No Email Marketing Strategy is Complete Without These Two Tactics

Here’s why segmented emails and landing pages are conversion soul mates. Image by Kelly Keeton via Flickr.

Conversion rate optimizers make landing pages. Email marketers send emails.

The problem, however, is that the two departments aren’t always in sync. And if your marketing strategy isn’t unified across all channels, chances are you’re leaving conversions on the table.

Email marketers must work hand-in-hand with conversion rate optimizers to create dedicated landing pages for specific email marketing campaigns.

So what are the elements of a successful, unified email marketing strategy?

  1. Each email marketing campaign should have a corresponding and dedicated landing page.
  2. To serve this targeted approach, marketers should segment their email lists to drive the right customers to the right landing pages at the right time.

Sound simple enough? Let me explain each point in detail.

Create specific landing pages for specific email marketing campaigns

The internet is full of articles about how you should send your ads to a dedicated landing page – and while not everyone is following this advice, it’s still widely accepted as a best practice.

1. search for SEO software

So far, so good. That’s nothing new.

Let’s contrast this with email marketing. Here’s an example that I randomly snatched from my email inbox. The email is a typical once-every-week-or-so promotion from an ecommerce retailer:

3. ecommerce email marketing
4. Kohls email landing page

This page is nothing special. And it’s not targeted.

The email is essentially a template for their website. If I click on the “men” panel, I get a page that shows me a bunch of pants.

Where is the focus? (There isn’t one.) Where is the specificity? (There’s none.) Where is the goal? (Lacking.) In other words, this is the mud-on-the-wall strategy of marketing. Throw an email to a few thousand customers, get a few click-throughs and hopefully score a few conversions.

Let’s take a look at a better example:

5. Email designed as a landing page

This email is targeted, specific and focused. Its goal? To get click-throughs for their promotion. And this is where the click-through takes me:

6. Optmize the landing page form an email

I can’t help my conversion rate optimizing self from quibbling just a tad at the lack of visual continuity and absence of a single coherent offer.

Nonetheless, the example still suffices. This type of email marketing experience will drive far more conversions than the “Ooh, let’s send an email!” approach to email marketing.


Humans respond positively to clarity. If you address the right people at the right time, and send them to targeted pages with one clear and continuous goal, you create delightful marketing experiences that people will naturally want to follow.

To improve the efficiency of your email marketing, you should:

  • Create a single goal for each and every campaign email. (Focus!)
  • Develop a landing page for the email that continues the conversation about the same, singular goal.
  • Drive customers to the dedicated landing page and then optimize the heck out of it.

That’s the first part of combining email marketing with landing page optimization. But there’s more…

Develop segmented email lists and send focused emails

This strategy — create dedicated landing pages for emails — is just the beginning. There’s much more you can do to refine your approach.

In order for your marketing efforts to be laser-focused and successful, you should also create segmented email lists.

Your email list is made up of contacts who are at varied stages of interaction with your business. And at each stage of the buyer’s journey, your prospects will respond to different types of content and language.

Email segmentation has a proven track record of value and profitability. An eMarketer study cited by Hubspot showed that “39% of marketers who segmented their email lists experienced higher open rates, 28% experienced lower unsubscribe rates and 24% experienced greater revenue.”

When you create a segmented email list, you are able to:

  • Develop highly relevant and specific offers.
  • Optimize the landing pages from the email marketing efforts to exactly match the motivations of the segmentation group.
  • Align your marketing strategy with each contact’s needs, thereby creating awesome experiences and increasing conversions!

We’re applying one layer of strategy (email segmentation) upon another layer of strategy (a dedicated landing page for every campaign).

Now, how do all these pieces fit together? Let’s walk through the process of segmenting our emails and targeting customers.

An example of the process, beginning to end

From this list, let’s take just one segment: repeat customers. These people have had multiple touch points with your business and are educated about your solution. You already know that these people are likely to buy. Now, you simply need to create a targeted email and landing page that will increase that likelihood and get them purchasing.

