Best Email Marketing Tips for Medium-Sized Companies

Best Email Marketing Tactics for Medium Sized Companies

4.3 billion people use email, which is more than half of the world’s population! That’s also more than the number of users on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media platform. It’s proven to be effective for marketers and business owners, too! In 2021, the average return on investment for an email marketing campaign is about $42-$50 for every $1. Creating and maintaining an email marketing list can sound like a daunting task, but it’s truly transformative for small-mid-sized businesses when executed correctly. Here are the best email marketing tips for medium-sized businesses.

Grow Your Email Marketing List

It’s common for businesses to offer a free resource such as an ebook or download. While these strategies may have worked in the past, it’s better to focus on providing your potential customer with information that is not only resourceful but applicable. This should be something that they can not only read, but also use.

For example, a physical checklist for an SEO manager or a list of approved vendors for an event planner. These two offerings not only provide the user with information but also a call to action or task.

Another easy way to grow your email marketing list is by placing an email opt-in for online orders on your website. This ensures that you’re adding quality leads to your email list that are already engaging with your brand. However, it’s important to ensure the email field contains an “opt-in” to comply with email marketing and spam policies placed by both the government and various email service providers. 

It is also important to not cut corners when it comes to growing your list. In order to actually see a return on your investment and efforts, you need an engaged audience who actually wants to hear from you. Because of this (and many other reasons) do not buy or “rent” an email marketing list. This one mistake may lead to low open rates, no sales, and possible fines from Google or the government.

Email Marketing & Audience Segmentation

Once you’ve grown your email marketing list, it’s time to implement a maintenance plan. Over time, you will notice contacts that repeatedly bounce or ignore your emails altogether. These contacts take up space within your audience, lower your engagement and click-through rate, and do not provide any value. Because of this, you will want to clean your email marketing list every six months. 

In order to increase your engagement, click-through rate, and general sales, you will need to segment your email marketing list. In fact, 77% of email marketing ROI comes from segmented campaigns. Segmentation sounds difficult, but it’s a super simple concept.

For example, say you own a company that buys businesses from those ready to retire. However, your service also includes finding a young entrepreneur to buy that business. Here, you’d have two completely different groups within the same audience that you are targeting: the buyer and the seller. The message, information, and resources you provide with the older business owner will differ from that of the young entrepreneur. 

When you consistently send the wrong segment the wrong message, they will likely unsubscribe or ignore your emails.

There are two popular ways to segment your audience: demographic and behavioral segmentation.

Demographic segmentation includes factors like location or a company’s size. Behavioral segmentation includes actions like previous purchases, lifecycle stages, and customer loyalty. In short, this kind of segmentation allows you to cater to your audience based on their previous actions.

Avoid Spam and the Promotions Tab

When an email falls into the spam or promotions tab, the likelihood of obtaining an open or sale drops dramatically. Think about it, when was the last time you clicked on either of these tabs? Most users will either ignore or mass delete any messages that land in these two areas of an email account. 

Unfortunately, a lot of business owners will spend time and effort on an email marketing campaign only for it to land in the spam or promotions tabs and go completely unseen by its audience. Luckily, we know a few tips to help you avoid the graveyard that is the spam and promotions tabs:

Audience Engagement: Each time a user ignores, deletes, or does not open an email sent from your address, the user’s email provider essentially counts that as a “mark” against you. Meaning, over time, if users are consistently ignoring your messages, the email provider will recognize that your emails are not resonating with the user. Then, the email provider will begin to place your emails into the spam folder. This is another reason why email segmentation and tailoring your message to different groups within your audience are extremely important. 

Avoid Spam Trigger Words: Using particular words and phrases like ‘free’, ‘best price’, ‘cash’, ‘no obligation’ in your subject line can raise spam flags and cause your campaign to be filtered out of your recipients’ primary inbox. For more examples of words that can land your hard work right in the spam folder, check out this HubSpot article. False promises from the subject line can also have the same effect and make your message appear spammy.

Set Email Address: Oftentimes, you’ll see emails from companies that look something like “” or “” For small-mid-sized businesses, it is best to steer away from the corporate or formal feel of these addresses to avoid falling under the promotions tab. Instead, try using something more personal by using a real name, like “” This has also been shown to increase user engagement because the user feels that they are speaking to a real person instead of an automated message or robot.

How to Plan A Successful Holiday Marketing Campaign


It’s basically a fact of life that the holidays arrive more quickly when you are in marketing. As we get ready to flip the calendar to November, if you’re not already organizing your holiday marketing campaigns, now is time to jump on it!

