Email Marketing: 10 Tips to Help Increase Conversions

Use these tips to help your business’ marketing neeeds

At this point, most all retailers send promotional emails to their customers to promote their businesses. But how can you achieve higher open rates, click throughs and conversions? We asked our Digital Marketing expert, Emerson Scherer, for his top tips to send more effective emails.

1. Keep your emails simple and focused on 1 key offer

There is a lot we want to say to our customers, but the reality is that our customers don’t have the time or patience to consume all of our information. So it’s best to keep your emails short and simple- and to the point. You will see the most traction if you limit your emails to one promotional offer with one ‘call to action’.

2. Send on days and times that statistically perform better for your list

Hopefully you are tracking the success of your emails and have learned which days and times perform the best. It used to be that we would never want to send an email on Monday or Friday or too early or too late in the day… but those ‘rules’ have gone out the window now with consumers all equipped with smartphones and connected all day, every day. So it will depend on your customers and when you know them to be most active.

3. Ensure your email template is mobile optimized

In many cases, our retailers are seeing up to 80% of their online traffic and interactions done through mobile devices- so it is crucial that your emails are mobile optimized and can be easily and automatically reformatted properly regardless of the device its opened on.

4. Be sure to A/B test subject lines and content

Sometimes what you expect to perform the best, doesn’t. It’s a great idea to try two varying subject lines (maybe one including the sales promotion and another more personalized, less salesy subject) and use your email platform to run an A/B test. This means the system will send a portion of your emails with subject A and another with subject B, then whichever results with the highest open rate, the system will automatically send that subject to the rest of your email list.

5. Clean your lists often and remove users that do not interact

While it’s sometimes thought, ‘let me send all of my emails to everyone I have’, in hopes that someone will eventually react- that is not the right approach. If you are using a list that you have accumulated over many years, we recommend you run a report and remove anyone who has not interacted with your brand in the past 2 years. If you continue to send email promotions to consumers who have not responded in any way, you are wasting your budget and efforts, and ultimately resulting in lower overall performance rates.

6. In your subject lines, “Don’t Sell What’s Inside”, “Tell What’s Inside”

Subject lines that are clearly trying to ‘sell’ typically perform worse than subject lines than might be more educational or informative. Instead of talking about how great your products, company, or promotion is, explain more about why and what you are showing. For example, a good, time sensitive email subject might be “Tonight Only: A denim lover’s dream”, as opposed to a bad subject line, such as “Your coupons for this week”.

7. Send from a recognizable email address to increase open rates

Consumers first look at the subject line, then they look at who is sending the email. If they don’t recognize who the email is coming from, they typically will not open it. If the ‘Sent From’ clearly states your company name, you probably shouldn’t repeat your company name again in the subject line. The goal is to keep it short and sweet, but recognizable.

8. Send from your own domain name to increase open rates

While you might have your own Gmail or Yahoo email account, remember to always send your promotional emails from your own domain name. And if you don’t have one- it might be time to get one.

9. Offer different opt-in list types so users can segment themselves into lists of interest

When sending lots of promotional emails the goal is always to get more email addresses to send to. A great way to do this is to add an area on your website where customers can opt-in and sign up for your email lists. To even further your email success, allow your customers to choose from a short list of email types- whether it be newsletter updates, special events, sales and promotions, etc. By providing your customers with the flexibility to choose the types of emails you send them, you will ultimately increase the chances that they then open them.

10. Send more emails, to smaller segmented lists more often

We have found that retailers who send more targeted emails that speak to a smaller audience have a much higher monthly ROI. This can be achieved through email personalization. Segment your email lists by customer preferences and/or sales history, so that you can send more targeted emails to smaller groups of customers, based on what they like and the types of products they have purchased in the past.


While there is no one magical answer to achieving increased email marketing success, following these tips can most definitely help you get there. One thing we know for sure, when you send many emails to your entire list with no type of segmentation, you can pretty well guarantee you will see increased opt-outs and low success. By working with so many retailers over the years and helping them segment their lists and target their messages, we have seen open rates jump from 6 or 8% to over 28%!


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