Email Marketing Lists | Top Tips For Success

Email campaigning is one of the back-bone strategies of many marketing campaigns. Getting your email marketing list right is key to campaign success. Done correctly it can be one of the fastest ways to connect with new customers for your business or organisation. We have put together the top tips to gain success with your next email campaign, check out our top tips for email marketing success.

Choosing Your Email List Provider –

First things first and to get this out in the open – emailing your existing customer or subscriber base with targeted valuable content is the ideal way to reach out and will get solid revenue returns if approached correctly, however building such a subscriber email list takes time, money and patience to build. Time is sometimes not a commodity in large supply!  Especially when results are needed quickly to contribute to the top line and deliver immediate revenues.

So, buying in a ready-made email list can speed things up a ton. There are many scenarios where buying in an instant data list can fast track your marketing results and start to gain new business quickly. One example is where a business has a loyal customer base but has lost touch over time with many of those consumers. In this scenario gaining an email address, for a former customer, could open up communications again. Another example is to rent a ready-made tailored and targeted email list to kick start a new business or enterprise. A great way to create awareness and hopefully sales or subscribers to a targeted demographic of consumers.

With careful planning and expert-help you can reach those consumers at a relatively low price point. To do this you need to select your email list partner carefully.

Choosing your email list supplier needs a little homework. When approaching a potential email list supplier the most important question to ask is whether the email list has been collected in a transparent and compliant manner. To establish this – simply ask for a copy of the ‘privacy policy’ that the consumer agreed to – also establish the time scale of when the opt-in’s were created and also enquire as to how a consumer could opt-out if required. Further-more check that your potential supplier is registered with the Information Commissioners Office as a data controller and also is a member of the DMA (Direct Marketing Association).

Check pricing on a per 1000 emails basis – and establish how many ‘sends’ will be made for the price. Rates should decrease as the volume of sends increases.

Check that your supplier can perform post send reporting of open rates and click through volumes.

Check that your supplier not only has a large database of email addresses but can also select specific types of consumers from their base. This is really important. If you are offering a product to homeowners you don’t want to include tenants in your email list.

Ask how the selections, such as homeowner status, have been established – some suppliers ‘model’ their data (so use an average of whether a property is owned for example) by taking a postcode as having a propensity to be an owner occupier. Other suppliers may have surveyed consumers and asked them for factual information – for example having asked the question – Are you a homeowner? Factual responses are far more valuable than propensity modeled data sets.

Check how your supplier will help you handle any complaint your campaign may generate – do they have a compliance function – what would be the complaint process, how can they help protect your valuable brand?

Once you have made your supplier selection then formally perform your ‘due diligence’.

Do Your Diligence | E mail List Compliance

Email sending in the UK and Europe is subject to PECR regulations which are now incorporated into GDPR legislation from May 2018.

Consumers have the right to understand where and how their information was acquired and without any monetary charges are entitled to have the detail of this information offered to them within 28 days if requested.

Failure to be able to provide this key information will potentially result in fines being issued to directors or data controllers.

Check your supplier can offer such information within the timescales. Also ensure your supplier has a compliance manager to help support you with any complaints.

Ideally make a list of questions you would like to ask your supplier and turn this into a due diligence document – ask for your supplier to complete this questionnaire before you buy your email list. Include questions about how the consumer details were collected, what happens in the event of a consumer information request and under what basis the email list is legal to use.

Target the correct Audience

Run Counts to establish volume

Scale – Gaining Results

The volume of the email send is a large component of the likely result – i.e. the number of 1000’s of emails sent. Any form of direct marketing succeeds on the basis of presenting your offer or branding to a suitably sized cohort of potential customers. Sometimes targeting the same consumers across several channels and over a set period of time works well. It is always important to ensure you are targeting a suitable geo/demographic audience to ensure consumers are as engaged as possible, but scale can compensate for many unknowns within a new campaign. Marketing professionals are often surprised by the scale that is needed to make a successful cold email strategy work if their previous experiences were sending content to existing subscribers or having worked on projects where branding was is a household name.

The larger the ticket item the lower the uptake generally. So, a firm offering home improvements for example may need to send many more emails than a company offering a free perfume sample.

Also recognised brands or simple concepts with broad appeal will uptake better than complicated or niche products.

As a rule of thumb test sends should be at least 5000 to 10,000 records or more in size and then once the metrics have been analysed to establish the open rates, click through rates and sales achieved per 1000 emails then the size of scale can be established to achieve a set result.

Aside from scale – the subject lines and the impact of your creative will have a huge bearing on the above measures. See our tips below.

E-mail Subject Lines – How to Choose

One of the main metrics of an email campaign is ‘open rate’. The number of opens per 100 sends. A consumer will open an email if they can perceive an advantage in doing so. The subject line is the main influencing factor of open rate.