Based on this data and the selected segment, here’s what you’d do:

1. Create a targeted email that speaks to your prospect’s emotions

Since you already know that you’re sending this email to repeat customers, you want to praise them for their loyalty and wise decision making. Basically, you want to flatter them. You can say something like, “You know how to buy great products” Or, “You do a great job choosing products.”

When you make statements like this, the customer is likely to undergo an experience of “self-verification.” When a customer hears themselves described in a positive manner, they begin to believe this about themselves and then become more likely to act on that belief.

If you were addressing new customers, then you may want to approach it differently. You may want to use a technique that advances the psychology of curiosity, rather than self-verification.

The point here is that you’re trying to elicit feeling and emotion, not just a raw display of stuff for the customer to buy.

Let me show you an example of this.

7. using emotion in email marketing

The marketing email above is inviting women to attend a conference. The message reminds prospects that they are loved and creates a warm and inviting atmosphere. The call to action resonates with this emotion and is focused and clear.

2. Create a focused call to action

Next, you’ll bring the email to a powerful conclusion. In other words, you want to focus persuasive power, data, argumentation, or any other elements of the email to a final call to action.

To bring the email to a climax, create a final paragraph that sums up the email and inspires the user with a sense of urgency and emotional interest. Don’t lose your readers in this paragraph. It’s the most critical paragraph for them to stay engaged.

After this paragraph, insert your CTA button. It’s important to create a compelling and inspiring button text that continues the conversation from the final paragraph and explains what the prospect will get after the click.

As a good example of this, check out the marketing email below.

8. Example of having a storng CTA in email marketing

Notice how the email builds up, bullet-by-bullet to focus on that one central CTA: “GET CASH.” There is a direct connection in the reader’s mind between what she reads (build your business, make it work, etc.) and what the outcome of clicking (“Get cash!”). Since the target audience consists of small business owners, this is a highly-focused and effective email.

3. Develop a landing page that corresponds to the email

If you want to avoid cognitive dissonance (the ultimate conversion killer), the “one goal” from your email marketing should extend to your landing page.

Beyond that, the aesthetic of your email should carry across to your landing page.

Additionally, you need to ensure message match from one channel to the next. This is all about creating a unified experience that will indicate to prospects that they’re in the right place after the click.

Let’s look at a couple examples.

The first one comes from Airbnb. Even though their marketing email is simple, it is effective. Here’s why. The intriguing and wanderlust-provoking question is all that they need to inspire their target audience — inveterate globetrotters — to click, click, click:

9. an example of developing a landing page that corresponds to the email

And here’s the corresponding landing page for the first CTA:

10. corresponding landing page for the first CTA

I love the way that the CTA is tied to the landing page. Not only is it targeted, but it even answers a question. “Where is this? It’s on the Canary Islands.”

Plus, the landing page makes it easy for the visitor to book his request. All it takes is a three-form entry and a big pink button. Airbnb wins.

Connecting the dots

When you separate email marketing from landing pages, you lose out on precious conversion potential. A disconnected marketing approach produces fractured results.

Next time you set out to improve your email marketing campaigns, look beyond personalizing your greeting or subject lines.

Ask yourself what kind of experience you’re creating both before and after the click.

Connect the dots. Create focused and segmented emails. Tie those targeted emails to a specific landing page.

I think you’ll find that a unified email marketing strategy leads to long-lasting relationships – between departments and with your prospects.

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About Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is a serial entrepreneur, trainer and conversion consultant, helping businesses like IBM, Dow Chemical, American Express, Panera Bread, and Wendys improve conversions and strategically grow their businesses. Jeremy’s experience as the CMO and CEO of technology firms has given him a powerful understanding of human behavior and profit-boosting techniques. Join thousands of in-house marketers by downloading a copy of his latest ebook: Landing Page Optimization for In-House Marketers.
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