Find out what email optimization is, and how you should use it properly with these 10 tips

Find out what email optimization is, and how you should use it properly with these 10 tips

By Anna Benzaquen
Published: 11/17/22

When customers see your emails in their inboxes, they must make two decisions.

  1. Do I trust this sender?
  2. Am I interested in this content?

If they answer ‘yes’ to both questions, they will open your email. If your marketing content holds their attention and piques their interest enough, they will click through to your landing page and possibly make a purchase.

Here is the question for you: how do you make sure they are incentivized to follow this chain of steps?

Answer: you optimize your email marketing.

Here we’ll take a look at what email optimization is, why you should do it, how to optimize your email marketing, and when to do so. Whether you're a large or small business, the purpose of an email campaign is to create strong relationships with prospects while also raising conversion rates.

What is email optimization?

Email marketing optimization occurs when a brand adjusts various parts of its email campaign to align it with other marketing strategies. Brand recognition relies on consistency across the board and making sure your emails are on-brand can increase customer interaction and generate more leads.


The main reason brands want to optimize their email marketing is to secure higher conversion rates. If readers open your email and are interested in what they find there, they will click through and, with a little luck, make a purchase. This gets more money into your business’ pockets 🤑. This is, obviously, what we’re all working towards.

Another benefit of email marketing optimization is the ability to manage your brand perception. Their inbox may be the place readers see your brand the most frequently. If the branding in your emails is off, it can skew perception of your entire brand towards the negative BUT if you play your cards right and get your branding spot on, you can influence readers to have a very high perception of your company.

You can also use optimization as a re-branding tool, if necessary. It can be a testing site or a launch pad for new initiatives and priorities.

Let’s take a look at some ways to take advantage of email marketing optimization.

10 tips to optimize your email campaign

While there are many ways to start optimizing your email marketing campaign, none of these is a quick fix. Taking a close look at your data points and marketing metrics will allow you to target the optimization methods that will be the most effective for your campaign. Some of these methods include:

  • Segment your audience
  • Write a catchy subject line
  • Choose the correct sender name
  • Personalize the message
  • Include images and rich text
  • Calls to Action
  • Create a sense of urgency
  • Shareable links
  • Unsubscribe links
  • Mobile formatting

1. Segment your audience

Segmenting your audience lets you organize your subscribers and decide how to act with each type. Sending relevant emails to each type of subscriber will boost engagement and recognition of your company. It also lets you spot problems with certain campaigns or subscriber sections more quickly than wading through entire marketing campaigns. For example, new customers will need more interaction than long-term, engaged customers but you can also reward the long-term customers for their loyalty.

2. Write a catchy subject line

Your subject line is one of the first things your reader sees of your email. It determines whether or not they open it and see the rest 👀. An optimized subject line catches your reader’s attention and convinces them to open it. To achieve that lofty goal, your subject line should be relevant to your audience and your value to them. Show them how you can solve their problems.

You can also personalize the subject lines by including the reader’s first name or company name or include a call to action like “download…” or “get your free…”. When using actionable language like this, be careful to clearly describe your offer so your email doesn’t look like spam.

3. Choose the correct sender name

Your sender name is the other thing your reader sees immediately. Your sender name can help the reader determine whether or not they trust that your email is not spam. If you have an optimized sender name that you use consistently, your readers will recognize you easily and start to build trust. Whether you decide to use your company name or your personal name, make sure it’s something your readers will associate with good things.

4. Personalize the message

By personalizing your message, you show your readers that your emails are relevant to them. Show that you know something about them and their problems. More readers will click through on emails that start by using their first name. You can use demographic information, like their region and company, and behavioral information, such as recent purchases or products viewed, to remind them of other services or products they may be interested in. This is a great place to be creative in your optimization! And there are many automation options to take the stress out.

5. Include images and rich text

Emails have to be visually compelling to keep readers’ attention in this digital world. Including images can draw the reader’s eye to the most compelling and important parts of your campaign, as long as the images are relevant. Rich text also draws the reader’s eye and keeps them moving smoothly through your copy with bold, italics, underlining, and size changes. These types of text stimulate readers to pay attention rather than skipping over a block paragraph.

6. Calls to Action

A call to action (CTA) leads your reader to the next step. You want them to click through and convert to customers which makes your CTA incredibly important. Really, the reason you’re doing all this optimization is to get them to click on this little button and make a purchase.

