Email Marketing Lists – How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign

This post is the beginning of a series about Email Marketing Campaigns. Even if you’re a pro, this will be a nice refresher for you.

An old Direct Mail rule can be applied (for the most part) to Email Marketing Campaigns. It goes like this. List. Offer. Package. Message. Without the right List, your Offer doesn’t matter. With the right Offer, the Package doesn’t matter and so on… You have to start with the right list.


Don’t choose one Email Marketing List over another one just because it was cheaper. Scale back the size of your buy so you can afford the higher quality list. In the long run, cheap email lists aren’t cheaper. Your response rates will be terrible and your CPL/CPS will be through the roof.

If that isn’t clear enough, why buy a $2000 blast and generate $500 in sales when you could buy a $1000 blast and generate $2000 in sales? Cheap email lists are “hit” too often or aren’t segmented enough. The recipients are trained to ignore the emails from the sender.

On the flip side, a responsible third-party vendor who values their list and cares for it will charge more to preserve the quality of their list. They will probably have editorial guidelines to ensure your success as well as theirs.


Without the right offer i.e. incentive, your targeted list probably won’t give your message a second thought. You need to understand your audience. Are they likely to respond to a monetary incentive such as savings or a coupon? Would they act on something such as free download of content? Would they respond to a contest for a chance to win something?

Don’t just pick something and run with it. If it is not meaningful to them, you are wasting your time and money.

Package / Message

In Direct Mail, this is the mail piece in the mailbox. Packaging is design, copy, etc. This is where I spend most of my time. How does my email perform on all levels? Does the design say my company is trustworthy? Does it lend or detract from message and Call To Action (CTA). Is the message concise and compelling? Does the message compete with other messages? Does the layout technically interfere with the audience’s ability to act on the email i.e. can they still read the offer with images disabled? What shows up in the preview pane? How does it look on their phone?

In email, there’s another dimension to the Package: the recipient’s experience after the click. I realize this isn’t technically in the Package. But recipients can immediately act on an email offer. In Direct Mail, the next step is a little disconnected. In email marketing, you have the opportunity to send recipients to a dedicated landing page to fulfill your offer immediately.

Slideshare: Email Marketing Lists – How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign

Next in the Series:

Landing Pages – the other 50% of Email Marketing Campaigns and the Package/Message.

Posted: January 30th, 2010
at 10:17am by Rob Van Slyke

Tagged with , , , , , ,

Categories: Email Deliverability,Email Marketing

Comments: 2 comments


2 Responses to 'Email Marketing Lists – How to Create an Email Marketing Campaign'

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  1. Where did you get your blog layout from? I’d like to get one like it for my blog.

    Ben Waugh

    30 Jan 10 at 10:27 AM


  2. [...] my last post I talked about How To Create An Email Marketing Campaign. There’s an old Direct Mail rule that goes like this. List. Offer. Package. Message. Without [...]



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