How to Ensure Your Marketing Emails Are Read Every Time

Posted by Michael Olsen on Mar 3, 2017 12:49:23 PM
Michael Olsen
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Although there are many variables that go into sending a high performing email, you can almost guarantee success if you spend the time properly planning your email campaign prior to hitting send.   

Define  Your  Primary Goal 

The foundation of every good email campaign is a defined goal. You can’t write a good email when you don’t know what you want out of it.  Additionally, if you don’t know the purpose of your email campaign, how do you expect your target to engage or act on it? 

Even if you have some GREAT content, it’ll get ignored, junked or even worse (spammed) – if it’s not relevant to the reader. 


So, how do you define your goal?  A great place to start is to remember the 5Ws.  Yep, those important questions we all learned in 3rd grade – The Who, What, Why, When, and Where.  


  1. Who? Who are you trying to engage with? Is it e-commerce business owners? Moms with 2 daughters less then 10 years old? Elementary Teachers in the midwest?  The key here is to be as specific as possible when asking these questions.  The more specific the better the results.   

  1. What? What is the action you want your audience to take?

Register for a webinar, download an eBook, or subscribe to your blog are some good, simple, clear actionable goals.  

  1. When? When is it appropriate to send?

First, let’s consider the first question: WHO you are sending this to. Marketing executives, policemen, and students all have different personal schedules, and check their emails at different times. 

If your target audience doesn’t have a consistent schedule, consider doing some A/B Timing Tests. This will help you define some peak hours, and determine if there is a best time to reach your target. For a deeper dive into your target, jump into the psychographics of your target demographic. You might find some gold nuggets from conducting your own research.  

Second, sending the right content to the right person at the wrong time is a missed opportunity. 

Google breaks down people’s behavior into “I want to go”, “I want to know” and “I want to buy” micro-moments. Having a salesperson bombard you with “help” at the wrong time is almost as bothersome as not having anyone around when you’re looking for something specific. 

The same is true of emails. 

Knowing when to send the right content to the right person at the right time is invaluable. This is something important to uncover, finding the micro-moments of consumer behavior to fuel dynamic marketing. 

  1. Where? Where will your audience read your email?

Some will check your email on their phone commuting to work while others will be sitting at their desktop, or on the couch at home. 

How do you make sure both people will enjoy your email? Make it responsive. There’s nothing worse than getting an email on your phone with a 0.5 font size that causes you to crash into the highway ditch. 

General rule of thumb for mobile and desktop view, make it clear. Make it simple. If you get too wordy, remind yourself of your primary goal and stay focused. 

  1. Why? Gut check! Why is your company sending this campaign? Who is benefiting here, you or the reader?

If the answer is “for me!” delete everything, right now. If you realize it’s purely self-promotional or self-serving, it’s time to rethink your strategy.  

No one wants to know what’s good for you, they want to know what’s good for them. Don’t be that endless marketing blabber we all try and stay away from at the party.  

Each email campaign you send has the potential to positively or negatively influence a consumer's perception of your brand. Make it a win-win and aim to provide value with every communication. That’s what marketing is all about: helping future customers. 

  1. How? How will you know if your email campaign was successful?

Remember, clicks and opens matter, but they’re directional pieces and not the final destination.  

Look at your website traffic, social pages, advertising and analytics. How much did you sell? How many people signed up? Take these insights and apply them to your next email campaign. Marketing is the continual process of getting better, so learn the lesson and keep hustling. 

Take your time answering these 5-W question to assure a successful email campaign every time.

Til next time, keep on marketing!

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Topics: Optimization, Email Marketing

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