Email Marketing: 3 Ways to Improve Your Important Metrics

By Alexandra Thibaudeau | May 16, 2022 | Reading time: 7 minutes

Whether it’s for promotional offers, service invoices, blog articles or newsletters, sending emails is now a go to communication method. Internet users find themselves overwhelmed by the constant flow of new emails. Some even put filters in their inbox that quickly sort the emails they want to read versus those they want to ignore.

Even so, email marketing campaigns are still a successful strategy that can generate significant results for businesses. According to a study, email is 40 times more effective at attracting new customers than social media. And according to Litmus, email gets a return of $36 for every dollar invested.

This is why taking the time to optimize your emails to improve your audience’s engagement is an essential task to do on a regular basis.

Look at your metrics and evaluate every email marketing campaing.

But where do you start?

Analyzing your previous email marketing campaigns is the first step to good optimization. You must identify the elements that boosted engagement in your campaigns and repeat them in upcoming communications. Before making any significant changes, you must evaluate your marketing campaigns according to key performance indicators (KPI).

Here are some examples of KPIs to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns:

  • The open rate;
  • The number of clicks;
  • The click rate versus the number of openings;
  • The number of unsubscribes or spam mentions;
  • The number of bounced: emails that were rejected due to a technical error.

Depending on your results, you will need to select a starting point for your optimization. If, for example, you got a good open rate, but the click-through rate is low, then focus on improving the call to action. If, on the contrary, few contacts open your email, but the ratio of clicks to opens is high, then focus your efforts on the open rate by creating a great email subject line. In short, start where it makes the most sense for you.

Analyzing your previous email marketing campaigns is the first step to good optimization.

Good practice: In email marketing, the goal is to improve one element at a time, over a specific period, in order to clearly see the impact of your modification. Besides, if your email tool allows it and you have a significant number of contacts in your mailing list, we suggest that you perform A/B tests on all your emails.

Once you have established your starting point, you will need to determine a SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bound) goal to achieve. For example, a SMART goal might be to increase your click-through rate by 5% in the next 3 months. Then you can start optimizing your email marketing campaigns to be more engaging.

Note: If email marketing campaigns are a new strategy for your business, then set your goals based on what you want to accomplish with this tactic. Consider your number of subscribers and try to be as realistic as possible. If necessary, readjust.

That being said, what are the possible types of improvement? You can imagine that several factors can influence the engagement rate of your emails, regardless of the objective you want to achieve. The next paragraphs will walk you through some engaging ideas for your campaigns.

1. Optimizing the Open Rate of Your Marketing Emails

Email marketing campaign: improve your CTR.

1.1 Make Sure You Nail The Subject Line of Your Email

The subject line is the first thing your contact sees and plays a crucial part in the open rate. It must be written in such a way that it grabs the attention of your contacts and makes them want to find out more.

Here are some ideas for optimizing the subject line of your emails:

  • Make sure it’s short, between 40 and 50 characters;
  • Insert personalization tokens to capt your receiver’s attention;
  • Use action verbs;
  • Create a sense of urgency;
  • Add an emoji. Yes, even if your target customer is in business, including a single emoji can positively influence your open rate (+70% possible growth, according to HubSpot);
  • Add square brackets “[ ]” at the beginning or end of your subject line to specify the offer included in your email;
  • Don’t put your subject line in all caps, to avoid being perceived as spam;
  • Etc.

1.2 Indicate The Name of the Sender and the Email Address Associated With Sending Your Marketing Email

Do you send emails on behalf of your company or one of your specialists? Depending on your target audience and the type of email sent, using the name of one of your experts could have a positive impact on your open rate. This is due to the fact that the email is perceived as being sent by an individual rather than by a company. You can also try to combine the two fields “Name” and “Company,” ex. Alexandra from Unik Web, to see the impact on your opening rate.

The sender address can also have an impact on the open rate. Again, do you use the address of a specialist in your company or a “do-not-reply” address? Are you using an email with a generic domain name, e.g. Taking the time to choose a sender address that is tied to your business name can improve your open rate because emails won’t be seen as sent by a system or unwanted sender, but by a person or a trusted company.

Tip #1: Just because the email is sent on behalf of someone in your company doesn’t mean the sender’s address has to be theirs. If you send an email on behalf of your president, then you probably don’t want them to be inundated with customer responses afterwards. You can then put a more generic email address such as to filter requests and provide a good customer experience.

