Email campaigns are still a highly effective means of targeting your prospects with a very specific message that feels less intrusive than a phone call or face to face meeting. It’s also much cheaper than some other forms of marketing. However, many businesses struggle to get the desired returns as they often don’t put the fundamentals in place. There are a few areas for consideration in order to have the maximum impact:


The data that you send your email to is key. In the post GDPR world it’s no longer as straightforward to send mass emails to a group of cold data. In an ideal world, your data should be subscribers who wish to receive your information. The reality for many small businesses is that they are unlikely to get the amount of desired subscribers to make a campaign worthwhile.

Many data houses claim to offer GDPR compliant data, but be very careful about this and ensure that you follow previous rules around allowing people to easily opt out and not using personal data. The best way if you have to buy data, is to gain permission before you send out emails to people. This will also give you a better response rate, as people know who you are before you send to them.

The other important consideration is the parameters of the data that you buy in. Are you targeting the right people? Is the data as up to date as possible? Have you researched the people most likely to buy your product or service? Are you targeting specific industries or geographical areas?

Ultimately a campaign can live or die by the quality of data.


Content is also key. If your email is too ‘salesy’ then it is likely to be consigned to the spam folder. Offer people some free information or knowledge, a free download or tempt them with an introductory offer or free trial.

Is your email too long? You’ll have a very minimal amount of time to capture someone’s attention, usually just the subject of the email and the first line is enough to engage people or not. So don’t write paragraphs, keep it succinct and to the point and ensure that your subject is short and snappy. Most email clients have a small preview pane and so it’s best to have an engaging headline or something to tempt people to open fully.

Does your email look too dull or too over the top? Too many images and exclamation marks will likely see your email consigned to spam, but equally something that appears very flat and dull is not going to engage the reader. It’s about striking a balance but also creating a clear and consistent email that reflects your brand.


Is your email generic, or does it address a specifc person or business? We find that personalising your email so that it addresses the person that you are sending it to is more likely to have a positive response. Generic emails are colder and do not engage as well.

Also, are you gearing your email to a specific industry? The problems that you solve with your product or service in one industry may not be the same as another, so tailor your content accordingly to speak directly to the industry you are targeting.

Time of send

Your time of send is very important. 10am on a Monday morning is likely to get short shrift as people are goign to be less receptive and also at their busiest. Vary your times and see what works best for your audience. Sometimes a Friday is a good day to send as people are feeling happier nearer to the weekend and are possibly more receptive. Why not try sending outside of work hours? Many decision makers go through their emails at the end of a day when they are perhaps less busy, so this might be a good time. Try to avoid lunchtime.

Call to action

Ultimately, you want people to take action from your email. Make it easy for them to click through to your website or to find your phone number or email. Don’t hide details at the bottom of your email.


Many people think that sending out a speculative email is straight forward but there is a lot to think about if you actually want people to take action. At Bentley Marketing, we have many years of experience of trying (and sometimes failing) with email campaigns and we’ve honed our trade to get the right balance. To find out more, please visit or email

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