4 Easy Tips to Drive More Sales With Email Promotions

The question on the minds of most email marketing skeptics is pretty straightforward.

“Does it actually work?”

It’s a totally fair question, though. When we hear stats such as the 122% median ROI email marketers saw in 2016, it’s only natural for newbies to stop and scratch their heads.

But how? How do coupons and promotions drive long term sales? Do readers see them as anything more than spam? Well, that’s where things get a bit more complicated.

Do ‘Deal’ Emails Still Have Legs?

The fact that email marketing continues to beat out newer channels such as social media and paid search in terms of ROI tells the story of email’s staying power.

But here’s a potentially troubling statistic: daily deals and e-coupons have the lowest open rate (15.22%) of all types of marketing emails according to SmartInsights.

Uh oh. Are deal emails dead and buried, then?

Absolutely not.

The email audience at large loves offers and deals, granted they aren’t disguised as spam. After all, 96% of the public takes advantage of digital coupons. Meanwhile, nearly 60% of shoppers claim that they’re more likely to buy a product online if they’re provided a discount code.

The key takeaway here? The deal email is far from dead. The low open rate of coupons and offers can be traced back to the fact that there’s so much competition in any given inbox with so many brands running campaigns at once. Therefore, the success of deal-based campaigns and promotions ultimately comes down to strategy.

How to Ensure Long-Term Sales Through Email Marketing

Encouraging opens, clicks and conversions via email deals means coming up with messages your audience actually wants.  A proper deal email in 2017 isn’t a desperate wall of text begging to be clicked.

Strong deal emails are big, bold and impossible to miss:

Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Discount Email

If you’re having trouble coming up with your own promo emails or simply don’t know where to start, don’t fret. Below we’ve detailed the four aspects of promotional campaigns that modern email marketers can’t afford to ignore.

1. pay attention to the “small stuff”

Many newbies unfortunately set up their promo emails for failure by ignoring the subtle details of their messages. Think about it: your “90% OFF!” deal might seem awesome on the surface, but your actual emails mean very little if they don’t reach your list. Consider the following components of your campaigns such as…

  • Frequency – If you’re blasting deals day after day, there’s a good chance that your audience is tuning out. According to DMA, 50% of consumers prefer weekly promo emails versus daily messages.
  • Spam Triggers – Overly “salesy” language could land your emails in the spam folder. Likewise, image-based emails such as the example above ensure that you get your sales message across without being flagged as spam.
  • Timing – The ideal time of day to send out your deals varies from industry to industry. Regardless, your offers are much more likely to gain traction if they’re reaching your readers at the proper time. To help marketers edge out their competitors, Sendlane relies on its Optimized Timing tool to find the sweet spot for customer response.


Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Sendlane Optimized Timing Feature

Don’t set your promo emails up for failure from the word “go.” In short, how you approach your emails before you click “Send” is arguably just as important as your deals themselves.

2. get personal with your list

If you’re building a list of opt-ins to sell to time and time again, you’re going to need to present the most relevant offers possible. By segmenting your email lists, you can understand exactly what your readers want and deliver messages that resonate.

Ideally, you should send promos and coupons based on what you already know about your list: this includes information provided at opt-in or previous actions your readers have taken. When you present relevant emails to your customers, you come across as a helping hand versus a salesperson.


Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Prezi Discount Email


Personalization also means presenting your offers as something more than just a good deal. Check out this example of AirBNB’s promo email which feels much more like a personal invitation versus a sales pitch:


Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Air Bnb Discount Email


3. make sure that your deals pop

Although steep deals and discounts will help grab your audience’s attention, so will the elements of design. After all, you’re competing against hundreds of other messages on any given day. Anything you can do to stand out from the crowd is a plus, right?

Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Nest Discount Email


Making your deals pop is a two-way street. Firstly, a strong subject line that emphasizes savings or irresistible offers (think: “75% OFF!”) will help catch your readers’ eyes when they’re scrolling through their inbox. Secondly, bold imagery, colors and text can also help guide your readers to take action versus endlessly scrolling through your messages.


Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Leesa Discount Email

The most important element of any offer email is your call-to-action, though. Don’t make the mistake of hiding your CTAs: instead, make them as loud as possible without interrupting the flow of your messages.

4. tap into the power of time-sensitive offers

Simply put, you can’t afford to give your list the option of walking away from your offers.

Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Discount Email


Time-sensitive deals tap into the psychological trigger of urgency and represent a time-tested strategy for encouraging readers to act sooner rather than later.


Promotions Drive Long Term Sales - Ugmonk Discount Email

There’s no trick to time-sensitive emails beyond consistency. If your list knows that you send out a steady stream of coupons and offers, they’ll be eagerly waiting for your next one when it rolls around

How Will Your Deal Emails Stand Out From the Crowd?

Crafting email coupons and promotions represent a long-term commitment for email marketers. Figuring out exactly what makes your list tick might take a few tries; however, once you’ve nailed down your strategy, you can deliver messages that drive sales every time.

Regardless of what your offers look like, you’re going to need an effective email automation solution in order to reach your list. If you haven’t already, give Sendlane a spin today to see how we can help you craft irresistible deals yourself.


Kristen Dahlberg

Content Manager at Sendlane
As a member of the Sendlane content marketing team, Kristen focuses on everything from organization to content curation and process improvement. She enjoys variety and the challenge of learning the best way to accomplish each new goal.

Outside of work, Kristen spends as much time as possible at the beach, soaking up the San Diego sunshine!