9 Clever Email Marketing Tricks to Convert Customers

Learn how to step up your email marketing game with segmented, personalized, and automated emails for higher open and click-through rates.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・5 min read
Business & Marketing Strategy
Email Marketing
ShortStack Tips & Tricks

We can all agree that email marketing is still one of the most powerful ways to connect with your audience. But if your idea of email marketing is sending one homogeneous message to a single list of subscribers, I have some exciting news to share: there’s a lot you can do to step up your email game.According to Social Media Today, “segmented, personalized, automated emails result in 46% higher open rates and 112% higher click through rates.” Therefore, if you’re not employing these tactics in your email strategy, you’re missing out on a much bigger ROI.

Segmented, personalized, automated emails result in 46% higher open rates and 112% higher click through rates.

If the end-game is to acquire new customers, getting more engagement with your emails is a great place to start. Here are 9 clever tricks to use in your email marketing to help increase your business’ customer growth.

Use a Double Opt-In

Whether you’re a novice or a maven in the marketing game, you surely know that sending emails to unsuspecting recipients is a huge no-no. In fact, doing so has been named after a vile canned meat product (just kidding, SPAM lovers!). When uploading a list of emails to an email marketing service, you’ll be met with a few questions as to how those email addresses were obtained. This is to protect you and the marketing service from being blacklisted by ensuring you’ve acquired the email addresses with the proper permission.This “proper permission” is called an opt-in. It’s often collected by checking a checkbox when agreeing to terms in an entry form. After obtaining an initial opt-in, requesting a second opt-in might seem like overkill, but in today’s world, I assure you, a double opt-in is the standard best practice. It’s a little like saying, “I know you said this was ok, but are you sure it's ok?” In other words, a double opt-in ensures you’re building a quality list while reducing unsubscribes and bounces because subscribers are double sure they’d like to be on it.

A double opt-in ensures you’re building a quality list while reducing unsubscribes and bouncesIf you obtained the first opt-in via a checkbox in an entry form, set up an autoresponder to collect the second opt-in. “What’s an autoresponder?” you ask. Read on...

Send an Autoresponder

A popular tool in an email marketer’s toolbox is an autoresponder, which is an email triggered to send out immediately after an email address is collected. For example, you may recognize an autoresponder as an entry or purchase confirmation saying something like, “Thank you for your order! We’ll let you know when it has shipped.” These can also be used to send a discount code, an instant win notification, or a simple thank you.

Here's an autoresponder sent from Kay Jewelers upon purchaseThe magic of the autoresponder is in its incredible open rate. In the case of using autoresponders as a follow up to a contest or giveaway entry, autoresponders sent from ShortStack have a near 70% open rate AND a 7.5% click-through rate. In this use case, email recipients have already engaged with your brand, so use the content of your autoresponder to guide them along your customer conversion funnel.For example, even if your autoresponder says, “You’re not our winner, better luck next time” include a discount code to use in your online store. With a 70% open rate, your discount code is more likely to be seen, used and keep a newly acquired customer coming back again and again.

Send a Follow Up or Scheduled Email

Follow up and scheduled emails are emails that can be sent a set number of days after an email address is collected, or sent to an entire list of email addresses on a specific day and time. They can be used by themselves or in conjunction with autoresponders to keep the conversation going. And, similar to autoresponders, follow up and scheduled emails have great open and click-through rates because you, the sender, is recognized and trusted.

Keep the conversation going using scheduled emailsScheduled and follow up emails are great for reminding contest participants to get more votes on their entry, for event participants to raise more money, or to remind giveaway participants that they can be entering every day.

Use Merge Fields

It’s nice when things are personalized, which is why you have that monogrammed robe hanging in your bathroom. When an email shows up in your inbox that says “Hey Tom,” although we know someone isn’t sitting up all night handwriting a thousand emails, it's nice to see that personal touch.

Merge fields allow you to add a personal touch and messaging to your emailsAnd that nice touch is totally worth the effort because it works. In fact, 82% of marketers reported an increase in open rates through email personalization. Use merge fields to make personalization a piece of cake. To boot, merge fields can be used way beyond inserting a first name in the salutation. Use merge fields to include other bits of personal data as well, like an address or phone number to verify you have collected the correct information. You can merge a preference indicated in your form. Or, merge an outcome received in a personality assessment or quiz.

Use Liquid Logic

Merge fields are great for including a bit of personalization. Another way to personalize email content is to base it on the outcome of an event. For example, in a giveaway with 100 winners, liquid logic can be used to send an email with variable content, such as “you’re a winner” to those who won and “sorry you didn’t win” to those who didn’t. The content resides within the same email but will display differently based on the parameters of the recipient.Liquid Logic works great using ShortStack’s email templates. Or, you can learn to use it yourself using these tutorials.

Include a Unique Code

As marketers, we’re fighting the good fight to “fill the funnel” with potential customers. But how do we move them along that funnel towards conversion? Offering a discount or coupon is a powerful incentive to drive traffic to your website or online store.

Offer discounts to drive traffic to your website or online storeIncluding a unique code gives you the ability to offer conversion incentives and track those incentives to see if they’re helping you create new customers.

Include a Referral Link

To grow your email list, it's important your brand is seen by new people. One way to do this is through social media shares, but the type of content you create has to be something that will inspire a share. Typically, this isn’t a simple email subscription form. Instead a contest or giveaway is a way to collect email list sign-ups while generating excitement simultaneously.Enter the referral URL. When hosting a contest or giveaway, you can offer participants extra chances to win by assigning a unique URL to each entrant. When the contest or giveaway is shared to social media using that unique URL, the referrer can earn extra chances to win for each referral entry that is tracked.

Autoresponder Referral Link Template

Encourage sharing by using referral linksGenerating and distributing referral URLs would be a tall order for non-tech-types to set up on their own. Instead, use a giveaway builder like ShortStack to enable referral URL distribution and tracks them in just a few steps.

Use Analytics to Track Success

Although the end goal is to convert customers, there’s a lot going on between the launch of a new email campaign and seeing a rise in your revenue. Make sure your email marketing service offers detailed analytics to paint a picture of what’s working and what’s not. Open rates, views by device, views by browser, views by device and click-through rates are important elements that can help you piece together the conversion puzzle.

Track email success using ShortStack's analyticsHere at ShortStack, we’ve seen first hand what email marketing can do for our users. If your email marketing strategy hasn’t changed since the days of the email “blast,” it's time to employ some of these useful tricks to freshen up your approach.

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About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・5 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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