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What Should I Focus on to Improve Email Performance?

By Kara Trivunovic
It’s my one-word answer to this question and while I’m tempted to leave it at that… I can pontificate.
In reflecting on the articles I’ve written and contributed to the industry over the past few years, I typically find my inspiration coming from client interactions, going back to the basics of email and through the emails I receive in my own inbox. When I feel so strongly compelled to write about emails I’ve received – either positive or negative – the reason I put pen to paper is always because of the content.  
As an email marketer, what ultimately engages and activates your subscriber base is the content you deliver. When something is or isn’t clicking for your program it’s the first place you should look.
I’ve talked before about the best email I ever received – it came in early 2015 from “Juryinfo Systems.” The subject line was simple: “From: Lake Circuit & Superior Courts.” (My county – it must be relevant!) The content? Three simple sentences in text – not even HTML. “Kara, you DO NOT need to report on 01/20/2015. Your jury service panel has been released from jury service.  No further action on your part is required.”
While the sender and the content were unique the lesson is simple. The message reached me at the right time in a channel I preferred. It doesn’t always have to be complicated.
If you’re in need of some inspiration to improve your email performance, let me offer you three simple content tactics to consider:
1. Lists
There’s a reason David Letterman’s Top Ten list was a regular segment on the show from 1985 until the show ended in 2015. No matter the form the content takes, people love lists. Use lists as part of your email strategy to repurpose and recycle content. Sometimes simply re-packaging what you already shared will engage subscribers in new ways.
2. Length
Remember the best email I ever received? It was three sentences. Too much of a good thing will turn bad right before your eyes. Practicing self-awareness by being mindful of the length of your content is a rule that will help you engage subscribers.
3. User generated content
Twitter, Instagram and online product reviews are just three examples of where consumers are talking about your brand, sharing images and more. Who better to advocate for your products and services than real-life customers? Incorporating user generated content in to your email program is a great way to augment your own content plans and bring life in to the in box.
As advancements in the inbox are made and marketers are free to explore interactive content forms like real-time content, animated GIFs and video it’s important to remember that content is king even in its simplest form.
Kara Trivunovic is vice president/general manager, digital solutions for marketing-services provider Epsilon. If you have any questions about email marketing you would like Kara to answer, email them to her at You can remain anonymous.

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Terms: Feel free to be as big a jerk as you want, but don't attack anyone other than me personally. And don't criticize people or companies other than me anonymously. Got something crappy to say? Say it under your real name. Anonymous potshots and personal attacks aimed at me, however, are fine.

Posted by: James
Date: 2017-12-13 09:53:37

Great post! I use and can't recommend it more highly. Remail helps you reach more people by automating email prospecting in a way that's still as personal as it can be.
Posted by: Roman
Date: 2016-11-16 08:39:50
Subject: email verification

Thanks for a really great article. Can I add another email client to the list: - an email client that that improves productivity by reducing email overload and time spent on email.