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  • Writer's pictureSophia Brading

How to create email marketing campaigns that convert

Updated: Oct 21, 2022

People send approximately 333.2 billion emails every day, according to Statista. That’s over 3.5 million emails every second.

There’s no saying what percentage of those emails are sent and received, but we bet there are days you feel like you’ve received all 333.2 billion yourself.

A true staple of the modern company, emails are essential for speaking with clients, employees and partners, but they double as a powerful marketing tool, too. Email marketing remains one of the cheapest channels to cultivate an audience and grow sales; an attractive option for companies ready to strengthen their online presence.

Why you should use email marketing to promote your business

It’s almost certain your prospective clients spend a fair amount of time in their inboxes. Done right, emails can promote your products or services, build engagement with your brand, drive traffic to your website, convert prospects into customers and turn one-time buyers into recurring purchasers.

Like any marketing campaign, you need to be thoughtful about your email marketing strategy. Done wrong, you run the risk of damaging your brand perception, which reduces engagement, creates content that misses the mark and increases churn rate. That’s why the anatomy of your email marketing campaigns must align with your audience’s expectations in order to deliver the kind of value they expect, in the format they most prefer.

Below, we’ve assembled the building blocks of strong email marketing campaigns you can use to delight readers and convert them into customers. Commit to these five elements of an email marketing campaign to grow your audience.

Craft emails with purpose

The first step to crafting a successful email marketing strategy is to identify what kind of emails you want to send. To do this, first determine what your goals are: nurturing leads, cultivating awareness, increasing traffic or generating revenue.

These goals correspond to the types of emails your company can send, each with their own set of considerations.

  • Campaigns are sent with a specific purpose in mind, such as promoting special offers, downloading whitepapers or signing up for a free trial. You can send them as a single blast, or over time through a drip campaign that nurtures leads and convinces them to purchase.

  • Newsletters are sent on a consistent basis to subscribers. You might share new blog posts or case studies to develop your thought leadership, discuss a product update or recent milestone, or highlight upcoming events. For more information, take a look at this article on how to make a newsletter that stands out.

  • Automated emails are automatically sent based on predefined triggers, think: welcome emails to new subscribers, celebratory blasts to customers on their birthdays or a checkout reminder to customers with abandoned shopping carts. Whichever email automation you choose, you can set up strategic automated responses using free email marketing tools, like Ascend by Wix.

  • Transaction confirmations are another effective form of marketing automation that are automatically sent following a transaction. They include order confirmations, shipping updates and reminders about appointments or events. While these emails are simple, they’re important for building rapport with your customers.

Create an email planning document to determine the different emails you’ll send out to your varying lists of readers, what the KPIs of each campaign are, as well as what the messaging will be. Map it out across a content calendar and commit each campaign to a posting schedule. When all your email marketing posts are laid out in front of you, it's easier to time your campaigns accordingly, pay attention to the holidays and ensure variety between content.

Deliver all value, no spam

Subject lines can make or break an email, so be sure to write compelling copy that commands attention and invites readers to click. MailChimp recommends you use no more than 9 words or 60 characters, and one emoji maximum.

“See what’s new this November” is a bland and unclear subject line that offers no context and could have been sent by anyone. “Why your five-year old is more digital than most CMOs” is more specific, inviting curiosity to click further.

It’s also best practice to keep the greetings light, jumping directly to answering any questions they may have immediately, above the fold. The more you can stay attuned to your audience’s FAQs, the more you can produce relevant content that directly addresses their pain points.

Remember that your first goal is to become a welcome guest in your subscribers’ inbox.

Start with a bi-monthly send, then increase the cadence to weekly once you build momentum. Of course, this depends on your audience’s preferences, so check back on your analytics to clue you in as to what’s working, and what needs work.

Grow an email list

You might be tempted to purchase a mailing list to grow your audience fast, but that’s generally poor form. Not only are the people provided in purchasable lists cold leads, they may not even be active to begin with. Your best bet is to take a more personal approach, so study your ideal customer profile to give them what they’re looking for.

Add a sign up section on your website to collect emails, and clarify the value signing up provides to your subscribers. Make it easy for them to refer their friends and add incentives for doing so. You can drive further traffic through content marketing, social media and A/B testing.

Personalize emails with hyper-targeting

Based on survey results in mailjet’s Inbox Insights 2022 report, nearly 60% of email marketers think personalization is one of the best ways to increase engagement. Since only one in five marketing emails are opened worldwide, according to, it’s important to address specific audiences rather than casting a wide net. This is as much a quality game as it is a quantity one.

Ascend by Wix offers advanced data analytics that can help optimize content, and features like dynamic values to personalize emails with your contacts' names to increase open rates and engagement. You can use it to segment customers based on demographics, geographical locations, website behavior, purchase history, amount spent, position in your marketing funnel and personal interests.

For inspiration, check out how Chipotle customized transactional emails that speak to the masses at an individual level. Spotify’s email marketing is another excellent example of personalized emails done right.

Automate to scale

Once you’ve tested the waters with your email marketing, it's time to set up some automations. Since the most effective emails contain the right information at the right time, you can build automated email sequences that meet reader's needs at each stage of the buyer’s journey.

Here’s a quick list of some automated emails you should be sending:

  1. Subscriber welcome series - an automated thank you note that welcomes newcomers to the brand and tells them what they can expect in future communications.

  2. Post-purchase series (new and returning) - email campaigns or flows sent after a purchase is made, typically as a payment confirmation.

  3. Winback series - an automated messaging flow you can set-up to reach out to inactive customers and subscribers.

  4. Up-sells and cross-sells - Used to sell more or adjacent products and services.

  5. Subscribed but not purchased - emails specifically sent to subscribers who aren’t customers (yet).

  6. Retarget your email after it's been sent out to reach more people - emails re-sent to the portion of your email list that didn’t open it the first time.

According to Hubspot’s trend report, the most effective strategies for email marketing campaigns are subscriber segmentation (78%), message personalization (72%) and email automation campaigns (71%). Use automation to fill in the gaps, reaching prospective customers and email subscribers at scale without having to remember to do it manually.

Switching your email marketing platform to Wix

If you’re new to email marketing and want to dip your toes before diving to the deep end, Wix offers a free plan complete with ready-to-go email templates and analytics dashboards. If you’re switching over from another provider, follow this guide to import your mailing list and set up new automations.

For more information on creating email campaigns, check out our email marketing support page.

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