Email Marketing: How to Convert with Promotional Emails

Converting with promotional emails

“If you are not seeing the email channel as a money-making machine, you have the wrong strategy.” – Hans Smellinckx

Email marketing continues to be one of the most popular and effective ways businesses keep in touch with their target audience. And with the right promotional email strategy, you’ll drive sales and/or improve sign-ups.

What is a Promotional Email?

Businesses send promotional emails to inform subscribers about new and existing products or services. They usually contain exclusive content, special discount offers, or limited deals.

Promotional emails have a singular goal - conversions. That is, they help to speed up the buying process, acquire new or repeat customers or persuade customers to take the desired action. While conversions typically involve purchases, they can also be downloads, service subscriptions, event registrations, call scheduling, or other actions completed within a specified time frame.

In a nutshell, unlike email newsletters which are primarily used to keep subscribers engaged and warm, promotional emails help you generate more revenue, boost customer loyalty, and progress leads through the customer lifecycle. They typically help to facilitate conversions through discounts, bonuses, and other types of incentives.

Why Are Promotional Emails Effective?

Why Are Promotional Emails Effective in Marketing?

  1. They are Cost-Effective: Emails, generally, are cheap and become even more affordable as you send more. According to DMA, email marketing generally has a 3800% return on investment.
  2. They are Targeted: Promotional emails are usually sent to customers who have shown interest in a product and/or service in the past. This allows you to reach out directly to this audience with offers and promotions that suit their needs. This type of targeted promotion generates about 58% of revenue for businesses.
  3. They are Flexible: Emails are very flexible and allow you to send text, links, images, videos, and audio without restriction, unlike other channels that do not support one or more combinations of these. If you’re creative with your email and promos, you’ll make your customers look forward to your emails rather than ignoring, outright deleting, or unsubscribing.
  4. They Drive Sales:  Email marketing drives more sales and conversions than all other marketing channels, including social and search. With irresistible offers like promos, flash sales, discounts, and coupons in promotional emails, brands usually double or even triple their conversions. 
  5. They are Trackable: Promotional emails can be sent via platforms that include analytic tools to show the number of clicks, the open rate, and other engagement stats, helping you see what is working and what needs to be optimized.

How to Create Converting Promotional Emails

How to Create Converting Promotional Emails

Despite having about 4.25 billion current email users, sending promotional emails does not guarantee that you will reach your audience’s inbox or even make a sale. In fact, a good number of marketers and business owners believe it is frustrating. So, they abandon promotional emails for other marketing channels. But if you are looking to succeed with promotional emails, stay true to the tips below. 

1. Personalize The Email Subject

Customers are more likely to open emails with personalized subject lines. Avoid sending mass-duplicated emails to your subscribers. Instead, include data like their name, last order, and/or any other personalized details. 

The email content should also fit the profile and preferences of the target audience. That is, it must be relevant to the subject line and consistent from the initial view of the email in the inbox to reading the last line of copy within the email. 

2. Keep It Concise and Persuasive

Email recipients have a very short attention span, so you’ll have to grab their attention and get them hooked from your first sentence. Use easy-to-understand words instead of "technical" language that will likely wear out the reader. Also, don’t overwhelm your readers with long paragraphs. Each content/block should be clear, concise, and persuasive to keep them engaged.

3. One Message at a Time

Having more than one message in a promotional email reduces its efficiency. Readers are likely to miss the primary message when you send cluttered emails. Instead, ensure that the content and call to action emphasize the primary aim of the email. Use words or phrases that prompt actions, increase click-throughs, and lead to optimized pages.

4. Make The Email Mobile-Friendly

Many of your promotional email recipients will view it on their mobile devices. So, make each email mobile-friendly and easy to scroll through. Use subheadings, images, and bullet lists to pass the central message of your email so that readers can quickly understand it.

5. Thoroughly Proofread It

Proofread your emails multiple times and review the format of your email to make sure it is in line with your brand. Typos and poorly written content can hurt your brand's credibility and reduce your rate of conversion.

See also
Facebook Messenger’s 24+1 Rule Explained

Lastly, find out the current deliverability score of your promotional emails and learn how to improve it. 

