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How to Perform Email Promo Marketing Campaign

Every marketer should know how to use email to drive sales. In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to create a successful email promo campaign that performs well without exhausting your list. You’ll also get an overview of all the important metrics you should track, and tips on how to troubleshoot low-performing metrics.

How to Perform Email Promo Marketing Campaign

How to Perform Email Promo Marketing Campaign

What You’ll Learn:

  • the basic phases of an email promo series
  • all the materials you’ll need to run a successful campaign
  • all the metrics you should be tracking, and tips to improve each metric

Table of contents

Understand the Purpose of Promotional Emails
Promoting with Email
Build Your Promotional Email Campaign
Start with Your Offer
Collect or Create Your Supporting Material
Create Your Sales Page
Create your Cart/Order Form
Write Your Emails
Create Your Subject Lines
Utilize Link Masking, and Link Tracking Tools
Have a Contingency Plan
Metrics to Track Your Results
Track These Metrics

Understand the Purpose of Promotional Emails

Promoting with Email

Promotions are the bread and butter of email marketing. Every organization should be taking advantage of promo emails. They have the highest ROI since the cost of sending emails is low, and the audience you’re sending these emails to already knows you well.

Continuous promotions should not be the only thing happening on your email list or else you’ll exhaust your customers and your list won’t grow. However, they are an essential component of your revenue growth.

Every promo series follows a pretty similar sequence:

  1. Get people to “raise their hand” (show interest in your promo’s topic) so you can segment them for your promo series
  2. Start the promo series
  3. Reinforce the promo with related content/continued check-ins
  4. Give a final push at the close to let people know it’s ending soon.
  5. Close the sale, and potentially run a follow-up series.

When building out a promo email series, we always suggest you start at the endpoint and work your way back. This helps to make sure your customer ends up where they need to be, and you don’t get lost along the way building out the sequence.

In this article, we’ll walk through the process of building out a promotional campaign from start to finish (or finish to start, technically). We’ll start with your offer and end with an overview of the metrics you should be tracking to know how your series is performing.

Build Your Promotional Email Campaign

Start with Your Offer

If you are going to run a promotion, you need to have a strong offer.

We suggest that you have a file on hand with the core elements of your offer. You’ll want to know…

  • Your product description/features/bundles
  • Your price points—the standard price and the potential discount prices
  • The emotional sell behind your promo—think about your customer’s struggles and problems (aka the before state), and how your product will help them get to their desired after state.
  • Yours upsell—what is the logical next step after someone consumes your product?
  • Your down-sell—if someone didn’t convert, what could you offer them at a lower price point that could still help them accomplish (or get closer to accomplishing) their goal?

This file will act as your guide when writing sales pages, answering questions from customers, and more.

ACTION ITEM: Create your offer 1-pager.

Collect or Create Your Supporting Material

It can be exhausting as a customer to constantly be receiving emails promoting the same offer over and over. That’s where supporting material comes in handy.

Supporting Materials are content pieces you can include in your promo campaign that relates to your main offer so that you can take a break from constantly hounding your list to convert.

This content can come in the form of:

  • Blog posts
  • Lead Magnets
  • Podcast episodes
  • Value-in-advanced content inside your actual emails (links to related articles, pdf docs, etc.…)

The goal is to offer a break for your list, while also keeping the interest and engagement around the product you are offering. When deciding what material to include think: “what could I give people that would make them more prepared and convinced to purchase the main offer?”

ACTION ITEM: Collect or build out your related supporting material.

Create Your Sales Page

Your sales page is incredibly important to the effectiveness of your campaign. It needs to hit on the before and after states that relate to your offer, and also explain what your customer will expect when they purchase. x

Here’s an example from one of DM’s best Sales Pages:

Here’s an example from one of DM’s best Sales Pages

Here’s an example from one of DM’s best Sales Pages

You’ll want to make sure your sales page has:

  • An attention-grabbing headline
  • Killer copy that focuses on the benefit, and includes all the essential information (price, features)
  • Images/product demo’s/sneak peaks
  • Sales Boosting Bullets
  • CTA buttons scattered throughout the sales page

Your sales page could be a:

  • Squeeze Page: a page designed specifically to get a single action
  • Long-form Sales Letter: a sales page that’s heavy on the written content/images
  • Video Sales Letter (VSL): a page that uses video to do most of the work

We suggest you test out a few different options and figure out which one performs the best.

You can do this by taking a small group of super-engaged buyers and split testing your different sales pages with those purchasers. Do this a day or so before you send out the best-performing version to the rest of your list.

Taking this approach ensures that your toughest customers are seeing the best of the best.

Now it’s your turn…

ACTION ITEM: Create your own sales page for your offer.

Create your Cart/Order Form

After you create a sales page, you need to create the cart and order form where people can purchase the product you’re selling.

It’s up to you to decide which software works best for your company, but here are a few examples of some that are commonly used…

  • Shopify
  • Square
  • WooCommerce
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • Creating your own!

