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Email Marketing

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Digital Marketing - Study Notes:

How to utilize email campaigns

Another essential channel to include as part of your channel mix is email. This is a high-ROI inbound channel and it's relatively inexpensive to send out many emails. And you're sending them out ideally to people who have explicitly said they want to hear from you and are therefore more engaged, super valuable in that regard. Furthermore, engaging past customers is an excellent way to keep your brand front of mind and encourage repeat purchases. And things like upselling new or higher-spec products as well as cross-selling related products and accessories are all great uses of email.

As digital marketers, we have a number of email types to choose from, which we may include in our channel mix:

  • Newsletters let people know about relevant updates.
  • Promotions to let people know about sales, discounts, and special offers.
  • Automated emails automatically engage people based on different conditions.
  • Product updates let people know about new features or updates to existing purchases.
  • Content waterfalls distribute different content types designed to match typical consumer journeys, again, based on a number of conditions.

Always consider what might be the best email campaign type to deliver on your objective using best practice, past performance, and A/B testing. Now, depending on the type of email that you send, it's important to recognize that email can be a closing channel or an assisting channel. And based on its purpose – whether it's awareness, consideration, or conversion – appropriate KPIs need to be assigned to reflect the type of email that you are sending to show performance and its purpose.

Email types

Now, when thinking about the type of email to send, it's important to start with your goal and choose appropriately.


When we have new customer acquisition goals, email types include introductory offers, access to onboarding content, and that kind of thing. We tend to do it within time limits to encourage urgency. For example, last five days, last two days, get them going; that's to onboard new clients with those introductory offers.


Furthermore, when we're working towards consumer retention goals, it's important to use things like access to exclusive content or the selection of products based on past purchases, discount codes, and free gifts. This type of thing is super engaging to past customers and that's a great way to retain those valuable people who've already bought from you before.


And then, of course, to measure success of our email efforts, it's essential to become familiar with the types of email campaign metrics that we have available to us:

  • Sends are the number of people who you've actually sent the email to.
  • Opens are the number of people who opened that email. Your open rate is the percentage of people who are sent the email who then went ahead and opened that email.
  • Clicks are the number of people who clicked a link inside the email.
  • Click rates are the percentage of people who opened the email and then clicked the link inside the email.
  • Unsubscribes are the number of people who don't want to hear from you anymore or don't want this particular email from you anymore.
  • Complaints are the number of people who complain that they were sent that email.

As we get better at database segmentation and writing subject lines, we should see improved open rates. Likewise, when we create the type of email content that lives up to the promise of our subject line and our audience expectations, we will start seeing clicks within the email itself, and that's a sure sign that people are engaging with the content.


Now, in relation to other metrics, we always want to reduce the number of people who unsubscribe, and complain, and different things like that from our emails. And we can do this by optimizing personalization, send times, better managing our customer segmentation, and delivering different content types to people based on their preferences. All of that will reduce those negative metrics within our campaigns and allow us to move forward.

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Cathal Melinn

Cathal Melinn is a well-known digital marketing director, commercial analyst, and ecommerce specialist with over 15 years’ experience.

Cathal is a respected international conference speaker, course lecturer, and digital trainer. He specialises in driving complete understanding from students across a number of digital marketing disciplines including: paid and organic search (PPC and SEO), analytics, strategy and planning, social media, reporting, and optimisition.  Cathal works with digital professionals in over 80 countries and teaches at all levels of experience from beginner to advanced.

Alongside his training and course work, Cathal runs his own digital marketing agency and is considered an analytics and revenue generating guru - at enterprise level. He has extensive local and international experience working with top B2B and B2C brands across multiple industries.

Over his career, Cathal has worked client-Side, in digital marketing agencies and media owners with brands including HSBC, Amazon, Apple, Red Bull, Dell, Vodafone, Compare the Market, Aer Lingus, and Expedia.

He can be reached on LinkedIn here.

Data protection regulations affect almost all aspects of digital marketing. Therefore, DMI has produced a short course on GDPR for all of our students. If you wish to learn more about GDPR, you can do so here:

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Digital Channels
Cathal Melinn
Skills Expert

This module opens with a comprehensive overview of channel planning including the challenges this presents to marketers. It covers inbound and outbound strategies, cross media planning, the digital channel mix, and mobile marketing. Next, the module dives deeper into key topics related to each of the channels, covering social media marketing and content marketing strategy, search engine marketing, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and paid search, email and affiliate marketing, and display and video advertising, including ad formats and creative.