Sahil Hundal

6 Ways to Build a Better Email

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Looking to take advantage of email marketing to promote your business? With the ease of instantaneous electronic communication, low cost per send, and the ability to reach half the world’s population (over 3 billion email users worldwide), email promotion seems like a no-brainer; however, with over 200 billion emails launching every day, your email strategy will need an upgrade in order to cut through the noise and avoid an unwanted trip to the trash folder. Explore ways to differentiate your email marketing efforts with our 6 ways to build a better email.

  1. Strategize

Before turning a page in your notepad or opening your favorite email service platform, take a few minutes to plan your email campaign. Here are some questions to get yourself started:

  • What is the message I want to communicate?
  • Can this message be effectively communicated via email?
  • Is this message best sent as a one-off email or does it require multiple touch points?
  • If I am sending several emails, what does the send schedule look like?
  • Should my message lean on informational or emotional content?
  • Will my message be better communicated through a highly-designed HTML email or through a simple plain-text email?
  • Should the sender of the email be my organization, one of my colleagues, or me?

Thinking through these questions will better serve your vision for the campaign, allowing you to hone in and focus on what matters most – effectively communicating your message to your audience.

  1. Know Your Audience

We’ve all heard the old saying “know your audience” countless times throughout our lives. In marketing, this adage is a guiding beacon. Without understanding your audience, how can you know what’s important to them or how to reach them? If you’re a business owner attempting to communicate to your customers, you probably have a pretty robust understanding of what they find important – and if you don’t, this is the time to do some homework. Here’s a quick list of things you may want to know about your audience before launching your first email:

  • What time zone does my audience reside in?
  • Throughout the day/week, when does my audience check their emails?
  • Is my audience more likely to view their email on a mobile or desktop device?
  • Does my audience prefer sophisticated, professional, or casual language?
  • Is my audience tech-savvy?
  1. Plan Your Content

Start planning by taking inventory of your available resources. Since humans are visual animals, your collection of digital assets will come in handy here. Find the most suitable images that best supplement your messaging. If you are driving your audience to visit your website, think about creating a custom landing page for your campaign. Trying to add more individual customization to each email? See if merge fields are supported by your email service platform to automate the personalization.

  1. Use Targeted Copy

Now’s the time to start putting pen to paper. There are three components to an email: the subject line, message, and call to action. The subject line is arguably the most important element and is a key factor in determining open rates (in fact, 33% of email recipients open emails based on subject line alone). Be sure that you are using a concise subject line that creates a sense of urgency and exclusivity. If possible, personalize the subject line to further your chances of success.

Once your email is opened, it’s time to impress your recipients with some targeted copy. By tailoring your messaging to your audience, you can establish a sense of relevancy and focus on communicating benefits of your product/service that most resonates with them. Additionally, always word your emails in the second person perspective (“you”, “your”, “yours”) as it helps to keep the focus on the customer instead of the brand, furthering a sense of value that will keep them reading. Above all, be brief. Nobody has time to read your inbox essay.

Finally, your calls to action are what’s going to encourage your recipients to click on your email, driving them to your website, video, or event registration. Keep these between 2 – 4 actionable words (“Call Now,” “Register Today,” “Visit Our Website,” etc.). If working in an email service platform, build your calls to action in a button to help them stand out.

  1. Map Your Layout

Increase your email’s readability by planning your layout intelligently. Make sure your most important information remains above the fold. By keeping the most relevant content near the top of the email, your recipients won’t need to scroll in order to find it.

No matter who you are sending to, keep mobile readability in mind. Today, nearly 50% of all emails are viewed first on mobile, and this percentage is expected to increase over the coming years. Be sure to send tests of your emails to double-check how they appear on mobile devices.

Most importantly, make sure everything is hyperlinked. Every button, picture, and logo should have a link to increase the chances of your audience clicking through.

  1. Continually Test and Measure

Lastly, the most important step is to measure your results. Compare your key performance indicators (open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates) to industry benchmarks and investigate any significant differences. What worked well? What didn’t? If you have an idea on how to improve your next email, try testing it against a “control” email. Many email service platforms include a feature called A/B testing, allowing you to change an element in an email and, after sending, determine the winning results. Keep testing and iterating to improve your email results and continue building better emails.

Using these tips can help you to maximize the impact of your marketing efforts and boost your email performance. So, what are you waiting for?

Marketing Automation: A Crash Course

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Over the past 20 years, automation has changed the professional landscape. With the introduction of artificial intelligence into both major and minor decision-making processes, workplace automation has served to improve the lives of many billions of people around the world.

Marketing automation is no different and what used to take a team of sales people and a complex customer database can now be done with a few simple drag-and-drop tools, allowing marketers to focus on the things that really matter to their business. But, if it doesn’t include an army of Terminators and R2D2s, then what exactly is marketing automation and how can you use it to further the success of your business?


Marketing automation is a promotional method that uses computer software to take specific action when another action occurs. By using what are called logic-based “workflows,” marketers can have software programs automatically complete pre-determined goals or tasks whenever certain events are triggered (i.e. if an email remains unopened for 2 days, then send a follow-up email). Although marketing automation has quickly become a buzzword, it certainly isn’t a catch-all strategy, leaving many marketers to wonder how to fit an automation platform into their overall approach.


Many marketing departments automate highly repetitive tasks (such as email campaigns, social media postings, and prospect list sorting). This is where automation truly shines, and knowing whether or not you have the bandwidth to handle these tasks on a day-to-day basis is critical to determining whether you need a marketing automation platform.

Additionally, marketing automations require a steady flow of qualified leads. Many marketers often make the mistake of thinking they need an automation platform when they don’t have enough leads to flow through them. As a result, they often resort to buying lead lists online and funneling them through workflows until a very small subset of the list converts into a sale or unsubscribes.

However, this is counter-productive, as the time spent crafting messaging for a ramshackle audience is often less effective than clear communication to your target segment. Additionally, the less relevant your messaging is to your audience, the more likely they are to mark it as spam or unsubscribe which is detrimental to the reputation of your IP address, negatively impacting future communication efforts from your business.


Although the idea of logic-gated workflows and comprehensive drip campaigns can make people apprehensive about using a marketing automation platform, many of them require little training and rely on drag-and-drop interfaces for ease of use. Becoming a marketing automation master is just a matter of becoming familiar with your chosen platform(s).

Once completely set up, marketing automations require little maintenance, often occurring and re-occurring on a daily basis without supervision. There are many automation platforms on the market today, so choosing one is as simple as using comparative sites such as G2 Crowd or Software Advice to see which service best fits your business’ needs.

Finally, if you want to become a true marketing automation elite, we’ve included some quick tips below:

  • Upkeep a steady flow of qualified leads into the platform – always try to add more people than are unsubscribing on a monthly basis as a marketing automation platform is only as impactful as the lists it’s fed
  • Set up automated alerts – build custom email alerts in your workflows to let you know when an important action has occurred (such as a prospect filling out a lead form or a weekly list of prospects who completed an email drip campaign)
  • Craft email drip campaigns to tell a story – readers stay invested when there is a logical and compelling flow to your messaging, making them less likely to unsubscribe
  • Segment your lists – use distinct qualifiers based on a contact’s actions or volunteered information to automatically segregate your prospect lists and reach them more effectively with targeted messaging
  • Integrate your apps – use sites like Zapier, PieSync, or to integrate your marketing automation platform with all of your marketing applications (such as Salesforce, Marketo, etc.)