ACTION ITEM: Make sure your cart system is set up inside your sales page.

Write Your Emails

Now you’re going to write your promo emails.

Remember that you will need emails that:

  • get people to opt into your promo list by showing interest in the product/service topic
  • open your promotion
  • provide related content, and possibly include a CTA to your core offer at the end (however, in some cases you’ll just want to provide value without pushing your offer.)
  • “last chance” emails that drive home your promo and create urgency.

The number of promo emails you send in a week depends a lot on the price of your product. Typically,

  • A lower-priced product: 2-5 emails a week
  • A higher-priced product: 3-8 per week

As for the copy itself, it should be engaging and true to your brand’s unique voice. You’ll want to speak to the customers before the state and show how your product can help bring them to the after state. You’ll also want to draw some connections (loosely or more direct, that’s up to you) between the related content, and the main offer for your promotion.

Don’t forget to include images, videos, or any other design aspects to your emails to make them more engaging.

ACTION ITEM: Write the copy for your promotion series.

Create Your Subject Lines

Subject lines are a crucial part of your promotional email campaign because they’re your only chance to show people your email is worth opening. Use these 3 steps to create high-converting subject lines:

  1. Write out a lot of subject lines and then pick your top 3; Use this resource to help you brainstorm subject line ideas
  2. Split test your 3 subject lines into 3 groups with each subject line going out to 10% of your list—that’s 30% of your list receiving these emails. Again, these should be your most engaged customers
  3. Set your ESP up to automatically send the best performing subject line to the rest of your list after a few hours of testing

ACTION ITEM: Write subject lines for your emails and narrow them down to the top 3 for each.

Utilize Link Masking, and Link Tracking Tools

Make sure you have control over the links in your emails and the performance of each link.

Link Masking allows you to alter links inside emails after you send the email. This is helpful if links break, or you have to fix an error (which happens to everyone).

Link Tracking tools will be important to track engagement from your emails to your linked content. You can use UTM’s codes to do this. UTM’s show you where the traffic to your webpages is coming from, so you can see if an email campaign is creating the click-throughs you were aiming for.

ACTION ITEM: Check your links and set up any UTM’s/Link Masking as needed.

Have a Contingency Plan

Having to pivot is only natural when running email campaigns. You should be tracking your promo throughout the duration of its cycle, but It’s important to set pivot dates where you can assess how the email promotion is going and decide if you need to pivot the campaign for better results.

For example, if after the 1st day you haven’t made 15-20% of your total sales volume, you might want to pivot this campaign.

When choosing your pivot date, make sure you are specific to your product and audience. For example, at DigitalMarketer we make about 50% of our sales in the last 3rd of our promotion timeline so we keep that in mind anytime we are looking at potentially pivoting.

ACTION ITEM: Decide on a pivot date.

At this point, you have all you need to successfully create a promotional series!

Metrics to Track Your Results

Track These Metrics

Now that you have a promotional campaign ready to launch, let’s review some of the metrics you’re going to want to track. We’ll review the metric and give you some troubleshooting options to test if that metric isn’t performing well…

Email Open Rates: The percent of email receivers who opened your email.

If your email open rate is low, try testing a different subject line. If it is still low, the problem may be that your product isn’t connecting with your recipients. This could be linked to customer targeting problems or possibly an indoctrination campaign issue.

Email Click-Through Rates: The percent of email receivers who click on a link in your email.

If your email CTR is low, test variations of copy to see if one connects with your audience more and add more links if you only have ~1-2 and over 700 words of copy. If it’s still low, make sure your subject line and copy are congruent.

On-Page Conversion Rate: The percent of website visitors that perform a given action (ex. buy the product or sign up for emails) that you dictate.

If your on-page conversion rate is low, check on your landing page and try different variations of copy to ensure consistency between your email’s copy and the sales page’s copy. You should also double-check that the link is functioning properly.

Cart Drop Off Rate: The percent of website visitors who placed the product in the cart but don’t buy.

If your cart drop-off rate is low, try adding more copy on your sales page or the checkout page that connects to the after state your product will create for the customer. You can also try sending a follow-up email that either reminds them of their cart, or offers them a related down-sell, or freebie to encourage engagement and encourage a brand connection.

Upsell/Down-sell Take Rate: The percent of website visitors who choose an upsell or down-sell option at checkout

If your upsell or down-sell take rate is low, you might need to re-think what you are offering. In some cases, it might not be a logical next step. They also may just not be interested in your upsell, or it might be too expensive. Alternatively, your down-sell offer might not provide enough value, or that customer just really isn’t interested in the topic (which might mean they were mistakenly put in the promotion list.)

One final note about tracking your promo emails: When trying to improve your conversions, don’t go changing a bunch of things that all affect the same metric. If you do that, you won’t know which change to attribute to the improvement. Make 1 or 2 changes and wait to see how they perform.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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