5 Effective Email Tactics to Engage Your Recipients

While email has long been the medium most commonly associated with “spam”, it still stands as one of the best and most reliable tools marketers have for re-engagement.

As an Online Marketing Strategist who focuses primarily on email marketing, I am always looking for inspiration from innovative newsletters that stand out, are especially relevant to their recipients, and use clever tactics. That being said, below are five email newsletters from a variety of brands that use some cool tactics that you can use to improve your email campaigns.



This email I received from uses a bold messaging tactic that leaves the recipient no choice but to instantly understand the email’s message and desired course of action.  This tactic is extremely effective and acknowledges the miniscule attention span of most email recipients. GoDaddy also does a great job with this creative by capping the email off with a message indicating that the offer is time sensitive.  This gets their users to not just act…but act now.

4. Verizon


This Verizon creative follows a similar approach as the GoDaddy one, but also goes one small step further. Verizon promoted its new Thunderbolt phone by pairing direct, simple messaging with a large animated .GIF image of the smartphone. The phone’s animated image is impossible to miss as it flips over, lights up its flash and grabs the users’ eye.  Animated .GIFs have been making a bit of a comeback lately, and while I think some marketers are simply using them for their own sake, I believe that this creative draws an appropriate amount of attention to show of its featured product.

3. iContact


As you can see, I recently signed up for the free edition of iContact’s email marketing service.  I did this to check out its features and what it has to offer, but also to see how they would handle their email marketing in respect to me as a new lead.  One of their re-engagement tactics I found really effective was the use of a permission reminder.  It is not particularly uncommon for users to subscribe for a newsletter and forget why they signed up, or even that they signed up at all! By reminding recipients when and why they signed up for your email marketing, you take them back to their mindset and desires from when they were most receptive to your product. The permission reminder tactic is also effective at minimizing any spam complaints you may have.

2. RadioShack


RadioShack recently sent out an engaging newsletter that promotes Android phones without contract obligations. While this email uses some decent messaging and calls to action, it still includes an overwhelming amount of content which divides the recipient’s attention and prevents any one action being taken. However, this RadioShack newsletter also included one unique design element which really drew my attention. By arranging some of the product imagery to pop outside of the newsletter borders, the designer was able to achieve that stand out factor, which can elevate a newsletter from an email that is quickly deleted, to one that is forwarded to a friend.

1. Twilio


As 2010 drew to a close, the cloud communications company Twilio sent out a newsletter advertising its holiday contest.  This newsletter does a good job of combining brief copy, strong calls to action and supportive graphics.  However, this email’s clever tactics are actually used before its images are even displayed. These days, the vast majority of email software includes security settings that are set to prevent images from being displayed until the user chooses to display them.  As a result, many emails, especially those that place text copy within images, initially display very little content before the user enables images.  Twilio, on the other hand, has designed a newsletter that effectively delivers its message with or without images enabled.  Twilio has achieved this by properly using alt text to replace non-displayed images with descriptive text. More importantly, Twilio simply created a design that includes a good balance of images and text. By putting all of your content eggs in one basket, you risk overwhelming your recipients with walls of text or having your images go unseen.  However, by balancing images and text your message stands a much better chance of reaching your recipients.

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Comments on this post

  1. Great post Thom, thanks. Is there a way to also achieve great results with text-based emails too, since images are turned off by default on many email clients?

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