Email marketing isn’t new, and it isn’t sexy, but it is consistently performing well. In fact, it’s nearly 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook and Twitter (McKinsey & Company) , and remains the best digital channel for ROI according to a recent poll by Econsultancy. 

With email marketing being so effective, it’s important that your campaigns are optimised, delivering the maximum return on investment. Whether you’re a new business looking to start email marketing to promote your business, or even a seasoned marketing professional looking for a refresher, I’ll take you through five tactics that will help you get more conversions from your email campaigns.


For email marketing to be effective, the email content has to be relevant to the reader. One of the best ways to make emails pertinent, is by segmenting your audience.

How well you can segment your email list depends on the data you have available. Try to collect as much information about your audience as possible, whether it be demographic information such as age or gender, or more user specific information such as past purchase history, location or browsing information.

If you’re a new business (or even if not), asking your customers what they are interested in is a great way to learn more about your audience. Once you have this information you can promote your business and its services more effectively.  A good place to ask your audience about themselves is within your sign up flow.

For example, in the run up to Mother’s Day, M&S sent me the email below based on my past purchase history, as I had arranged a flower delivery for Mother’s Day the year prior. This email was relevant to me and in turn, I made a purchase:




As well as being relevant, email messages should be timely, which is where automation comes in. Instead of sending blast campaigns to an entire email list, campaigns can be set up to automatically send after an event or user action. Here are a few examples of actions that could trigger an automated email:

  • Purchase
  • Abandonment
  • Download
  • Sign up

Alternatively, emails can be triggered from a non event, for example, not visiting a website in X number of months.

A great example of an automated campaign is a cart abandonment email, sent automatically if someone enters a checkout process but fails to complete their transaction. These kind of messages have been seen to recapture 29% of abandoned carts, and are a great automated campaign to implement to drive more sales.

Shopping cart abandonment email example – Busuu:



Create urgency

People are more apt to take action if you tell them to, and by a certain deadline. For this reason, it is important to pay attention to the calls-to-action used throughout your marketing campaigns, and give readers a reason to click immediately.

One option is to make your deadlines time-based – for example, an offer only available for 48 hours. Time-based deadlines should be displayed prominently throughout your email and within your subject line, making the reader feel a sense of urgency. An alternative to adding the promotion length, is to use a countdown clock within the email. This would mean the deadline is accurate when the email is open and read, as the clock counts down in real time.  Companies using this kind of tactic have reported a 9% increase in click-through-rates and 4% increase in conversion rates.

If you have an online store, another great way to create urgency is by displaying limited stock levels in your emails. For example, stating “only 5 left in stock” helps communicate urgency, calls readers to take action and ultimately should drive more conversions.


Personalising email campaigns specifically to the reader, can go a long way to improve sales. This goes hand in hand with segmentation. The more relevant your message is to the consumer, the more likely they are to take an interest and ultimately convert. In a recent survey, it was shown that personalised emails generate 6x higher transaction rates, but that only 30% of brands use personalisation.

If you’re not currently using personalisation, here are some ways to personalise your email content:

  • By personal information e.g. reader name, company name, or account type
  • By device they are reading the email on e.g. desktop, iPhone or Android devices
  • By external factors e.g. weather at their location.

Here’s an example of an email we send at Yola, it’s personalised using a customer’s name and subscription type:




Finally, although these tactics have worked well with many companies, the best way to know for sure if they are improving your conversion rates is to test. For example, you could split test, sending half of your list emails with personalisation, while the other half receives emails without. Likewise, you could test sending an email to customers who have expressed an interest in a specific product, against customers who have not, to see if that kind of segmentation improves conversion rates.

Here are a few additional tests to try out and see what affect they have on your conversion rates:

  • Button copy e.g. a softer CTA such as Learn more V’s a strong CTA like Buy now.
  • Email type e.g. a text only email Vs a HTML email with images.
  • Sending time e.g. what time of the day or week sees the best results.
  • Subject lines e.g. short Vs long subject lines.


Email Marketing is a great way to promote your business and generate revenue for your business. However, email campaigns can generate even more conversions for you if they are optimised in the right way using any or all of the tactics mentioned. The key is to make emails personalised and relevant to a reader, and to make sure they are sent in a timely manner with clear call-to-actions that make a reader want to take action immediately.

Have you tried any of these approaches? Let me know by commenting below if you’ve had a surprising results. I’d love to hear from you.