Five Simple Ways To Send More Relevant Emails

Your contacts can be a confusing bunch.

You keep sending those emails, and they keep unsubscribing, reporting you as spam, or refusing to engage with you at all!

If this sounds familiar to you, you probably don’t know your contacts well enough.

But don’t worry – we can help you fix that!

Here are five easy ways to find out what your contacts really want to see in their inboxes, so you can send more relevant emails.

1. Do Your Homework

Before you even think about clicking send, do some background research on your audience.

You don’t even need a list to get started. All you need to do is find out where your potential contacts hang out and what they talk about.

If you sell baby clothes, you can check out mommy blogs and parenting forums to get a scoop on the hottest topics.

You can also use Twitter and Instagram to keep track of the trending hashtags in your niche.

If you’re an online store, check out Amazon reviews of products similar to your own. Negative reviews are especially helpful for identifying what frustrates your customers!

Pro-tip: Don’t just watch the discussion. Participate! Engage with your potential contacts to find out more about their likes, dislikes, and interests.

You can use this valuable information to create better, more relevant emails!

Key Takeaways

  • Visit relevant blogs, forums, groups, and pages to keep track of conversation
  • Follow trending hashtags in your niche on Twitter and Instagram
  • Analyze Amazon reviews of products similar to your own to identify concerns
  • Participate in the discussion by engaging with your audience

2. Learn From Your Opt-In Form

What gets people to subscribe to your emails can actually tell you a lot about what they expect from you in the future!

Test out multiple versions of your opt-in form, and find out what works with your audience.

Offering a discount coupon? Contacts might be interested in promotions and exclusive deals.

A free eBook download? Chances are they’re looking for valuable advice!

Additionally, find out where most of your contacts are coming from. Did they sign up at the end of your blog post? Or did most of them subscribe through social media?

This can also tell you about what made them sign up in the first place, which you can further use to tailor your emails!

Key Takeaways

  • Test out multiple versions of your opt-in form to see which variation drives the best conversions
  • Analyze what gets contacts to sign up to get an idea of their expectations
  • Find out where most of your contacts are coming from
  • Use the data to tailor your emails

3. Keep Track of Your Audience’s Behavior

If you pay attention to how your contacts are engaging with your emails, you’ll find there’s a lot of room for improvement.

For the most part, this involves keeping track of different performance metrics – including:

Open Rates

Split test different subject lines to see what gets contacts to open your emails. If they prefer to see their name in the subject line, they’re probably open to building a closer relationship with your brand.

Click-Through Rates

Look out for emails with exceptionally high or low click-throughs, and compare them to learn about what gets contacts to tap.


Did a bunch of people just unsubscribe from your list? Go back to your last email and take notes. At the very least, you’ll get to learn about what NOT to do next time.

Key Takeaways

  • Track open rates to see what kind of subject lines work
  • Compare emails with high and low click-through rates
  • Learn from the last email you sent that triggered unsubscribes

4. Ask Contacts What They Want

Seriously – just ask your contacts what they want to see in your emails. They won’t bite.

In fact, this is why email polls and surveys exist!

Here are some tips for creating email surveys that actually get you a response:

Ask The Right Questions

If you ask vague questions, you’ll get vague answers!

If you want valuable insight, ask specific questions that aim to solve a problem.

For example, when do they prefer to receive emails? How do they use your products? Or which area of your business/campaign needs improvement?

Remember – keep it short and simple. We recommend using single-question surveys for a higher response rate!

Be Creative

Make your surveys interesting – no one wants to fill out boring forms!

Instead of using plain old text fields, shake up the way you ask for feedback.

GoSquared sent out a Net Promoter Score survey to contacts:

A quick survey like this doesn’t need much explanation. It literally takes two seconds to complete and brings you valuable insights!

Another way to get more information out of your contacts is by making your email survey fun and interactive.

Here’s how Expedia does it:

They practically make it look like a game!

You can also make your surveys interesting and approachable by using Likert scales and star ratings.

Better yet, offer respondents delicious incentives they won’t be able to resist!

Like Tarte Cosmetics does:

Use Time To Your Advantage

Whether your survey get a response or not largely depends on when you send it out.

For new contacts, a quick welcome survey about what they’d like to see in their inboxes is perfect for setting expectations.

If you want to dig deeper and send out a longer survey, it’s a good idea to wait until you develop a relationship of trust and loyalty with your contacts.

Also, don’t forget to check past performance metrics to see the time and day your contacts are most responsive.

Key Takeaways

  • Ask contacts specific questions in email surveys
  • Keep email surveys short – we recommend single-question surveys!
  • Make surveys fun by using interactive scales, star ratings, etc.
  • Offer incentives to motivate contacts to participate
  • Check performance metrics to see when contacts are most responsive

5. Subscribe to Competitor Newsletters

Want to beat your competition? Find out what they’re doing (and not doing)!

There’s a reason the top brands in your niche are successful. Subscribing to their newsletters lets you see exactly what their readers – who are most likely your target audience – like to read and engage with!

This is a great way for new businesses to take inspiration, learn from others’ mistakes, and set benchmarks for themselves.

Plus, it saves you from some of the time, effort, and money that goes into trial-and-error!

Key Takeaways

  • Take inspiration from competitor newsletters
  • Learn from their mistakes
  • Set benchmarks for your own business

Knowledge is Power (and Helps You Send More Relevant Emails)!

Understanding your contacts can be difficult, but totally worth it.

Even if they’re not paying customers yet, they have the potential.

These people have voluntarily given you their email addresses. On some level, they’ve already shown interest in your business!

Now it’s your job to find out what makes them tick, and use it to your advantage.

What do your customers like to see in your emails? We’d love to know! Let us know your thoughts below!

[the_ad_group id=”220″]

Kristen Dahlberg

Content ManagerSendlane
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!