With U.S. holiday retail sales predicted to increase by 2.7% to $1.093 trillion, just about every business owner should be in the midst of planning a holiday marketing campaign. A smart and strategic campaign positions your brand for an increase in traffic, sales, and brand awareness. Before you begin your journey, here are a few tips to help you plan out a successful holiday marketing campaign.

Planning a Social Media Holiday Campaign

Social media is one of the most powerful marketing tools in 2021. However, it must be used correctly in order to see a gracious return on your investment. When it comes to planning a social media holiday campaign, you may want to first ask yourself the following:

  • What is the reason for this campaign? What is our main goal?
  • Who are we trying to reach?
  • What social media channels does our audience use?

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll have a better idea of where your campaign will exist online as well as a set of solidified goals. Remember, any digital marketing campaign you create should support your brand’s main goals and objectives. Campaigns without an intended objective in mind become confusing, convoluted, and muddled.

If you’re lost on content ideas or don’t know where to begin when it comes to creating a social media holiday campaign, we suggest digging into your competitors’ past campaigns and analyzing the content they’ve previously posted around the holidays. Make sure to consider both successful and unsuccessful campaigns and try to take note of what element impacted the success of these campaigns. 

Above all, your social media campaign needs to offer your clients and audience some sort of value within a definitive timeline. Without a value or incentive, your holiday campaign turns into general social media posting. A few ways to provide incentives during a social media holiday campaign include:

  • Seasonal products that are removed after the holiday season
    • Hint: Introduce a holiday edition of one of your best-selling products
  • Partake in consumer holidays and big sales days like Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year’s Day, and Boxing Day
  • Special gift items with purchases
  • Offering additional membership points or rewards

Planning an Email Marketing Holiday Campaign

When it comes to email marketing, knowing your audience is crucial. If you use an email marketing management system like MailChimp or HubSpot, you know the importance of a properly segmented audience.  

If you currently have different audiences, groups, etc. in your email management system, it’s a good idea to create individual campaigns for each audience. Different segments of your audience have different needs and will likely respond better to messaging that is targeted to them specifically.

If you’ve never segmented your email marketing audience before, now is a good time to start! Consider the different demographics and groups within your audience, and how you can craft content that each group will respond to.

When you begin creating your email marketing holiday campaign, it is crucial that you optimize for the mobile experience. According to Email Uplers, mobile opens account for 46% of all email opens. Additionally, studies have shown that 69% of mobile users delete emails that are not correctly optimized for mobile viewing. So, if you spend time and effort on a beautiful design but it’s not responsive on a mobile device, you may not see much of a return on your investment. With over 62% of U.S. consumers aged 21-45 saying they rely on just their mobile device for their entire shopping journey, companies and brands need to pay close attention when it comes to mobile design and optimization for their email holiday campaigns. 

Planning an SMS Holiday Campaign

Not many business owners think of adding an SMS or texting messaging campaign into their holiday marketing efforts, but you’d be surprised by the tactic’s results. In fact, 72% of retailers have increased their advertising investments for holiday mobile marketing this year. Not only is an SMS campaign easy to implement, but its results are also rapid-fire fast. According to Klaviyo, 90% of text messages are read within just 3 minutes. 

If you’re struggling to find content for an SMS holiday campaign, you may want to alert your clients of:

  • A new product launch
  • A special promotion code available for SMS subscribers only
  • New product launches
  • Pop-up events
  • Digital or physical events

Planning Your Paid Social Media Campaign

Sometimes pushing out organic posts on social media isn’t enough during a noisy holiday season. While you might need to stretch your paid social media budget to outperform your competition during this period, your return on ad spend can be quite high. Having an idea of your goals for your KPIs prior to launch will help you know if and when you may need to pivot or readjust throughout the season.

As we’ve pitched throughout this article, having a plan for your audience and timing can make or break your campaign. Start your advertising early! With customers being pulled in many different directions this time of year, it’s often the case that the more they see your ads, the better.

If you have data from your CRM about customers who have previously purchased during holiday seasons past, take that information and create an audience! While remarketing to these individuals can likely prove lucrative, consider expanding beyond them to a lookalike group as well.

Pintler Group Digital Marketing

The Pintler Group is the leading firm for medium to large companies and organizations that do not have a full-time digital marketing team of their own. We get seriously thrills from planning and executing superior campaigns – whether it’s during the holidays or not! From content and email marketing to paid search, social, and podcasting, our integrated strategies drive real results for our clients.

Email Marketing: Improve Your Campaigns by Integrating More Channels

Gmail loading on a laptop.

Digital marketing is noisy. For those with little to no marketing experience, trying to market your business efficiently and affordably can be a difficult and frustrating process. How can one stand out to prospective customers amongst the seemingly endless onslaught of advertising? In email marketing especially, it’s easy to overwhelm both yourself and your audience. How many emails do you send to subscribers? What kind of content connects most with subscribers? Are email-only campaigns successful on its own?

