Master Inbound Email Marketing in 3 Simple Steps

June 17, 2021 |   4 minute read

Master Inbound Email Marketing in 3 Simple Steps

When you think about marketing and brand content in 2021, you might think Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter or even TikTok. Emails almost seem like a thing of the past.

But email marketing has some of the highest return on investment of all inbound marketing. Emails should always be opt-in (with the option to opt out) so anyone who signs up to hear from your company really wants to hear from you — and that’s what inbound is all about. 

HubSpot estimates that there are 4.3 billion email users worldwide. That’s a lot of people and a lot of potential customers who are looking for products and services like yours. Unlike social media marketing, where platforms are constantly changing their algorithms and features, email marketing is relatively straightforward. 

3 Simple Steps to Perfect Your Email Marketing Strategy and Grow Your Customer Base.

1. Build your inbound email list. 

Build your email list internally — don’t buy or rent a list of users. Broad, unspecific email lists often have low open rates, and you could face fines from privacy protection agencies

Add contacts to your list using effective landing pages, content offers and opt-in buttons when customers are making a purchase. Offering an “opt-in” means that customers who say yes actually want to hear about your products and services. You can use an incentive like “15% off your next purchase.” Opt-ins can appear on landing pages or in pop-ups that are displayed after a customer has spent a certain amount of time on your site. 

Pro tip: Use a double opt-in. This means that when someone clicks “opt-in,” they’ll get an email from you where they confirm their subscription a second time. This way, you can make sure they’re using a valid email and your emails don’t end up in their spam folder.  


2. Maintain the health of your email list. 

HubSpot recommends that you scrub your email list every 6 to 12 months. If you’re getting a lot of sign-ups or you have a large client base, you could even do it quarterly. Why?

First, it’s important to keep up your engagement ratios. If no one opens your emails, they will get marked as spam. Make sure everyone who is on your list is opening your emails at least 50% of the time. 

Second, it’s worth the investment. It’s estimated that the return on investment from email marketing is 42 dollars per dollar spent, so spending a couple hours refining your list could earn you significant revenue. 

Pro tip: use specific segmentation to create your email lists. You can segment your email contacts by demographic information (like age, gender or location), but you can get even more granular than that. 


Segment by lifecycle stage — where your contact is at in their customer journey. This will help you to offer your contact exactly what they’re looking for, when they’re looking for it. For example, if a prospective customer has signed up for emails but hasn’t made any purchases, you probably want to send them different emails than a customer who has bought your products consistently for the past two years. 

email marketing inbox photo

77% of email marketing return on investment comes from emails that address a reader’s specific needs based on their place in the customer journey. 

3. Offer valuable content every time. 

This is the fun part! The average office worker receives 120 emails per day. If you’re going to get someone to read your email, you need to offer something fun, friendly and fresh that they really want to click on. Here are some top tips for engaging customers with email content:

  • write neat, simple copy, with short sentences and lots of paragraph breaks
  • when you offer something new, remind them why they initially purchased from you
  • make your subject line 50 characters or less 
  • spam test your headlines in the HubSpot Email Health tab 
  • a/b test your subject line and monitor the results

There you have it! With email marketing, 

clean and segmented contact list +
accessible format +
clear, fun and engaging copy =
campaign success

Want to learn more? Download our free visual guide:

Improve Your Email Marketing