How to Create Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

How to Create Successful Email Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is still one of THE best marketing channels you can use when you’re looking to grow your business.

Your subscribers have already raised their hands and said “yes, I want to hear more from you.”

That makes it incredibly easy for you to get your message in front of them — when you’re taking the right approach.

There’s a lot that goes into grabbing their attention in a busy inbox, getting them to keep reading, and then enticing them into taking the action you want them to take.

In this guide, we’re going to break down each of the elements you need to think about and master if you want to create successful email marketing campaigns.

And it all starts with…

Subject Lines That Grab Attention

The subject line is one of the first things someone will see.

Whether it’s a notification popping up on their phone or as they’re scrolling through their inbox, your subject line is your first (and sometimes last) impression.

If it’s good, they’re more likely to open your email and take the opportunity to read.

If it doesn’t grab attention, though, they’ll ignore the notification or keep scrolling through their inbox.

The subject line you create helps project your brand’s voice and personality – helping reinforce brand recognition and loyalty by consistently delivering value to the subscriber.

When you get this right, you can have people looking forward to seeing your emails simply based off recognizing your style of subject line.

To do this, you want to start by using psychological triggers.

For instance, check out these subject lines from Marie Forleo:

Marie Forleo, attention grabbing email subject line examples.

Each of her subject lines is meant to invoke a different emotion.

Some are loaded with self-interest (which your readers will LOVE), and others use curiosity to get the click.

Sometimes they compare one state to another or simply use emotional resonance to build rapport and get people to open their emails.

In your own subject lines, you can use a whole host of emotional triggers to drive the clicks.

Check out this chart to see what we mean:

Intrigue and CuriosityPique curiosity without revealing all, encouraging recipients to open the email.“This mistake could cost you — here’s how to avoid it”
Social ProofSuggest content is popular or endorsed by others to motivate recipients.“Join 20,000 others who’ve transformed their mornings”
AuthorityReference experts or well-known figures to increase trust and interest.“5 life lessons from [Celebrity/Expert Name]”
ReciprocityOffer something valuable for free, tapping into the principle of giving to receive.“A gift just for you — claim inside!”
Exclusivity and VIP TreatmentOffer exclusive access or deals to make recipients feel special.“Exclusive access: Members-only sneak peek”
Loss Aversion (FOMO)Highlight what recipients stand to lose if they don’t open the email.“Last day to see what you’re missing out on!”
Emotional TriggersEvoke emotions like happiness, excitement, or surprise to drive action.“Feel the thrill of your next adventure”
StorytellingTease a narrative or story, leveraging natural attraction to stories.“The day I said yes to challenge”
Beyond Names
Tailor subject lines to recipient’s behavior, history, or specific data.“Because you loved [Product], you can’t miss this”
Contrast and The
Use contrasting ideas or unexpected twists to grab attention.“When we tried the opposite of everything”

When you’ve baked an emotional draw into your subject lines, there are other ways you can amp up their effectiveness, too.

Some people like to use emojis at the start of every subject line:

Emoji use in email subject line, example.

Others will vary the emoji they’re using based on what they’re saying:

Varied Emoji use in email subject line, example.

You can also stand out by using all capitalized letters:

All capital letter use in email subject line, example.

And if you’re not sure what type of email subject lines to write, you can split-test them.

A/B split testing lets you run one subject line against another, checking to see which one drives better metrics, like open rates.

You can see what a split test looks like below:

Email split test, example.

Joanna Wiebe wanted to learn which subject line was going to get the highest open rates.

She started by sending each subject line to a small part of her list and then looking at the metrics.

Depending on the winner, she can scale that specific subject line to the rest of her list, ensuring that she’s getting the highest open rates possible.

In the test above, you can see that she’s looking to figure out what matters more to her list.

Doubling their revenue? Or joining the Freelancing School.

One is benefit-driven and the other is product-focused.

You can see other tests she’s run below:

Email subject line, example.

In the “Deliver a copy project in 1 day” subject line, she’s testing to see if directly explaining the benefit of the service (VIP days) helps increase interest.

For your own tests, you can use ClickFunnels to create engaging subject lines using built-in AI.

Clickfunnels email creation chatbot, example.

Then, you can take the subject line generated and create emails using the built-in professionally-designed email templates.

Each template is fully customizable to perfectly match your brand’s personality:

Clickfunnels email template, example.

If you haven’t already tried ClickFunnels to help write your subject lines and craft high-metric email marketing campaigns, you can start your free 14-day trial by clicking here now.

Try ClickFunnels FREE Today!

Teasing With the Preview Text

Once you’ve created a great subject line, the next element in your email marketing you want to take advantage of is the preview text.

This is the short blurb that people will see before they actually open your email.

And it’s a GREAT way to dive deeper into the subject line and show them why they should open.

Take a look at these examples to see what we mean:

Teasing With the Preview Text

You can see how Peleton treats the preview text as an extension of their subject line.