You need to choose the most urgent action you want your reader to take. Whether that’s sign-up, share, or purchase, make sure your button or link is distinctive and prominent. You need it to catch the reader’s attention. You may even want to include multiple buttons throughout the email that lead to the same landing page – one at the top, in the middle, and at the bottom so it’s as easy as possible for your reader to convert.

You can test out different active languages like “shop now,” “sign-up today,” or “get your free download” to see what works best for your campaign.

7. Create a sense of urgency

Sometimes it takes a little push to get readers to take up that call to action and convert to customers. That push can come in the form of a reminder that time is ticking. You can create a sense of urgency around certain types of campaigns like promotions or sign-up bonuses by including a countdown clock. The countdown urges them to take the leap sooner rather than later so they can benefit from your offer.

8. Shareable links

You can encourage your readers to pass your content along to their contacts by making it easy to share your email content. You’ll be widening your audience and generating new leads without expending any energy! It’s already easy for people to use the “forward email” button to send your email to their friends, but many don’t think about this option, so why not give them a few more?

You can share links to a wide range of other popular social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn and let your readers choose their favorite. You can even customize the sharing links with your own copy and meta descriptions.

9. Unsubscribe links

The purpose of optimizing your email marketing campaign is to make sure it reaches the readers who might value your content and increase its value in their eyes. However, if your email has landed in the inbox of someone who is not very interested or someone who is no longer interested, a good way to cultivate trust is to provide an easily accessible unsubscribe link. Letting those who are unengaged leave on good terms strengthens your email list and gives you stronger open and click through rates in the long run.

You can write creative copy on the unsubscribe page that entices readers to stay, suggests that they opt-down rather than out, or simply leaves the option open for them to resubscribe at a later date.

10. Mobile formatting

People don’t only check their emails on their desktop or laptop computers. Readers are often using mobile devices like smartphones and tablets that need a different type of formatting to remain easily legible. You don’t want to miss a chance to convert a customer simply because your call to action got lost below the scroll or didn’t link properly on one type of device.

You can use mobile-optimized templates to design your emails and optimize them for the best mobile experience. These are adaptable to several different applications and make sure that all the pertinent information remains accessible regardless of the point of access.

When to re-optimize

Marketers have a keen sense of when their campaigns need to be adjusted but using marketing metrics like open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, and conversion rates can provide a concrete method to recognize an opportunity for optimization.

Open rates

The open rates are a percentage determined by dividing the number of emails opened by the total number of emails sent. The higher the open rate, the more effective you know your sender information and subject lines are. If your open rates are low or dropping, these may be the first two places to look in terms of optimization, along with personalization.

Click-through rates

A click-through rate is a percentage of how many readers clicked on your calls to action inside the email out of the total number of emails sent. This percentage will naturally be lower than open rates but if the click-through rate begins to lower or is consistently low, you may need to look at your content, visual aspects, formatting, or the language used in your calls to action. This type of optimization will almost certainly benefit from appropriate segmenting of and personalization for your users.

At some point, your click-through rates will probably plateau because you’ve checked all the optimization boxes. You’ll never have a 100% conversion rate, so make sure your goals are realistic.

Bounce rates

The bounce rate shows the number of soft bounced and hard bounced emails. Soft bounced emails fail to reach the sender temporarily, perhaps because their inbox is full. Hard bounced emails fail to arrive in your readers’ inboxes because there’s an error in their address or because the email address is invalid. Correcting this problem requires background optimization: scrubbing your email list will significantly lower this rate.

Unsubscribe rates

Large email lists inevitably will have subscribers who lose interest over time. If you recognize these unengaged addresses early, you can choose whether you want to optimize around this metric by attempting a re-engagement campaign, decreasing the frequency you send to these subscribers, or scrubbing inactive readers from your list before they unsubscribe. In any case, you’ll need to understand why readers are unsubscribing at a higher rate than previously and segmenting your users and testing different optimization strategies on the most affected segments will offer valuable insight.

Conversion rates

Converting your readers into customers via click-throughs is the goal of all email marketing, which makes this the most difficult metric to diagnose. In addition to all the optimization points above, you may need to look outside your email campaign and optimize your landing page so that it will effectively seal the deal.

Sum up

Email marketing is still a favorite channel among today's marketers. When the email optimization tactics are used, it might be even more successful. Email optimization may increase engagement, strengthen brand loyalty, and increase ROI. Using an email campaign designed with an optimal approach, you may generate leads and income.

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