In our Cutting Through the Noise series – delivered through podcasts, videos, and blogs – we’re here to help you navigate the nuances of digital marketing on a higher level. Even the most novice users to marketing understand that there is more than one way to reach and connect with customers. These methods, commonly referred to as traction channels, vary across mediums and when used smartly, can help you find what tactics grow your business most effectively. This series will cover the 19 traction channels defined by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares in their book Traction, starting with email marketing.


Traction Channel #1: Email Marketing

As discussed in our first Cutting Through the Noise video, email marketing is a powerful channel for any business to take advantage of. At Pintler Group, we believe that combining email strategies with other channels often leads to more successful campaigns and results for our clients.

For example, let’s walk through our Golf Giveaway campaign we ran for our retail client UPTOP back in May.


UPTOP Case Study

UPTOP, a retail company based in Montana, has a pretty devoted following. Ranging from those who proudly wear gear showing their school, state or country pride to those who support the brand as a lifestyle culture, UPTOP has carved out for itself a nice market in the western states. This past quarter, we set out to reach a goal of increasing total email subscribers for this client, with a focus on reaching new customers on a national level. When brainstorming strategies for this goal, our team noted that quite a few UPTOP followers are avid golfers. This sparked the idea of creating a campaign designed to attract golfers across the United States in hopes of increasing the existing list of email subscribers. Thus, our team at Pintler Group racked their brains together and devised a strategy uniting platforms to seamlessly achieve this goal.

Leveraging Facebook Lead Generation Ads

It shouldn’t be surprising that Facebook is a powerful tool in the world of advertising. Given that there are 2.38 billion monthly active users on Facebook, marketers have a great advantage in using this platform to reach relevant audiences. We started off this campaign by designing both a video and still image creative to test through a lead generation focused the campaign on Facebook, with a simple message: “We’re giving away more than $100 in UPTOP golf apparel.” Once a user clicks on the “Sign Up” call-to-action button, they’re taken directly to a form prompting them to provide their name and email address. Simple as that!


Automated Integrations

So, we’ve got the ads up enticing users to sign up for the chance to win UPTOP gear. Now what? Manually download and organize the data gathered from the lead forms? Talk about a tedious and boring process…lucky for us, automation exists! Zapier, our preferred integration platform, allows for you to set up “zaps”, or a set of rules, to connect multiple platforms based on actions taken by a user. For this campaign, we activated a zap that gathered the form data from Facebook to feed straight into our Mailchimp master list for UPTOP, then sent us an email notifying us of any leads submitted. Once entered into our master list, we could now start developing a relationship by sending predesigned automated emails through Mailchimp.

Automated Emails

Email marketing is a channel designed to be personalized and designed with the customer in mind. You need to think like an email receiver, not a sender. At what frequency do you get exhausted with your subscribed emails? What type of language turns you away? The point of getting email subscribers is to build a long term relationship with your customers, not a “get to this number quick, then lose them after a week.” It’s a delicate balance testing how your audience will respond, but that’s what makes email marketing powerful: the ability to optimize and test different strategies to make each email relevant and engaging to the subscriber, which allows for relationships between a customer and a brand to develop.

With this campaign, we kept our automated emails light. We knew part of this audience would only want free stuff, and too many emails upfront may scare them off. After a user submitted a form, our Mailchimp campaign would activate following the Zapier trigger and send only one email welcoming the user to the UPTOP community. After the golf giveaway completed, a scheduled email was sent informing the subscriber that it was over but included a gentle reminder that there was a 30% off the entire store using a special code – promising the receiver future perks as a subscriber.


Moving Forward

Following the end of this campaign, we now have a new audience to learn and engage with – an audience of 355 unique users! Tagged in MailChimp as our Golf Giveaway subscribers, we can target these subscribers in other platforms and connect through more engaging content. With Zapier integrations, we can continue to automate processes between ads and emails to improve the efficiency of our tracking. Through Facebook, we can implement the email addresses collected and show ads relevant to their interests, such as announcements of new golf gear, future giveaways, and sales. Email marketing is more than sending mass emails to a passive audience. It’s an opportunity to provide value to your customers and strengthen the brand perception. It’s noticing trends in customer behavior and sending emails at the right moment after actions are taken. 

Be sure to check out our Slideshare deck on Email Marketing and our podcast discussing Email Automation, and this video on Email Marketing Framework to dive deeper into strategies to try for yourself!

Email Marketing Metric Most Missed and Why It Matters

Gmail window displayed on laptop.