Tip #2: Using a “no-reply” or “do-not-reply” address as the sender is not recommended since it can negatively affect the customer experience. If a contact replies to your email asking for more details on the offer, someone must be able to answer on the other end. If the contact receives an automated message that the address they wrote to has no recipient, it could frustrate them and cause you to lose a sale.

1.3 Write an Enticing Preview Text

The preview text allows recipients to have a glance at the content of your email without opening it. Without a customized preview text, the email system will automatically display the first lines of your email. Why not take a few minutes to optimize it to try to pique your reader’s curiosity and encourage them to open and read your email?

Beware of Apple’s New Privacy Policy:

In 2021, Apple announced a new privacy feature for users of their iOS 15 which prevents the tracking of open rates and location. For marketers, the consequences of this update are difficult to assess since some email tools do not know what percentage of contacts use Apple and how many of these users activated the feature. However, this must be taken into account when you analyze your opening rate.

As a quick reference, StatCounter showed that in 2022, 54% of Canadian smartphone owners used iOS, compared to 40% for Android. Globally, however, Android has 71% of users compared to 28% for iOS.

2. Optimizing Your Marketing Emails to Increase The Number of Clicks

2.1. Evaluate The Content of the Email

When it comes to the content of your email, three important factors must be considered during the editorial process in order to keep your contacts engaged throughout the reading:

  • Have a common thread between the subject line and the content: Does the offer presented in the email reflect the one advertised in the subject line? This type of alignment is essential for a good click-through rate, otherwise the reader may feel frustrated if his expectations aren’t met once he starts reading the message. This will not only impact your click-through rate, but also your future open rate since your reader’s trust in your organization will have been diminished by this misleading email.
  • Address only one subject per email: This good practice prevents your contacts from becoming confused when reading your email. Be clear and concise and don’t deviate from the main topic.
  • Be sure to add personalization: Just like for the subject line, it could be interesting for you to include personalization tokens in the content of the email in order to keep the contact’s attention during his reading.

2.2. Have a Good Email Design

Yes, the design of your email can have an impact on engagement. If the email is too overloaded with images and text or is not suitable for the device on which it is read, chances are that your contacts will be overwhelmed and will simply skip it. User experience should be at the center of this step.

Here are some ways to optimize your marketing email designs:

  • Add white space to avoid condensed content;
  • Incorporate numbered or bullet lists;
  • Include bold text to make it easier to read diagonally;
  • Underline the clickable text and display it in a specific color;
  • Insert relevant images ;
  • Adapt your template for all types of devices (computer, mobile, tablet).

2.3 Insert a Strong Call-to-Action

The call-to-action (CTA) encourages the customer to click on the link presented in the email. Often shown as a button or text link, the call-to-action must be highlighted in the email so that your reader can see it at first glance.

Here are some elements to consider when creating a strong Call To Action (CTA) :

  • Its placement in the email (beginning, middle, end of text, etc.);
  • Its color;
  • Its size [be careful to respect the minimum size for mobile display of 44 px X 44 px ];
  • The action verb used in the CTA;
  • Text links vs. buttons.

3. Segment Your Contact Lists Before Sending a Marketing Email for Better Engagement

Be sure to segment your contact list before sending a marketing email

Segmentation consists of defining your mailing lists according to specific characteristics of your contacts, such as their profile, their interests, the products or services previously purchased, the actions they have taken on your site, etc.. This will allow you to communicate targeted messages to the right people.

By segmenting your contacts, you greatly increase the chances that they will engage with the content presented, since it is aligned with their interests and profile. Then, because your contacts will only receive emails that are relevant to them, the risk of them unsubscribing is much lower. Finally, don’t forget to take your contacts’ communication preferences into account in order to comply with Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation.

In summary, several elements can be optimized in each of your emails to improve the engagement of your marketing campaigns. You now have multiple ideas to help you start your tests. However, please note that there is no miracle recipe and that each clientele is different. What may work for you may not work for the neighboring company and vice versa. The best way to know what engages your audience is to analyze, test and optimize, one change at a time.

Alexandra Thibaudeau, Digital Project Manager

Alexandra Thibaudeau

Holder of several HubSpot Academy certifications, she uses her expertise to ensure the creation and development of the company's Inbound Marketing strategy.