Email marketing

Jennifer Daly (formerly of Shopify) walks us through effective email marketing strategies. You can use email marketing to boost customer activation, increase retention, and receive feedback on your product or service.

Email marketing can be a great way to activate customers—it opens communication between you and your market.

Email marketing is also a strong retention tool. With it, you can inform potential customers about your features and products, and remind and even upsell existing customers about them. Email subscribers are far more valuable than a Facebook like or Twitter love.

Lastly, you can use it to get product feedback. You can learn not only what people like and want more of, but also what they don’t like and reasons why they might not be using your product.

Strict legislation governs the use of commercial email communication. It is important to know the law. In Canada, this is CASL. In the US, this is the CAN-SPAM Act.

Pros and cons of email marketing:


  • Is low-cost/free
  • Is can be used at all stages of the customer acquisition funnel, from lead generation to helping close a sale
  • Is a great way to open a conversation with a potential of existing customer


  • Emails risk being treated as spam by the recipient’s email program and recipients may never see them. (Email marketing giant MailChimp has put together a guide on how to avoid spam filters when using their service)
  • our emails risk being viewed as spam by recipients themselves if the email is not personalized or relevant. Irritating your customers is counter-productive—keep your emails targeted

Key growth tactics and strategies

  • A/B split testing can used to test the success [NB1] of your email campaigns. Keep in mind that the subject heading is a key variable in whether recipients open an email or not. Note: A large sample group may be needed for A/B testing in order to be effective—if roughly 10% of emails are opened, you may need to send a total of 10,000 emails in order to gain useful data
  • Send a welcome email after a user subscribes to a list
  • Use a copywriter to make sure your emails are compelling and well written. Make sure they keep the copy conversational (remember, you are marketing to humans)
  • Employ drip marketing techniques
  • If you already have a list of email addresses of potential customers, extrapolate what data you can and retarget your emails based on their stage of the customer acquisition funnel. Do this often. This can lead to higher-quality customer conversations and conversions
  • Have a mini-demo ready for customers that call in or email back as a result of your email marketing
  • Never pass up an opportunity to collect an email address. Even if you’re not pursuing email marketing at the time, maintaining a relevant email list can prove useful later

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