6 Agile Email Strategies That You Can Try Now

The world is changing…fast. Your marketing strategy is no different, and you’ll need to stay on top of some key metrics.

As an SMB, it’s pretty tempting to keep doing the status quo and send out emails as usual. But are your campaigns working for you—and if not, why? 

Don’t ignore the data. Instead, embrace this challenge! 

Believe it or not, one of the best and most agile methods to connect with your customers is email. Unfortunately, according to email marketing firm Litmus, more than half of businesses take at least two weeks to get an email out. That’s one email!

You’ve probably heard of agile marketing. In a nutshell, it simply means using data and analytics to constantly improve your efforts. As part of your agile marketing strategy, using email is perfect.  You get analytics very quickly after sending out email and you are able to adapt rapidly for the next send.

Agile email strategies are a great way to connect with your customers. The Content Marketing Institute found that 87% of B2B marketers said email is one of their top organic (free) distribution channels. And as we discussed in an earlier blog, email is also a great way to retain your most loyal customers.

The good news is that you don’t have to make getting an email out a long and laborious effort. If you have a strategy laid out, you can get started with relatively little angst.

Keep it simple

Write down a single goal and target audience for every email campaign. Even if it is just one sentence, it helps you and others in your business who are helping you to have a focus. And don’t forget to create a content calendar of when you want to send each email. Leaving less to chance is far smarter than just shooting out an email when the spirit moves you.

Keeping your design elements simple allows you to reproduce emails with relative ease. And if you don’t have the skills to design your templates, there are lots of designers out there with email experience who can help you create that template. Additionally, most of the email marketing tools have built in templates that you can customize without much design experience, if needed.

Once you have your template, you’ll use it to execute your clear campaign goals for each individual email but it does not need to be elaborate. Follow your strategy and connect with your target audience.

A Clear and Distinct Call To Action  

Your call to action (CTA) is simply the action you want the reader to take after they open your email. In most cases, it is to click on a link that takes them to your website to take advantage of a special offer, sign up for a webinar, or to read an interesting blog post. Once again, keep it simple!

Agile CRM recommends keeping your CTA near the top of the email and to be clear and direct with the action needed. The CTA should be the main link that you want people to go to. You don’t want there to be any confusion here. Have a few people in your office or among your network read the email before sending and make sure that they also think the CTA is clear.

There may be times where one or possibly two other links are useful, but don’t use too many. You want your CTA to shine.

Spend Some Time on a Great Subject Line 

Make your subject line clear and compelling.  What is your target audience curious about? Find that and you’ll get them to open your email. So this is that simple…though not always easy. 

Hubspot says “The best email subject lines are creative, compelling, and informative without giving too much away.” It boils down to this:  If your subject doesn’t compel someone to open the email, they’ll never see your fantastic messaging or image.

There are lots of good examples out there of subject lines that have been successful, but one thing to remember is that you know your customers better than anyone. So ask yourself two questions: How does my product or service help my target audience? And what would make them want to open an email? 

Check out some of these superhero subject lines for some ideas. And be sure to test your different techniques throughout your campaigns to see which subjects work best with your audience.

Use One Attractive, Interesting Image

Images have been shown to be effective at summarizing your topic and grabbing the readers’ attention more than content alone.

Email provider Constant Contact says the right image can grab the reader’s attention enough to get them to engage with the CTA. Make the image clickable to your CTA link as well. You want to make it as easy as possible for your readers to get to the information you are providing.

One thing to remember is to use only one strong image per email, if possible. If you must use others, use them sparingly. Too many images, like too many words, can dilute the impact of your message,

There are several free resources for photos, or you can take one yourself. You might even consider showing the actual people behind your brand to increase trust and engagement with your customers. If you do choose to use free stock photos, please show your appreciation by giving credit back to the photographer.

Regardless of where you find your photography, what is most important is to keep an emotional connection between the words and the photos, as well as continue to stand by your external brand image. The quality and relevance of the image you choose will affect the perception your readers have of your business, so spend some time on choosing an appropriate image.

Choose One Thing to Improve in the Next Email

Review your analytics consistently (in our experience most engagement starts to drop off up to 72 hours after each release) and come up with one thing you will do better in the next email. You don’t need a full laundry list of things to do next time…just choose one.

Maybe improve your subject line if your open rate is low. Or write a more compelling headline or body copy in the email. The point is for you to look at your email analytics, see where the weaknesses are, and choose one thing to improve next time. That’s it! 

There are many small adjustments you can make to improve your email marketing turnaround time that also make your emails that much more effective. The key is breaking down your tasks into small, achievable actions. 

Don’t worry about a perfect email, just work on trying to get each one better and look at your analytics to see if you are achieving that goal.


Tomato Fish is an Indianapolis consulting company focused on helping small and midsize businesses make good strategic planning decisions.