4 Crucial Steps for Email Marketing Success


Are your clients finding email marketing success? Or would they call their efforts a failure? Consumers are overwhelmed by the number of messages in their inboxes. They're quickly deleting messages without reading them. When your clients plan an email campaign, they should know about the results of the Litmus 2021 State of Email Engagement survey. Litmus analysts studied the patterns of consumer engagement with billions of email messages. Their findings, set out below as four crucial steps, will help you guide clients to email marketing success. Here are the four steps:

  • Matching Formats to Devices
  • Creating Audience-​Friendly Messages
  • Dropping Email Marketing Campaigns at the Right Time
  • Measuring Engagement

Matching Formats to Devices

Last year, consumers showed a preference for reading their messages on their mobile devices. Over 42% of consumers relied on mobile devices for this purpose. More specifically, over 90% of consumers who read email on their phones did so on an Apple iPhone. Google Android devices came in next at 5%.

Consumers also like webmail tools when it comes to email. In Q1 last year, 34.9% of consumers accessed email through webmail services such as Gmail. By Q3, the number had increased to 41%. Gmail rules in the webmail tools universe with over 80% of messages being read on the platform. In comparison, Yahoo scored 10.9% and Outlook​.com 2.9%, globally.

Between Q1 and Q3, the number of consumers reading email on desktop devices dropped from 20% to 16%. Not surprisingly, the email client of choice was Apple Mail, used by over 60% of consumers by the end of Q3. During the first three quarters of 2021, the number of people reading email on the Outlook client dropped slightly: from 40% to just over 37%.

Are your clients' email messages formatted to look great across all platforms? If not, offer your services to help them improve this aspect of your marketing.

Creating Audience-​Friendly Messages

What does this trend mean for your clients? They should also make sure their email campaigns are mobile friendly. And they should design their messages to snag attention. These days, dark mode has become popular. This screen effect was introduced by Apple a few years ago and major webmail service providers soon copied the feature. Consumers appreciate seeing a darker screen with white text in low-​light conditions. However, some of your client’s emails might not look great in dark mode, so test for these situations. For example, their logo may not be visible in dark mode on some consumers’ screens. You can look like a trusted advisor when you explain a common workaround for this situation – setting off the logo in a white banner. According to the Litmus study, about 25% of messages are read in dark mode.

Dropping Email Marketing Campaigns at the Right Time

Consumers are overwhelmed by the volume of email they receive. One study reports that the average office worker finds 121 new messages in their inbox every day. It’s challenging to stand out in those conditions. If your client has already built a relationship with consumers they’re reaching out to, they’re a step ahead of competitors.

Regardless of relationships, it’s vital for marketers to send out messages at the right time. Because, as GetResponse findings indicate, most emails, 22%, are opened within the first hour of receipt. This consumer response makes sense.  We all tend to check our phones multiple times a day, okay – an hour, and we click on messages that interest us. We’re hoping for good news or a great deal. As messages get older and we haven't looked at them, we tend to delete them.

The Litmus survey reveals most U.S. consumers read email messages in the morning. 10:00 a.m. is a peak time with 7.4% of messages being read. And Engine Mailer confirms Tuesday is the best day to release an email campaign. Consumers open more email messages on Tuesday than on any other day.

Measuring Engagement

Knowing how many and when consumers open email is one measure of a campaign’s impact. But that data barely scratches the surface of what you need to know. The time spent reading the message is another key metric. Litmus analysts point out that in 2020, consumers spent 11.8 seconds with each email. In 2021, that number dropped to 10 seconds. The attention span is even shorter for message opened on mobile devices. Your client has exactly 9.6 seconds to get their message across to a consumer before they move on to the next email. Help your client develop great subject lines and cut unnecessary words from the text.

Email marketing success allows your clients to profitably target loyal customers and new prospects. Designing these messages to be mobile friendly is more important than ever before. The content of the messages matters too. To understand which types of consumers prefer to receive birthday greetings versus new product email promotions, check out the AudienceSCAN profiles available at AdMall by SalesFuel. Then help your clients set up email marketing campaigns for the next few months. 

Photo by Karolina Grabowska from Pexels

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.