While the subject line serves as the primary hook to grab attention, the preview text helps add more context to your subject line.

It also adds depth to the subject line.

You can use it to provide additional information that can further pique your subscriber’s interest and encourage them to open the email.

Here’s more examples that show how powerful the preview text can be:

Email preview text, examples.

When you’re crafting your emails, think about how the preview text helps boost your engagement.

Increased Open Rates: Including preview text can dramatically increase your open rates.

By providing an extra incentive for subscribers to click on the email, it helps double down on your subject line.

If the subject line, alone, can’t fully convey the value of your email, the preview text gives you the opportunity to display more content, making it more appealing and relevant.

Doubling Your Message: The preview text also gives you double the space you would normally have with just a subject line by itself.

Most email clients will display both your subject line and your preview text, letting you take advantage of the additional space to communicate your message more effectively and stand out in a crowded inbox.

To see the difference, take a look at this example:

No email preview text, example.

You can see that not using a preview text is a massively wasted opportunity.

The emails above could be so much more powerful if the marketer was taking advantage of the space available.

To keep from making that same mistake, or creating preview text that doesn’t actually help drive more engagement, try using curiosity gaps.

A curiosity gap helps encourage readers to open the email by piquing their interest and providing just enough information to make them curious.

Then, the only way to satiate that curiosity is by reading your email.

You also want to make sure you’re not just repeating your subject line.

Remember, the preview text gives you an opportunity to ADD to your subject line — not repeat it.

You also want to make sure you stick to the word limit.

Depending on the email client your subscribers are using, you can use anywhere from 40 to 140 characters.

Beyond that, the email client will cut your preview text — which can be used to drive even more curiosity, if you do it right.

Hook Them From the Start

Now, once you’ve gotten their attention with your subject line and preview text, and have enticed them to click and open your email, the next step is getting them hooked and keeping them reading.

With people’s attention spans getting shorter and shorter, and having so many interesting things to do, if your email starts with a boring tone, people will back out, delete it, or (even worse) unsubscribe.

That means you need to hook them in with your message and carry over the attention you’ve already grabbed with your subject line.

The first 1 to 2 sentences in your email are the hook.

It’s the first thing they’re going to read once they’ve opened your email.

Your hook should be direct and understandable.

Take a look at the example below:

Email to landing page hook, example

Notice the first two sentences here.

The hook in this email immediately opens up with intrigue.

“Here’s an example of a simple business you can start right now.”

Then it starts setting up the story, making people even more curious.

“I know it’s simple, because I showed my MOM how to do it, and she ended up with a check for $1,773.46.”

If you were a subscriber looking for an easy business to start, you would definitely keep reading.

You would wonder how the writer’s mom ended up with a check for that amount — what did she do to get paid that much?

This storytelling element can be incredibly compelling.

And there are a few different ways you can create great hooks in your emails.

Talk About Desire

Talking about a desire your audience has is one of THE easiest ways to keep them reading.

Check out this example from Jon Morrow:

Jon Morrow audience targeting, example.

This is incredibly short, sweet, and to the point.

The very direct email copy leans heavily into something his subscribers desire — making more money, without the hustle, in a few hours a day, and having the weekends off.

They’re also going to want to know the secret to what he’s talking about.

Talk About a Relatable Problem

Another great way to hook your audience is by talking about a relatable problem.

Here’s an example that does an amazing job with this style hook:

Ten Percent Happier, talking about a relatable problem quiz example.

For Ten Percent Happier, their audience has probably experienced all of those scenarios.

To help you see how strong this style of hook can be, check out this example, too:

Talking about a relatable problem quiz example.

It uses a curiosity-based “question for you…” opener.

Leaning into how their subscribers are probably expected to do certain things because they’re the “stronger one” in the relationship is incredibly powerful and helps them relate to their audience.

Start With a Narrative

You can also start with a narrative that you know your audience shares.

Check out this example to see what we mean:

Start with a narrative that you know your audience shares.

This is a great example of portraying a narrative that you know your audience is already thinking.

And if you ever find yourself lost when it comes time to write your own hooks, ask yourself a simple question: “Would I read this if it was sent to me?”

If the answer is no, it probably means you’re missing the mark somewhere and should spend a bit of time thinking about your audience and what they want to see from you.

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Make Your CTA clear & Benefit-Driven

After you’ve gotten your subscribers to open their email and read through your hook and message, the next step is getting them to take the action you want them to take.

For your calls to action, you want to make sure they’re very clear and benefit-driven.

For instance, you want to avoid using generic phrases like “Download”, “Sign Up” or “Learn More”.

These phrases sound monotonous and unengaging, almost feeling like a chore for your reader.

They also miss out on a MASSIVE opportunity to show people what’s in it for them if they click.

To take advantage of this element, you want to use contextual CTAs.

Contextual CTAs are custom-tailored to the content of the email and the subscriber’s interests.

By making your CTA contextually relevant to the rest of the message and your subscriber’s interest, you increase the likelihood that they take action.

