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November 22, 2021  |  Amy Rambo

Email leads the marketing pack, so make yours count.

Whatever your company is selling, a large part of your sales strategy probably centers around email marketing – as it should. For brands that don’t have the budgets or reach to justify native advertising campaigns or national TV media buys, email delivers an interactive, personalized message that’s still welcome across ages and demographics.

Recent analysis from Forbes reported, "Every generation is looking to communicate with brands via email. In fact, all generations except Gen Z name email as their top preferred channel for brand communications. Millennials desire it most, at 64%, followed by Boomers at 58%. But even Gen Z, who ranks social media as their most preferred channel (at 63%), holds email as their second choice at 56%, outpacing Gen X at 53%."

Research from Marketing Insider Group backs up those numbers. Studies show that email is the main driver of leads and revenue for B2B marketers, at 73% and 63%, respectively. And email as a platform is reported to be 40 times more effective for customer acquisition than social channels.

What that means is that other companies are elbowing each other for inbox space, which means that your email campaigns have to be top–notch to stand out. And that's if they make it past the spam filters.

But ultimately, a successful email relies on the idea behind it. When you sit down to strategize, look for inspiration within your industry and beyond.

Check the competition

Unless your product or service is 100% unique and groundbreaking, you've got competitors who are targeting a similar customer base with similar offerings. Set up a dedicated email address and sign up for their emails. If you don’t know what else is out there, you run the risk of sounding redundant or behind the times. You never know – your competitors might even be talking about you. You should know everything they’re doing and saying, so you can emphasize what makes you different.

You should even go as far as engaging with emails by clicking through to see how your competitors are engaging digitally with interested prospects. If they're more compelling or interactive past their call to action, you can up your game in response.

Borrow ideas everywhere

Are there brands you find irresistible? You know the ones: They always suck you in with sale alerts, gift guides and original content that keeps you adding things to your shopping cart. It could be a beauty company, a sports team or an electronics retailer, but we all have brands we love to engage with. Figure out what it is about those brands that appeals to you, and see if you can apply those lessons to your own marketing.

Odds are your favorite brands are pulling you in with conversational, snappy subject lines that are tantalizing enough to get you to click while giving away just enough information to let you know that what's inside is worth your while. They've successfully placed you into an audience segment so that they can speak to your preferences with confidence. And they're keeping their messaging short and actionable – which is why they keep showing up on your credit card statements.

Respect their time

"We don't want people to forget us" isn't a good enough reason to hit up someone’s inbox. Make sure that every marketing push offers something your prospective clients haven't seen from you before.

That can be a piece of industry insight you’ve developed, or new, original content on your website. Obviously, new services, products and features are a great reason to reach out. Successful retailers have taught us that some of the most effective sales emails are just a percentage representing a generous discount. The more you represent yourself as an ally to make your prospects' lives easier and more rewarding, the more your message will resonate.

Pay attention to the details

A lot can go wrong with the execution of email campaigns, from digital hiccups to poor data hygiene. And dozens of pieces and parts go into every message. That's why MCH Strategic Data created a detailed Best Practices Guide for email marketers that includes how to build components:

  1. Subject line: Make it short, specific and actionable.
  2. Preheader text: State the purpose of your email in one sentence.
  3. Header image: Include branding, call to action and link.
  4. Headline: Explain the "why" of your message in one line.
  5. Body copy: Make your case in 80–100 words. Keep it simple, conversational and relatable.
  6. Visuals: Include a professional image to illustrate your message.
  7. For new customers: Utilize a testimonial, or call out a recent accomplishment.
  8. For existing customers: Incorporate secondary links to social media or sales.
  9. Contact info: Place mailing address, URL and phone number in the footer.
  10. Include links: To View in Browser and Unsubscribe.
  11. From: Stay recognizable to your recipients with a company name.
  12. Reply–to: Set up a working address where replies will be checked. Avoid using no-reply.

Want to learn more? We've also got advice on staying out of spam filters, avoiding technical design pitfalls, and checklists for every deployment. Download the MCH Email Best Practices Guide here.

More Insight From MCH

  • Find out why data hygiene is crucial in reaching the right inboxes.
  • Learn how to use social media to reach teachers with your K–12 products.



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