Survival of the fittest: How to give your email marketing the winning edge


Published April 13, 2016

Today’s marketer juggles an average of no less than nine channels, from social to content and email to print. The key to performing well is to carefully choose which channels you use, and manage them well – and email is one of the most important ones.

70% of content is still shared by email and email accounts continued to grow by 25% in 2015: 123.9 billion emails whiz around the web every day, and the average professional sends and receives an average of 131 emails every 24 hours. It’s no wonder that 80% of marketers continue to choose email as an effective channel for their marketing strategies. In fact, 95% confirm they are expecting to use it more in 2016.

So how do you do email well, driving the best performance? Our inboxes fill up so fast that it’s literally a game of survival of the fittest. Industry average open rates are around 21% with click through rates still around 2.3% – so to prevent your emails falling foul to the ‘delete’ thumb swipe, marketers have to work hard to keep up with the latest best practice.

Here’s a quick update of the key things that might be impacting your email performance…

Get responsive

Whichever stats you choose to look at, more than half of all emails are now opened on mobile or tablet devices. If you haven’t moved all your email to mobile responsive by now, you’re practically asking for your recipients to swipe delete.

Know your anatomy

Since responsive templates arrived, the best practice anatomy of an email has changed. We’d recommend a clean, clear structure that optimises how the email will appear across devices and building to no wider than 650 pixels, with eye-catching images, snappy copy and clear calls to action.

Mind your language

Watch out for words that damage reputation and deter people from opening your email: avoid phrases like ‘Free’, ‘Act Now’, ‘Cash’ or ‘Guarantee’.  It’s also vital to make sure that you are not misleading your audience with a subject line that doesn’t reflect the content inside the email.

Who’s it from?

Email is a channel that can give the impression of a personal contact. Depending on your audience – for example, business, consumer, loyal customers or prospects – using a ‘from’ email address or name appropriate to the specific people you’re sending to can help to set the right tone for your email and its content.

Who’s it going to?

It goes without saying that your emails are only ever as good as your data quality. Try to keep your data as clean as possible. Spend time validating and segmenting your data; sending less email to better quality data will serve you well.

What are you talking about?

Keep your subject line short (under 50 characters) and simple, but use it to give the recipient a reason to read on. Avoid words like ‘Newsletter’ and ‘Update’ unless you’re emailing very well known recipients, otherwise they’re too vague.

Keep it short and sweet

Once you’ve got the above right, you’ve got the best chance of your recipients reading and engaging in your content, so keep it short and snappy, relevant to your audience and last – but not least – have something useful to say!


For help benchmarking your email performance, improving your email designs and advice on how to take your email marketing to the next level, call us on 01483 746650 or email


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