You’re essentially showing them what’s in it for them if they do — and how it benefits them.

For instance, if you’re promoting a cooking course in your email, a contextual CTA could be “Master The Art Of French Cooking In As Little As 1 Hour Per Day” instead of a generic “Sign Up Now”.

This makes sure the call to action speaks directly to your subscriber’s interest in cooking and makes it more appealing overall — helping you drive more clicks from the email.

To see what we mean, check out this example:

Make sure the call to action speaks directly to your subscriber’s interest in cooking and makes it more appealing overall, red velvet cookies example.

Instead of just saying “Click Here” or “Learn More”, this CTA is very direct: I Want Those Cookies.

For your own emails, one of the ways to get inspired is to look at what your customers are already saying about you.

Take a look at this example from Atoms:

Look at what your customers are already saying about you, call to action example.

Since their testimonial said the shoes were incredibly comfortable and that they look great with most outfits, the call to action from Atoms is “Get The Goes-With-Everything Shoe”.

Pretty simple, right?

Here’s another one from them:

Look at what your customers are already saying about you, call to action.

Atom’s CTAs are great because they focus on a key benefit — looking great in school and having shoes that go with every outfit.

They’re also very clear and concise. There’s no extra wording weighing down the CTA.

Each one is action-oriented, relatable, and specific, making them incredibly relevant to their subscribers.

Instead of just focusing solely on the action you want your subscriber to take, use a call-to-value CTA that helps emphasize the value they will receive by taking the action you want them to take.

This can help make your CTAs more persuasive and less pushy.

For instance, instead of saying “Buy Now” you can try “Unlock Your Exclusive Bonus” or “Get Instant Access To Premium Content”.

For Example:

Learn how to set yourself finanacially FREE - in this lifetime, call-to-value CTA .

Take notice of the CTA — it’s not a simple “click here”.

Instead, it’s focused on the benefit that their subscriber will receive when they click through.

Follow Up With Them

Now, once you have each element in your email dialed in, the next step is to ensure you’re actually following up with your subscribers.

Since most people won’t immediately take action the first time you email them, you’ll want to create a series of emails to help increase your conversions.

You have to remind people how what you do can benefit them and stay top of mind.

Gently nudging them again and again with a follow up sequence is a great way to do this.

For example, you can use an abandon cart sequence:

Abandon cart, email sequence example.

Or you can nudge people to become a paid subscriber:

Paid Subscriber, email sequence example.

You could also run a series of emails that announces an upcoming course launch:

Upcoming event, email sequence example.

The key here, though, is making sure you have systems in place to automate these emails.

ClickFunnels is a great tool to help solve that problem.

(If you haven’t already, click here to start your free 14-day trial now.)

You can build out full-featured automated sequences directly inside your ClickFunnels dashboard:

ClickFunnels dashboard,full-featured automated email sequences, example.

You can customize each message using professionally-designed email templates and even split test different variations of each email to see which one performs the best.

Then, over time, you can continue tweaking and testing to make sure your automated sequence 

Get Your Timing Right

With automations, you can also make sure you’re sending emails at the perfect time.

Depending on your audience, the time of day that you send your emails can have a dramatic impact on your open rates.

Emails that are being sent when your subscribers are more likely to be checking their inboxes are more likely to be opened.

To determine the best time to send your emails, there are a few factors you want to consider.

Your Target Audience: Time zone considerations are vital to the success of your email marketing campaigns. With a tool like ClickFunnels, you can send at specific times inside of your subscriber’s active time zone. This helps you match their local times and can help you dial in when your audience is most active — helping improve engagement.

Your Marketing Goals: You also want to consider what you’re promoting. For instance, if you’re promoting an event, you’ll want to ensure your emails are being timed in a way that maximizes attendance, considering both the amount of time people will need to plan and the best days of the week to engage them with your content.

Split Testing: Then, you can test sending at various different times, tracking your results to see which times deliver the best open rates, clickthrough rates, and highest conversion rates.

To do this, ClickFunnels gives you 3 different options: immediately, later, and Smart Sending.

To do this, ClickFunnels gives you 3 different options: immediately, later, and Smart Sending, dashboard settings.

The key to creating successful email marketing campaigns involves understanding each of the elements that go into making a successful email.

From your subject line and grabbing attention in a crowded inbox, to your preview text and helping entice people to want to read more, understanding what your audience wants to see from you is critical.

Once you have their attention, you want to hook them into your message and keep them reading then deliver value or benefit-driven calls to action to get them to take the action you want them to take.

Finally, you want to make sure you’re using automations to continue following up with your audience and split test the best times of the day to send — so you’re getting the best results possible.

When you get each of these elements right, creating successful email marketing campaigns is simple.

To make it even easier, though, consider using a tool like ClickFunnels to help measure the success of each of your campaigns and continually optimize to drive even better results over time.

You can click here now to start your free 14-day ClickFunnels trial to see how powerful it can be.

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