How to Take Your Email Marketing to the Next Level

Many brown and red envelopes arranged in a grid pattern

We’ve explained before why we believe email marketing is a must-have for organizations. It lets you talk directly to your audience, it’s cost-effective, and it’s fast to get off the ground. 

Once you’ve gotten started with email marketing, though, you’ll soon find yourself at the point when you want to take it to the next level.

If you’re ready to get more out of your email marketing—more opens, more click-throughs, more results—then read on.

Build a Bird’s-Eye View of Your Email Marketing

To get started, you need an overall view of what you’re emailing to your list and when. So, take all the emails you’ve sent in the past three months and put them into a calendar. Try to color code your emails based on type of email, such as event reminders, promotional offers, or newsletters. Add in important dates too for reference, like major events or key deadlines for your audience.

A visual representation will really help you see the ebb and flow of your emails—and identify what’s most important, spot patterns, and get a grasp on opportunities for improvement.

One thing that you’ll want to watch for? If your email list is under- or over-worked. It’ll be clear with the visual calendar. You might see gaps, with emails clustered together between vast blank spaces.

Or you’ll have a hard time finding any breathing room. If you send too many emails, each individual email will stand out less and less because your audience develops what’s called “email blindness.” They end up marking emails as read or deleting them without ever opening them up. 

Create an Email Marketing Plan

When you develop an email marketing plan, you need to consider the following questions:

  • Will your audience know what to expect from your emails?
  • Will your audience know when to expect your emails?

By figuring out a plan for what content and information is included in your emails, you’ll have an answer to the first question. You want your audience to “tell by the subject line, or as soon as they open it, what kind of email they’re getting,” says Sonya Schweitzer, our Director of Digital Marketing. And the second question is answered by coming up with a cadence—that’s the frequency and timing of emails to your audience. Find the right balance, and you can build relationships with your audience that bring results.

Use the calendar you created with your current emails to create a new one, whether it’s a major overhaul or a slight adjustment. Make sure it has the cadence you want—the right mix of types of emails and frequency you’re sending them. 

And having a plan also helps with managing your email marketing. Communicate your plan with internal stakeholders and explain the why behind it. That helps make sure you (and your internal stakeholders) stay on track and know when and where you’ll include certain types of information.

When we follow this approach with our partners, we’re able to clean up their email calendars and build structure into their email marketing. This improves email engagement and management.

Add Creative Content Ideas

Drum up excitement with new content and you’ll improve your email engagement. Think about what content your audience likes on your other channels. Which social posts get the most engagement? That can point to what to include in your emails.

Including content that your audience wants adds value to your emails. That way, you’re not only emailing your list when you want them to buy something or do something for you—you’re also sending them what they want, too.

Here are some ideas that we’ve seen success with:

  • Spotlights on featured employees, customers, or donors
  • Interviews with key leaders
  • Behind-the-scenes photos and stories
  • Photo galleries or videos from recent events
  • Insights and advice relevant to your audience
  • Interactive content like quizzes and polls

Think About Audience Experience

When we put all the pieces together, the experience for email recipients is that much better. As we said above, your audience knows what to expect and when to expect it.

The audience experience really drives our approach to email marketing strategy. Our team asks what the audience gets from email marketing, what’s the experience like reading those emails, and what do they think?

If the audience experience is good, then our partners can build relationships and inspire action. We love that we’re able to provide insights into understanding audiences to our partners, helping them adopt best practices and get results from their email marketing strategies.


So there you have it—congratulations on taking steps toward elevating your email marketing game! These essential tips will help you see better results, more opens, and increased click-through rates.

Remember, the audience experience is paramount. By delivering on their expectations, you’re setting the stage for strong relationships and inspiring action from your recipients. That’s why we always bring it back to audience experience when we’re working with our partners.

Reach out to our team if you’re looking to take your email marketing to the next level—we’re ready to help you get there.


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