email marketing best practices

About Our Client

This case study details the email marketing success of an American marketplace, where entrepreneurs from various niches can register their companies and make offers, and consumers can find needed services.

The client turned to us for help, to increase traffic and stimulate more business registrations on their website.


Email has been one of the most effective advertising channels since the advent of the Internet. Extensive audience coverage and a relatively short time spent writing letters are among its key advantages. An effective email campaign is indispensable for any business selling goods and services. It informs the audience about important events, like new product releases and technology upgrades, and creates a positive company image.

Well-thought-out email marketing can help any business achieve the best sales results. The availability of different mailing services makes it possible to thoroughly analyze outcomes. You can track the number of email openings and clicks through links embedded in your letters, detect the most active recipients, and learn which recipients unsubscribed, and why. By identifying subjects that elicited the highest open rates, you can focus on the most effective content for your next batch of emails.

Implementing an effective email campaign begins with an in-depth analysis of your target audience, and building a competent strategy.

Following are the main advantages of email marketing:

  • Ongoing business-client communication.
  • Relatively inexpensive maintenance of the marketing channel.
  • Encourages recipients to take target actions.
  • Mailings can be automated, saving you time and energy.

why do you need email marketing

The following metrics are used to analyze the effectiveness of email campaigns:

  1. Delivery rate. The share of emails that made it to recipients’ Inboxes.
  2. Open rate. This metric reflects the recipients’ interest in the email’s content, prompting its opening. To improve the effectiveness of mailings and urge recipients to perform target actions, letter content must be continuously tested and optimized.
  3. Click-through rate. This metric shows how many recipients followed your links after opening the email. Your letter’s content and design are decisive factors for this indicator.
  4. The share of unsubscribers and those who marked the letter as spam. The norm for unsubscriptions is 1-2%.
  5. Conversion rate. This metric is the ratio of website visitors who performed target actions compared to the total number of website visitors. The conversion rate makes it possible to evaluate the overall performance of your email campaign.

The Challenge

The client had previously used email marketing erratically, conducting occasional mailings dedicated to specific events. Letters were sent randomly, without regard to recipients’ preferred email reading times, which reduced the open rate. Lack of a holistic email strategy caused the client to fall short of their business goals.

When we undertook the project, performance metrics were as follows:

  • Delivery rate – 84.7%
  • Open rate – 5.7%
  • Click-through rate – 0.4%
  • Percentage of unsubscribes – 1.1%

The Solution

The main purpose of our email strategy was to increase site traffic. To attain this goal, we needed content that would encourage recipients to visit the client’s online platform. We took into account the best email practices and used some of our own tactics to compose effective letters.

goal of email strategy

Some key elements of brilliant emails are:

Attention-Grabbing Subject Line

An attractive and relevant subject is critical for creating an effective letter. According to some surveys, 65% – 75% of users decide whether to open a letter based on the subject line. We had to come up with informative and attention-grabbing subject lines that would interest subscribers enough to open the email.

Mobile devices display only about 35 characters in the subject line and cut excessive information, so our task was to fit the essence of the client’s letters into the first 30-35 characters. This length is considered the most effective, and most likely to prompt an email opening.

We also paid due attention to the preheader, the portion of the letter displayed immediately after the subject, and visible to the addressee before the email is opened. We made sure all preheaders conveyed additional information that would arouse subscribers’ interest.

Brief But Meaningful Content

We made the texts of our letters short, to the point and free of irrelevant fluff. We highlighted a specific offer and briefly described its main advantages. We used a customer-oriented approach to show our appreciation for the recipient taking time to read our emails.


We used bulleted lists to display our letters in a reader-friendly way. This structural element helped us favorably highlight the most important points.

All lines had the same length, giving the list a rectangular shape that established order.

bullets importance

Information presented in bulleted lists is easier to digest, allowing readers to focus on the main benefits delivered by the letter. We used bullets to highlight the three main steps the recipient would have to take to achieve the desired results – increased sales and new customers.

According to numerous studies, a bulleted list is one of the most effective tools for capturing the attention of a target audience. Bulleted text provides a straightforward stream of information, without demanding too much time or effort from the recipient.

Strong CTA (Call to Action)

Experienced email marketers know that properly selected calls to action can provoke immediate reactions to the letter, driving high click-through and conversion rates.

Since the main purpose of our newsletter was to encourage recipients to register their companies on the client’s marketplace, we selected a short and clear text for the call to action: “Register Now.” A concise CTA clearly tells users what will happen when they click the button, and what they need to do to receive the promised result.

We adhered to basic rules when creating our CTA:

  • Concise and concrete text.
  • A large and eye-catching button that harmonizes with the style and color scheme of any images, and with the letter as a whole.
  • A short text on the button. We used an imperative verb.
  • Locating the CTA button at the bottom of the letter. According to Canopy Labs research, this location is 2.5 times more advantageous, compared to left or right location.
  • The button’s CTA is reiterated in the text of the letter.
  • No-payment clause (the text version of the CTA notes that users pay nothing to take advantage of the client’s offer).

Appealing Image

An appealing image is a critical part of an email design. The effectiveness of a letter largely depends on its appealing visual content. We had to find catchy, stylish and informative images for our emails.

  • Our visual content depicted a profitable business-client interaction and reflected the color scheme of the marketplace.
  • We added the company logo to images.
  • A link to the client’s homepage was placed beneath images.
  • An alternative text (alt tag) was assigned to images, to reduce the likelihood of incorrect display in letters.

time frame importance

Right Sending Time

The time frame you choose to send emails to subscribers matters just as much as content. Based on our previous experience and analysis of the target audience, we decided to send emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 10:30 – 11:30 AM.
Four days after the first letter, we sent a followup email. In addition, after three days we sent a second letter to recipients who had not opened the first email. Doing so ensured maximum audience reach, and minimized the chance of our letters being overlooked.


As a result of our email campaign, over the course of one month the conversion rate on the client’s website increased by 0.5%. The number of companies registering in the client’s marketplace grew significantly. Prior to collaboration with the Clever team, the average number of registrants was 3.6 per day, while after the first mailings, this metric soared to 6.4 registrants per day. The highest rate was 17 registered companies per day.

We achieved the following metrics at the end of a one-month email campaign:

  • Delivery rate increased by 15%;
  • Open rate doubled;
  • Click-through rate increased 2,5 times;
  • Percentage of unsubscribes decreased by 18%.

After analyzing our results, we developed a strategy to attract more traffic to the site through email. We created a series of welcome letters for newly registered companies, to help build trust and loyalty, and we placed a subscription form on the blog and on social media to attract new subscribers.

The client was pleased with the outcome of the email campaign, and entered into long-term collaboration with Clever Solution.