KWSM Mentorship Program: Email Marketing

Aug 2022

cropped image of man holding speech bubbleThis year, I got the chance to participate in the KWSM Mentorship Program. I was paired up with Dalia Grelin, a Digital Marketing Strategist who is passionate about email marketing. As a web designer/developer, I had some previous email marketing experience so the mentorship turned out to be more collaborative than was originally planned – but I believe it made the learning experience more enjoyable.

Related Article: 3 Email Marketing Tips to Improve Your Open Rate

Project Scope

The goal of our mentorship was to collaborate to improve the effectiveness of a client’s monthly newsletter and to learn best practices in the field of email marketing. By looking at previous email sends we were able to generate ideas to improve email open & click-through rates. We planned to implement the changes gradually so that we would be able to more accurately target what edits were affecting the results.

The Mentorship in Motion

Going into the mentorship, Dalia and I had planned to meet bi-weekly, but since we were working on a monthly newsletter we found it to be more productive to meet less frequently but for longer periods of time. With these longer meetings, we were able to delve into the stats from the previous month’s newsletter and implement changes to increase open & click-through rates.

Related Article: 3 Characteristics of an Effective Email

Testing our Ideas

When it came time for implementation, Dalia had some ideas that she wanted to test out for the redesigned newsletter. Dalia’s updates showed nice increases in several targeted areas and I tried to provide quality feedback to help build upon her changes to further increase open rate, click-throughs, and general ease of navigation. I identified small changes that make a big impact, such as removing the gray border around the email. This helps modernize the look and feel of the email as well as make it easier for viewers’ eyes to navigate.

We decided to implement a subject line A/B test as well as target our subscribers who were no longer engaging with “REMINDER” in the subject line to try to prompt re-engagement.

Read about this project from Dalia’s point of view in her email marketing mentorship blog.

What We Found

At the end of the month we met to review the collected data. Surprisingly, the results were not quite what we had expected, but there were key improvements in some areas. We noticed through Google Analytics that website retention and page view time were dramatically improved from viewers coming through email. This told us that we were providing viewers with better quality information. Time on site was not one of our stated goals, but was a beneficial outcome for the client.

When making all of our updates we overlooked a key element of marketing – we forgot to implement Alt Descriptions for all images contained within the email. This is best practice for SEO, as well as ADA Compliance.

Key Takeaways

One of the most important things Dalia and I learned was that a subject line with a targeted offer could be a useful tool for re-engagement.

My biggest takeaway from my mentorship was that it’s good to be open to a different perspective. Coming from an eCommerce background I felt fairly confident with my email marketing skills, but Dalia opened my eyes to a totally different perspective on email marketing. I tend to approach email from a selling perspective, but Dalia taught me the ins and outs of engaging educational newsletters. I believe I can take some of these elements back into my web design/development to increase the quality of my work.


megaphone64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers.

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