How to start an email marketing campaign

Email marketing can be hard to master, especially when you’re getting started with email marketing. That’s why we compiled this handy guide that will teach you the best practices and tools in starting an email marketing campaign from scratch. If you want to use email marketing as one of your main digital marketing strategies, make sure to follow these steps so that you can start on the right foot!

Writing an engaging subject line

You’re not just writing your subject line to get attention and clicks; you’re also aiming for relevance. A good way to gauge how well you did is using a tool like Ahrefs. For example, if I were trying to advertise our Start Your Email Marketing Campaign post, I could see how our subject line stacked up against other industry leaders. As of right now, our competitors are doing a better job at grabbing potential customer attention and that’s something we should definitely consider improving with future posts. A simple solution would be changing our title from How To Start An Email Marketing Campaign to something along the lines of 5 Tips For Successful Email Marketing Campaigns That Will Make You More Money.

Write an offer or content the reader will enjoy

When you’re creating a piece of content for your readers, it’s important that you write with their needs in mind. This will make them more likely to connect with your brand, which will result in more sales down the line. In other words, take a look at your reader’s pain points and interests and create content that addresses both. If you can give them what they want or help solve a problem for them, you can build trust with your target audience. When people trust you and like what you have to say or offer, they are far more likely to do business with you than if they had no idea who or what they were dealing with. The bottom line is be helpful and people will come back for more!

Use the right template

Email templates are a great way to save time, streamline your campaigns and get better response rates. Start by creating a few general templates that can be used for specific groups of customers—all of your customers in one template, all of your new customers in another. Then create individual templates based on specific products or services. This will help you customize each message to speak directly to each customer’s interests. You should also make sure all of your sender information (name, address and logo) matches as closely as possible so you don’t lose recipients in case they see it somewhere else. Automation will allow you to send emails on a regular schedule regardless of when and how often a certain segment has been purchased from you before.

Best time to send

According to Litmus, between 8am and noon is best for open rates. Avoid sending emails before 8am or after 3pm, because your subscribers will likely be at work. Based on your subscriber list and industry, you might do better between 12:30pm and 1:30pm or 4pm and 5pm. However, I suggest that you keep testing a couple of different time periods until you find what works best for your business and audience. If everyone else in your industry sends emails at 10am on Mondays, it’s a pretty safe bet that there are better days/times to send out emails than during those hours. Keep A/B testing!

After your campaign – analytics and metrics

Unlike other online advertising channels, you can’t get immediate feedback from your customers by tracking click-throughs or conversions. You don’t know how effective your email campaigns are until after they’ve run. However, once you’re through with a campaign, there’s lots of information that can help you assess how it did: opens and clicks tell you if people read or acted on your message; open and clickthrough rates provide insight into content preferences; and web analytics data helps reveal how well each message performed on social media (tweets, likes) and within your website (page views). These metrics can help you refine future messages to better meet customer needs. When combined with customer surveys, these metrics also tell you which messages were successful at converting leads into sales or leads.

Analyze open rates

How many of your emails do you think actually get opened? If you have a solid open rate, it’s probably because your recipients are interested in what you’re sending them. If they’re opening up your emails, chances are they’ll continue doing so in future campaigns. Most marketers aim for at least a 20% open rate and even higher is better! Open rates might seem like something that doesn’t really matter, but it can actually tell you quite a bit about how effective (or ineffective) your email marketing efforts are.

Analyze click through rates

Your click-through rate tells you how many of your subscribers are actually opening your emails. If you’re not getting enough opens, it may be time to reevaluate your subject lines or even split test different versions. It’s also important to consider that people subscribe and unsubscribe from lists all of the time. So if your list shrinks, that may mean some of your subscriber are no longer opening or clicking on your emails. While having a high open rate is always a good thing, make sure you’re measuring results from a conversion standpoint rather than just building brand awareness through open rates and click-throughs alone.

Analyze unsubscribe rates

Your unsubscribe rate is a way of measuring how well your emails are resonating with your subscribers. Before you start a new campaign, it’s helpful to understand what that metric looks like for you and your business. You can do so by analyzing past emails and determining which ones received better open rates and click-through rates—and why. As with any other type of digital strategy, segmenting out people who have already opted in allows you to determine why they opted in, what messages resonate with them, and tailor future campaigns accordingly.


Now that you have gained a better understanding of how to start an email marketing campaign, you can create a strategy that uses various elements of your business plan to enhance your business goals. You should now understand where you will find and gather leads, what kind of offers will get people interested in signing up for your emails, and when or why it would be beneficial for you use some of your other resources. Learning how to perform each step is just as important as learning what steps there are in order for you achieve success with your digital marketing strategy. Remember, it is key to plan ahead and always stay on top of new strategies by staying abreast with changes or updates in digital trends and technology.