The beauty of digital marketing is that it affords immediacy, a form of instant gratification. Gone are the days of sending a magazine ad to print or waiting for the scaffolding to slowly climb up to the empty billboard you purchased for the next month. Now it’s digital display ads, segmented email marketing, geotargeted messaging, streaming video, and all the other fancy tools as marketers we use all the time.

Instead of waiting around for something to happen and then wondering if it did anything at all, digital marketing is instant execution and instant results. But in a point and click world it’s important to remember there is action needed after the click. We recently talked about the necessity of data analysis, even at its most basic level. We discussed the three questions you need to be asking before you execute as a way to inform your analytics review:

Who is the audience I’m trying to reach?

What are my most important marketing channels?

What are my objectives?

Once you’ve accomplished this step it’s time to dive in. If you’ve made it this far into the marketing process, you probably know the key metrics to look at: clicks, engagement, bounce rate, opens, time on your platform, etc. But in almost every medium there is that one key metric that is so often ignored, often to the detriment of the marketing campaign. Over the next few weeks we’ll be identifying what the metric most missed is on each platform. Today we’ll tackle email.

The Ones That Got Away

Spam: An Email Marketing Red Flag

It’s hard to not obsess over the size of your list and how many people open it. And once you start following the breadcrumbs, especially if your conversion metric is sales based, you could be spending a lot of time looking at a lot of data. And while that’s a necessity (and the point of this series of articles!) the metric most often missed is disengagement rate.

To calculate your email marketing disengagement rate, add up the total unsubscribes and spam complaints from a single campaign and divide by the number of unique opens. It’s one thing to not interact with an email, or even just not open it. Those are still newsletter subscribers that can be activated. But someone taking the effort to unsubscribe clearly is not connecting with your messaging and you’ve lost them as a lead. Even worse, offending or annoying someone to such a degree that they complain to the world wide web is a sign something just isn’t right.

Obviously you’re going to lose email subscribes, that’s just the name of the game. For example, say you gathered a chunk of addresses from a sweepstakes. That’s going to drive up your unsubscribe rate over the next newsletter or two. And that’s ok, because the net is going to be positive. In other cases, someone might just be getting too much email. That’s ok too. It’s why so many smart marketers segment out or even manually unsubscribe people who aren’t opening their emails. A good cleanse of an email marketing list never did anyone any harm. And your open rate will thank you.

But if you disengagement rate is consistently hovering at 0.2% or above it’s incredibly likely you’re just not connecting with your audience. And if a high percentage of your disengagement rate is spam complaints, you might be on the road to losing them altogether.

Don’t Leave Yet, Just Give My Email Marketing One More Chance

So, you’re losing subscribers at a pace you’re not comfortable with and it’s in your head. Maybe you’re even questioning your skills. Rather than sulk, let’s get this turned around. (Remember, there is NO crying in marketing). As you can imagine, a surefire way to get to the bottom of the problem is through testing. It’s forgotten sometimes that studying your email marketing analytics isn’t just about finding what works; it’s about finding out what doesn’t.

Here are three areas to consider:



Think like an email receiver, and not an email sender. At what point do you say enough is enough? This could very well be the issue. Take a look at your emails over the course of a set period of time, say a month. Is your disengagement rate higher at the end of the month than the beginning? If so, at what point during the month is the increase in disengagement no longer linear? Identifying the point where it’s just too many emails can pinpoint the frequency your audience wants to hear from you. So if you’re sending out six emails a month and after the third the disengagement rate starts to increase exponentially, try testing only three emails a month. Sometimes people’s inboxes just get too full.



Sure, it seems simplistic to just say, maybe your content is the problem. But it’s about more than just what’s in the email, it’s about how it’s presented and what other content it’s paired with. Every good email marketer knows that sales email after sales email after sales email is just not going to get the job done. Even if your company isn’t in the business of creating original content, there have to be times when your soft side comes out.

Test an email, even on a segment of your list, that starts with content or imagery related to your brand but with no call to action to buy. Make the call to action something completely different. Be conversational. Add the sales stuff in below the fold. A consumer is less likely to unsubscribe or complain if they’ve gotten something useful from the email before getting to the stuff that might turn them off. If you have the guts (and content) try sending an email every now and then doesn’t have the words “buy” or “order” in it.

Subject Line

A good A/B test can help you pinpoint the type of subject line that increases your open rate. But what kind of subject line increases your disengagement rate? The most likely is one that overpromises an email that under delivers. Or doesn’t deliver on the promise at all. This is going to be a huger driver of spam complaints. Crafting a good subject line is absolutely necessary, but don’t take it too far or get too cute with it. Sometimes simple is best, just done right.

Looking at these three areas and applying the findings to your email marketing initiatives will not only increase the positives and decrease the negatives, it might just help you sleep better. Remember, as long as you engage with your disengagers, you’re going to be ok.