our eBook on technical SEO; we can use this information to recommend other resources they’re likely to be interested in.

Wait, What About Email Personalization?

We’ve spent a lot of time looking at segments and lists and how to use them. This is one aspect of personalization, but that’s not the only capability when it comes to tailoring email content to specific readers.

Your email automation software records more information about each contact than just their email address and their behavioral history (whether they’ve opened, clicked, etc.).

You’ll probably also be able to see information like their first and last name, their place of work, their job title, who their account manager at your company is, and/or much more.

Any of this information can be used right in your emails to make them hyper-personal. You can address them by name; you can pull in their job title; you can sign the email as their account manager (with the AM’s permission, of course).

All this can be done with tokens, which are pieces of code that pull information from your database and place it in your email in a natural-looking way.

Here’s how the Lead First Name token looks in Marketo:

And here’s how the email looks when it’s delivered to a person:

Here’s the caveat: Before you use any token, you must be confident that there are no data discrepancies. The last thing you need is to begin an email with “Hi, first name.”

Take it from me: you will be called out for poor data management, and you’ll probably lose a few subscribers, too. No one likes to be called “first name.”

One way you can mitigate that risk is by using a default token for cases where that field is blank. That’s what the “default=there” is all about in the image above. If my name wasn’t recorded in Marketo, the email would have begun “Hi there,” which sounds perfectly natural.

However, this will only work in certain situations. Moral of the story: Use tokens carefully … but do use them.

How to Get More Personalization Information From Your Contacts

To personalize your emails with tokens, you need information about your contacts.

One of the most reliable ways to get that information is through a good form strategy for your website.

Forms let people enter their own information, filling in your database for you. However, there’s a careful balance between a form people are willing to fill out, and one that will provide you with valuable data.

People don’t want to give away too much right away, which is why we don’t have forms like this on our website:

I’m sorry, but why does anyone need to know how seniored I am at my company just for me to read their report? And, if they have my company name in their database, I bet they can figure out what industry I’m in without me having to tell them.

Keep your forms short and minimal, asking for only the information you really need.

What if you want even more details about your readers? Consider dynamic or smart forms that request different information based on user signals.

For example, the first time a person sees the form, it might ask for their name and email address. The second time, you already have this info; now you can ask their job title or location instead.

How Do You Measure Email Marketing Success?

Using segmentation and personalization in your email strategy can absolutely improve the results you get from email marketing. But you’ll only be able to tell if you know how to track your email marketing success.

You can look at industry benchmarks like the ones from CampaignMonitor all you want, but what really matters for your email marketing strategy is your own benchmarks.

My recommendation: Start with a spreadsheet, like this one. I filled in the first line with details of one of our newsletter launches as an example.

Fill it in as you go, and pay attention as patterns begin to emerge. It’ll take some time, but it’s time well spent. This is how we figured out how to best tailor our email strategy to our readers’ preferences.

10 Email Marketing KPIs to Monitor

These 10 key performance indicators will tell you some of the most useful information about the performance of your email marketing program:

1. Open rate: The percentage of recipients who opened your email. This demonstrates acceptance of and interest in your brand in their inbox. It also means your subject line was on point.

2. Click-through rate: The percentage of recipients who clicked in your email. Demonstrates effectiveness of your email copy, as well as audience interest in that message style/content type/etc.

3. Click-to-open rate: The percentage of recipients who opened your email and then clicked a link in it. This shows how well your content and your subject line relate. If your subject line promises one type of experience, but the email message doesn’t deliver, your CTO rate may suffer.

4. Delivery rate: The percentage of emails that make it through to an inbox. If it starts to dip below 98%, take a look and see what’s going on.

5. Spam rate: The percentage of people reporting you as spam. If it starts to go over 0.1%, your email strategy probably needs an adjustment.

6. Bounce rate: The percentage of emails that bounced. It shouldn’t be higher than 2%; if it is, check out your filters.

7. Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of people who unsubscribed from your list from that email. This actually isn’t super indicative of how good your email strategy is; some people just won’t be ready to be a part of your email program right now. And that’s OK.

8. Link most clicked: Reserved for emails that have multiple link options, like your newsletter. Keep track of people’s favorite links, and use that knowledge to cater content to their preferences.

9. Responses: An email is the beginning of a conversation. Keep track of the people who reply with something to say.

10. Email SQLs: Email marketing, like all marketing, is ultimately about getting people to buy from your company. Keep track of how effective your email marketing program is at capturing sales-qualified leads. Draw insights into which emails had the best ROI for your company, and try to repeat those successes.

Excited About Email Marketing Yet?

I hope, after reading this guide, you’re just as excited about email marketing as I am (which is to say, very).

It’s seriously a great way to build out your marketing strategy, support your other content creation efforts, engage more people, etc. Clearly, I could go on, but I think you get the point.

As powerful as email marketing is, it’s no lie that it’s hard to do right. Time, experience and experimentation are key in getting your email strategy to be as effective as possible.

Follow the tips in this guide, and you’ll be well on your way to better open rates & that excellent email ROI.

Have a question? Let us know. But until then …

Molly Ploe is a Marketing Specialist at Brafton. When she's not writing, she spends her time reading, going on walks and drizzling honey onto ice cream.