ArticlesEmail Marketing

The 3 Ps of Email Marketing – Why Planned, Portable & Personal Works Best

By in Articles, Email Marketing

I have always assumed that the majority of businesses use email marketing as a regular part of their digital marketing mix…but the more companies that I speak to the less I retain that conviction.

It turns out that the simple assumed equation of ‘website + email newsletter signup box = regular email newsletters sent’ is proving false.

So where does your business sit at the moment with email marketing? Do you collect addresses but never use them or did you last send an email out a year ago but have been ‘too busy’ since? Maybe your website promises that people are signing up to a monthly newsletter, but they actually get sent one bi-annually?

Maybe you have never sent one, but have a bundle of email addresses from people who have bought from you online? Perhaps you send them regularly and enjoy the rich returns and online engagement that they can bring?

Email marketing, in my humble opinion, is the best and most effective way for a brand or company to push a message out digitally to your audience.

It is not difficult to set up and get started if you have never done it before. It used to be, a few years ago, but online email marketing platforms such as MailChimp and Campaign Monitor have made it very easy for beginners to get going with lots of step-by-step help and free online newsletter templates that are easy to customise for your business. You can even use MailChimp for free if you have less than 2,000 subscribers on your list!

The technology behind the broadcast has become simple to use – everything else is down to good planning and having compelling content and calls-to-action to share. Email marketing works, but it only works if you send great emails that are of interest to the audience. The best preparation for that is NOT to be thinking up content and writing it the night before or the morning of the day you are supposed to send it out.

“The old English adage is true…you can’t be everybody’s darling, but you can get everybody’s respect if you play fair and prove that you care.”


Like everything else in digital marketing, plan ahead. If you do already send a monthly email newsletter out then you should know in February what your March and April newsletters are going to cover and WHY you will be sending them.

You shouldn’t be sending them because you HAVE to send a monthly email newsletter – you should be sending them because you have a brill sales message or article or competition planned in for that month and you want to let people know about it…and you happen to send such great pieces of content out on a monthly basis. It’s a subtle twist of mind-set and approach. Don’t send your newsletter out because it’s a new month, send it because the great content is ready and the timing is right and it supports your new blog post, product launch, online sale or social media campaign.

If you plan your digital marketing in advance then you will send a newsletter out on a monthly basis driven by a plan, and not by a calendar. If you don’t plan your activity then you will be scratching around for content and slapping mediocre messages together in a rush just to hit the monthly deadline!

A great plan and great content makes up most of the email marketing recipe for success. There are a couple of other important considerations I’d like to share with you that do need some attention if you haven’t reviewed them in a while.


Your email newsletters need to work perfectly on a mobile device now as well as in Outlook or Gmail or Hotmail, so be sure to test your newsletters by sending them to yourself and viewing them on your mobile. A recent study from Campaign Monitor has shown that around 53% of email newsletters sent are now opened on a mobile device. The same research has suggested that 69% of mobile users delete emails that aren’t optimised to view on their device!

The online templates that the main email marketing platforms provide are mobile ready, so if your newsletter template is a few years old now and doesn’t work well on mobile then ditch it and start again with a new one.


Research also shows that a personalised subject line makes an email 26% more likely to be opened by the recipient. Personalisation is easy to do in email marketing, as long as you have the email recipient’s name! If your email data capture only records the email address then change it to also capture their name as well. If you are not ready for personalising emails yet then review your subject lines anyway as that is the biggest barrier or enabler to your emails getting opened…and that is always the first hurdle in getting clicks and results.

‘Company X March email newsletter’ is NOT a great subject line. ‘Great giveaway this month’ is better. ‘Hi Adele, there’s a great giveaway for you this month’ is spot on.

So, the main takeaway this month is that an email that looks bad on a mobile device with a bland or non-personalised subject line is not going to be opened or read by many people, and all that well planned and wonderful content gets wasted. That’s no fun.

I’ll leave you to get testing your templates and thinking about your future subject lines…thank you for reading.

In case you do need a hand with your email marketing, it is a service we offer at Secret Pie if you want to outsource it.