How to Create a Winning Email Marketing Strategy

Ready to convert more visitors to customers? A winning email marketing strategy can help you do that!

Email marketing remains the most effective way to reach customers and leads across industries. That’s why you need a strong email strategy if you want to supercharge your business growth.

In this article, we’ll go over how to create a marketing strategy that brings you email marketing success.

Let’s get started!

What Is An Email Marketing Strategy?

Email marketing is the practice of sending marketing content to existing and potential customers through email, rather than other channels like SMS or social media.

There are 3 stages to an effective email marketing strategy:

  1. Traffic generation: getting more visitors to your website in the first place
  2. List-building: persuading those visitors to join your email list
  3. Funnel progression: guiding new subscribers through your email marketing funnel until they’re ready to make a purchase

You need to balance these 3 parts for your strategy to be most effective. For example, pumping tons of traffic to your site is meaningless if you don’t have an effective sales funnel in place. On the other hand, aggressively optimizing your funnel won’t do much good if there’s no traffic going to it. We’ll cover how to improve conversion rates for each part.

Why You Need a Strong Email Marketing Strategy

Of all digital marketing channels, email marketing has the highest ROI (return on investment). That’s because email marketing is targeted, personalizable, and easily automated.

But plenty of businesses use email marketing randomly and inconsistently. This won’t get you the results you want. You need to have an overall email marketing strategy so that you know what to send at all times.

Having an email marketing strategy will also help you keep your email newsletters and email marketing automations aligned with your other marketing channels and brand identity.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best email marketing tips that you can start using right now.

Top 15 Effective Email Marketing Strategies to Try Today

1. Exit-Intent Signup Forms

You’ve probably been on a blog or eCommerce site browsing for information when something in the real world distracts you and you start to close the browser. Suddenly a popup appears, asking if you’d like to get an exclusive discount or sign up for the blog’s mailing list. Congratulations, you’ve just seen the magic of exit-intent popups in action!

Exit-intent signup forms, discount spin wheels, product recommendations, upsells, and other campaigns are an excellent way to boost your traffic and conversions. If you’re worried about popups being distracting or annoying, remember that these visitors were about to disappear into the Internet void anyway. So it’s worth making one last attempt to get their attention.

Let’s look at some examples.

Exit intent signup forms is a highly effective email marketing strategy

SnackNation offers a tempting free gift to users who are getting ready to leave the website.

Discount spin wheel example

PortraitFlip uses an interactive coupon wheel to attract attention and overcome objections to purchasing.

Inbound Marketing lead magnet eBook

Inbound Marketing invites visitors to subscribe by giving them a valuable eBook completely free of charge.

But what if you don’t know how to code? Fortunately, OptinMonster makes it easy to set up exit-intent popups anywhere on your site.

OptinMonster is the best list-building app that makes it simple to create stunning marketing campaigns with just a few clicks.

You can create all kinds of popups and signup forms with OptinMonster, such as:

  • Lightbox overlays (the traditional popup format)
  • Fullscreen welcome mats
  • Slide-ins
  • Discount code wheels
  • Floating bars
  • Inline forms

The drag and drop builder makes it easy to create your own design from scratch, or customize one of the dozens of templates.

Exit-intent is just one of many display rules you can use to precisely set the timing and triggers of your marketing campaigns.

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2. Double Opt-In

Double optin is the practice of sending an automated confirmation email that new subscribers have to click on to finish signing up for your list. While it may seem counterproductive to add an extra step, double optins actually serve several important functions.

First, they help new subscribers, and their email accounts, get used to hearing from you. By prompting them to go look in their inbox for their subscription confirmation, you remind them of your brand and why they signed up for your newsletter. Many email providers will move messages from unfamiliar email marketing services to different sections or even to the spam filter. You don’t want that!

Furthermore, double opt-ins are good for removing uninterested leads. Again, this may seem like the opposite of what you want to do, but it’s actually more effective to get rid of leads who were just testing the signup form or trying to get a freebie. You want to keep your marketing efforts focused on those most likely to convert.

3. List Segmentation

Email segmentation is dividing your list into sections based on demographics, interest, purchase history, and other factors. Then you send them relevant information based on what segments they belong to.

Segmenting your list shows your target audience that you’re not just treating them like a number or a nameless data point. For example, existing customers may not need nearly as much persuasion as new customers, so it wouldn’t make sense to send long case studies or other sales materials to someone who’s already bought from you several times. Email segmentation is a great way to reduce your unsubscribe rate because you’re sending well-targeted emails to people who actually want to read them.

4. Personalization

Similar to segmentation, personalizing your email copy is a good way to put a human touch on your marketing.

You can add a subscriber’s name or location, or reference the fact that they’ve bought certain products from you before. For instance, you might send an email promoting a new product to customers who bought a similar or complementary product before, and mention their previous purchase in the email.

If you have a more complex signup form that collects information about their interests or other data, you can use merge tags to insert some of that data into the email copy for a truly personalized message.

You can also use smart tags in your OptinMonster campaigns for extra personalization!

5. Mobile Optimization

If you want to win with your email marketing strategy, you have to make sure your emails are readable on mobile devices. More customers than ever are browsing their smartphones on the go, so your emails have to be mobile-friendly. Check to see if your email marketing platform has mobile-responsive templates or settings. The best way to make sure your emails look good on mobile is to send test messages and look at them on multiple devices.

6. Automation

Automation is a powerful way to take your email marketing strategy to the next level. Not only does email automation let you respond more quickly, it also makes email marketing easier on you and your team! You can easily set up automated emails for abandoned cart recovery, re-engaging inactive subscribers, welcoming new customers, and more. We’ll explore some common email automations in more detail, so keep reading!

