Powerful email campaigns remain the bedrock of online sales. But you’re facing stiff competition out there with an estimated 144.8 billion emails sent and received across the globe daily.

So, how are you going to get prospective and actual customers to read your emails, much less convert them into sales or action? Here are some proven ideas that will get you and your business on the right track.

1. Be Brief

This is critical. When you’re fighting for a voice in a crowd this noisy, getting your message across quickly and clearly is life and death stuff. If you write well, not only will you get your message through, you will also help yourself to focus on your own goals and those of your customers.

It may pay you well to think of an email as a very brief window of opportunity rather than an endless white page needing to be filled. That means you need to know exactly what you want your customer to take from the email. For this reason a Call to Action can be very effective for sales and community engagement.

2. To Personalise or Not to Personalise

There are some who say sending emails from a “person” with a name can increase your optimization by up to 20 per cent. There are others who say it’s simply cheesy and that customers see straight through the ploy, especially if they haven’t had a long relationship with your organisation.

If you do decide to personalise emails – sending them from your founder or CEO for example – be sure to keep them conversational, the way a human would speak.

It may be that you have a good database and you can send different emails to different people. If this is the case you can choose who will receive personalised emails and who will not. Which brings us to segmentation.

3. More on Personal Touches

Particularly when you are able to segment, the role of personalisation can again improve your customer’s experience. Using their name in an email that contains information they want to know is effective. It looks like you know them and you’ve done your homework.

If the email contains information about products they are likely to be interested in or, perhaps it is a worthy local social cause, you are much more likely to get their attention.

4. Fixing on Segments

By honing in on segments based on things like level of activity, industry, social demographics and buying history, you can seriously increase the likelihood you will get the right messages across.

This means you can run very specific campaigns designed to touch your audience in just the right way and improve the chances of engagement.

It all depends on the quality of your database, but it is foreseeable that you could break up your audience by customers, prospects, income, location, areas of interest, age, gender and much more. This can help you to really get on the front foot with email campaigns.

5. More Give, Less Take

There is research that suggests a great deal of email marketing material is dismissed and marked a spam. But if you keep your communications appropriately personalised, on key, with new information and interesting facts, you will stand a better chance of surviving the spam test.

There is further research that shows recipients want to see more than just the best discounts. They want to be educated and informed. They want good content more than anything else.

Lastly, it’s worth remembering email campaigns can be as much art as they are science. The more instinctively you understand your business and your customers, the better your choices are likely to be.