3 steps to go beyond the basic email newsletter

McKenzie Gregory

Maybe you’re new to email marketing, or maybe you simply haven’t paid much mind to it before.

Few people work as specifically as an email marketer, so there's a good chance it's just one of your many day-to-day responsibilities. That's why it's so easy for email to become just another box you check off your to-do list: Compile newsletter, send, repeat. But if you aren't using email marketing to its full advantage, you could be seriously missing out. 
After all... 
• 94% of people say they get online to check email – it’s the #1 activity on the internet
#2? Using a search engine. And if you think about it, that’s not an absurd statistic. We're all living in our inboxes. In fact, the average office worker receives around 30 emails an hour. 
• Email produces a 3800% ROI on average.
It’s a sound investment for marketers. While the number may swing up or down, the average ROI for email is consistently more than double that of other digital channels.
• Email can convert 3X higher than social media.
It’s not just the frequency with which it converts; the actual value of the impressions that you’re making is 17% higher. Take a moment to let that sink in. 3X higher conversion rates, 17% higher value of conversions.
But even though it’s inarguably effective, you can’t just send any old email and expect to see great results. To fully take advantage of email, you need to be intentional about your strategy. That said, here are three ways to go beyond the basic email newsletter and start getting more from marketing's most powerful channel. 

1. Automate a welcome email. 

Once you’ve captured new subscribers, how do you create a great first impression and convince them to stick around? An automated welcome email! 
Email automation is the key to making the most of your resources and content. It helps you save time, repurpose content, and deliver some impressive results. And since emails trigger based on subscriber activity, they’ll be the most relevant and timely messages you can possibly send.
Plus, they get great results: Welcome emails specifically get 4X the open rates and 5X the clickthrough rates of business-as-usual mailings. This is the highest performing email you could ever send, so don’t miss this critical opportunity to build customer loyalty. 


Keep iterating. When it comes to automation, it’s important to not just set it and forget it. Make sure you are always looking at your results and finding ways to refine.

Ask people what they want. Add a section that asks folks to choose what they want to hear about and select their preferences for send cadence. That's letting them do the segmentation for you. Speaking of... 


2. Start segmenting. 

Once you've gathered subscribers and welcomed them to your list, you NEED to be segmenting whenever possible, even if it's just by how they signed up or their engagement with that first welcome email. 

The best email marketing relies on relevant, personalized messaging, and segmentation is what will get you there. Some key things to segment by... 

• How they signed up
• Location
• Engagement (highly engaged, inactive, etc.)
• Purchase history
• By any action, really. If you have the data, use it!


Remember: Relevant emails drive 18X more revenue. List segmentation helps you guarantee you’re sending the right messaging to the right folks, and small tweaks can make a huge difference.  

3. Utilize the power of testing. 

If you've been sending the same email newsletter to your entire audience for as long as you can remember, it can be difficult to know how to begin tweaking your email strategy to get better results. That's where testing comes in. 

Choose a single variable. There’s always something you can be testing, but try to only test one variable at a time: your send time, your subject lines, your CTA language, etc. Refine it, get it right, then test something else. By the time you’ve tested everything you can think of, it’s time to start testing it all again.

Use a sample size of at least 5K. Here's our rule of thumb: If your sample size is smaller than 5000 subscribers, you should split your audience in half.

Know your goal. What do you want to accomplish? Whether it's improving your open rates, boosting email engagement, or generating more conversions, it’s important to identify what it is you're actually testing for, and make sure you have a clear goal in mind.


The most important thing to remember here? Testing your emails shouldn't be a one-time initiative. By the time you’ve tested everything you can think of, it’s time to start testing it all again. Trends in marketing are evolving more quickly than ever, so be aware of this and be ready to test whenever something new or exciting is available to you. 



Do you have all these things down? Learn how to get even more from your email program in, "The Ultimate Step-By-Step Guide to Improving Your Email Results." 


About the Author

McKenzie Gregory

McKenzie Gregory is a senior content manager on Emma’s marketing team. A Nashville native, she can be found covering all things email on the Emma blog, debating hyphenation rules, and watching obscene amounts of Netflix without a trace of shame.

Follow on Twitter Follow on Linkedin
Previous Article
Checklist: What's missing from your email strategy?
Checklist: What's missing from your email strategy?

With 64% of marketers lacking the time and resources they need, it’s only natural some best practices might...

Next Article
Back-to-school emails: Where we've been and where we're going
Back-to-school emails: Where we've been and where we're going

Back-to-school marketing has been around as long as we can remember. Here's a look at how it's evolved in i...

Want to engage your audience and grow your brand? Try Emma’s robust, easy-to-use product today.

Get a Demo