[50] How To Improve Your Email Marketing – Email Growth Society

[50] How To Improve Your Email Marketing – The 5 Basics You Must Be Doing


In any business process, honing in on the basics is key to having a stable foundation. For today's episode, Amy Mangueira shares the five basic things you need to be doing to improve your email marketing. Remember, content and value are the most important part of your email. Don't get sidetracked by the miscellaneous stuff unless you have the fundamentals already up and running. Don't miss these practical tips from the Email Guru herself.


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How To Improve Your Email Marketing – The 5 Basics You Must Be Doing

I hope everyone out there is having a great day. Looks like my conversation with Libby Collett in episode 46 is helping out and creating a bunch of a-ha moments for readers. If you have not read it, head over and check that one out for sure. In this episode, we are going back to the basics. I typically weave these basic principles into as many episodes as I can but it is time to dedicate one full episode to these basics.

Why do you ask? It’s because anything built, we must have solid foundations. Email is not magic. You can't just wave a magic wand, and suddenly, it is going to work and generate tons of income and revenue for you. If you are going to build a house, you need to have a solid structure. We need sturdy frames being support walls and all of those things for it to survive, even in a natural disaster but simply to stand on its own and support you living in that home.

Everything we do in marketing is the same way but sometimes we focus on the things that don't matter as much as we think. We want to decorate the home, the pillows, curtains, etc. This is equivalent to how much effort most business owners or marketers focus on their email design. If I had a dollar for every outlandish request I’ve got for design perfection when meanwhile, their deliverability was terrible and nothing was even making it to the recipient’s inboxes, I would probably be pretty rich. The truth of the matter is simple text-only emails work really well. Design is just decorating the home element until your foundations are developed well and at play regularly.

Your data is one of the greatest gifts we have coming back from every email sent.

Track Month Over Month Trends

I would love to share these with you in a little more depth. I challenge you to take a step back and try to audit your own email processes to ensure that you are doing these five super important things. Let's dive in. The first is month-over-month tracking. Just because your email service provider spits out your metrics by campaign and a scannable view doesn't mean that this is the best way that you should be monitoring your email. Your data is one of the greatest gifts that we have coming back from every single email sent.

It isn't about just one campaign. It is about the aggregate of data and the month-over-month trends that develop. When we start working with clients, one of the first things they ask us is, “Was my open rate good?” There are a lot of things in play here because they don't even have any baseline data, so we don't know what good looks like for them. We have industry averages but if we can't understand what good looks like for people that have not purchased from you versus people that have purchased from you versus your segments, we don't have that answer.

In order to be able to move the needle with your email, you have got to have a way to measure and monitor month-over-month. I recommend you get a spreadsheet and start taking your campaign data from your email service provider every single month, putting it into that spreadsheet by the audience, leads, customers, certain segments. You start some heat map or look at it to see what your averages are. That way, when you go into the next month, you can say to yourself, “Our average open rate is 14%. Maybe I should test subject lines to try to get that to 14.5% or 15%.”

That is the only way you can move the needle. We need to move away from this reactive state into a more proactive state. That is a goal. If you don't have tracking in place, you need to stop what you are doing and get it in place. I recommend you to pull at least 90 days of data if you have it and get it all sorted, so you know where you are at here.

Separate Leads from Existing Customers

I know I have said this at least 47 out of the 50 episodes. The next is you have to have leads and customer lists. Insert me repeating the statement for the millionth time at least. Those that have purchased from you and those that have not, are not created equal. Therefore, the emails you send them should not be the same. You may have a promotion that applies to both but our metrics for leads and customers are 1,000% different.

What you learned to help you move the needle is also different. We spend month-over-month at Email Growth Society reading data and helping iterate on our client's email programs. The tactics are very different for both of these audiences and the way that you can get there by sending your email campaigns to these groups is very unique.


One example I will give you is, why are you going to send loyalty information to somebody that's never purchased from you? That is a waste of email real estate for a lead and likely will get them to start ignoring the email because it's not relevant for them. It is similar to subscribe and save. Unless you are Amazon, a lead is very rarely going to be interested in joining a subscription on something they have never purchased.

It takes approximately two additional minutes to set these lists up and get these email campaigns separated but it could make you thousands more dollars. I will tell you a great example of how to use this data in real life. It happened with one of our eBike clients. The lead data previously had shown that promotions with a discount worked well for leads. After all, they had never purchased before and were still doing some competitive research. Having the discount was like a, “Give it a try. No risk,” type of language.

When December came around, they decided to try a promo for leads that gave a discount only on the second bike but the key was they had to buy one bike at full price. It was, “Buy a bike and get a discount on a second bike.” It’s because we had our lead data and could see our heat map, we could start to see that from the subject line they were very interested but once they were in the email learning more about the deal, there was a huge drop-off. We had never seen anything like that for the click-through rate.

This was obviously resulting in zero purchases. We reported this data and made a switch to save $500 off your first bike. Almost like magic, leads were back buying bikes again. The original promo worked well for customers. They had already bought a bike, loved the brand, and wanted to give these bikes as holiday gifts. Why wouldn't they buy one full price, and then get a discount on the second one? This is one example of how leads and customers don't respond to the same things. Therefore, you need to collect the data in a way to understand their baselines and behaviors so you can start to crack the code on what makes each of these audiences tick. It starts by seeing the data separately.