7. Welcome Emails

New subscribers are most likely to open your emails when they first subscribe. Whatever lead magnet you’ve offered is fresh on their minds, so this is the perfect chance for you to make a great first impression.

Welcome emails are an opportunity to:

  • Thank your subscribers for joining your email list
  • Deliver the incentive you promised
  • Set expectations for email communication going forward
  • Introduce them to your brand

8. Re-engagement Campaigns

Re-engagement campaigns, or winback emails, are sent to win back inactive subscribers. The more subscribers open and click on your emails, the better your deliverability is for everyone, so it’s worth trying to warm up those cold subscribers. Most email marketing tools can show you who’s inactive.

9. Abandoned Cart Automations

Cart abandonment is a huge problem across industries, and automated emails are one of the best ways to recover those abandoned carts.

There are a variety of ways to approach your abandoned cart email marketing strategy. Exit-intent popups are a great way to catch abandoning visitors like we discussed above. Many eCommerce platforms can also send abandoned cart emails to customers who start checking out but don’t complete their purchase.

Most eCommerce sites send 2-4 abandoned cart emails within the first few days after abandonment. You’ll need to experiment to see what works best for your customers.

You can use your abandoned cart emails to generate urgency with countdown timers or have some fun with a discount spin wheel. Other strategies include appealing to the customer’s desire for the product and reminding them of the benefits that they can gain from it.

10. Transactional Emails

Another type of automated email that sometimes gets overlooked is the transactional email. Transactional emails include things like order receipts, shipping notifications, and delivery follow-up emails. These emails often have the highest open rates because customers want to know that their order has been received and when it’s shipping.

Because so many customers open these emails, don’t miss out on the opportunity to plant the seed for the next sale. You could include a coupon for their next purchase or invite them to join your customer loyalty program. Once the product has been delivered, you can send important information such as care instructions, styling ideas, and how to get support if they need help.

11. Email Marketing Metrics

One of the best things about email marketing is that it generates tons of useful data to help you make decisions about your marketing. You don’t have to guess what’s working and what’s not. Instead, you have concrete email marketing metrics like open and click-through rates to tell you what your customers are responding to.

Just be sure to keep a big picture view of your metrics and make sure you understand how each metric is calculated and what it means. For example, email open rate isn’t the most accurate metric on its own because it can be easily skewed by different browsers. Don’t panic over a one-time drop, but pay attention to developing trends that may signal that something needs to change.

12. A/B Testing

A/B testing, or split testing, is the process of testing different variations of a marketing campaign to see what performs better. You can split test just about anything, from your email subject lines to the copy and color of the call to action (CTA) button on your signup forms. Check out these A/B testing examples for inspiration!

13. Email Design

Well-designed email marketing campaigns are an essential part of any email marketing strategy. Remember, it’s not enough to get thousands of subscribers, you have to actually keep them too. High-quality emails will be what keeps subscribers coming back for more.

Good email design uses easy to read fonts, colors, and layout. These designs also scale properly across different devices and email clients. You can use the email templates that your email marketing platform provides, purchase templates made by third-party designers, or create your own in-house.

Email content also matters. No one wants to read fluff emails or spammy promotions all the time. Instead, send emails that deliver real value and are easy to take action on.

14. Unsubscribe Options

We know you don’t want to lose email subscribers, but we still want you to make your unsubscribe link easy to find. That’s because subscribers who can’t find the unsubscribe link may hit the Report Spam button instead, which will be even worse for your deliverability.

One way to reduce unsubscribes is to give users the option to change their email frequency, the topics you email them about, or the types of emails they want to receive. For example, if you’re launching a new product, you can give subscribers the choice to opt out of promotional emails for that launch, but stay on your general marketing list. That way they don’t have to unsubscribe completely.

15. List Maintenance

Finally, a crucial part of any email marketing strategy is scrubbing email subscribers who haven’t opened your emails for a while.

Even if you send winback emails and give them plenty of options for managing their email subscription, you’ll still get subscribers who go inactive. Keeping them on your list does nothing but boost your ego at the expense of your email deliverability, and sometimes your pocketbook.

Many email service providers charge based on subscriber count, so removing inactive subscribers is an important cost management step. It’s also likely to increase your open and click rates because you’re sending to fewer people, and those who are left are actively engaged with your marketing.

Summary: Creating a Successful Email Marketing Strategy

We hope this list gave you some ideas for boosting your email marketing strategy.

Also check out:


If you’d like an easy way to get more subscribers today, give OptinMonster a try now!

Jennifer is a content writer and course creator. She has a passion for helping small businesses grow sustainably and ethically. In her spare time, she enjoys writing fiction, cooking, and exercising.

Disclosure: Our content is reader-supported. This means if you click on some of our links, then we may earn a commission. We only recommend products that we believe will add value to our readers.


  1. Thanks for reading this article – I hope you found it helpful.

    I wanted to let you know about our powerful Exit Intent® technology that converts abandoning website visitors into email subscribers and customers. Typically 70% of the people who visit your website will leave and never return, meaning all those marketing efforts to reach them have gone to waste.

    OptinMonster’s Exit Intent® technology detects user behavior and prompts them with a targeted campaign at the precise moment they are about to leave.

    You can unlock this powerful technology 100% free when you purchase our OptinMonster Pro plan.

    Get started with OptinMonster today and see why 1,000,000+ choose OptinMonster to get more subscribers and customers.

    Thomas Griffin
    President of OptinMonster

  2. Great article, Jennifer! 🌟 Your comprehensive guide on email marketing strategies is a goldmine for anyone looking to boost their online presence. The tips on exit-intent signup forms and double opt-in are game-changers for audience engagement.

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