Email Marketing: Experts Explain How to Drive Revenue

Posted on November 13, 2018

The number of digital marketing channels available is expansive. These days, there’s seemingly always a new and potentially great channel catching the attention of marketers.

Through all the pondering about what’s next, the tried and true method of email continues to remain among the most effective approaches. That’s not likely to change any time soon, either. There were an estimated 3.7 billion email users, nearly half the world’s population, as of 2017. That number projects to hit 4.3 billion by 2022.

So the people are there, but are the results? Yep, that also checks out favorably. For every $1 spent on email, one study revealed there’s an average return on investment of $32. There are many other studies that would agree.

But how do you leverage the promising statistics around email marketing for success? That’s the question we recently asked marketing experts. Here’s what our top responders had to say:

Patrick Schmitt, FreeWill Co-Founder

Patrick Schmitt previously directed an email fundraising program for President Barack Obama. He also served as the Head of Innovation at, which he helped grow to 100 million users in just four years. Patrick is currently serving as co-CEO at FreeWill, a social venture he co-founded that uses email programs to help make estate planning warm, accessible, and totally free. To this point, FreeWill has been used to commit more than $241 million to nonprofits. Here’s what he had to say about email marketing efforts:

Patrick Schmitt, FreeWill Co-Founder
Patrick Schmitt, FreeWill Co-Founder

Relentlessly look for problems that prevent people from giving — then tackle them. You can chalk up poor open rates to weak subject lines and subpar UX, meaning users abandon a journey part way through. 

If you do find people have disengaged, plan to re-engage them at an appropriate time. I’ve found the best results come when you ask exactly 24 hours after they took action. People are creatures of habit. If they go online one day at 6 p.m., odds are they will do the same the next. 

Lastly, make sure the button is the biggest feature in the email and keep your content short. Your users already approached you by coming to your site, so write as if you are addressing a friend and cut the jargon.

Devin Stagg, Pupford Marketing Manager

Devin Stagg, the marketing manager at Pupford, specializes in content, advertising, social media, search engine optimization, and all things marketing. Pupford strives to give every dog owner access to the best training resources and nutrition products for their pets. The brand relies heavily on email flows, which has generated almost 50 percent of its revenue. Here’s what he had to say about his email marketing efforts:

One of the most important ways to increase revenue through email flows is to ask for the sale early on within the flow! Many marketers are hesitant or nervous to ask “too early” for fear of scaring off potential customers. In reality, you will always have some users unsubscribe and not buy, no matter when or how you ask for the sale.

email marketing
Devin Stagg, Pupford Marketing Manager

In most email flows, open and click-through rates are significantly higher on the first email in the flow. Every email after that typically sees a decrease in open and click rates. So, ask for the sale on the very first email. If you have done enough work to build a relationship and acquire someone’s email, then you should have a strong enough foundation to ask for the sale.

Simply put, ask for the sale right off the bat. Those who are interested are probably more interested right now than compared to seven days into your flow. This tactic of asking for the sale in the first email has helped us gain revenues 50 percent more than any other email. Ask early and get the sale.

Zach Hendrix, GreenPal Co-Founder 

email marketing
Zack Hendrix, GreenPal Co-Founder

Zach Hendrix is the co-founder of GreenPal, an innovative online marketplace empowering users to source, schedule, and pay for quality, pre-screened lawn care providers. It is best described as Uber for lawn care. Here’s what he had to say about their email marketing efforts:

The biggest mistake we were making with our emails was using company logic as opposed to customer logic. You really need to put yourself in the mind of your customer when crafting your emails. Run your email copy by friends and strangers. You need to get feedback because it’s so challenging to get out of your own skin. After that, split your email up into micro conversions.

Here’s an example of how we build curated emails:

  • Subject: Just get the open
  • Subhead: Pique their curiosity
  • Header: Convert that curiosity into interest
  • Body: Quickly point out what you’re going to do for them
  • Call to action: Get them to the landing page

The goal of the email is to get a click. Do not try to make or close the sale in the email.

Note: The email marketing views expressed in this article are strictly those of the contributors and independent of Engine.