Think About List Growth

Number three is list growth. I cannot express enough how this works. If you do not have enough people coming to your website in general, then the likelihood of them joining your pop-up box is going to be very slim. If we do not get people coming into the system, we are not going to be able to leverage email. We also have to understand that there is a component called list churn, which I have talked about before. Every single time we send an email, we have lists churn, whether somebody bounces, unsubscribes or simply decides to ignore your email, they become in a churned group.

You can get something going with very little effort. Remember: content and value are most important at the end of the day.

While your list says that you have 13,000 people, with list churn in play, you might only have 8,000 mailable contacts. Out of those 8,000, if we were to suppress those that haven't opened your emails in 90 days, you are likely down to 5,000. Every single month, that number is going to drastically reduce. Little by little, it is going to chip away. It is part of the way that this works. We’ve got to get new names in. If you are not focused on the efforts of how email interacts with your greater digital marketing ecosphere, take a pause and go start to look at some of your website metrics.

We want to see increased traffic coming to the website. Therefore, that gives us the ability to have a better conversion rate on our pop-up box and getting more people into some of our foundational flows. We are into that momentum of getting people to convert to customers. That's the best approach. We’ve got to get our organic traffic under control because we then can resort to things like giveaways with other brands and list purchasing methods but you know that those aren't going to work the same.

Somebody that signed up for a giveaway very likely is going to even remember your brand was a part of that giveaway. Therefore, they might mark you as spam or be disengaged from the start. The organic component to email success is huge. You’ve got to think about list growth. It is always shocking when my team uncovers that the reason the new lead welcome flow might not be working well is that three people entered it for the month. Please start to maybe add that to your data or look at that. We need to get more folks to get into the list organically because they want to be there.

Have A Consistent Email Sending Cadence

Number four is consistent email sending cadence. The holidays I feel like sometimes, are the only time when businesses decide they are going to come out from their rock and send an email. January comes and it drastically tapers off again. We have to have a consistent sending cadence. It doesn't matter if it is literally once a month but you send consistently once a month. You have to be consistent. The biggest penalty here is that you are losing your IP warmth. Your IP is not staying warm, which then will drastically reduce the credibility going into the email or internet service providers like Google.


To stay credible as a sender, you have to be sending email consistently, getting real people to open, click and reply to it. It is that simple. There is never a world in which you can just go cold. I recommend that if you are feeling overwhelmed at times because you don't have a ton of resources if all else fails, get one email out the door every single month. That at least will keep your IP warm. It will at least get your sending credibility to stay credible and keep you out of Spam, Promotion folders, and all that good stuff.

Get Your Foundational Flows Up And Running

Speaking of sending emails, foundational flows up and running is number five. I can't tell you how many times there are companies out there with a list of 30,000 people and are now deciding that they need to set up their foundational flows. This is a very big no-no because they have lost thousands of dollars just on their abandoned cart. There are some foundational flows that you need to get running. The great part about flows and automation is that back to that sending cadence, they are sending automatically based on when somebody enters them.

The beauty about it is you are constantly sending consistently, which gets your sending credibility with your internet service providers right off the bat. That is one benefit right there, the consistency that comes with flows. Also, we have got to have a place for these folks to go. If you think about all the money you have spent to drive folks to your website, you are paying for Facebook Ads and they get there, there is a good amount of people that are going to want to check out but are abandoned, especially on a Facebook Ad. We might be super pumped about it and then realize, “I am changing my mind now."

Your abandoned cart has got to be running. You are losing money. Foundational flows are something that helps you generate money while you are sleeping. These are running on your behalf. Setting up a place for your pop-up box to go into a new lead welcome is key. You need to have your abandoned cart at least running but if you can put up an abandoned browse, that's also great. Please make sure that when your customers buy something for the first time, you have a few emails to welcome them to your brands, tell them the operational value that you offer, how do returns work, how do you get in contact with the support, “Do you have a loyalty and referral program?”

Make them feel special because that flow is very tied to lifetime value and it needs to be in place. If you have those four flows in place, you are going to be light years ahead. It is such a benefit for your sending reputation. Remember, simple is okay. If you don't have a huge design team and you are worried about a major design effort, simple emails win a lot of the time. Some of my favorite emails have been super simple. It is one brand in particular. If you want to go look at it, it is Casper, the mattresses. They do not have intricate designs. They have won several email awards. They have one of the most engaged audiences around.

You can get something going with very little effort. Content and value are most important at the end of the day. We need to make sure we have month-over-month tracking established ASAP. We need to make sure our leads and customers are separated into lists, and we are starting to send our campaigns accordingly. Let's look at how many people we are bringing into our list each month versus how many were losing.

Let's make a strategy around that, so we can continue to see list growth. Let's get our sending cadence consistent and no more dry spells. Let's get foundational flow set up at minimum new lead welcome abandoned cart and browse, and new customer welcome. If you have any questions for me, please send them to Conversations@EmailGrowthSociety.com. Until next time, happy emailing everyone.

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