Lockdown Live: 5 Email Marketing Techniques That Works Every Time


Email marketing is a very powerful tool. It is, in fact, the most effective way to retain customers. Once you've got all your other touchpoints sorted out it’s time to invest in email marketing and there are some substantial email marketing techniques to fine-tune your digital marketing strategy

Email Marketing Technique 1: Populate Your Database

You might think it’s easier said than done, but this is not the case here. This is as simple as adding your current contacts to your list as long as you have a list, by hook or by crook. You can use your existing contacts to “practice” email marketing techniques.


Ideally, you want people to opt-in. The easiest way to populate your database with qualified leads is to offer them something. This can be a white paper, e-book or exclusive helpful tips just for subscribers to your newsletter.  


You can also perhaps run a Facebook lead generation ad. Once that is set up, write a friendly message, for example, “Hi, my name is Pete, and I am giving away a free e-book on SEO basics; reach out to me if you are interested”. If you have the right plugin, you can also add a pop-up on your website. “Subscribe to the newsletter for exclusive content”. For people you are already in contact with, you can send them a link to subscribe to your newsletter. 


Once you have an opt-in database, you can start segmenting it. 

Email Marketing Technique 2: Segment Your Database

Classifying your database into different segments according to persona, customer journey, or location is the best thing you can do for yourself and your clients.  This way, you can send tailored email campaigns to different segments. 


Mailchimp makes it very easy to segment your database. All you have to do is import your contacts and adjust the setting accordingly. Next, you will need to create tags to define your different audiences. If you speak to students, that’s an additional mailer to parents. If you talk to returning customers, that is another mailer to new customers. 


Email marketing works by creating an email and sending it out, but it's the email service provider's job to filter spam. Gmail will most likely classify your messaging to customers as non-vital communication. People will eventually mark your mailers as spam, putting you at risk of being blacklisted.  Take note; To avoid being blacklisted,  Instead of reporting you as spam, you must allow them to unsubscribe by placing that on top. 


But don’t stress, there are some loopholes, and I will tell you how to design your email campaigns. 

Email Marketing Technique 3: Use The Correct Format

Sharpen your pencil because I am about to reveal the most important email marketing techniques. It’s your subject line. The subject line is king. Every metric on email marketing rises and falls depending on how well your subject line convinces people to open your mail. The database is gold often; it takes 10-15 touchpoints of customers to convert.


The KPI industry experts always refer to is the open rate. This tells you how many people opened the mail. If this rate is reasonable, you’re doing something right. The available rate only measures the effectiveness of your subject line. Email marketing is like a rally race. Once the subject line has done its job, it’s time for the heading and then the call to action. The subject line is still the hero in getting your mailer read. 


Here are some pointers for you to create the perfect subject line

  • 6-10 words
  • Lead with an action word
  • Avoid spam-trigger words, exclamation points and odd punctuation 
  • Avoid sales wording
  • Use the first name
  • Question or statement
  • The lower case is best


Always give people a reason to open your email. Let your subject line stand out. Can you help me real quick? ...  I've got your attention, right?  Well, that is the whole point. Your mailer to your customer should look like it's sent to one individual. The receiver of your mailer should feel as if you're having a conversation with them one on one. 


This is one of my favourite kinds of the mailer. The personal ones are easy to read. Asking for a favour is a great way to connect with your audience. Addressing people by their name is also a very effective way to get people’s attention. Be president with useful/helpful information. 


Pro Tip: Check if names are on the database to address them correctly with a merge tag.


The second most important thing to build on your subject line is to use the preview pane text. Often used to support the subject line, the preview pane text is like a snippet of the email should always contain helpful information. 

Email Marketing Technique 4: Use The Correct Email Marketing Tools

email marketing techniques mailchimp

There are many email marketing techniques and tools you can make use of.  We recommend using Mailchimp. Since it can not only be used for mail but also to create landing pages and all kinds of other marketing integrations. 


Using Mailchimp, you can embed a code on your website on a landing page to harvest email addresses. Automatically you will have information about your website visitors' contact details via email. Your website footer can be customized to send data straight into your Mailchimp account. You can just sit back and don’t even have to manually make it in sync. Not too shabby right?  


Mailchimp also allows you to A/b Testing subject line separately: Split database in two. You can easily discover what works best for you. 


At the initial setup and nitty-gritty you're in a hurdle race, once you're set up and sent out your first email you have already overcome the major hurdles. You can pat yourself on the back if you have made it thus far. The next phase is much easier and quicker, don’t lose hope. 

Email Marketing Technique 5: Design Quality Email Content

It’s time for the fun stuff. Mailchimp provides you with a multitude of pre-made templates you can use for your campaigns. 


Spamming is not always about  sending a lot of emails but also sending useless information that has no value for your audience. The key is to showcase your expertise rather than hard selling. Send out different stuff on your newsletter than what you do for social media. Always have a call to action to encourage people to sign up. 


Good content sells, but also so does telling stories. Your emails have to follow a sequence and be cohesive. It’s all about understanding your audience and their interest. 


Pro Tip: Check if names are on the database to address them correctly with a merge tag.

About Dylan Kohlstädt

Dylan Kohlstädt started Shift ONE digital in 2011 and now has a team of top subject matter experts working with her from her offices in Cape Town and Jo’burg, and clients based all over the world.


Shift ONE specialises in getting you customers through authenticity: creating authentic content that builds communities and turns customers into fans. We create believable top-converting websites, that rank on page one of Google SEO, and next-level social media, online advertising, email marketing, graphic design, blogging, press and PR, lead generation, writing, video, animations, and more.

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