how to improve email marketing performance

How to create a high performing email

how to create a high performing email

Email marketing is a widely used marketing channel that can win over new clients and create loyalty among existing contacts. Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers "excellent" to "good" ROI, and this return could be set to increase as the amount of email users increase. It's predicted that by 2020 email usage worldwide will hit 3 billion users.

Finding people to send emails to may not be the difficult part, but sending them emails they want to engage with is a common challenge. Around 78% of consumers have unsubscribed from emails because a brand was sending too many emails. This could be attributed to the 42% of marketers who do not send targeted email messages, resulting in people receiving emails that aren't relevant to their interests.

Download the ultimate guide to email marketing >

What can you do to make your email marketing more effective?

On average customers receive around 121 emails every day - that's a lot of noise to cut through! One way you can get a head start amongst the clutter, is to really understand your audience. You can do this by developing and understanding your buyer personas, so your emails target their goals and challenges at the right time.

Once you have detailed your audience and their challenges, your emails can begin to help them resolve these issues or guide them towards their goals. Next you can develop an email strategy. Keep the following in mind when you do.


Who are you sending your emails to? Relevancy is super essential when looking at the 'who' part of creating a new email campaign. Having great content but sending it to the wrong people will result in a flop, and great contacts receiving content that isn't relevant to them will unsubscribe.


What are you looking for people to do as a result of receiving your email? Do you want them to enquire, buy a product or discover more information? Having clear goals for your email will help readers navigate through your content offer. Also consider how easy it is for them to take this action.


This isn't just about finding a good time of day to send emails, but when in a prospect's journey you are sending them an email. As a prospect journeys along the path to understanding what you do and why it's relevant to them, you need to tailor your content to answer their questions.


Where are your contacts going to be reading this email? 48% of emails are opened on a smartphone, and 41% are opened on an iPhone. Considering this, it's important that your emails are responsive so that your message is clear and easily read no matter what device is being used.


Why have you decided to send your email? It's important to consider if the intended outcome of the email is more beneficial to your business than the reader. If so, you might need to reconsider the intended outcome. Remember, you want to be relevant and useful to avoid your audience becoming unengaged. Also consider how the email fits alongside any other conversations you're having with prospects across other channels.

How to create a high performing email

What can you do to increase email open rates?

When your email lands in the recipient's inbox, there are only three things they can see.

  • Who it's from
  • Subject line
  • Preview text (sometimes)

To increase open rates you need to focus on these areas, as this is what will be getting your reader's attention. You need to convey trust and interest to excite the recipient into opening the email to discover more. You might try sending it from a human, rather than 'marketing@....' so recipients feel that it's a personal communication. Your subject line may refer to them personally and contain an exciting tease of what's inside the email.

Testing new approaches will tell you which approaches work best with your recipients - and remember that shorter subject lines tend to perform better.

What can you do to increase email click through rates?

Once your recipient opens your email, the next goal is to encourage them to take action. Giving them lots of options can actually have a detrimental effect, as the recipient can become overwhelmed with choice. Instead, try tailoring the content to be relevant to the recipient and create a simple and clear call to action.

If you've created your buyer personas already, you should know what interests them so you can deliver content that adds value to their needs. Exclude contacts that haven't engaged with your last 10 emails, or enrol them on a new email list that encourages them to return.

A great list

Sending a great email to an under-targeted or unengaged database can make it underperform regardless of how great your content is. Generating a good database of contacts and keeping them engaged will help you create an email marketing strategy that delivers results.

Need help getting started with email marketing? Download our ultimate guide to email marketing

Download the email marketing guide

Download your free guide to Smarter SEO

Good SEO can mean the difference between your business being found, or you being lost in the growing mass of online resources. This guide is designed to help you rise above your competition.

Download now