Profitable Emails Every Business Should Use

Sep 4, 2018

Did you know that 66 percent of online conversions come from email marketing campaigns? Or that every dollar you spend on email should generate about an average of $40 in return?

“It is by far the most profitable digital marketing channel that there is,” explains marketing expert Alita Harvey-Rodriguez, a presenter at the 2018 Naturally Good Expo.

A well-designed email campaign will make customers feel “really yummy about your brand”, she says. Follow these strategies for a campaign that will ramp up your sales and build a loyal base of customers who can’t get enough of your product.

The Welcome Series

Harvey-Rodriguez likens campaigns to a journey, and emails should be targeted to where customers are at in the buying cycle.

Getting someone’s email address is the prime time to start.

“When somebody has subscribed they are at the peak of interest in your brand,” she explains. “If you don’t start to talk to that person effectively straight away then you’ve lost that person.”

According to Harvey-Rodriguez, retailers with a welcome series get 93 percent more orders than those without one. A welcome series consists of about five emails over 30 days. Include information about your brand’s mission and values, your story (told humbly), and social proof like customer reviews and testimonials – packaged in attention-grabbin

g bites. “Be punchy. Be packed with personality,” she says. “The worst thing that you can do is send a dry email.”

Introduce your products or services in no more than 150 words, but don’t sell yet. “Keep your content short because nobody is going to sit there and read a really long email,” she says. “They want to know what’s in it for me and how can I get there fast.’

Great welcome emails will include an offer that is reinforced throughout the series.

The Nurturing Series

This next phase is about building buyer momentum. One fast way to do this is having a sale on items from customers’ wishlists.We put things in our wishlist because we want to have them,” Harvey-Rodriguez says. “It’s our shopping dream.”

Other options include “almost out of stock” or “back in stock” emails, and birthday and anniversary offers. Birthday emails have a 481 percent higher transaction rate than promotional emails. These might be the customers’ birthdays or your own but keep them customer-focused. “Don’t make it too much about your product. Let them choose their own adventure,” Harvey-Rodriguez says.

Nurturing emails can also introduce new products or highlight products that complement ones your customers have previously purchased.

Abandoned cart follow-ups are very effective. “Sixty percent of customers do come back after 24 hours if they receive an abandoned cart email,” Harvey-Rodriguez says. Increasingly, customers are responding to a second follow-up. The best ones use an intriguing subject line, create a sense of urgency and have “a super in-your-face obvious call to action”.

Alita Harvey-Rodriguez


You’ve got your customers, now you want to keep them. Harvey-Rodriguez says customers who have made a second purchase are more likely to purchase again – a goal every business should aim for. “That’s going to help you build sustainable growth [and] help you to reduce your cost per acquisition,” she says.

Transactional emails – with details like order codes, receipt numbers and shipping information – fall into this category. Keep these clear and simple. “Too much info is a really poor user interface. Just get them the information that they need.”

One company Harvey-Rodriguez worked with saved $50,000 on customer service simply by making these emails better, which eliminated most low-value customer enquiry calls.

Reactivation campaigns can also help to generate that crucial second purchase. Try them with people who’ve previously purchased from you regularly but stopped, or those who used to open your emails but don’t anymore.

Harvey-Rodriguez advises steering clear of cliched subject lines like “we miss you”.  Instead, opt for something creative, or even better, something that will give you more information such as “let us know if something’s changed”.

Always lead with product benefits and have a simple call-to-action like “get me back on track” or “take me to the specials”.

Top Tips for Effective Emails

Regardless of the email, some golden rules apply:

  • most emails are now opened on mobile devices so always test for mobile-friendliness, preferably on multiple devices.
  • optimise your subject lines – aim for four to seven words and make them more like a social media post.
  • always A/B test, being mindful of what you’re trying to learn.
  • design with people in mind, including those with “bad eyesight and fat fingers,” Harvey-Rodriguez says.
  • use lots of images and social proof.
  • always include a call to action. Buttons work better than text.
  • audit and analyse what’s working. Adjust as needed.

By creating a customer-centric and user-friendly email campaign, you’ll be building brand loyalty and satisfied customers that keep coming back for more of your product or service.

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