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email marketing plan

Email marketing may be slightly overlooked by some parties, especially with the growing importance of social media, but with the right email marketing plan, it is still possible to achieve a great deal of success with an email marketing strategy.

We are going to take you through some of the BEST tactical email marketing tactics, hints and tricks to improve what you do and achieve with emails.

Step #1 Understanding your email marketing strategy

With a business email, you should have five key purposes.

#1 Indoctrinate

This is where you teach the reader who you are and what you offer..

#2 Engage

This is where you provide information that encourages users to take action or buy..

#3 Ascend

This is where you look to build a relationship or encourage your users to take further action or buy more items..

#4 Segment

This is where you find out what your audience is looking to buy next..

#5 Win-back or Re-engage

This is where you bring your audience back to you..


These are the 5 stages to a reliable and effective email marketing strategy and these are the points that you must have in place to succeed.

When it comes to indoctrination, there are a number of elements you need to get across. You need to let your audience know who you are, what you stand for and what stands you apart from your peers and rivals. You should also be looking to let people know what to expect from you, how often they should expect content from you and what your users need to do next. You should be looking to provide this information once to your users and new prospects.

With the engagement process, the key is to provide offers to your users. This should be an offer related to the reason or factor behind a person signing up with you so make sure that it is linked to your initial offer that got people interested. It may be that you offer a free report, vouchers or further information relating to your industry or business.

For the ascension process, you want to spend some time thinking about this and getting it right because this is where the money is. Every buyer that you receive from the engagement process should receive an ascension email which offers further benefits and reasons to buy from you. You will find that users will often say NO to the engagement or the ascension process and if they do, simply change your message or offer something different until you find what they are looking for.

For segmentation emails, you are looking to get some form of response from your user that will provide you with information about what they are interested in. Once they show a level of interest in something, you can target them with more appropriate engagement emails.

Of course, the biggest problem comes when customers and users don’t open emails or click on them, because this is money that is being left on the table. You want to set up an email strategy that will win these users back and have them taking interest of what you have to offer.



Step #2 How to write emails that have a high conversion rate

Once you have a handle on the five stages of your email marketing strategy, you should be looking to create your email, which includes:

  • Subject lines
  • The email copy
  • Landing pages

It is important to be aware that these different elements have different responsibilities.

The role of the subject line on your email is to get people to OPEN the email. That’s it, it has one purpose. You don’t need to sell anything here, just get them to open the email.

There are two main types of email subject lines – the Blind subject line and the Direct subject line.


Direct Email Headlines

Blind subject lines can increase the open rates but they will often lead to a decrease in click rate or landing page. This is because the blind subject line offers something enticing but when the offer is revealed, the user may not be interested in what you provide. The blind subject line is enticing and will pique people’s curiosity but it may be lacking in getting people to take action.

Blind Subject Lines

Blind Subject Lines

The Direct subject line, as the name suggests, reaches out directly to the user and while this will see fewer people open the email, the people that will open the email will be more likely to click and convert.

The school of thought suggests that the Direct subject line is better as it is best to speak to people who will be interested in what you have to offer but from time to time, the Blind subject line can be of benefit. It is often helpful to mix up your process and then keep an eye on the analytics of your email campaign. You should be looking at your analytics on a regular basis. It may be that some of the tone and language you use will not appeal to some users and you could lose followers. You should be able to review these figures and determine if there is anything better you can do.

The role of the email body copy is to get people to click and take action.

Similar to the subject line, you can choose a direct approach or a blind approach with body copy and the same rules apply. When you are direct, you will find that fewer people will read on and take notice of what you have to say but of the people that do read on, the likelihood of getting that click will be higher.


As for the structure, unless you are writing a very quick one to two sentence email, you want to provide at least three links to landing pages. However, all of these links should provide your users with a psychological reason to click on the link. The key reasons are curiosity, direct benefit and scarcity. You should look to vary the order of these reasons and analyse your results to see what works best for you.

The role of the landing page is to seal the deal. If users get to your landing page then the subject line and the body copy were a success. The landing page is all about the sale and while it isn’t a genuine part of the email, it plays a vital role in the overall success or failure of your email.

Your landing page should continue in the same vein, style and tone of your email. It should all feel as though the conversation is being had by the same person, so focus on finding a voice and using this across your different platforms.