There are many strategies that can engage interest – valuable content, curiosity, secret knowledge, not missing out, an irresistible time sensitive offer, etc.

Many obvious marketing words can cause havoc with achieving successful delivery to a consumers inbox – as email servers, will recognise certain words as ‘spam’. An example of a potential spam word is ‘free’ or ‘winner’ or similar. Once you have devised your email subject line your email send supplier can give advice as to likelihood of spam words affecting inbox deliveries. Check your own junk mail box, here you can see exactly how ‘not’ to do it.

Some good examples of careful wording that recently passed my firewall and landed into my inbox are:


Prepare for Christmas

New Invite – don’t delay

Christmas Offers

Great news – your offer is waiting for you

Top Tips for ….

Researching your own inbox and junk mail will help a lot. Also put yourself in your potential customers shoes, what email subject line would you be likely to open? Consumers are really no different to you and I – so working out what you might potentially open is a good indicator of what a consumer may do.

If you are struggling to hone down to a single subject line – try an A/B split test – do two smaller sends and see which one is getting the best result.

Keep things simple, don’t over think it, test and repeat.

Working on Your Creative

Unless you are a professional graphic designer, or very comfortable working with web templates get professional help end of. Your creative needs to add to high trust levels associated your brand, a poorly constructed email creative will do way more harm than good.

  • Think about what you would want your potential customer or subscriber to do – does the creative make this ‘easy’ without too much faff?
  • Does your creative open and look right on multiple devices and email platforms?
  • Do the embedded links all work – and are the linked landing pages equally professional?

Ensure the creative content follows logically from the subject line – if the subject line states Christmas offers – the creative should have Christmas offers.

Opens are hard won – don’t blow your chances by scrimping on the quality of your creative. Make every click count in your direct mail service campaign.

Get Your Email Send Timing Right

Is there a best day to send? Is there a best time to send. From my own experience unless it’s a time sensitive offer, then in all honesty I have not seen any dramatic difference.

There has been research done and there is some thought that sending between Tuesday to Thursday is best. I think this would certainly apply to a business focused email send. To consumers I can’t say as I have seen any large or even noticeable differences in timings. Other marketeers may have had a different experience.

What does make a difference is the subject line and quality of the creative to a large extent and then send as soon as possible once you are ready.

Repeat sending can help gain additional clicks, but this needs to be balanced with the positive impact of your brand versus harassing a consumer – probably 2 or 3 sends is about right with plenty of space between sends.

Waiting a week to gain the perfect send day will lose you a weeks business, just go for it as soon as you are ready. You can always do an additional send later.

Measure Your Results

The key metrics are, and in no particular order


  • Inbox Delivery – Looking here for low spam levels, and a high proportion of the sent emails to land in the inbox. As Near to 100% as possible. A low % would show the subject line is an issue or the email list is out of date.


  • Unsubscribe Rate – A high unsubscribe rate would indicate your offer is either too salesy, offensive or poorly targeted. A low unsubscribe rate, say under 1% shows well targeted well received emails.


  • Open Rate – Consumers are making a decision based on the ‘from’ and the ‘subject line’ Different products and sectors will vary wildly. For a cold send to consumers that do not know your brand, at the test stage, work on 3 to 7% open rate versus subscribers may open 50% or more. See how things go, adjusting subject lines can make a huge difference.


  • Click through Rate – How many consumers once opened actually clicked through to do what you wanted them to do?  Again, the offer, the product / service will make a huge difference. The main measure is – was it enough for the send to make a new contribution to the bottom line or provide enough new subscriptions to kick start the lead funnel. If your campaign is seeing a good open rate, but a low click through then its time to look at whether the creative needs work.


  • Commercial Result – Ultimately this is the driver. Its always worth bearing on mind that consumers (ourselves included) may need time for trust to build with exposure to an unknown or new brand. Marketing works best with consumers being exposed to a brand or concept over time. Multiple or cross platform communications need to be measured in this context.

Evolve and Learn & Repeat

Keep analysing the results above, keep split testing subject lines, keep modifying the creative and keep going. Getting the whole strategy and formula is an evolutionary process. Often companies such as start ups place too a high an expectation on a single send, especially if budget is tight. More established businesses with lots of repeat custom often miss judge the open rates and click through from cold sends. In both cases working with an expert in email send customer acquisition will ensure budget is not wasted and a realistic expectation of results from a given spend will be established.

Email is a great channel to test marketing test concepts, is a low-cost medium to raise wide awareness and is a highly measurable channel. Also it is highly mechanised so labour is a small proportion of the overall budget. Also once the formula is struck i.e. once the right balance of ‘value’ is shown to consumers the campaign can be easily scaled up.

If you would like help, advice, pricing or someone to bounce your ideas off – then please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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