When to send promotional emails

When to Send Promotional Emails to Your Subscribers

Knowing the frequency and best time to send promotional emails will help increase the open rates, engagement rates, and chances of converting. Tuesdays and Thursdays are considered the best days for sending promotional emails. To increase your click-through and conversion rate, send the emails in the morning (preferably at around 10 a.m.) or late afternoon. You can use A/B testing to decide on the appropriate number of marketing emails to send to your audience weekly or monthly. However, most marketers agree that 1 to 6 emails a month is the ideal range.

What to include in your promotional emails

What to Include in Your Promotional Emails

  • Sender’s Name: You must include a sender's name (can be your personal or brand name) in your promotional emails.
  • Subject line: Use catchy subject lines to improve the open rates of your promotional emails.
  • Core Message: Highlight the central message of your promotional email using concise and captivating sentences and lines.
  • Call to Action: Use a clear CTA to encourage your users to take specific actions.

Example of Promotional Emails

1. Coursera

This promotional email example from Coursera was sent to subscribers who have shown interest in the Data Science and Machine Learning Courses, informing them that the class is about to start and encouraging them to enroll immediately.

An example of a promotional email sent by Cousera

2. Coinbase

In this promotional email example, Coinbase sent a short, concise message to subscribers, notifying them about the 5.17% increase in the price of the Ethereum coin and inviting them to sign in and trade the coin on its platform.

An example of a promotional email sent by coinbase

Automating Promotional Emails

Why waste a ton of time sending promotional emails manually when you can delegate the task to email marketing service providers or get an email automation tool to get the task done in minutes? Most businesses use automated email marketing to send targeted and consistent promotional emails to their subscribers with little human effort. 

The idea is simple. Create a promotional email campaign, set up an automation trigger (a predefined time/event), and let your automation tool handle the execution. Let’s look over some email automation tools you can use for promotional email campaigns.

Automation Tools for Promotional Emails

1. HubSpot

Sending promotional emails with HubSpot

HubSpot is a multipurpose marketing automation tool that focuses on conversions and customer journey management, making it an excellent choice for automating repetitive tasks like email sending. The platform includes a built-in email marketing automation feature that collects customers’ info from the connected CRM. Create automated email workflows to save time and build meaningful relationships with your customers. Here are other things you can do with the HubSpot email marketing tool.

  • Email Personalization
  • Email Segmentation
  • A/B Testing and Analytics
  • Ready-made Email Templates
  • CRM-powered Email Targeting
  • Free Email Hosting

2. Ontraport

Sending promotional emails with Ontraport

Ontraport has a multifunctional email automation feature that helps to deliver relevant and timely messages to your customers through various channels including web and landing pages. For instance, if a customer opened your email but didn't convert, you get to send them a series of automated promotional emails. The first can be a discount offer after 2 days, followed by another email that shares a timed offer with further discounts. Ontraport’s email automation tool allows you to set email flows in advance. Other features include:

  • Email Personalization
  • Email Segmentation 
  • Multi-user Access and Subscription Forms
  • Ready-made Email Templates
  • Marketing Automation
  • A/B Testing

3. ActiveCampaign

Sending promotional emails with Active Campaign

ActiveCampaign helps businesses build deep connections with their audiences and improve customer experience.  With this tool, you’ll be able to develop powerful email marketing strategies, set up automation tools, and keep track of your engagements with leads. You’ll get to send broadcast emails to a large audience at once,  set up targeted emails, and nurture leads through its email autoresponder feature. Other features you’ll enjoy are:

  • Email Personalization
  • Advanced Segmentation Tools
  • Sign-up Forms and Multi-user Editing
  • Ready-made Email Templates
  • Automation Emails and Autoresponders
  • A/B Testing

Key Takeaways

Promotional emails are cost-effective and allow you to directly target your audience with offers that meet their needs and preferences. While creating a promotional email, remember to use a catchy subject line and make your email clear and concise with one message at a time. Also, ensure to make your emails mobile-friendly and proofread thoroughly to avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Finally, use email automation tools to complete your tasks quickly so you can focus on developing strategies to help you achieve your business goals. And if you want help with setting up or outlining your strategic automated emails, we’ll be glad to help.

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