Step #3 Find the best subject lines for your email

First of all, you need to make sure that your emails are opened because if your emails aren’t opened, it doesn’t matter how good the rest of your content is. These are some of the best email subject lines and you should look to these or use them as the basis for your subject lines.

The 8 best strategies for your subject lines include:

Self-interest – Speak directly to the user and offer a specific benefit that the user can gain by opening your email. Give a clue as to what you offer

Curiosity Providing an idea of a benefit but not revealing what it is provides a high return of opened emails.

Make an offer – People like getting things for nothing or at a cheaper rate so provide them with an offer and make this offer clear in your subject line

Scarcity/Urgency – If you can convince your users that they have to act now to obtain the benefits included within your email they will do so. You should only do this if there is a genuine deadline or limited availability of your offer.

Humanity – Sometimes it is about reaching out to people on a personal level or being nice – thanking them or sending them a greeting.

News – If you can keep people entertained and amused on new developments in your industry or niche, they will have an interest in what you offer and will open your emails. This is a subject matter that combines well with curiosity.

Social Proof – People look to the behaviour of others when we make decisions and this is something you can leverage with your email subject lines. Use names people recognise, indicate how many people use a service or refer to people’s success stories.

Story – Tell a story that people can connect to. Storytelling is one of the best ways to connect with people and helping them to think about their own situation and how you can be of benefit to them.

Examples of great email subject lines include:

  • [TODAY ONLY] Buy this NOW before it is gone
  • A Facebook slap is approaching
  • Steal these email templates
  • Your essential 5 step plan disappears at midnight
  • Is this the hottest career in Internet Marketing?
  • A Native Ad in 1 Hour or Less!
  • 365 Blog Post Ideas
  • [URGENT] You only have the weekend to watch this

Step #4 What emotional triggers can increase the click through rate of your email

Once you are getting people to open your emails you are making progress but the next step is to make sure that people click. It has been found that there are four key emotional triggers that people respond to, which are:

  • Gain
  • Logic
  • Fear
  • Scarcity

It is possible to apply these principles to encourage people to take action and get an increased number of clicks from your email.

It is only natural that your user will think what have I got to gain by clicking on a link and you need to be able to answer the question. The copy of your email should inform your user what they have got to gain by taking action from your email.

While some people will buy for emotional reasons, there is also a lot to be said for the fact that people justify their purchases with logic. You will find it easier to pique users interest from the emotional side but follow this up with a logical approach or reason to buy from you. This can be done in many ways including statistics, odds, expert opinions, testimonials or even comparisons.


You don’t want to focus too heavily or too often on fear but it is important to be aware that fear can often be a more motivating tool than logic or gain. Fear can be achieved in many ways, some companies will be able to strike fear in users through a lack of life insurance whereas other companies will focus on natural disasters and similar scenarios. It is important to know what you offer and how your products or services can help solve solutions and fears of your audience.

With scarcity, you need to genuinely make a user feel as though they will miss out on what you are offering. Sometimes the only reason a person will buy is if there is some form of urgency involved with the process, so if you have a genuine deadline or limited availability, inform your user of this.


As with all elements of marketing, you should be looking to vary the approaches you take and then you should test these approaches to see what works best for you.

Step #5 Learn the best email body copy

When it comes to making the best email body, why spend time crafting your own when research has been undertaken to find the most effective subject lines and body copy?

Promotional emails are useful for generating leads or selling services and products while content emails are emails that drive traffic towards blogs.


Example of Email Body Copy

Obviously the copy you need to use depends on your business and your audience as not every approach will work for every customer. You should be mainly looking to keep things as simple as possible with your body but then again, if you are a company that sells technical or high-end products you will need to tailor the language and approach to your users.

Think about when and where your audience is likely to read your email because this will also impact on the sort of language and length of your email. If your audience is likely to read your email on a smartphone device, a lot of lengthy text is best avoided. Similarly, if clients receive emails at work, get to the point and get your message across quickly.

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About James Nicholson

James Nicholson is the founder of Rocket Marketing Hub. He’s worked in Digital Marketing for over 10 years for companies like Utility Warehouse, NHS and hundreds more.

You can connect with James on Twitter and Facebook

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