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Designing Your Email Marketing Campaign


If you’ve read our Introduction to Email Marketing and have a solid grasp on email marketing basics, we can start designing your email campaigns.

This section contains short step-by-step guides on how to build a solid email list and how to run an email marketing campaign, the two every-day tasks that are fundamental to email marketing. The secret to effective email marketing relies on mastering these two tasks.

Building an email list

Here’s a short guide to email list building. At this point, your goal is very simple, yet many beginner marketers tend to forget about it: build a contact list with your target audience.

Of course, you want a long contact list. But it won’t do you any good if you have a long list of people who are not interested in your products or services. Instead, make sure that you reach your target audience – people who have a genuine interest in what you have to offer and are likely to become your customers.

Here’s how to build an email list:

1. Plan your online list building methods

The online marketing media can be divided into three categories:

  • Owned: e.g., website, blog, marketing list
  • Earned: e.g., reviews, comments, mentions
  • Paid: e.g., social media ads, Google Ads, influencer campaigns

Think of the most efficient ways to reach the people who are likely to become your customers. If you want to build your email list fast, use Autofunnel. It allows you to generate high-quality traffic from Facebook and Instagram with the Facebook Ads creator, capture their email address on your landing page, and build relationships with new contacts with automated emails.

2. Plan you offline list building methods

Online is not the only source of valuable contacts. You can build a solid contact list even without a website if you are where your target audience is. Trade shows, conventions, brick & mortar locations – make sure to use all the available opportunities to ask potential customers to join you contact list.

3. Create you list building resources

Facebook ads, subscription forms, lead magnets, landing pages, and webinars are tools that allow you to reach the right people. When you choose your list building methods, you’ll know exactly what resources are necessary to put the plan to action.

That’s why you need a plan before you act.

Running an email marketing campaign

First, set a measurable goal and decide on what you want to achieve. For the purpose of this article, I’ve decided to create a welcome email series with a goal to collect meaningful information about new subscribers. Information that will help me create emails they will find useful.

I want to welcome my subscribers to the list and use the moment when they are most engaged to find out about their interests and preferences. Welcome emails have the highest engagement, open rate, and click-through rate, according to MailChimp and GetResponse. The collected data will help me segment my contact list and personalize further communication.

Create your emails

Each business has its own idea of running email marketing communication. But the core idea that helps everyone achieve the best possible results is relatively simple – focus on the needs and preferences of your target audience.

The more you know your target audience, the easier it is to plan the contents and flow of truly engaging campaigns. But there are a few general types of email marketing sequences for you to consider for starters.

Welcome series

The goal of the welcome campaign is self-explanatory. But it’s the way you welcome new subscribers that makes a difference. Sending a simple welcome email is a good idea, but sending a sequence of emails instead can help you build long-lasting relationships and result in bigger engagement.

Here’s an example of a welcome email series from American Giant (an apparel company):

Frequency: one email a day 

Email subject lines in a sequence:

  • Take 15% off of your first order
  • Where it all started
  • Building better Ts
  • We’ve got The Pant for her
  • Sweatpants that do more than lounge
  • Refer a friend for $15 off your next purchase
American Giant

Onboarding campaign

An onboarding campaign is a great way to introduce your company, products, or services to your subscribers. A well-structured onboarding campaign should educate your subscribers so that they can use your product effectively and make an informed decision to purchase.

Onboarding campaigns are popular among SaaS companies. Here’s an example of a sequence from LiveChat:

Frequency: one email every 1-3 days 

Email subject lines in a sequence:

  • Welcome to the future of Customer Experience
  • One step left to use LiveChat!
  • Need some help with the code?
  • Boost Your Sales by 1000%
  • I’ll be the Godfather of your success.
  • We are here to help

Product announcement campaign

Are you going to launch a new product soon? With a product announcement campaign, you can introduce the idea behind it and build anticipation among the people on your list. As usual, I’d recommend going beyond a single email and creating a series showing different features and benefits.

Here’s an example of a product announcement email from Casper:

Frequency: one-time email 

Subject line: Highway to the comfort zone


And another example from Blue Bottle Coffee, a subscription coffee company, and Fellow, a coffee hardware company, announcing a product that’s a result of a partnership between the two companies.

Frequency: one-time email Subject line: Blue Bottle x Fellow | Level Up Your Coffee Routine

Blue Bottle Coffee

Sales campaign

The primary goal of a sales campaign is obviously to generate sales. That’s why the message is rather straightforward and focused on conversion.

Here’s an example of a sales campaign from UncommonGoods – an online marketplace to connect makers and their creations with individuals looking for truly special goods.

Frequency: every 4-6 days 

Subject lines of emails in a sequence: 

1. Up to 70% Off (still 100% Uncommon)

2. Ready. Set. SALE!

3. Reminder: SALE into 2019

Uncommon Goods

Pre-order campaign

You can also run a pre-order campaign. Based on the results and subscriber engagement, you can research the market need for a product and predict its success.

Similar to a sales campaign, it needs to highlight the incoming value proposition and include a call to action to take advantage of the product and opportunity.


With time, some of your subscribers will become inactive. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly normal. Don’t be afraid to clean your list – remove inactive contacts regularly. You can automate the process by running re-engagement campaigns to the segment of subscribers that became disengaged (stopped opening and clicking the links in your emails).

Here’s an example of a re-engagement email from Framebridge (a custom framing company):


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